I came across Mock Satin Damask in a Handmade magazine - these articles are all written by Alison Irwin, who has come up with a brilliant technique which she teaches all over the US. I warped up my loom with cottolin at 24 epi in a basic 1-2-3-4 threading, and knuckled down to learning this technique. The magazine gave a simple zig zag pattern to get started on ... I failed miserably, and just couldn't figure out where I was going wrong! Here's my mess of a sampler, with no zig zags in sight!
Bella Head (aka The Weaving Goddess) to the rescue! Last time I saw her, she mentioned an article in the latest Complex Weavers journal about weaving pictures using only 3 shafts. I emailed her and asked for a copy of the article (I became a member, but it must have been a bit late to receive the journal). This is when I realised something ... all these instructions for weaving mock damask were for a floor loom - I have been trying on a table loom. When the instructions say to lift shaft 1 for instance, all the threads on shaft 1 on my table loom are LOWERED. On a floor loom they are raised. What would happen if I reversed the instructions?
I re-threaded my loom in a 1-2-3 configuration to try Three-Shaft Damask (article by Marjolyn Van der Wel). For my 1/2 twill, instead of raising shaft 1 and weaving, I raised shafts 2 and 3 and wove.
I followed the instructions using a cartoon under the warp, and straight away the pattern started forming!! You can see in the picture below that shafts 2 and 3 are raised when the instructions say to raise shaft 1.
And here is a leaf!
Please excuse my dodgy warping error on the left hand side and terrible selvedges ... but this *is* a sampler after all!!
Of course I had to try a bat ... wonky shape aside, I'm pretty pleased with it ;)
And here's the back:
So all in all, a successful experiment! I will definitely be putting this technique into practice soon with some mercerised cotton at a looser epi to give a nicer drape.
It's times like this that I realise how little I know about weaving, and the disadvantages of being self-taught from books ... so many weaving instructions make assumptions about the weaver. My little epiphany may be common knowledge to most weavers - but I'm pretty chuffed with myself!!!
OK, back to a 'normal' warp now to get some more infinity scarfs done. (This is why I need another loom, heh :P)