Monday, December 7, 2015

Nordic Kitchen Redux

Nordic Kitchen Christmas Towels
Nine towels from this warp all in a stack
I'm paging through them in order, photographing each as I flip to the next one.
Once our house was finally repaired it was high time for a new weaving project. Many boxes of our packed-up belongings still haunt me. But it is December and they will simply have to wait. What is the point of unpacking things with a move impending? Instead of the rugs I had been planning prior to the flood, I wandered back to an all-time favorite draft. Yes, Nordic Kitchen was calling to me.

For the longest time, this bright yellow 20/2 cotton has been on my shelf. I always liked the color but was intimidated by its intensity. This is not a timid yellow. The thought that it is better to use it than move it gave me the jump start I needed. Besides, it had been such a long time since I wove, this could be a viewed as a test case. That way if it didn't work out all would still be well. I use a sett of 30 e.p.i. and sleyed two ends per dent in a 15 dent per inch reed. The pattern weft is 10/2 perle cotton.

Nordic Kitchen - Detail showing warp and tabby color changes
I combined the bright yellow with a pale yellow in the center of two red bands in the borders and added my ever favorite variegated ends. The color changes really pumped up the impact of an already striking border, a happy result.

I have to stop here and make an observation about my loom. It is a 135 cm Glimakra Standard. The water removal team and I took it apart in the dead of night. The poor thing was unceremoniously dumped in piles. There was a good chance parts might be missing. But it all went back together beautifully. Believe it or not, I put it back together by myself which brings me to my point. For years (years, I mean, YEARS) my poor loom had been in need of a tune-up. I just didn't ever want to break it down and take a break from weaving. And my loom deserved better of me; it is a very reliable, hardworking machine. Now that it is back together again, it works better than ever. Myriads of tiny adjustments over many years and many warps added up to major headaches. Now everything is back nice and tight and in alignment again. My loom has to be as happy as I am about that.

Nordic Kitchen Christmas Towels
Front side and reverse side are equally pleasing.
This post-flood warp is slightly different from my previous Nordic Kitchen warps. I went back to find the original source cited in Marguerite Porter Davison and found the earlier draft by Caroline Halverson contained five repeats while the Davison draft had only two. So I took my earlier draft and added one more repeat in that section of the border. Maybe eventually I will switch to five repeats because I really like the difference. I'm thinking of renaming my version of this draft Swedish Kitchen. Wink, wink!

Swedish Kitchen towels by RepWeaver.
Pattern weft colors clockwise from left: Black, Orange,
Elm Green, Burgundy, Nautical Blue, Ink Blue and Eggplant
So here they are - my 2015 Christmas towels. I wish the recipients as much joy using them as I had weaving them. And I wish you, my readers, joy as well.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Warp On/Weave Off,

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Under Water

My blog has been too quiet lately. I am sorry.

We had a lovely summer. My husband was home for with a nice long visit by our daughter and two grandchildren. Low tides and fair weather made for exciting days at the beach where we found abundant sea life to explore. It's hard to say who had the most fun, children or adults.

As mentioned in an earlier post, my husband and I are in the process of a long-distance move. We have been struggling to decide what to do with our home where we have been happy to live for 20 years. For the time being I remain behind overseeing repairs and updates. However, not all of the repairs have been voluntary.

When I went to bed on August 10th my washing machine was off and all was well. At 2:00 a.m. our cat Jenny woke me. Sometimes this happens but this time she was unusually persistent so I got up to take her downstairs to the laundry room. At the bottom stair I stepped off into water. Water!

Sometime after I went to bed my three-year-old Amana washing machine turned itself on and overflowed and overflowed and overflowed. Water was everywhere including in my studio and under my loom.

Toothbrush Rug by RepWeaver
36 x 48" Toothbrush rug on newly refinished wood floor
An emergency water removal crew arrived right away and I worked along with them through that night, through the day and into the next evening to remove the water and evacuate the first floor of our home. The crew ripped out carpeting, padding, linoleum and underlayment. Everything in my studio was moved and dumped in piles here and there. What a night that was!

It took 13 giant floor fans, two huge de-humidifiers and several mats taped down to the wood floors with a great big suction machine to dry things out. For four days temperatures inside the house hung around 100 degrees and the noise of all those machine was deafening.

Repairs took nine weeks to complete. Since my loom was in pieces during those weeks weaving was out of the question. Instead I worked on this toothbrush rug. Work on the rug and knitting helped me deal with the disruption of my life and home. While the wood floors were being sanded and Swedish finish was applied, the cats and I had to vacate. For those four days I was able to take this rug with me and work on it at my hotel. I do not know how I would have managed to weather the upset without my handwork. The flood was a lot for me to face alone. But it could have been far worse without the wakeup call from our sweet JennyCat.

Now things have pretty much settled down at home. My loom is back in action and I am nearing the end of a warp. I promise to show and tell you about the results soon.

My husband is enjoying his new job in a distant place. We are in constant contact and we travel to see one another when we can. Being apart is no fun but it won't be forever.

A logo I created for Jenny in my Graphic Design class
I am grateful for daily blessings. Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Warp On/Weave Off,


P.S. I wrote about my adventures with the Amana washer in an earlier post here. The repairman and I agreed that it was not worth fixing the thing. In it's place we now have a brand new Speed Queen commercial washing machine. It rivals our trusty old Maytag and does a great job - highly recommended and built in America!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Rep Rug By Request

Rug for our son and daughter-in-law
Special requests for handwoven rugs always make me cringe. Finding an adequate way to communicate reality vs. vision to a non-weaver is, I fear, an impossible task. Even though I was pleased when our son and his wife asked me to weave them a special rug I was also worried. For better or worse, he inherited my critical sense of color and design and can be quite exacting. The pressure to fulfill this special order was palpable.

The young couple own a condo that they have decorated in a very restrained, neutral palette. Their home is high tech and sophisticated -- certainly not a place for just any old rag rug.

Together we checked my stash of rugs on hand and nothing really interested them until they spotted the red and yellow placemat. The color choices had not been my own. It was one of the samples I wove on another student's loom in a workshop led by master rep weaver, Joanne Tallarovic. The draft is found on page 137 of her book "Rep Weave and Beyond". It's block design is what appealed to them.

The request was to weave this sample design as a rug in brown and tan

My son and daughter-in-law asked me to expand the pattern to rug size and constrain the colors to dark brown and neutral tans. He especially wanted very little if any color blending. And they asked for a very narrow border. Plus they gave me the exact dimensions for their rug.

Here is one way I like to make use of what I have on hand. The big ball is rags I saved from an old rug. Since the colors were not what was requested I simply encased them inside a strip of rag to better match the brown warp. The ball is resting atop several piles of rag strips cut from bed sheets. The sheets started out bright white. I dyed them in my washing machine using as much Procion MX dye as I had on hand. It didn't change them very much, not as much as I would have liked, but did mellow them to more of a tea-dye, ecru shade. It helped.

Encasing recycled rags inside new rag strips
I was happy when they liked the rug so much they took the second one home as well. Even their cat, Crinkle, found them to his liking. Everyone is happy!

Warp On/Weave Off,

Crinkle enjoying the new rug

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blogging Along

Here is one case in which the third try was certainly not the charm. It isn’t that the results do not please. I was simply pushing the design without a full understanding of the structure. Further study is in order and I aim to revisit Colonial Patterned Double Weave before long.

These are the result of my attempt to add border effects. This time I took inspiration from Bertha Gray Hayes’ draft “Springtime Fancy”. The design worked very well in double weave. But the way I tried to add the borders did not. The first coaster shows the border and the next two or three show errors as I tried and tried to rethread the warp without the experimental part. Eventually I righted the whole mess and came out with some nice little pieces.

I continued playing with the idea of using two shades of the same colors in warp and weft. The green/teal version appeals most to me. The variation adds depth and kind of hints at shadow weave.

These are the best size for coasters of my three warps. I wove the long piece specifically for a narrow shelf. Plenty of hand woven textiles help make a house a home.

Coasters from three Colonial Patterned Double Weave warps
It's always nice to have an assistant in my busy little studio.
Latest rugs in progress on the loom.
By   the way, the other day I made an exciting discovery. A photo in the Spring/Summer issue of Handwoven Magazine attracted my eye. There on page 27 were two beautiful towels woven in the “Norse Kitchen” design from “A Handweaver’s Pattern Book” by Marguerite Porter Davison – the draft that inspired my miniature version of the same draft. What fun!

Last time I wrote about my little weaving studio. Here it is in all its messy glory. I’d be happy to spend every day there and so would my cats. Perhaps you can spot Squeak in one of her favorite spots?

Warp On/Weave Off,


Friday, May 8, 2015


Colonial-Patterned Double Weave
Does this happen to you? A pressing goal in one area of life causes neglect in another? That is how blogging slipped to a lower priority. I may not be the first to think of it, but “Back-Blogged” is how I feel. The demands of gardening during an unusually early spring, the possibility of a cross-county move with necessary reduction of accumulated stuff, and a rug design request/challenge from our son and daughter-in-law have kept me hopping. Life is never boring.

Contemplating the move has been particularly worrisome but also exhilarating. I find myself looking around the studio at my “stash”. Space is at a premium and I have squirreled away far too much yarn and equipment for comfort. My studio is actually rather a small room, about 10’ x 12.5’. And you know how it is with available space – easily filled. I’m afraid there are tough decisions ahead for this weaver. On the positive side, the move may not happen right away. Panic has not vanished; it has simply been delayed.

Second group of Colonial-Patterned Double Weave coasters
In the mean time weaving continues. Here are a few snaps of my second Colonial-Patterned Double Weave exploration. With this warp my goals included:

1.     To weave slightly larger coasters
2.     To develop my own design using the “Colonial” technique
3.     To avoid “opposite colored” hems while maintaining tube structure
4.     To further explore color interlacements
5.     To improve my beat to weave “squared up” overshot patterning.

Left - Warp and Weft colors alike
Right - Brighter red used as weft, improved selvedge using floaters

Draft #64, “Queen Anne’s Lace” from Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes: Miniature Overshot Patterns inspired the threading draft from which I formulated three threadling variations. I added two repeats of straight twill at each selvedge and included floating selvedges. The resulting pieces are a bit on the large side for coasters. Other than that, they are a success. Using slightly brighter colored wefts produced interesting effects. 

Weaving this warp was lots of fun and bears further exploration. This structure would make wonderful placemats.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Double the Trouble, Double the Fun

My friend Susan showed our Rug Study Group some intriguing coasters she had woven. They were from a draft by Judie Eatough on page 62 of the book “Best of Weaver’s: The Magic of Double Weave”. The structure caught my imagination. Except for a pick-up sampler many years ago, I hadn’t woven double weave.

"Colonial" Double Weave Coasters -- Design by Judie Eatough
Now I am navigating the unknown waters of “Colonial” or “Overshot Patterned” Double Weave. The structure is related to Overshot only in the sense that double weave drafts are created using the designs in overshot drafts. How it all works is still a mystery to me but I aim to figure it out. With this goal in mind I have woven three “Colonial” Double Weave warps.

The first one is the same as the one in the book that Susan showed me. The other two are designed by me using inspiration from “Weaving Designs by Bertha GrayHayes: Miniature Overshot Patterns”.

Reverse Sides of "Colonial" Double Weave Coasters
Detail of "Colonial" Double Weave coaster
Motif not woven to square. Bother!
Here you see the results from my first warp and it is confession time. My beat was way too firm and the design is not square. This is not an overshot structure but rather a double-layered twill structure. I tend to use too much tension in all my work. Here you see the result of my natural tendency -- squished motifs. ARGH!

After this experience I made several changes for my second “Colonial” Double Weave warp. Watch for details.

On/Weave Off,


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hip to Be Square

Borrowing from the song by the great Huey Lewis and the News, it is "Hip to Be Square". Weaving to square is of primary concern and ever my goal.

As a weaver, accomplishing a perfectly squared design is one of my joys and agonies. Some structures take extra care to come out just the way they look on graph paper. Perfect squaring requires an ideal combination of structure, yarn size, sett and beat. A good example is plain old straight-draw twill in which a diagonal line is easy to see. That diagonal line must lie at a perfect 45˚ angle in the finished cloth. Using the same yarn for both warp and weft, it can be assumed shrinkage will be even in both width and length. While the cloth is on the loom and under tension, the even or uneven balance can be tough to judge. It is necessary to check that 45˚ angle with released tension.

Overshot is a structure that demands careful planning in order to square up. But if you think of it in terms of the underlying ground cloth it becomes easier to understand. Traditional Overshot requires use of a Tabby weft. Pattern weft is superimposed on top of a plain weave structure, known as the ground cloth. The goal is to create a perfectly balanced plain weave underlayment to carry the pattern wefts along and hold them in place. If you choose an appropriate pattern weft of approximately twice the grist of the warp and tabby yarn and if you weave a balanced plain weave, Overshot will be a piece of cake and a joy to weave.

A nationally well-known speaker (yes, you would know who this person is) at a recent meeting of my local guild mentioned that if an overshot block doesn’t weave to square one should simply throw an extra pattern shot or two. Pardon me for disagreeing, but I cannot take that view. Overshot is to be “Tromp as Writ” for a reason and throwing an extra shot would throw off relative proportions throughout the structure. If the ground cloth is balanced plain weave, unless an inappropriate sized pattern weft is used, the blocks cannot help but weave to square. And if they do not, then a change of sett or beat is in order.

Just my two cents . . .

Next time I'll admit to missing the mark in the "Squared weaving design" department.

Warp On/Weave Off,


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Flannel for Body and Sole

Four yards of blue flannel dotted with white sheep have been in my stash for so long that the original purpose for purchase is lost to memory. Usually such a nice piece of cloth would have soon found its way into one project or another. But not this yardage, as sweet as it was I could not bear to cut it into strips.

Blue Birthday nightgown
just before I popped it into the mail
I have been working on another toothbrush rug, this time coincidentally in flannels. The goal was twofold: one to use up flannel from my stash, two to provide a warm non-latex non-skid rug for my daughter’s cold stained concrete floor. Searching for flannel in red, white and blue was how I stumbled upon the long forgotten blue sheep-dotted yardage.

Our little granddaughter is a Laura Ingalls Wilder and Beverly Clearly type of girl. Her mother and father spend countless hours reading books aloud for her. She loves dressing up and hearing about yesteryear and long-ago people. Long flannel nightgowns are her bedtime delight and her birthday was fast approaching.

My collection of patterns includes those for the nightgowns I sewed for her when our daughter was young. Every Christmas Eve new home-sewn pajamas waited beneath the tree for each of our children. A lovely tradition, my own grandmother did the same for my sisters and me when we were young.

Combining two projects made sense. First I would sew a nightgown for our little girl and then I would use the scraps in toothbrush rug already in progress.

Our little girl was thrilled to receive the nightgown and her parents are thrilled at her new eagerness to don her nightclothes.

I will show the rug at my monthly Rug Group meeting. Then it will go into the mail to our far-away little family. It is filled with scraps of many memories that my daughter might recognize including scraps from a few of her long-ago Christmas nightgowns, flannel shirts her father wore, and pajamas from other family members. Do you think she will notice the little bits of blue sheep-dotted flannel included in the rug? Do you suppose she will feel our love for her and her family with both sole and soul?

Warp On/Weave Off,

Monday, March 2, 2015

Miniature Norse Kitchen - Third Warp

Miniature Norse Kitchen towels
Darker teal yarn used as both warp and tabby in borders

Here you see finished towels from the third warp of my Miniature Norse Kitchen draft. This warp was shorter than usual due to limited supply of yarn. Look closely and you will see a darker shade of teal blue added into the borders. Sometimes I mix in other colors of warp for design interest. Other times I mix in additional solid warp colors due to limited supplies of yarn. It is a great way to use up small bits of yarn. Each of these reasons was relevant with this warp.

Third color way of Miniature 
Right side of Miniature Norse Kitchen

Both sides are beautiful. The variegated and darker teal is more obvious on the reverse side. If you ask me, either side could be considered the "right" side.

Warp On/Weave Off,
Reverse side of Miniature Norse Kitchen

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

Sometimes it takes awhile to come up with color choices. Once the warp colors are decided it becomes easier. When I weave, each piece is unique. In other words, I do not set a palette to follow for the entire length of the warp. Maybe this shows a lack of attention span. I like to think it is merely excitement to find out how each pattern weft choice works with the warp colors.

Playing with colors for RepWeaver Warp #103
Three cones on the right are for warp.
Others are possible pattern weft colors.
I used all of them except the jade one at the back.
Recently I was reminded of a childhood disappointment. Crayola Crayons began making their famous 64 color box with sharpener when I was small. How I longed to have so many beautiful colors. On Saturdays one of my favorite things to do was listen to storybook records (the former version of audio books). While listening I would take crayons and paper and draw illustrations to go along with the story of the moment. Oh, to have my very own box of 64 colors!

But mother had other ideas. You see, she had six children and a limited budget and was worried about her living room carpeting. The sharpener on the back of the box was my undoing. It made her fear probable carpet stains from loose crayon crumbs. When I was much older I bought my own box of 64 colors. Even then, having all those colors made me very happy. It's probably just as well there weren't markers for children back then. Not having markers would simply have been another source of sorrow in my youth. Mom would have worried about her walls.

Neither crayons nor markers can beat colored pencils for shading and combining colors. As a teenager I discovered Prismacolor pencils and an entire new world opened up to me. But I digress . . .

Watching the colors cross is like watching woven fireworks.
Pattern weft here is "Eggplant" and not included in the original line-up.
Pulling out cone after cone of yarns and arranging and rearranging color line-ups is no end of fun. It is almost like having a big box of crayons (without the sharpener). Imagining the interaction of warp colors crossing weft colors thrills me every time.

Next time I'll show you more photos of Warp #103.

Warp on/Weave Off,

Saturday, February 7, 2015

To Variegate or Not To Variegate

To Variegate or Not To Variegate?
Yes, that is the question (with my apologies to William Shakespeare).

Since I was very young, variegations have attracted my eye. It's innate if you ask me, I truly can't help wanting to include as much color interest as possible in everything I weave.

Every available color way of variegated yarn, especially 20/2 cotton, must join my collection. Call it compulsive if you must. I don't care. It doesn't matter whether I have a particular use for it or not, if it is available it must come home to my studio.

Considering color choices for my current warp
When planning a project, all my colors come out on parade. They line up on the loom bench where they can be arranged, re-arranged and contemplated. Out come the variegated yarns along with the solid colored. I arrange the variegated yarns with likely base colors. If you ask me, the most important thing about using variegations is to use them sparingly. A little really does go a long way.

Variegated from reds to oranges to yellows
Solid yellow or solid red to coordinate
The goal is to find a solid colored yarn to match one of the mid-range colors contained in a variegated color way. This variegated yarn is a combination of shades from reds and oranges through to yellow. My preference would be to pair this variegation with an orange solid color. Right now I don't have any orange. So red or yellow solid can do and I have used both. But neither are my actual first choice.

The variegated yarn is wrapped around the solid yarn cone to get an idea of how they would work together. My aim to use a mid-range color is so the colors come and go within the whole of the warp. That is, I want there to be one main color into which the variegated ends seem to appear and disappear. Ideally I want these magical color highlights to be both darker and lighter than the solid main color.

Trying to decide a solid color to pair with this variegated yarn
Here are a few possible base colors to pair with a variegated that morphs from white to yellow, teal, green and purple. Since there are so many colors included in this variegation, there are lots of possibilities for solid pairings. These are the choices that happened to be on my shelf. I like the brighter teal, second from left. But there wasn't enough of it to use for the entire warp. So I used it as border stripes combined with the more dusty teal.

When winding the warp sometimes I will add a variegated end at random intervals. But this time I was using my Miniature Norse Kitchen draft and carefully planned where I wanted those extra colors to "peek-a-boo" within the weave structure.

Miniature Norse Kitchen Overshot
"Peek-a-boo" variegated ends placed at intervals
Bright teal added in as border stripes

This combination is what I am weaving at the moment. I'll show you how the towels turn out once they are off the loom and finished.

One last note. Recently a weaving friend asked me if there was a difference between variegated and space-dyed yarns. Perhaps there is a difference in process or color arrangements. I guess I'd assumed they were the same. But I honestly don't know. Do you?

Warp On/Weave Off,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Norse Kitchen Miniature - Second Warp

Miniature Norse Kitchen by RepWeaver, Group photo
Miniature Norse Kitchen by RepWeaver, Group photo
Miniature Norse Kitchen by RepWeaver, Group photo

Norse Kitchen in miniature was such a satisfying weave project I couldn't wait to get back to the loom for another round.

This time I chose a warp of 20/2 UKI perle cotton in color #52 Chestnut. To this I added variegated ends at specific spots in the draft across the warp. These warp ends range in color from brown to gold to olive green to red. Click on the detail photos for a closer view of how these variegated colors seem to magically appear and disappear in the finished towels.

Even though overshot is a two-shuttle structure, weaving these was a lot of fun. Watching the variegations morph from one color to the next adds interest during the process. When warping I don't try for any Ikat effects but sometimes this happens. Serendipity is part of the fun.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Norse Kitchen Miniature
Detail showing variegated warp ends

Norse Kitchen Miniature
Detail showing variegated warp ends

Norse Kitchen Miniature
Detail showing variegated warp ends

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Conundrum Solved

How did I solve those four problems that bothered me about "Norse Kitchen"?

Miniaturized "Norse Kitchen" (red)
"Norse Kitchen" original towel (blue)
Recently I have been inspired by the work of Josephine Estes and Bertha Gray Hayes and have been weaving a lot of Miniature Overshot. So the ideal solution was already on my radar - write my own miniaturized version of "Norse Kitchen".

Once I'd finalized my Mini "Norse Kitchen" draft I needed to adjust the number of center repeats to maintain the same width as my original towel warp. Then I cut off the first few towels I'd woven using the old draft and rethreaded the remainder of that warp with the revised design. This required three additional warp ends. I also decided to add one more twill repeat at each selvedge which added another eight ends.

Miniaturized "Norse Kitchen" towels

While I was at it I changed the direction of some of the border twill lines so each border is symmetric. You can see the change in the red towel above the original blue one. It is even clearer in the detail of the magenta towel below.

Weaving the rest of the warp was thrilling because the result brought me great joy. Never again will I view an overshot draft without wondering how it would work in miniature. Such fun!

Miniature "Norse Kitchen" - Detail

Miniaturized "Norse Kitchen" towels showing the reverse sides.
It's hard to decide which side is my favorite.
Warp on/Weave off,

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shedding Some Light

Handbook of Weaves by Caroline Halvorsen
Handbook of Weaving by Caroline Halverson
Copyright Oslo, 1927
The book arrived last week. Here it is. The author, Caroline Halverson, is not named on the cover.

This is a great little book filled with interesting drafts. Fortunately actual drafts, like music, are universally understood. Unfortunately, I do not speak or read Norwegian so the text is beyond me.

Checking online translators gave a general idea of the description for the original draft #185 on page 104 of Halverson as referenced by Marguerite Porter Davison with her "Norse Kitchen" draft.  But that raises the question, "Is the Halvorsen draft the actual original?" Somehow I doubt it and unless someone has further information to share or someone who understands Norwegian can find a reference within the text there doesn't seem to be any other trail to follow. Perhaps you have seen similar designs and can point me in the right direction.

The Norse Kitchen design from the Davison book is clearly derived from the draft in the Halverson book. They are very similar but not exactly alike. In Halverson there is a photo of the woven piece that looks very much like Davison's photo but with additional repeats in the border sections. Interestingly, some of the things that bothered me in the Davison draft also appear in the original draft. Those wavy lines all curve in paralell directions in both drafts (bother number three). And the unbalanced nature of the draft (bother number four) is apparent in both drafts as well as in both photos. There is an unsettling unbalance in the Halvorsen border in that of four oval figures in the corner block, three are closed or complete but the fourth is not. Interesting, isn't it? Davison changed the draft to close that fourth oval.

The most striking aspect of the piece in Halverson is the design is woven perfectly to square. It is so precisely woven that one has to look with a very critical eye to notice some of the problems I found with the draft. Those problems are far more obvious in the Davison example. The Davison piece is clearly not woven to square. The design is compressed warp-wise, most noticeably in the corner blocks (bother number two).

It would be an interesting exercise to make adjustments to the Halverson draft and weave it. But for now I will have to be content with the solution I found for my Christmas Conundrum. I am now weaving a second warp using my own version of the draft. I'll let you in on what I came up with in my next post. Maybe by that time I will have photos of the finished pieces currently on my loom.

By the way, I realized that somewhere along the way I stopped signing my posts. So I will do my best to remember from now on.

Warp on/Weave off,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bother Number Four

This is the last one, I promise. Going by the level of annoyance, this really is number one on the list.

After the first few inches weaving this problem really stood out. It was especially apparent in the repeating middle section. Take a close look and you will see what I mean.

"Norse Kitchen" from draft in A Handweaver's Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison
The ground interlacements on either side of each little white cross are not even. Checking the draft from the Davison book, one side of the center repeat section has six ends alternating on shafts two and three and eight ends on those two shafts on the other side. This problem pops up in the border sections as well but isn't as noticeable.

If you look at the photo accompanying the draft in the Davison book you will see that sample also shows this problem. I guess this is a lesson to look very carefully at sample photos as well as at drafts. It's dangerous to make assumptions.

The Davison sample photo is curious. It is so different from other samples in the book. It appears to be an entire woven piece and clearly shows crease marks. This made me wonder if the draft had been copied from the woven article and not actually woven by Davison herself. At the top of page 186 is a notation "Adapted from Caroline Halvorsen's Page 106 - No. 185".

Last week I did a search and discovered a book by Caroline Halvorsen and placed an order for a used copy. I do not know if this particular book is the source of inspiration for the Davison draft. But I aim to track it down.

Reading the "Understanding Overshot" chapter in The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers by Madelyn van der Hoogt it looks as if this draft may have originated in an abbreviated form. If you read the section "Variations in Drafting Format" on page 41 there is a clear explanation of how an unbalanced draft could occur.

When the Halvorsen book arrives I'll let you know what I discover. Then I will show you my solution to the problems with the Davison draft.