Fixing a broken warp thread with very little yarn

The standard method suggested to fix broken warp is to take a fresh length of yarn as long as the remaining length to be woven, secure it to the cloth already woven, and weave that while discarding the broken warp thread.

Perhaps because I came to weaving from knitting, with a sizeable stash of expensive knitting yarn, I could never really stomach this method. And since I can see no reason why the same method cannot be applied also “in reverse”, this is exactly what I did to fix my very first broken warp thread in my very first project.

So with this method, depending on where the broken warp is, the yarn needed is at most the length between the between the front and the back beam. Should the break occur during winding, just knot the two broken ends, and deal with the knot once it approaches the fell line (the case in the pictures below)

Saving yarn gives me great satisfaction, and thought I am sure I am not the first person who has thought of this, I could not find it online, so I am reporting it here.

The first part is the usual one:

  1. take a length of yarn and thread it in the same heddle as the broken warp thread, along the warp.
  2. Secure a pin (a sewing pin or a T-pin) to the cloth parallel to the fell line, so that the pin head is just to the side of the woven part of the warp thread you have to replace.
  3. Secure the front end of the replacement warp to the pin, e.g. by making several figures of 8 using the two ends of the pin.
  4. tension the replacement warp thread by weighing with something at the back – a possible solution is to stick it between two yarn cones. Just make sure that the weight is not excessive as to break the replacement warp!
  5. if dealing with a knot, cut the old warp thread after the knot, and place both ends out of the way temporarily – the end closest to the cloth beam will be snipped out later, the (long) end going to the back beam will be rejoined.
  6. weave. Depending on how slippery the yarn is, you want to weave a few cm, as the replacement warp thread will be cut.

Now with the usual procedure you would keep weaving until the end, and then discard the old warp thread, whatever its length. To avoid that:

  1. after weaving the desired length, take another pin and secure it parallel to the (new) fell line; attach to it the old warp thread, pulling it hard enought that it is in tensioned as the rest of the warp. This definitely works on a rigid heddle loom and on a table loom. Maybe on a floor loom, where the warp is more tensioned, something thicker than a pin is needed.
  2. cut the replacement warp, and pull it out of the heddles; remove the pin that secured it to the cloth (not a good idea to remove it before cutting, to avoid the tension pulling out the woven relacement thread)
  3. weave as normal. After weaving enough cm that the warp is now securely woven into the cloth, remove the second pin. Done, and you’ll just trim the ends that stick out of the cloth later.

Adding a shuttle race to a table loom

Table looms (mine is a 60cm 8 Shaft Ashford) do not generally come with a “shuttle race” – in a floor loom this is a little shelf beneath the reed that prevents a boat shuttle from diving to the floor.

In order to use a boat shuttle with a table loom or a rigid heddle loom you have to rely on the tension of the warp. Depending on the weight of your warp, this may work just fine or end up badly – the time spent rescuing the boat shuttle from the floor/table top and disentangling it from the warp defeats the purpose, not to mention the risk the risk of damaging the shuttles.

However hacking a race for a table loom is really pretty easy (and I suspect I can do something similar for my Rigid Heddle loom), and “non invasive”, in that it is a non permanent hack.

I borrowed this idea from a discussion in a weaving Facebook group, so I have no claim to originality here, but as I could not find this solution on online blogs, I thought I’d record it here. Alternative solutions using clamps are here and here.

For this you only need a lease stick compatible with your loom, and some elastic bands, cord or anything you can use to tie something up. In my case I use some Ashford helping hands, but e.g. strips of jersey fabric from an old t-shirt would probably work equally well.

As you can see in the picture at the top, the lease stick is sitting just below the warp. At each end of the lease stick I have passed the helping hand cord through the reed from above and below to make it snug. Here are a couple of close-ups from the front and back.

In this picture you see that the cord goes through the hole at the end of the lease stick. The cord end coming out from the top goes through the reed and around the top part of the beater from behind. The cord end coming out of the heddle hole from below goes also through the reed, but then comes back out from the next slots, and joins the other end in a bow knot at the top of the beater.

Here is a picture from the back of the reed:

Back of the reed

You can see next how the “race” sits below the warp:

Doesn’t really matter if the “race” isn’t entirely snug to the warp

Even if the race moves a bit below the warp (which it will do while weaving), it will still work well, and being supported the shuttle will glide through without issues.

Even if wider than the “race” the shuttle is sufficiently supported to glide through the shed without diving – this is the limit of what I can weave comfortably before having to advance the warp.

This seems to work well for my setup, and it does make weaving faster and more pleasurable, at least for me.

Some final observations:

  1. care must be taken if you are using a temple: if the teeth are long enough to come out on the other side of the cloth, when the temple is close to the fell line, its teeth will scrape the race when beating (ask me how I know…).
  2. I wound’t recommend usin a piece of wood wider than a lease stick; however this will limit the advancing of the cloth, as the race will be “one shuttle race width” apart from the front beam when beating.
  3. unless the lease stick are leaft in place when weaving, there is no need to buy a separate shuttle stick, as one of those used for holding the cross when warping can double as shuttle race once the warp has been beamed.

Year Of Projects: week 11

Well, I think the next two three weeks won’t have much in terms of exciting updates, as I am weaving my way through my long warp – some generous 7.5/8.2yds of doubleweave, meaning that each pick has to be worked twice, so think more like 15+m/17yds of single layer cloth.

Based on my calculations of the 60 pattern repeats picks I have woven already, I am about a third in. This means that with about 150 more pattern picks to go, and only at most three hours weaving per day in the evenings, there is no way my loom will be free in time for the Echo and Iris workshop starting next week. Well, it goes on for 6 weeks, so I do hope to manage to finish with at least a couple of weeks left in the workshop, lets’see.

One of the problems of crafting in the evenings is: mistakes!

So I’ve managed to make the same mistake for the fourth time! Small floats1 I could deal with later, but weaving the wrong pick through 672 ends at my beginner skill level requires unweaving to the mistake and re-weaving, and nothing else can be done. The problem is that it looks like that when I get to the first pick of a repeat, I should lift lever 3, but maybe beccause I know it is the first pick, I lift lever 1, and this is the result:

In the second pattern row from the above, the central diamond is not a diamond

I have kept telling myself to be extra careful at the first pick, and keep checking, yet… here’s hoping for “fifth time lucky”!

Still, I can take some comfort in the progress from last week, see the different thickness of the cloth on the beam:

I have also got quite a bit better at winding yarn for my boat shuttles and at throwing them across without a race and without them diving into the table top, so let’s keep positive 😉

And that’s about it, hope you have a great week!

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.


1 In weaving a float is a group of warp (vertical) or weft (horizontal) yarn threads that are not interlaced. This is generally done by design and is what creates many patterns. However expecially weft floats may be produced by mistake when skipping over or under warp floats when passing the weft through. These can be fixed off the loom and before wet finishing the cloth ashing by needle weaving (with a blunt needle) a length of yarn through the correct path the yarn should have taken, and cutting off the offending float. Washing lets the yarn “settle” and the mistake has gone. Apart from weaving books, there are many websources to see how this is done, one of the many I found useful is here. back to text

Reading a weaving draft (including adaptation for the rigid heddle loom)

There are many sources to find out about weaving drafts and how to read them – however most of what I’ve found is either for multi shaft looms (e.g. check out joy of weaving, Cally Booker on floor looms and table looms, or Peggy Osterkamp) or for rigid heddle looms (joy of weaving again). I thought I might save you some time if I combined the two in a single place.

So, what is a draft? As a starter on a rigid heddle loom, I came across the term “draft” or “weaving draft” very often, and wondered what it was (though I could weave quite happily without needing to know anything about it).

It may be useful to think first of the basics of a loom.

Most loom types seem a variation of the following: a more or less rectangular frame that keeps a set of threads, which are said to form the warp, in tension. Then another set of threads, called the weft, are interlaced with the warp, by being woven at a right angle across the warp, with each weft thread going over and under the weft threads. The way in which you go over and under determines the pattern.

You could weave with a needle – in fact, tapestry weaving uses exactly that. it is slow, though, and so heddles come quite handy: if each warp thread goes through a heddle, then by lifting heddles you lift a certain group of threads, and so rather than slogging a needle up and down what could be very many and very fine wapr threads, you lift all those threads you should go under, create a shed (i.e. an opening) between the lifted threads and those that stay put, and can pass the weft thread through with a “big needle”, i.e. a shuttle. In some looms (e.g. a rigid heddle loom) you can also lower heddles, in others (e.g. countermarch looms) you lift some heddles and lower the others at the same time. In all cases the objective is to create a shed as tall as possible to put the weft thread comfortably through.

How to do all this lifting (and lowering) of heddles? You need a “shaft”, something that the heddle is secured to which can pull it comfortably up and down. To do any weaving you need at least two shafts, so that you can lift different groups of threads to get warp and weft interlacement. In a rigid heddle loom you would have some threads in a slot and some in the hole: by lifting the heddle you are raising the threads in the holes – call these “shaft 1”. By lowering the heddle, you push down the warp threads in the holes, so that those through the slots are raised relative to those in the holes – call these as “shaft 2”.

A “draft” then is a plan that tells you which warp threads go through which heddle (the draft threading) and which set of heddles, hence which shaft, has to be raised at each pick (the draft treadling). It may be that your draft wants you to manipulate some shafts at the same time, or separately. This is noted in the tie-up section of a draft.

The combination of threading and treading will produce a specific warp and weft interlacement, the drawdown.

For plain weave only two shafts are needed, i.e. shafts 1 and 2, and in the treadling you shafts 1 and 2 are lifted in alternating fashion. In a rigid heddle loom, a single heddle behaves as two shafts, where e.g. call the holes “shaft 1” and the slots “shaft 2”.

Below is a plain weave draft. In the threading each column corresponds to a warp thread and each row refers to a shaft (start counting from the bottom). In the treadling each row corresponds to a weft thread, and each column refers to a shaft. In the box occupying the right top corner, each row corresponds to a shaft. Finally each solid black box indicates a thread/shaft combination.

Example draft for plain weave – note that the drawdown is missing

Start from the tie up: the bottom corner identifies shaft 1, and the top corner identifies shaft 2.

Next, the threading: the bottom row links up with shaft 1 of the tie up, hence it tells you that the odd warp threads go through heddles in shaft 1 (or holes in a rigid heddle); while the top row links up with shaft 2, so it tells you that the even numbered threads go through heddles in shaft 2 (or slots in a rigid heddle).

Finally, the treadling, the first row tells you that at the first pick you should lift shaft 1, since the first solid box corresponds to shaft 1; the second row tells you to lift shaft 2, as the second solix box corresponds to shaft 2. The third row is again a pick with shaft 1 lifted, and so on. With a rigid heddle loom, lifting shaft 1 would mean put the heddle in the up position, and lifting shaft 2 would mean put the heddle in the low position.

No drawdown shows in the pictures above. To think how it should look like: the first bit of the treading says to lift shaft 1 when passing the first weft thread (i.e. weaving the first “pick“). This means that all odd warp threads will be up, and all even threads will be down – hence the weft will go over all even threads, covering them. With a rigid heddle loom, the first pick would mean raising all the threads through a hole, so the even threads in a slot will stay down.

Then with purple weft and white warp, after the first pick the project would look this:

Drawdown (i.e. interlacement of warp and weft) starting to show

The second pick tells you to lift shaft 2/put the rigid heddle in the down position, hence after the second pick you have this:

Drawdown after two picks

and so on:

Plain weave

This is the simplest draft there is! Of course a draft could use more shafts, and the treadling could prescribe lifting multiple shafts at a time – for instance in 2/2 twill shafts are always lifted in pairs, here is an example:

The pictures above are screenshot from weaving software, which makes experimenting very easy, and hours fly by quickly playing around with drafts. Having said that, for me pen and squared paper were what I needed to really understand what any combination of threading, treadling and tie up will do for a drawdown.

Drafts intended for multi shaft looms can be woven on a rigid heddle loom, definitely up to four. True, the structure of a rigid heddle does impose constraints and requires some creativity, but it can be done in various ways. I do find that understanding how a rigid heddle loom can function as a multi shaft loom quite liberating, so some more thoughts on this follow below.

Rigid Heddle Loom as Multishaft loom

As discussed above, a rigid heddle loom setup with a single heddle can be seen as a two shaft loom: the holes are heddle 1, the slots are heddle 2. Now what if you add another rigid heddle? if you do, you will be adding one more shaft.

Hang on, you may ask, did we not just say that a single heddle counts as two shafts? Yes, but that is true for the first heddle only. When you add a second heddle, it is still the case that you will be able to lift the threads that go through the holes of that additional heddle, and we will say that such threads belong to shaft 3. But the threads that go through the slots will still be “passive”, and in order to “lift” them you will have to lower all the other heddles, to lower the hole threads. Hence by adding each furhter heddle, you are only adding one more possibility of manipulating threads through holes.

In short then:

1 rigid heddle = 2 shafts

2 rigid heddles=3 shafts

3 rigid heddles =4 shafts

and so on. I find it more convenient to number the “shafts” starting from the holes, and leaving the slots as (residual) shaft 4.

To learn more about four shaft weaving on the rigid heddle loom, I recommend the excellent Weaving With Three Rigid Heddles, by Reverend David B. Mckinney.  The Xenakis Technique for the Construction of Four-Harness Textiles on a Rigid-Heddle, by David Xenakis, has the advantage of being free, thought the writing style may not appeal to all. I found the section on converting four shaft drafts for the rigid heddle loom in chapter 6 Syne Mitchell’s “Inventive weaving on a little loom” pretty clear.

Happy weaving!

Year Of Projects: week 10

A week of WIP galore, and few more are on the horizon.

In summary:

  1. I haven’t even touched the sleeves I was working on last week;
  2. I haven’t managed to finish the scarf-that-is-a-dry-run-for-dress-yardage, as I miscalculated my yarn needs, and I am currently separated from my stash
  3. I am working like mad on the yardage for a jacket for my other half, but it is 7 metres of double weave with laceweight yarn, so this will take weeks to finish

I do have some little visual on the progress regarding 3. above, though, which maybe shows you how very much I still have to go:

cloth on the beam

In stash news, I have received the yarn for the forthcoming “Weaving with Echo and Iris” workshop that I mentioned last week, here it is:

one colour, a beautiful burgundy, is still missing, in that I have it already, and is elsewhere with the rest of my stash. Together with the first three colours from the right, it will be used for warp. Not sure whehter I’ll use the light navy or the black as weft, I’ll have to try them on. Here are the same cones, but with colour taken away:

Garnhuset Eco cotton

I am really looking forward to trying this yarn – it is 8/2 cotton (600m for 100g) by GarnHuset I Kinna, it really have some lovely colours, and is sold in the UK by the ever dependable Helen of MyFineWeavingYarns.

However I first have to weave off my very long double weave warp, and I already know my table loom will not be free for a few more weeks!

On housekeeping news, I am pretty satisfied with myself for having created an index of my weaving posts, which you can now find it all its glory here (for wordpress users:I used the display-code type of block. I think I will gradually replace the categories in my navigation menu with indexes).

And that’s about it, hope you have a great week!

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.

Year Of Projects: week 9

Very little to report this week I am afraid – I was on sleeve island, and while I did manage to keep knitting more or less consistently every day, it is slow progress – I judge I am about 30% into the sleeves, which I am knitting at the same time. Having to alternate skeins means I have four balls of yarn to juggle, so I have to have the correct setup to avoid tangles – this is where I got:

Sleeve island – Squall in The Fibre Co Cumbria

I am getting back to my table loom tonight, and will have to press on, also as from mid september I will be joining a “Echo and Iris” workshop led by Marian Stubenistky (the author of “Weaving with Echo and Iris”, “The Stubenistky code” and “Double with a twist”) run by the Online Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, which is an incredibly exciting prospect!

Existing entirely online, it is one of the guilds of the UK Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. I always thought the membership fee was pretty steep (about £90 per year for the UK this is incorrect! I was adding up the annual fees four times over, the 2020 annual fee varies between £18 and £31, depending at what time in the year you join. Thank you @chrismac56 for your correction in the comments); however I joined for free when they made this Covid related offer (this offer does not include copies of the Journal, which is fair enough), and I have to say with such initiatives (here the complete programme for 2020), the membership fee is actually good value for money.

You see, I did manage to stick some weaving into this post nonetheless!😜

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.

Year Of Projects: week 8

You may recall that last week I was looking for suggestions of which of three drafts to use for a scarf, which is intended to be a sampler for yardage I will weave later (by the way, “yardage” means “fabric for sewing”).

I did try to alternate all three, but it didn’t quite work, at least not with the yarn I am using (Baa Ram Ewe Titus, a fingering weight yarn which is a blend of Wensleydale, Bluefaced Leicester and British Alpaca) – and in fact this probably won’t work as a sampler either, as the yarn I will use for the yardage is much finer, and with a different composition.

Still, I got going with this scarf, and I am quite enjoying the process!

Eventually I decided to have two repeatitions of the base 44 picks followed by two repetitions of the same 44 picks in reverse order, and this is how the draft looks:

My draft

My draft was inspired by the beautiful “A winter Confection” by Sandra Hutton, published in the Jan-Feb 2019 issue of Handwoven Magazine. That is for 8 shafts, and there is no way to obtain something so rich and complex with four shafts, or at least I haven’t been able to, but I am still happy.

I’ll have to see how the scarf looks once it is done: here is a picture of how it looks on the loom, you can’t see all the 174 picks, but you get the idea:

and here a close up of the fabric:

close up of fabric in the loom

I will decide how much I like this once I unroll it all – for instance I could have just kept the single repeat, without generating “waves”, or kept the part vertical bit before it changes direction shorter, or added another colour to the warp (as in the original draft I took inspiration from). It is clear to me that I’ll have to sample with the actual yarn when it comes to the dress, but in the meantime this is giving me plenty of experience (and further ideas) with this draft.

The full “wave” repeat consists of 174 picks: that’s a lot of picks to keep track of! So here technology comes quite handy, and I am very grateful that iWeaveit exists! This is the “baby” version of Weaveit Pro, a fully fledged weaving/drafting software. iWeaveit is an app for iOS and Android that allows you to do three things: play around with weaving drafts, track threading (i.e. keeps track of the heddles as you pass the warps through it) and track treadling (i.e., the picks when you weave). It is not exactly cheap, but nor is yarn, anyhow I find it worth every penny (no affiliations, by the way).

I am going to travel for a week, and decided to leave the loom at home, otherwise the chances of finishing the sweater I am working on are zero!

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.

Year Of Projects: week 7

Again this week was all about weaving, or at least what crafting time I had – I only read up on techniques for three evenings, without any crafting, as I was down south where the heath was relentless!

Before leaving though, I did manage to make some more progress on my eventful doubleweave project: I wove 12 pattern repeats, and the other side is beginning to show:

Both sides showing

I really like how it is coming out, though it will take some time before I get to the end, after all it is two layers of pretty long fabric.

I also wound my very first bobbin for my very first boat shuttle (details here).

Half the space in my case was taken by my rigid heddle loom, so once the heat subsided I was ready to start warping it – it is a project with three heddles as I would like to test the design for the fabric for a dress, that I will weave double width on the table loom.

Measuring the warp and beaming it (i.e. rolling it on the back beam of the loom) took an evening, another one was spent threading the three heddles according to the pattern. This is where I got:

There are 4 pattern repeats, each pattern develops over 44 threads, and 44 picks, so the weaving will be interesting, not sure I’ll manage to listen to any audiobooks, at least in the beginning!

The scarf has a dark grey warp (the yarn coming down vertically) and a pale blue weft (the yarn that will interlace horizontally), the same combination as for my first skirt, but the dress will be green on green, these are the colours:

I am however VERY undecided on how to weave the pattern: just by changing how I raise and lower the heddles I can obtain either of the following:

The first two from the left are the two sides of the same fabric, the first from the right is same fabric (technically, the first two are the two sides of an unbalanced twill weave, 3/1 or 1/3, where you have that each weft/horizontal thread goes over three, then under one warp thread; the last one is a balanced 2/2 twill, where the weft travels over two/under two warp threads). If you have any ideas I’d be grateful. I thought about alternating all three, as in some kind of gradient, but at least on paper it doesn’t look too great. Aargh, what to do???

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.

Choosing and using a boat shuttle

For the Table Loom without a race? Yes, for the table loom without a race! The race can be hacked by attaching in a non permanent way (so no damage to your loom!) a lease stick held under the warp by the short helping hands, or some rubber bands; some examples are here and here, and here is my own hack:

The makeshift race skirts the warp from below

Boat shuttles come in many variation:

  1. Bottom. The bottom can be open, closed or have rollers; a closed bottom one glides easier but is heavier, which may be an issue with table loom warps which aren’t as tightly tensioned as floor loom ones. Open bottoms allow the user to control the thread. Something worth bearing in mind is that overfilling the bobbin will make it stick out of the shuttle bottom profile, making it catch the warp threads.
  2. Feeding. The yarn may come out of the shuttle (i.e. “feed”) from the end or from the middle; end feeding shuttles tension the yarn. Also, there are shuttles with two bobbins; these are particularly useful when the weft goes with two ends held together.
  3. Size. The bigger, the heavier. Longer and slimmer will glide more easily, travel longer and are more likely to go straight; obvioulsy though, for a given width, the longer the shuttle, the more it will weigh. Wider shuttles will carry more yarn; wider shuttles it may fall off the makeshift race, and/or catch the warp. Shuttles taller than 1″/2.5cm may be problematic for the Table loom, since the shed is not as tall as for a floor loom.
  4. Shape. A pointier shuttle will travel more easily. A shuttle with an asymmetric “bulge” on one side provides more room to the bobbin/quill to move and feed the yarn (if it is a side-feeding shuttle)
  5. Material. traditional ones are in wood, but I have seen quite a few plastic ones. Material will affect gliding ability as well as weight.
  6. Bobbin or quill? The yarn must be wound around either a bobbin or quill, which must be a couple of cm shorter than the shuttle box (i.e. intterior of the boat shuttle) with the spindle that will host the bobbin/quill; this is because you’ve got to leave room to the quill for moving to the left or to the right, depending on which side it is thrown from, otherwise it will drag the yarn. Quills are quieter, and apparently don’t pull the yarn as much as bobbins (and pulling may create tension issues at the selvedges); they are smaller than bobbins, so will fit smaller shuttles (and smaller sheds). You can make your own paper quills; Bluster Bay Woodwork has a very clear tutorial on how to make paper quills. They have to be winded pretty tightly (must feel firm in the hand when squeezing the wound quill) in cigar shape, leaving both ends clear of any yarn, and here is a video on how to wind a paper quill:

If you do not have a bobbin winder but can locate a drill, then you can fashion it as an electric bobbin winder (if it can get low speeds).

Another video on winding bobbins which I found really useful is here:

All this stuff on quills is as in the end I bought some Toika closed bottom shuttles as my (first?). They are very light (only 86g/3oz) and have a low profile, which will suit the table loom.

My first shuttles!

The results in the videos are all quite polished – my reality was actually rather more rough! I opted for the drill solution, and as paper quill I cut a rectangle out of a discarded letter and rolled it around the smallest drill bit I had.

Tools of the trade!

To wind you have to start the yarn inside the paper fold, then trap it inside:

Then start your drill, guiding the yarn up and down, and making sure you leave about 1cm free on your paper quill at both ends. Then pull out the yarn cigar, and insert into the boat shuttle. I found it easier to use with the bobbin unwinding from below, it made it easier to re-roll, but it may work differently for you.

For posterity, here is my very first wound home made paper quill:

Throwing the shuttle isn’t at all hard – for this pointed ones, grab them from below as you would a paper plane, and throw them through the shed along the race, with your other hand ready to catch it on the other side. It only took me a few tries to not feel awkward anymore: it is much quicker than a stick shuttle!

The content of this post is an imperfect and highly condensed summary of the sources below (in addition to the links already posted):

Bluster Bay Woodwork


Handwoven Magazine 1

Handwoven Magazine 2


Shacht 1

Shacht 2

The Woolery 1

The Woolery 2 – video

Year Of Projects: week 6

Craftingwise, this week has been both very eventful and very uneventful – uneventful in the sense that I can only measure progress in terms of fixing previous mistakes, but eventful as it was a lot of work, and I learned an awful lot, all to do with weaving, which is my current and not that transient crafting obsession!

I mentioned in last week’s update that I had found a serious mistake in my warp, basically tension was off, and by a good measure, I found out later.

When you look up info on how to fix this, the overwhelming consensus seems to be: don’t try. After having gone through it, I can see why! It did take me a good 5-6 evenings to undo and re-do my warping, but spurred on by the thought of the money I would have otherwise sunk into this project (there’s over 5km yarn in that warp!) and by the excellent advice and encouragement received on Ravelry (see this thread), eventually I managed to unroll and re-beam my warp (I’ve described the process here for future reference, though I do hope I will never ever have to refer to it!)

Now this did have some rewards, as I did manage to weave a bit, and here are the first two repeats of the pattern!

It is a reversible fabric, once I’ve woven some more the other side should be visible on the cloth beam (the one at the front of the loom), which will become a reversible casual men summer jacket, though the recipient has now been told that in spite having started on this back at the beginning of July, of course I meant summer 2021! 😜

It is woven using a technique called “overshot patterned doubleweave”, and amazingly for double weave, it can be woven on a four shaft loom, or at least in principle on a rigid heddle loom with three heddles. Why “amazingly”? With doubleweave you weave two layers of the cloth at the same time: you can make a double wide piece, extending the capacity of your loom; you can make a tube, for a pillow say; you can exchange layers, and you can do loads of other things (check out Jennifer Moore’s “Doubleweave: Reviesed and Expanded” to see all the amazing weaves doubleweave enables you to do). However each layer needs two shafts, which means you can’t weave anything more complex than plain weave. But with this “overshot pattenred doubleweave” technique, you get mileage from picking up threads from the bottom layer, which adds to the patterning abilities.

If you aren’t a weaver all the above will probably come across as gibberish – but I still hope you’ll agree that woven cloth is looking great (for which I claim no merit, see the November 2018 issue of Heddlecraft, which is where I took it from). Happy week!

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts. My YOP graphics “nicked” with thanks from Backstageknits!