Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Walking the Line

videoThe twill line, that is.....

Since I tend to do a lot of different twills I keep my treadles tied up in a straight twill draw. In this video I am weaving a straight twill.

If I were weaving a broken twill, I would simply alternate my feet - treadle 4, treadle 2, treadle 3, treadle 1.

But for a straight twill, it's a straight forward treadle 4, 3, 2, 1.

Notice the position of my feet. The foot that is not being used gets parked on the hinge area of the treadles, about half way between the two treadles - you can just see my left foot about half way between treadle 1 and 2.

The foot that is being used slides forward. The forward movement depresses the treadle. I do not lift my foot, but use that lovely hinge we call the knee.

As I change from treadle 4 to treadle 3, I rest my heel on treadle 4 pivoting my foot so that the ball of my foot moves over onto treadle 3, then my heel follows and the treadle is pressed down.

To depress treadle 2, my left foot slides forward as my right foot slides back to rest on the hinge between treadle 3 and 4.

When that shed is finished, my left foot heels and toes over to treadle 1, then slides back to the hinge while my right foot is sliding forward to depress treadle 4.

To weave a broken twill, my feet alternate sliding back to the hinge and forward to depress the treadle.

Learning a treadling sequence is like learning a dance step. You need to keep the sequence in order to weave the different dance steps - plain weave, straight twill, broken twill, Wall of Troy (twill variation), etc.


Delighted Hands said...

This is eye opening-I am still a bit akward with using both feet and this will help immensely!

Sharon Schulze said...

When I first tried doing it that way I couldn't get my knees to work right. I don't know if it's because of the length of my legs or what. I do know that when I started the rocking motion all the problems with it disappeared. I think it's because when I rock back my weight shifts so that my hips, knees, legs, and feet can move more freely. I still wonder if part of that is because of my size (I'm nearly 6 feet tall and robust). It's easier on my loom at home which is larger than Laura's Fanny loom (I almost said Laura's Fanny, which just didn't seem right... grin). I also have a loom bench with a tilted top, which combined with the rocking seems to unlock my legs.

I used to retie everything so I could weave in a walking motion. I still prefer to treadle in a direction that lets each foot move across adjacent treadles but I usually use 8-10 treadles so that's just a convenience and makes it easier for me to keep up with what I'm doing.

I can, however, attest to the fact that thinking of treadling as a matter of sliding my feet from the hinge to the pressing-down spot seems to have made everything smoother and therefore faster.

One downside of weaving faster, though: I appear to have irritated my elbow since I'm now pressing the beater many, many, many more times pre weaving session!

Laura said...

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for reminding me about the rocking motion of the upper body. :)

When you do something often enough, it's hard to remember *exactly* what you do! :D


barbara said...

Laura, I want to share with you, that your teachings through the blog are a great learning for me. I just wound on a warp (back to front); I use to try to do this as quickly as possible - then I remembered: how this warp goes on is very important to the end product. I took my time, and the warp, though short went on very, very well!!! I have a very satisfied & peaceful feeling on how well the process went. Now to thread, and weave. I know because of necessity, you aim for speed as well as a well warped warp. I use my weaving as therapy, plus a small bit of income!!! Thanks for your teachings. Weaverly yours ... Barbara

Laura said...

Hi Barbara,

Being efficient does not just mean being fast - it means being accurate, too. :) I well remember that in typing class we were always marked on *correct* words per minute......... :)

One of the lessons I have learned is that good preparation is never wasted - that if something is necessary, it needs to be done. What I have tried to do over my life (because I've now been a weaver for much longer than I've been anything else!) is to learn how to do the various tasks in weaving as accurately and quickly as possible.

I've learned that by reducing the size of the motions - making small motions - a flick of the wrist instead of needing to move the entire arm - brings me to a much faster outcome.

Frankly it's savings of nano-seconds, but when you do the same motion hundreds of times, those nano-seconds add up into hours of savings over the days/weeks/months.