The last time I posted about this particular project I had left it wondering what the heck I was doing wrong because the pattern wasn’t looking quite like the draft. My weaving instructor looked at it (under the cloak of darkness) and emailed me that I had been treadling it wrong. I was close but not quite right.
The structure for this project comes from a back issue of Weaver’s Craft – Issue 11 Vol. 3, No. 1 Spring 2002. I’ve added a link for my weaving friends because so many people asked me to explain it. Honestly, I’m not deep enough into the project to do so. I had an aha moment while I was weaving the other day (and doing it properly). I realized when throwing the white shuttle that I was weaving the same pattern on the back side. How cool is that?
I love the thickness of this fabric – perfect for placemats. They will be totally reversible, light on one side, dark on the other.
The best thing about this structure for me is that I can use any overshot pattern and weave something that doesn’t have long floats that snag and pull. Perfect for baby blankets, table linens, anything that will be used regularly. Overshot has enough complexity to keep me interested while weaving and looks far more complicated than it is. Threading and weaving requires a little more concentration but it’s totally worth it in the end as you can see.
There are some projects that just don’t go the way you expected. This is another new structure for me – complimentary doubleweave. I pulled out a couple of cones of 5/2 mercerized cotton using the colors that were in the studioand wound my warp. I picked a simple overshot pattern, I figured simple would be better since I would be weaving the pattern in a whole different way.
I started Tuesday with what seemed to be little more prep than usual. The loom only had 3 harnesses on it and all of the harnesses required more heddles. Things went onto the beam smoothly. Uh-oh, I just know things can’t go that easily. The woman on the loom next to mine is doing the same project, different pattern and colors. She was a few hours ahead of me and started to weave while I was threading my heddles. It didn’t look the way she had expected. The weaving was taken out and the sett changed.
I’m thinking this is a good thing. I changed my sett to what she was now using. Crisis averted. I was feeling pretty smug about the whole thing. I tied the warp on but had a lot of trouble getting the tension even. I left it at the end of class and figured I’d tackle it today.
When I arrived at class I began weaving and found a couple of threading mistakes. I rethreaded one and tied a string heddle for the second but now I had to tie on the warp all over again, what the heck?
I wove about 5 inches – two repeats of the pattern – and it just doesn’t look anything like I expected it to. I took photos and if I squint my eyes it looks like there is some sort of repetition to the pattern but . . .
Yup, I got up and walked away. Now I’ll think about it until next week and then we’ll see what can be done with this. One way or another I will be getting 6 doubleweave placemats out of this but at this point what they’ll look like remains to be seen.
There may be a bit of a problem with weaving two entirely different projects at the same time. The project on my loom at home is an 8 shaft pinwheel pattern in 20/2 alpaca silk. It requires a really soft beat in order to keep the required picks (to keep it from looking squished).
The fiber is more elastic and so soft. Everything about this has gone smoothly. Stark contrast to the red and white.
I’m thinking it could be in my best interest to work on similar projects at class and at home. I have to say at this point I’m wishing I was weaving wool in class but I’m sure after another couple of hours the cotton will turn into something I like and I will be able to flip from one project to the other with ease. Until then I’ll just fret.