ten men system – A, B and C universes

LESSON 3: INTRODUCTION TO NON-SIMPLE WEAVES

Once the students have mastered the ten basic weaves and can use each of them with some facility, i teach them how to alter the path the thumbs take before retrieving one of the little finger strings during the first or second weave.

First, i review how the parent figure is made (set up loom, do an a weave, reset the loom, do another a weave, and extend), and remind them that the shorthand notation for this sequence is a a.

Then i ask “What would happen if during the first weave you passed each thumb up through the lower index loop (i.e., over the far lower index string) before retrieving the near little finger string and completing the a weave?” The result would be a new figure!

In fact, one can envision doing any of the ten simple weaves (a-e’) after first passing the thumb up through the lower index loop, which means that ten new figures are easily created. In other words, by altering the thumb’s pathway during the initial part of the weave, you enter a “parallel universe” populated by another entire set of figures equal in size to the original set. For this reason, i refer to this set of weaves as “A-Universe weaves” and use a bold uppercase A to indicate that the thumb should pass over the far lower index string before doing any of the ten simple weaves. The result of weaving Aa followed by a is shown in fig. 11. The ten non-simple weaves in the A-Universe series are therefore written as:     Aa, Ab, Ac, Ad, Ae, Aa’, Ab’, Ac’, Ad’, Ae’

One can also imagine passing each thumb down through the lower index loop (i.e., over the lower near index string) before doing any of the ten simple weaves. Again, the result would be ten more unique figures (Ba a is shown in fig. 12). The ten non-simple weaves
in the B-Universe are written as:  Ba, Bb, Bc, Bd, Be, Ba’, Bb’, Bc’, Bd’, Be’

If one simply passes the thumb over both lower index strings before retrieving a little finger string, one has entered the C-Universe (see fig. 13 for the result of weaving Ca a). The corresponding series would be: Ca, Cb, Cc, Cd, Ce, Ca’, Cb’, Cc’, Cd’, Ce’