Tied Overshot: Stars, Diamonds, and Variations

Tied overshot, often called stars and diamonds weave, evokes images of pretty weaving patterns.  Having read several articles about it, I learned that tied overshot is well known for being a traditional Colonial coverlet weave used in Pennsylvania in the nineteenth century.  It looks like overshot, but is more closely related to summer and winter.

I read Clotilde Barrett’s article, “Coverlet Weaves Using Two Ties” (Weaver’s Journal, April 1979 issue #12, downloadable from handweaving.net).  This excellent article has photos of various samples with drafts and notes, and I was particularly interested in the photo of the sample in Plate 6.  The article mentions Dorothy K. and Harold B. Burnham’s notable book, Keep Me Warm One Night, that refers to the weave of this sample as “stars and diamonds.”  To better understand how to design such a weave, I closely studied the chapter on tied overshot in Madelyn van der Hoogt’s book, The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers, one of my favorite books on drafting.  I then designed and wove a bunch of samples and three tied overshot table runners.  In this post I’ll be sharing, among other things, photos, drafts, and notes about these runners starting with this blue runner:

Tied Overshot Blue Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018

Tied Overshot Blue Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018 (close-up of both sides)

Draft for Tied Overshot Blue Table Runner (12 shafts)

Partial Draft for Tied Overshot Blue Table Runner (12 shafts) (interlacement view)

In many traditional coverlets the warp and the tabby (plain weave) weft are often thinner cotton yarns and the pattern weft is a thicker worsted wool yarn.  For my table runners I chose yarns that I had in my stash:  thin 16/2 soy silk for the warp and tabby weft and a thicker 5/2 pearl cotton for the pattern weft.  All three runners were woven on the same warp with a sett of 30 e.p.i.  They were all wet finished by hand and steam ironed.

To design the 12-shaft draft shown above, I adapted the tie-up from the draft in Figure 7 in Clotilde’s article, and the threading and treadling from the chapter in Madelyn’s book on tied overshot, Figure 11b:  “Uneven 2-tie overshot: 5 thread half-unit.”  (If you would like the WIF file for this Blue Table Runner, let me know.)  In other variations the size of these units can vary.  I also want to mention that you can design new patterns using the same threading and treadling by simply making changes in the tie-up.  For example, in the partial draft above you can make changes to the tie-up within the area marked by the yellow rectangle to design new patterns.  That’s what I did and wove the other two runners on the same warp.  There are no stars in the red one and the mauve one is mostly just diamonds:

Tied Overshot Red Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018

Tied Overshot Red Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018 (close-up of both sides)

Tied Overshot Mauve Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018

Tied Overshot Mauve Table Runner (12 shafts), soy silk and pearl cotton, 2018 (close-up of both sides)

And here’s an 8-shaft tied overshot draft that I designed but did not weave (let me know if you would like the WIF file for this draft):

Draft for Tied Overshot (8 shafts)

Some of the articles I read refer to John Landes’ draft No. 76 (14 shafts) as “stars and diamonds.”  I was curious about it and found it in A Book of Patterns for Hand-Weaving; Designs from the John Landes Drawings in the Pennsylvania Museum; drafts and notes by Mary Meigs Atwater.  It’s downloadable from handweaving.net, and you can find it there if you search in “Documents” and then “Key Words” and enter “John Landes.”  It doesn’t seem to come up when you search by “Author.”  I plugged the info from the draft into my weaving software and it looks like this:

Draft for Tied Overshot Stars and Diamonds adapted from John Landes Draft No. 76

I also found online a PDF version of Tom Knisely’s March/April 2006 article in Handwoven magazine, “Stars and Diamonds – for a show towel on fourteen shafts.”  I think the John Landes draft was used for the towel.  This is a nice article with detailed drafts and step-by-step instructions.  For more on tied overshot and related weaves there are many excellent articles in Weaver’s magazine issue #19 (4th quarter 1992), the theme is friendship coverlets.

Hope you enjoyed this post.  Until next time, I wish everyone peace, goodness, and joy in the coming holidays and the New Year!

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14 Comments on “Tied Overshot: Stars, Diamonds, and Variations”

  1. Lew Says:

    Beautiful, Eva

  2. beth mullins Says:

    Hi Eva,

    The tied overshot is beautiful! Would you please send me the WIF for the 8 shaft draft?

    Thank you,

    Beth ________________________________

  3. Gisèle Morin Says:

    Really like these overshot would you send me the wif please and thank you

  4. Mary Says:

    Eva,
    I’d love a .wif of the 8 shaft tied overshot.
    Thanks so much,
    Mary

  5. Margaret Martin Says:

    Hi Eva,
    Thank you so much for your detailed post, I would truly appreciate it if you would send me the wif for both the blue 12 shaft runner and the 8 shaft also. I really enjoy putting on a long warp and experimenting with tie ups, treadling variations etc. to see how many usable designs I can devise from just one threading.

    With best wishes for Good Health, Peace and Happiness in the coming holiday season and 2019

    • evasweaving Says:

      Margaret, thank you for your comment! I’m glad that you pointed out that there are so many variations of tied overshot that you can weave on the same warp by making changes not only in the tie-up but in the treadling too. My table runners all happen to have the same treadling but I hope weavers will experiment with the treadling too.

      I also want to thank everyone else who commented and I’m happy to send wif files to you and anyone else who requested them.

      Eva

  6. crawfordrn Says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I would love to have your 12 shaft draft of the blue and white table runner.

  7. kfagan727 Says:

    Thank you for your generous off of the 8 shaft wif file. I would love it, please

  8. judyha Says:

    I would like your 12 shaft draft.

  9. Pat Thomson Says:

    I would love a copy of the 8 shaft draft. Thanks for helping me learn new weaving structures and how they work.


  10. Hi, Eva – I’d love the WIF of the 8 shaft draft. Your weaving is so inspirational!

    • evasweaving Says:

      Marilynn, I will gladly send you the WIF you asked for as I have sent it to everyone who asked for it. I looked at your website and your work is beautiful!

  11. Donna Hudson Says:

    Eva, Thank you so much for the information in this post and the resources that you used. I would also appreciate the wif files for the 12 and 8 shaft designs. I have been wanting to try some traditional designs using silk and this looks like the perfect opportunity to have some fun. Thank you again for being so generous with your work.

    Donna


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