Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Once there was a Snowman!

I was going over Christmas ornament ideas with Brian, and I suggested the sheep that I was thinking of doing this summer, but Brian saw this snowman in the same book of pdf patterns and wanted to do the snowman this year! 

This is a very complicated looking pattern, but it's really not all that bad.  The thing to remember is, tabby is at the left of the tie-up, and it's 1-2 and 3-4-5-6-7-8.  The left side of the tie-up is shaft 1 plus the combinations of treadles 3-8.  The right side is shaft 2 plus the combinations of treadles of 3-8.

The pattern pretty much goes:

  • tabby b
  • left side (two shots of shaft 1 plus 3-8 combo: make one black and one white)
  • tabby a
  • right side (two shots of shaft 2 plus 3-8 combo: one black and one white)

This pattern is from Handwoven Magazines book called Deck the Halls.  I love several things from this book!  However, I don't like how compact their patterns are.  The patterns are sometimes very complicated, but they are so consolidated that it takes a lot of time to pick them apart!

Their snowmen look better than the pattern, so I'm hoping some of the "background noise" that is seen in the pattern shuts off once I start weaving and compacting everything.  I made the hats a little bit taller, because they looked kind of silly being so short.

Here is the skeleton tie-up that Tim's Treadle Reducer helped me with.  I could not get it down to 10 treadles, but it did get it down to 11. 

Here is a tie-up suggestion for a 10 treadle loom.  I had to figure out a way to drop one of the lesser used treadles so that I can have a 10 treadle tie-up.  I will need to lift a shaft by hand.  I dropped treadle 4 and just lift shaft 8 manually when I need this rotation, but then all the other numbers past 4 had to change, like 5 is now 4, 6 is now 5, etc.  Below are all the corrections for a 10 treadle tie-up.  When you see "3+7, plus 8" or "3+7, 8", that means to depress treadles 3 & 7 with your feet, and then hold shaft 8 up with your hand.
This pattern is almost ridiculous! In fact, it has taken me about 4 attempts to get it to this point!  I have made several mistakes along the way, but to me, that's what makes weaving more fun: the challenge of it all!

Below is the pattern with everything "plugged" in.  It takes about 120 steps to weave the snowman!  Start at the top of the left column and work your way down, over to the top of the left column and down again, etc to the end.  Kind of opposite of a typical weaving pattern, but much easier to explain and read on the go.  If you see "2+3, 8" it means to press treadles 2 & 3 at once, and hold shaft 8 with your free hand... if you have one!

I have decided to start with something small, like 1 snowman on a very short warp of 3 yards just to be sure I really like what I'm seeing and to make sure it's working out ok!  Then I might do about 6 snowman across on a 4 yard warp to cover all of our Christmas cards this year.  Can't wait to get started!