17/04/2014

Yet another gown


One of "my" universities is getting a new rector.

I was invited to submit a sketch for the new rector's gown - and it was expressly said it should have sleeves.
(And I am grateful for that - the original pattern is not one I am proud of, these many years later. How did it come to look like that? Read parts of the story here...)

Yesterday I delivered it.

(unfortunately, the back view is blurry)

As you can see, it has elements of the original, and sleeves that are cousins to these.

02/04/2014

About dräll and other patterns

Starting with the word: dräll is a difficult word, probably coming from latin trilix, meaning three threads. (Note: in the etymology there is nothing at all that suggests "pattern".)

In Sweden, (the unqualified word) dräll has often been used as if meaning patterned (any kind of pattern). Sometimes, the word is qualified to "äkta dräll" (true dräll), when referring to a pattern where blocks of warp-faced structure contrasts with blocks of weft-faced (either turned twill or turned satin - thus multishaft).

As multishaft looms were not the most common, but the wish for patterning was, several methods for patterning on only 4 shafts were developed - as they were developed to mimic "true dräll" they often are referred to as "simplified drälls". Examples of simplified drälls are daldräll (overshot), jämtlandsdräll, sålldräll (Ms and Os, I think), kuvikas (S&W)... All of these have one principle in common: there is one warp system, but two weft systems, one of which gives plain weave.
There are many patterns named after a province (daldräll, jämtlandsdräll), a village (rovadräll, tynderödräll).
Other "meaningless" names are fattigmansdräll (poor (wo)man's dräll), soldatdräll (soldier's dräll). Another thing they all have in common is that the names do not really denote a specific technique...

There is also halv-dräll, which only has two blocks. There have been several "inventors" of that technique, one of whom was Wilhelmina Bergman. She published "Den lilla vävboken" about 1878, where she claims to be the "inventor" of a way to weave dräll on just 4 shafts (and she got a patent, valid for a number of years, 5, I think). This method is very much alike to what we call halvdräll today, with the difference that she did not use two different yarns for weft. (In fact, several old books do not) Over the years (the book was reprinted many, many times) she "invented" 4 ways to thread her... weave (she doesn't give it a name). Here is a screenshot of all four:

(The one in the lower left corner will not give a true plain weave, because the threading does not follow the "odd-even" rule)

At some point another "name" cropped up: five-shaft dräll (femskaftsdräll). These were obviously done on five shafts (with a special five-shaft pulley, pictured here - scroll down a bit), and were woven in some kind of lace weave. As I am notoriously hopeless with the "names" of lace weaves, I'll leave it there... (An example can be seen on my website, here - at the end of the article.)

There were also a couple of ways to add shafts, dräll pulleys or "two-tier pulleys" (lunor, in Swedish). I have written about both kinds here. These were (still are?) quite common, even though countermarche looms had begun to be used already in the 1840-ies.

22/03/2014

Looking at both sides

After the 2/2 twill adventure, I started to ponder even weaves.

What is an even weave?
To me it means that there are as many warps as there are wefts showing on top - very easy if we are talking straight threadings/treadlings (as in 2/2 twill, for example...) It seems like Emery (The primary structures of fabrics) is of the same opinion.
(Note: I am not thinking of sett/beat here; I'm not after a "balanced" weave, which for me means there are the same number of ends and picks.)

But what happens if we are using other threadings?

A simple point in both directions, can that really be "even"?



Counted over the whole repeat, there are 99 "up" ends and 97 "up" picks. Is that good enough to be called "even"?






Or a slightly fancier point - this one is even, with 56 ups each.






Treadled to a point, 102 ends, 94 picks.






Tromp as writ, we have 99 ends, 97 picks again.





Some fancier threadings:






This one comes out as even, too - again if counted over the whole repeat.





is also even.











So: how much can the ups and downs differ - can the simple diamond above be called "even"?
Or, perhaps: only straight weaves can be called "even"? (After all, many of the individual sheds above are not even)

I can't make up my mind - opinions welcome!

14/03/2014

International pi day

Let's first see if blogger accepts the pi sign - as it didn't, here is a picture of a pi sign:

I wanted to celebrate the day by making a drawdown showing such a sign, but it turns out that 16 shafts are not enough to make a nice pi.

However. Pi has an infinite number of decimals, so let me instead present an infinite number of (ok, just 8) ways to achieve a straight 2/2 twill, all with straight treadling.

First: a straight 2/2 twill on a 4-shaft broken threading:

Next, an 8-shaft, 12-treadle variant. (Why 12 treadles? - because the draft started out as a weft-emphasis plaited twill, which needed 12 treadles)

However, that many treadles are not needed - in fact, you only need 4. Any 4:

A 10-shaft variant. Could this be called a "broken point threading"? As before, only 4 treadles are needed.

Onwards we go... 16 shafts, with a couple of threadings I don't know why one would like to use:

As I actually have 20 treadles on my trusty CM - here is one that uses all of them:

So why the label "cultural differences"? Because it shows why some of us dumb Swedes do not understad the term "twill threading" so often used on the international forums... (I have writtten about it before - here is one example on this blog, here is an article on my website.)

25/02/2014

Once spotted...


To think that I hadn't seen this kind of double pulleys (or, not consciously, anyway) until a couple of months ago... now I see them everywhere.

Spotted at a flea market not far from here:


As (again) they were without companions, I left them for someone else to play with.

(And Jean, if you read this, the strange shaft-ties: I have given up on that, until I can get to the museum myself. They keep giving me the wrong references - )

18/02/2014

How to spin better linen yarns

Many authorities "of the time" assert that yarn spun with "the new method" (ie with a DFW of the Mager type) has a much, much better quality - as if consistent grist and twist come automatically with the wheel type. (Maybe it does... after all, I haven't got mine operational yet)

To let you all know as much as I now do, I took a stab at translating the first part of the Book with the Hopeless Title - the part that should instruct us all how to use this famous wheel.

(It can be that you, too, become a bit disappointed with the contents. But I assure you: this is all there is!)

The first part, same as the other, is now available in .pdf-form, the translated variant here with text in both Swedish and (my attempt to translate it into) English. The plate is on the very last page. (Comments on the translation(s) are most welcome!)

There is also the "original" (transcribed, some sort of Swedish) - found here. The drawing is on the last page.

For my local-ish Swedish friends: do you know anything about the Gårdsby Lin-Institut, at Gårdsby outside Växjö, that was in existence 1811-1827 (or -28)? There is a rumour that they used double flyer wheels there, too, but as the Mager type was not known until 1843, I would be very interested to know what kind of DFWs they were using.

12/02/2014

How to build your own double (or more!) flyer spinning wheel



As told here, I have borrowed the Ekenmark book with the hopeless title (Afhandling Om Den förbättrade och förenklade Nya Magerska Linspinnings-Methoden, Jemte En wida ändamålsenligare Method, för så wäl Dubbel- som Enkelspinning, med förändring af en wanlig Spinnrock, både för en och flere personer på en och samma gång, hwarigenom den motswarar nyttan af 4 serskilta wanliga spinnrockar, Äfwensom Om bästa sättet, att få linet genom sjelfwa Rötningen mycket finare och mjukare, så att det derigenom blifwer ojemförligt ändamålsenligare till båda Spinning, garn och wäfnader, än hwad genom den wanliga Linrötningen och torkningen kan åstadkommas.
Utarbetad Af GUSTAF EKENMARK och HUSTRU
Med en större Lithografierad Planch
Stockholm Tryckt hos Lundberg & Comp. 1848)

I have also transcribed it (gothic print...), probably with some mistakes here and there.

Today I can offer anybody nerdy enough to want to know how to alter an ordinary saxony type spinning wheel to accommodate as many as 4 flyers, without "compromising" the original wheel: there is one .pdf here with text in both Swedish and (my attempt to translate it into) English - no light reading this (I doubt I have ever encountered sentences as long as in this text... hard to read in Swedish, even harder to make some sort of sense in English). This file has a couple of illustrations enlarged from the drawing (which is on the very last page).

There is also the "original" (transcribed, some sort of Swedish) - found here. No extra illustrations, but the drawing is on the last page.

If I end this post with "enjoy!" - would you think I'm having you on?!?