Translating Hieroglyphs and Profile Drafts

Can I admit something? I am not great at reading profile drafts. I know that in theory these drafts are supposed to make more complicated weaving drafts simpler, but I often find myself squinting my eyes at them and mumbling to myself as I try to figure out exactly what I do where. This is a shame, because profile drafts really can open up a whole new world of weaving.

Yes, I’ve tried to read about how one should go about translating these drafts and for whatever reason it just doesn’t stick. I once again end up with my eyes crossed. I’ve decided that what I need isn’t a set of instructions on how to translate one of these drafts. What I need is a Rosetta Stone.

As many of you know, the Rosetta Stone is what led to the translation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs in the nineteenth century. True to its name, it’s an actual stone and on it is carved an official decree in both ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian, the latter of which was written in both demotic script and hieroglyphic text. It was all the same decree, with minor variations, so once scholars knew what the Greek said, they could begin to translate the hieroglyphics. As somebody who loves history, I’ve known the story of the Rosetta Stone since I was a child and getting to see it when I visited the United Kingdom 2 years ago was one of the highlights of my life!

The Rosetta Stone is what eventually led to scholars translating ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Photo by Hans Hillewaert.

The Rosetta Stone is what eventually led to scholars translating ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Photo by Hans Hillewaert.

But enough about history; let’s talk about profile drafts again. What I need is a full draft written out that I can look at next to the same information translated into a profile draft. From there I can actually see what the different bits of a profile draft are trying to tell me what to do when. Once I can read an example, it should be no problem translating more.

So when we decided to make a kit of the Starry Sky Placemats by Judit Ozoray, I had an “aha” moment! I immediately suggested that, along with the original project, we also include a full draft so folks like me could use it to teach themselves how to read a profile draft. This idea was not only accepted but taken a step further—the kit also includes a WIF file so those weavers out there who like to plug drafts into their software could do so with ease. Brilliant!

The Starry Sky Placemat kit is going to be Christina’s Rosetta Stone to help her translate profile drafts.

The Starry Sky Placemat kit is going to be Christina’s Rosetta Stone to help her translate profile drafts.

There you have it: this kit will help you learn how to read profile drafts and also lets you put the draft into weaving software so you can see what happens when you adjust the treadling and/or the threading. Plus you get all the yarn you need to weave these gorgeous placemats. It’s a win–win–win!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some translating to do.

Happy weaving!
Christina


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One Comment

  1. Cathy B at 12:46 pm July 5, 2017

    Now could you do the same thing for a rigid heddle pattern? That would be awesome 🙂

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