Posted tagged ‘Tied Overshot’

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.”  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:

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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