Bumberet galore on the Rigid Heddle Loom

I’ve had a bit of an argument with Bumberet on my Rigid Heddle Loom – not that it is their fault, it is just that it did take me a while to warp my first Bumberet scarf, and I managed to screw it up in some mysterious way: for some reason the warp threads where closer together on one side than on the other. 

I suspect this was due to one of the heddles not being properly aligned. I had to finish it quickly, and so against my better judgmenet I persevered. The recipient loved it, and possibly I am the only one to notice, but obviously it does bother me a great deal. 

Bumberet scarf – the back is lovely too! 12.5 epi and ppi, The Fibre Co Cumbria worsted for both warp and weft (Derwentwater and Windermere).

And so I knew I had to have another go. 

My first scarf was both simple and not-that-simple: simple in that I went with the “plain vanilla” Bumberet, which looks like a daisy chain in two colours, but also not-that-simple because warping requires groups of three thread warps, and direct warping odd numbers is a bit of a pain. 

Incidentally, my threading for this draft on three heddles is this:

Threading the Three heddles for “plain vanilla” Bumberet

In the meantime though I’ve taken some time to play around with Bumberet, and it is a really lovely structure, so I am sure I will be getting back to it again and again, at least as much as twill!

So, what does a Bumberet family look like?

I am pretty sure that weave structure means something much more detailed on a shaft loom – the way I understand it, it stands for a point twill threading which however differs in tie-up from twill. I have found very clear explanations here and in Madelyn van der Hoogt her article in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Handwoven Magazine – if you are not a subscriber, a publicly available version is here. These two sources also explain other drafts in the same family, Bumberet family (namely Thickset, Velveret and Doucape) – Marcy Petrini’s draft is worth a thousand words!

Translated to a Rigid Heddle Loom, I see the Bumberet family as playing around with combinations of sheds that produce three-warp-thread-wide floats.

For a Rigid Heddle Loom with three heddles there is the additional complication that not all sheds are born equal, and I prefer to rethink the 4 shaft drafts so that I can avoid as much as possible having to raise or sink the first and last heddles together. So even sticking to “just” Bumberet I have found that you need three or four sheds.

I have found inspiration also here and here, and then play around a bit more – I put here a few drafts to show what is possible – these are easy to implement in my favourite setup. The four sheds that are used are as follows:

Translating a 4 shaft tie up to translate for a RHL with three heddles

So first of all the easiest draft: one colour for weft, and one colour for warp!

This I find very very pretty! If you want to make your life only a bit more complicated, then you can use two colours (or more) for the warp, but in blocks of six, rather than 3, to avoid the odd number problem:

And playing around with the lift plan, I found out thathe blocks of six can also be used to produce a “Bumberet Houndstooth”

Bumberet almost-pinwheel!

Having said that, odd repeats can be avoided also by using the warp thread doubled – if so, very nice patterns can be obtained, which are also colourful:

If doubling the warp thread, than even “going solo” won’t be too much of a problem, and again can generate very pretty patterns, which again you can find elsewhere, but here I have arranged them so that the lifting/sinking is convenient with three rigid heddles

Now the blocks are separated – and it did not take me long to see that they can also be alternated with stripes, as here:

Which one to choose? Ah, decisions, decisions…

Author: lovestoswatch

I used to knit as a girl, then hanged the needles for two/three decades, and now I’m back, and loving it! The photo is my version of Linda Marveng's Aki, the first proper project after "being born again". After getting back into knitting, weaving has also become my passion (with a little sewing to turn my handweaving into garments).

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