Weaving in a Parallel Universe: Linda Hartshorn’s workshop

I recently took an online workshop from Linda Hartshorn called “Weaving in a Parallel Universe”. It was part of the offerings of the Natural Fiber Fair.

How to design and weave parallel threadings (like echo and jin) has been something I’ve tried to learn a couple of times, both through lectures and books, without ever fully wrapping my head around it. 

An interactive workshop was just what I needed. Between getting to ask questions in real-time and having hands-on practice between lectures, I was able to understand the concepts and put them to use.

Linda’s explanations and demonstrations were wonderfully clear and easy to understand and her knowledge of weave structures was comprehensive. For example I asked how shadow weave related to parallel threadings and after thinking about it a second, she had a solid answer.

Being an online class, it was broken out over three days with weaving time scheduled between 1-hour Zoom lectures, which provided time to put the things you’d just learned into practice.

The downside of an online class is that you don’t get to hang out with other weavers in person, touch their cloth, marvel over their looms. 

The upside is that folks who wouldn’t have been able to travel to the class can attend. Which included a fellow from Singapore, where it was 1am when the class started. That’s dedication!

This gentleman was able to read Chinese and found and translated an online article about Jin that mentioned both a weft-faced and warp-faced version. Since Jin was previously called “polychrome turned taqueté” among weavers in the U.S. and Europe, and taqueté has both a warp and weft version, it was interesting to hear that jin (which predates taqueté by centuries) also was woven in the warp and weft variations. A gift of knowledge from our far-flung fellow student.

Needless to say, I was delighted with the class.

We had our choice of three different threadings. I chose the one that produced circles. This is the Linda’s design in echo weave. 

I created an echo version of straight draw for the treadling and produced waves.

In this picture you can also see the difference in the cloth between a black weft (top) and a burgundy weft (bottom).

Here’s that same color difference in the circles pattern.

After echo, we wove jin, which produced a smoother color mixing. It reminded me of the difference between aliased and anti-aliased graphics.

The bottom of this image is the instructor’s design, using an advancing point design line to design the treadling. 

The top is me playing around with the treading to make my own design. It changed the circles to elongated hexes. Not the most compelling design. One of the things I learned in the class is that it takes a lot of tinkering in weaving software to create drop-dead gorgeous patterns. Isn’t that always the way with art, though? There’s a lot of hidden effort.

I was also playing around with different weft colors here. Jin uses a finer weft than the warp, I was using 20/2 cotton here.

One of the characteristics of jin is that the top and bottom of the tie-up have to mirror each other. So I tried putting a checkerboard in the tie up. As you can see, I’m trying a white weft here.

I’m trying to design organic patterns that remind me of oil slicks, and this was a bit too rectilinear for my tastes; it was a fun way to test out the theory, though.

It’s interesting to see how many different fabrics you can weave on one warp, simply by changing the treadling and/or tie up.

The following was a little something I tried and then posed as a riddle to the class: “What do you think I did differently when weaving the top inch of the cloth, verses the bottom inch?”

I’m glad that I put a ten-yard warp on in order to experiment with parallel threading. There’s a whole lot more I want to play with in terms of designing threading, tie-ups, and treadlings!

6 thoughts on “Weaving in a Parallel Universe: Linda Hartshorn’s workshop

  1. Syne, the top half of a tie-up in Jin needs to lift the opposite of the bottom half. Select half, copy and paste, then “change face”. No mirrors involved. I gave my workshop on parallel threadings in Seattle in early 2010. Didn’t you take that one?

    • Hi Bonnie! I had the pleasure of listening to your seminar on parallel threadings at Complex Weavers a while back, which is why I was able to understand things like initials and expanding design lines pretty easily. I have not woven parallel threadings before, as far as I recall…

    • And guess what? You’re absolutely right. I did take that class from you in 2010. I found the handout. What can I say, my memory let me down, and apparently I needed to run through this material more than once for it to click. Thanks for giving me a solid foundation to build on.

  2. Whilst I think it is wonderful that there are weaving teachers offering these workshops, I do think credit should be given to the originators of the techniques and the publications which form the basis of these workshops: Echo and Iris by Marian Stubenitsky and Corris Effect course by Margaret Coe (and Amy Norris).

    • Indeed! And talking about the history of these weave structures was part of Linda Hartshorn’s talk. Her reading list for the class included books by the names you list above as well as Bonnie Inouye, Alice Schlein, Bhakti Ziek. In addition, she provided an extensive bibliography with additional references for future study. If the contents of my blog post disappoint you, please lay the blame with me and not Linda Hartshorn. She provided seven hours of lecture and discussion, which covered many topics that I left out of this brief review of my experience of her class.

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