Posted tagged ‘table runner’

Tied Overshot: Stars, Diamonds, and Variations

November 16, 2018

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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Double Weave Revisited

January 29, 2014

Of the many ways of designing and weaving double weave, my favorite is loom-controlled, patterned double weave.  On my 16-shaft treadle loom I can weave up to 4 blocks of plain weave as well as network drafted double weave designs.  I have written several posts on this topic and thought it was time for another visit because it really is so much fun!

In this post I share photos, drafts and notes about my recent projects that include a 16-shaft, 4-block double weave table runner and a couple of 8-shaft, 2-block placemats.  I also share a photo of a double weave Tencel shawl that I plan on submitting to my guild’s annual exhibit in April.

Double Weave Table Runner – 16 shafts

The first project is a table runner I wove using 5/2 pearl cotton with a sett of 28 e.p.i. that turned out to have a fairly good but not perfectly balanced weave.  I happen to like it this way, but a wider sett of 24-26 e.p.i. would have helped make the rectangular areas be more square.  After twisting the fringes, I washed it by hand, spin dried in the washer but I could have rolled it in a towel too, laid flat to dry and steam ironed while it was still a bit damp.  Here it is:

Double Weave Table Runner, Pearl Cotton, 2014

Double Weave Table Runner, Pearl Cotton, 2014

As part of the preparation for this project I wove a small plain weave sample to see how the colors mix with each other:

Prep for Double Weave Table Runner - yarns, warp, and sample

Prep for Double Weave Table Runner – yarns, warp, and sample

The design started out with a profile draft that is a variation of the same profile draft I designed for the Turned Twill Table Runner that I wrote about in my previous post.  It’s a 4-block profile draft to be woven on 16 shafts:

PROFILE DRAFT for Double Weave Table Runner (4 blocks to be woven on 16 shafts)

PROFILE DRAFT for Double Weave Table Runner (4 blocks to be woven on 16 shafts)

With the magic of block substitution, my weaving software (Fiberworks PCW) generated the complete drawdown.  You can do this manually as well (it’s still magical!) by looking at the profile draft and substituting the following for each block:  first block is threaded and treadled 1, 2, 3, 4; second block 5, 6, 7, 8; third block 9, 10 ,11, 12; and fourth block 13, 14, 15, 16.  I then experimented with different colors and came up with a color scheme I liked, choosing colors that I had in 5/2 pearl cotton in my stash.  Below are different views of the thread-by thread draft.  The double weave view shows how each side actually appears, one side appears different than the other side.  The close-up interlacement view shows how the warp and weft interlace or cross each other and gives you a hint that there are 2 layers with areas in one layer exchanging places with areas in the other layer:

Draft for double weave table runner (double weave view, side 1)

Draft for double weave table runner (double weave view, side 1)

Draft for double weave table runner (double weave view, side 2)

Draft for double weave table runner (double weave view, side 2)

Draft for double weave table runner (close-up of one section, interlacement view, side 1)

Draft for double weave table runner (close-up of one section, interlacement view, side 1)

UPDATE 2017:  Bianca Geiselhart used my draft to weave two lovely placemats.  She sent me this beautiful photo and gave me pemission to post it here:

Bianca Geiselhart’s Double Weave Placemats, 2017

Double Weave Placemats – 8 shafts

The second project is a couple of placemats I wove using 20/2 unmercerized cotton, 2 strands used together as one, with a sett of 40 e.p.i.  I wove a few inches of basket/plain weave with the 20/2 cotton used singly in between mats to be turned and hand sewn as hems for a neat finish after the wet finishing process which was the same as that for the table runner.  Here’s how the placemats turned out:

Double Weave Placemats, Cotton, 2014

Double Weave Placemats, Cotton, 2014

The design for the placemats also started out with a profile draft, but this time with only 2 blocks to be woven on 8 shafts:

PROFILE DRAFT for Double Weave Placemats (2 blocks to be woven on 8 shafts)

PROFILE DRAFT for Double Weave Placemats (2 blocks to be woven on 8 shafts)

As before, block substitution generated the complete drawdown, the first block is threaded and treadled 1, 2, 3, 4 and the second block 5, 6, 7, 8.  Since this pattern looks so busy I decided to use only 2 colors to make it appear simpler and to highlight the balance between the dark and light areas.  Below is the thread-by-thread draft in double weave view of one side.  I didn’t show the other side because it looks the same except that the dark and light areas are interchanged.  The close-up of one section of the draft in interlacement view also shows the basket/plain weave I mentioned earlier that I used to weave for the hems on the placemats.  As you can see in the tie-up you need two extra treadles to do this.

Draft for Double Weave Placemats (double weave view)

Draft for Double Weave Placemats (double weave view)

Draft for Double Weave Placemats (close-up of one section, interlacement view with basket weave for the hem)

Draft for Double Weave Placemats (close-up of one section, interlacement view with basket weave for the hem)

A Challenge

OK, I asked myself, what now?  How about challenging myself to weave something interesting in double weave to enter in my guild’s show in March?  After experimenting with many drafts, I came up with a 16-shaft networked draft for double weave that looks like mosaic when viewed from a distance and also looks interesting when viewed close-up.  I liked the design and wove this Tencel shawl:

Double Weave Mosaic Shawl, Tencel, 2014

Double Weave Mosaic Shawl, Tencel, 2014

UPDATE March 31, 2014:  This shawl received “The Kathryn Wellman Memorial Award” for imaginative weaving incorporating design, color and texture at the 2014 Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers “Celebration of Fibers” exhibit.

Now it’s time to start thinking about the next challenge…see you next time!

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Rep Weave: Placemats (4 shafts) & Table Runner (16 shafts)

July 14, 2011

Warp-faced rep weave, sometimes referred to as warp rep, mattor, or ripsmatta, is a relative of shadow weave.  They are alike in that the structure of both these weaves is mostly plain weave and light and dark ends alternate in the warp and are threaded on pairs of shafts.  They differ in that the warp in warp rep is sett much closer and thick and thin wefts alternate to create horizontal ridges with an interesting, ribbed texture.

Having woven rep weave before, I wanted to give it another try and learn more about it.  Following are images, drafts, and notes describing my recent rep weave projects that were great fun to weave.

Rep Weave (Warp Rep) Placemats (4 shafts)

While researching this topic, I came across a unique article I found online at handweaving.net, “Mattor,” by Robert Frederic Heartz, published in 1936.  I was inspired by the informative, hand-drawn illustrations, drafts, and meticulous notes.  I picked Draft No. 7 accompanying Illustration No.7, entered the info into my weaving program and wove a set of four placemats:

Warp Rep Placemats, 14″x 18″, cotton, 2011

Warp Rep Placemats, 14″ x 18″, cotton, 2011 (detail)

If you look at the article, each threading block consists of 8 warp ends, but you can vary this number as long as it’s in multiples of pairs.  I translated the handwritten notes into this computer generated profile draft and noted the block numbers on top:

Profile Draft for Warp Rep Placemats showing threading blocks

The threading of each block and the tie-up is easier to understand if you look at the two views below.  The top one is an interlacement view so you can see the plain weave structure and what is actually going on with the thick and thin wefts.  The bottom warp rep view shows what the actual weaving will look like, the weft is no longer visible covered by the close sett of the warp.  I didn’t include the border that is shown in the handwritten notes in the article because you can create solid colored vertical stripes by simply repeating any block using a solid color instead of alternating light/dark colors as in the rest of the warp.  Here are the two views:

Draft for Warp Rep Placemats showing interlacement and warp rep views

Additional Notes:

I wove a few samples with different setts and yarns before weaving the placemats to help me figure out how many times to repeat each block in the threading and the treadling so they would turn out nice and a good size for a placemat.  I followed the threading exactly the same number of times as indicated in the article with 8 ends in each block.  However, I treadled as if there were only 2 ends in each treadling block, otherwise the pattern would have been too elongated.  I also created a pdf of the thread-by-thread and treadling drafts for the placemats:  Threading & Treadling for Rep Weave Placemats

For the warp I used 20/2 cotton (2 strands together used as one) at a sett of 60 e.p.i., sleyed 4 ends per dent in a 15-dent reed.  For the wefts I used a thick, 4-ply cotton of variegated colors alternating with a thin 20/2 cotton (single, not doubled up as in the warp).  The final measurement of each placemat turned out to be 14 inches x 18 inches after wet finishing – washing by hand and steam ironing while still damp, and hand stitching the hems.  Next time they can go in the washing machine on the gentle cycle.

A word about the shed:  Because of the close sett it can be difficult to get a wide open shed for smooth and fast weaving.  In this project it was good but I still had to help it a little, prying it open wider as the shuttle passed through.  For a neater selvedge, I placed the weft in a rounded, inverted “v” shape and beat it in on the opposite shed.  I read in one article that if you keep the warp tension looser you can lay the weft in straight and the looser warp will do all the bending, but I didn’t try it this way.

There are books and articles with different tips on how to weave rep weave efficiently, my favorite is Joanne Tallarovic’s book, Rep Weave and Beyond.  “Weaver’s” magazine has many articles on rep weave that were written during its publication years from 1988-2000.  My favorites are:

  • “A Designer’s Handbook: Warp Rep,” by Donna Sullivan, Weaver’s #11
  • “‘Ripped’ About Rep,” by Rosalie Neilson, Weaver’s #9
  • “4 Shaft, 4 Block Rep: A Sampler,” by Rosalie Neilson, Weaver’s #9
  • “Warp Rep: 8 Shafts, 8 Blocks,” by Rosalie Neilson, Weaver’s #11
  • “Warp Rep: 16 Shafts, 16 Blocks,” by Rosalie Neilson, Weaver’s #15

Rosalie Neilson’s website has info about her work including the 4-shaft warp rep Sampler.

Rep Weave (Warp Rep) Table Runner (16 shafts)

Among my collection of samples woven by members of the Fine Threads Study Group at Complex Weavers, I found a warp rep sample that was designed by using parallel threading and treadling that inspired me to design a table runner.  I also read in one of Rosalie Neilson’s articles, “Warp Rep: 16 Shafts, 16 Blocks” (Weaver’s #15), how to easily derive tie-ups from 16-shaft twills that can be used in warp rep.  I went ahead and designed many parallel threadings and treadlings, tried them with different tie-ups, chose one I liked, and after a few revisions (ok, many revisions), was ready to weave it.  Using weaving software was really helpful in speeding up this process.  Here is the finished woven piece:

Warp Rep Table Runner, 19″x 35″, pearl cotton, 2011

Below are two drafts for the Table Runner, one is a close-up that shows the colors I used in the warp, the tie-up, and the thick and thin wefts.  The other is a black & white version that shows one full repeat of the threading and treadling.

Weaving Draft for Warp Rep Table Runner (color detail and b&w showing one repeat)

If you are using weaving software and would like the WIF file of the draft, let me know and I’ll be happy to e-mail it to you.

Additional Notes:

I wove a few samples first for this project as well and chose 5/2 pearl cotton for the warp, sett at 40 e.p.i. and a thick, 4-ply cotton of variegated colors for the thick weft and a 20/2 cotton for the thin.  I tried sleying 4 ends per dent in a 10-dent reed but some warp ends didn’t sit where they were supposed to and so the colors didn’t look exactly right.  I resleyed at 2 ends per dent in a 20-dent reed, but this made it more difficult to get a wide open shed.  On the other hand, there was ample space between pairs of ends (e.g., 1,9 and 2,10) that somewhat compensated for this handicap.  I still had to insert a wooden sword in the narrow shed behind the reed, turning it on its side to open the shed wider so the shuttle could easily pass through.  It was slow weaving but it worked.

The only finishing for the Table Runner was twisting the fringes, no wet finishing because I want to use it mostly as a decorative piece.

There are many variations possible in rep weave such as multiple color combinations, a lesser dense warp where the weft plays a bigger role because it’s more visible, and even warp rep and weft rep in the same piece.  I wove a couple of different colorful warp rep runners some time ago that may be of interest, the third and fourth images on my Gallery – 2005 & 2007 page.

UPDATE January 2017:  I revisited warp rep in 2017 and you can find photos, drafts, and notes in my new post that describe how I designed and wove two warp rep runners and a belt .

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Summer & Winter Table Runner

July 2, 2009

I recently wove the Summer & Winter Table Runner that is described below.  I usually design a profile draft first for this type of weave to see what the overall pattern would look like and then create the weaving draft by choosing the type of Summer & Winter weave I want to use.  With the help of my weaving program, in this case I decided to skip the profile draft and first create a threading and treadling draft for 14 blocks of a traditional type of Summer & Winter weave and then design the pattern in the tie-up.  I tried many patterns and chose the one that reminds me of embroidered cross-stitching of an intricate pattern with soft colors, subtle yet complex.

Summer & Winter Table Runner

Summer & Winter Table Runner

Summer & Winter Table Runner (other side)

Summer & Winter Table Runner (other side)

Summer & Winter Table Runner (detail)

Summer & Winter Table Runner (detail)

Summer & Winter Table Runner Weaving Draft 1

Summer & Winter Table Runner Weaving Draft 1

Summer & Winter Table Runner Weaving Draft 2

Summer & Winter Table Runner Weaving Draft 2

Summer & Winter Weaving Notes

Summer & Winter Weaving Notes

Additional Notes:

The threading and treadling notes above describe in words what you see on the weaving draft.  To see the full draft clearly you would need the WIF file and my site does not support WIF file types.  If you would like the WIF let me know and I can e-mail it to you.

I wove this 14 block table runner on my 16 shaft Macomber loom.  One of the treadles for the plain weave ground weft had to be tied to 14 shafts, too heavy for me to lift with one foot.  So I tied it to 2 treadles in the center of the other treadles with 7 shafts each and pressed with both feet to lift all 14.

For the warp I used 20/2 cream and pale yellow cotton sett 36 epi; for the weft 20/2 pale yellow for the ground and 5/2 lavender pearl cotton for the pattern.  The finished piece measures 43″ x 16″ after washing by hand and ironing while still lightly damp.

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