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.

My proudest rigid heddle loom moment yet!

The full account of how the fabric came to be is here (sampling and main fabric) and here (fabric for bottom band, sleeves and neckband trim).

I used Sarah Howard‘s excellent dress pattern n5 (no affiliation, just a very satisfied customer), and off I went!

The fabric was thick-ish, soI had to abandon pretty quickly my idea of making bias tape from the plain weave cloth. However I was able to use the selvedges as finished trim, so that I could fix the rough edges in the wrong side, and top stitch the neckband on the right side of the fabric. I used commercial fabric only for the pockets.

The fabric is lovely on the skin, fresh and soft (the yarn, Lana Grossa Landlust Sommerseide, is an equal mix of cotton and silk, with the two fibres twisted together to give the yarn a heathered look).

I shouldn’t brag I know, but honestly I can hardly believe I did this myself!

Double width weaving

(Jump to summary) The yardage I wove for my summer dress is for the main part of the dress – additional fabric is required for a bottom band, pockets and sleeves. The band in particular calls for wider fabric than my loom can weave – so what better opportunity to give a go to double width weaving?

Double width weaving is a specific instance of double weaving – and double weaving is in itself thoroughly fascinating! In short, it means weaving different layers simultanously on the same loom – each layer needs two shafts, so with a four shaft loom you can weave a maximum of two layers, with 8 shafts you can weave a maximum of four layers, and so on. The more the shafts, the greater the possibilities: for instance with 8 shafts you can weave a three layered fabric with two plain layers and one “patterned” layer with any four shaft pattern – an example is Jennifer Moore’s triplewidth tablecloth, published in the September/October 2015 issue of Handwoven Magazine, where the top layer becomes the centre-panel, in spot-Bronson lace.

I know that the standard way to weave double width cloth on a rigid heddle loom is with two heddles and two pick up stick. However first in my Covid-19 lockdown location I only have one pickup stick (ok, VERY lame excuse). And (ok, the REAL reason), I really enjoy using my three heddles, so three heddles are what I used.

Sources that I’ve found invaluable are  Jennifer Moore doubleweave workshop and her book (revised edition).

I was somewhat constrained in the threading, since I needed to use the full width of my loom – obviously you don’t want threads to cross. In short, the only threading that I thought was possible was:

2 1 4 3

So panic set in: all the sources I could remember of told you to use either odd or even shafts for the same layer, and to alternate threads in shafts – but here I had odd and even “shafts” one after the other!

Well, not a problem – Jennifer Moore, who is a real darling, replied to my panicky question saying that it should be fine, it is a threading used in Finnweave, and why don’t I check Rev McKinney’s “Weaving with Three Rigid Heddles”?

How could I have forgotten to check that out? Yes, it was all there!

I started threading from the right, and to fit all 4 repeats I put the last thread beyond the end of the reed, as a floating selvedge – which you don’t need here, as you are weaving plain weave. So here’s the threading:

Threading three heddles for double weave on the rigid heddle loom – threading keeps repeating all across, used “…” to indicate this

The top layer was on heddles 1 and 2, the bottom layer on heddles 3 and 4 (the latter stands for “slots in each heddle”). In Rev McKinney’s terminology, I have a “paired alternation”, with “warp threads for the two layers of cloth alternate in a xxyyxxyy series, where x is a thread for the first layer, and y is a thread for the second layer” (footnote 1 on page 17)

The order of lifts determines whether you have a tube or a double width cloth, and if you go for double-width, the side from which you enter the first shed determines which side remains open.

For a double width cloth I used the following lifts order:

  1. Raise I
  2. Raise I, II and III
  3. Lower III
  4. Raise II

Picks 2. and 3. work the bottom layer – these were thte trickiest sheds to open clearly, so I chekced each of these two picks by lifting the bottom of the loom -it does slow things down, but it saves the time to fix the floats later.

If you can’t lift the loom, another tip is to use a mirror underneath or to the side of your weaving, to check you have no floats.

It is really worth checking the bottom layer every so often, to make sure there are no floats. This way I did pick up and corrected many of them. I still had to fix two of them, but not too bad.

To manage the fold, I added two threads of a contrasting colour, one to each of the last two threads at the fold of each layer. I then pulled them out after taking the projecct off the loom. Washing and pressing made the fold barely visible, yay!

It is not that visible from the picture, but these two threads in contrasting colour go in the same slot as the last thread of the top layer and first thread of the bottom layer. If you are good with selvedges and/or have a temple, you don’t need this. Another way to address “bunching at the fold” is to use a nylon thread (e.g. fishing line) – no need to roll this one on the back beam, you will have it with a weight hanging at the back, as when you have to fix a tension issue with a warp thread. And here’s the fold after washing and pressing:

All in all I needed 700m of Lana Grossa Landlust Sommerseide, a lovely blend of cotton and silk, in colourway 12/wine red

Warp ends: 320 (160 per layer)+2 threads in contrasting colour for the fold 
Sett: 10 epi, 10 ppi 
Width in reed:39cm/15.5”
Width off the loom before wet finishing: 71.5cm/28” 
Width off the loom after wet finishing: 67.1cm/26.4” 
Width off the loom after wet finishing and pressing:68cm/26.7” 
Horizontal shrinkage: 4.9% 
Length of woven fabric off the loom before wet finishing: 89.5cm/35.2’ (excluding thread picks and header) 
Length of woven fabric off the loom after wet finishing: 84.2cm/33” 
Length of woven fabric off the loom after wet finishing and pressing:87cm/34” 
Vertical shrinkage: 2.8% 
Loom waste:43cm/17” (20cm towards the front beam, 23cm towards the back beam)

Summer waves on three heddles!

I am very much enjoying weaving with three heddles on my SampleIt loom, and although I already suffer from shaft envy and really need an eigh shaft loom, there is so much my 40cm Ashford SampleIt has to offer. So I embarked in another twill weaving – this time straight draft twill, but playing with colour. I wove yardage that will eventually become a summer dress. You can jump straight to the summary, or read on!

Goldilocks samples

I was unsure which pattern I wanted, so I started off with a sample – and did that turn out to be a good idea! Since I was using a sports weight knitting cotton yarn, the very lovely Lana Grossa Landlust Sommerseide, I thought 10dpi would be the right heddle, and since I was going to wave a twilll structure, surely 12.5dpi was the heddle set to use.

Well, the first sample turned out stiff as a board – not sure why, maybe I did not have enough tension, but it came out quite compressed. So I thought I’d go for a second sample with 10dpi heddles. Well this was way too lose, really see-through fabric, so that was out as well. What to do? I tried again 12.5dpi, this time being careful not to beat too hard, and it came out just right – I like how the fabric draped, and the texture is just about close enough to be not see-through.

From left to right: 12.5dpi with hard beat, 10dpi, 12.5dpi with normal beat (or higher tension on the loom?)

The extensive sampling did dent my stash for this project, and so I had to make compromises on the background colour – though I liked it in natural best, I had to warp with the natural but weave with the grey green.

I also had to decide which pattern to use – so I folded the third sample so as to isolate the pattern:

From left to right: waves, bumberet, flowers

I did not quite like the Bumberet, and I feared that the flowers would be too large and visually “heavy”, so I concluded I’d have waves, alternating those with more blue to those with more red – I do like the resulting yardage a lot!

Yardage off the loom!

Warping woes

With a lot of odd ends, I decided to indirect warp. The consequence was that without a lease stick of the right size to attach to my back apron rod, I had to leash at both ends. Chaining was kind of allright:

I was using the rather lovely and soft Lana Grossa Landlust Sommerseide, a knitting yarn which blends in equal parts cotton and silk. It really is lovely, but hans’t got much of a twist so rather springy tension wise, winding on was a challenge, and I considered giving up several times, here is why:

What a tangled mess!

I did eventually manage to tame it, and wind the whole lot:

YAY, success!

I warped 199 ends and two floating selvedges, in the following colour order (where N stands for “natural”, R for “red” and B for “blue”):

  • 24 ends in N
  • 3 repeats of *RRRNBBBNRRRN – block of 16 N – BBBNRRRNBBBN – block of 16 N *
  • 7+1FS natural

Well, then it was just the matter of threading, and weaving. Threading was a straightforward point twill:

Threading the full width – note that the last warp ends have to to be arranged a bit differently

For the weaving I used the following order for each repetition:

  1. I & II up
  2. II & III up
  3. I & II down
  4. II & III down
  5. I & II down
  6. II & III up

And here is the draft:

One word of advice on weaving yardage – I generally hemstitch the ends while on the loom, but I wasn’t quite sure this was the best course of action with yardage. So I followed the advice picked up on the net to weave four picks with sewing thread at both ends, as below:

The picks with sewing thread after weaving a header – this DOES prevent unravelling in the wash

Then I washed and pressed – and the ironing did make a difference, the cloth became much more reflective of the light.

I can’t wait to sew it up – before I do so, though, I must weave the cloth for the bottom band!

Warp ends: 199+2 
Sett: 12.5 epi, 12.5 ppi 
Width in reed:
Width off the loom before wet finishing: 34.8cm/13.7” 
Width off the loom after wet finishing: 32.3cm/12.7” 
Width off the loom after wet finishing and pressing:33.2cm/13” 
Horizontal shrinkage: 5% 
Length of woven fabric off the loom before wet finishing: 345.5cm/136” 
Length of woven fabric off the loom after wet finishing:331cm/130.3” 
Length of woven fabric off the loom after wet finishing and pressing:335.5cm/132” 
Vertical shrinkage: 3% 
Loom waste:about 40cm/16”. However variable, because of the tangled mess that indirect warping was with this yarn; with hybrid warping it should be less.

Twill houndstooth check on the rigid heddle loom

Shepherd’s Check, Pied de poule, houndstooth – this is a classic, which I now note is quite trendy this year, and I decided I would weave it exaclty in its classic form, namely alternating groups of 4 warp threads in two contrasting colours, and alternating groups of four picks in each colour. To better manage the carrying of weft along the sides, I started each colour on a different side, and followed Madelyn van der Hoogt advice of treating the inactive weft thread as a floating selvege: weave over it when entering the shed, and under it when exiting the shed.

Is is a simple weave, and pretty straightforward to thread and weave with three heddles, but I found it so effective! This is yardage which will eventually turn into a skirt.

The draft for the Rigid Heddle Loom is below, where as previously I ∧ stands for “raise” and ∨ stands for “lower” the corresponding reed, while in the threading “I” stands for “thread through hole in heddle I, and slots in heddles II and III”, “II” stands for “thread through hole in heddle II, and slots in heddles I and III”, “III” stands for “thread through hole in heddle III, and slots in heddles I and III”, and “S” stands for “thread through slots in all heddles”

So the threading is a straigth twill threading.

To actually thread the three rigid heddles, I used this diagram, where the long rectangles stand for slots, and the small squares represent a hole. The colours are to make it easier to follow the threading, but as in the draft above, I alternated groups of 4 threads each in the two colours.

With 204 ends, I had 51 repeats. In addition there are two floating selvedges, one at each side, separated from the rest of the threading by an empty slot.

The yarn I used is Titus, from Baa Ram Ewe. I had used it as weft in my previous tabby houndstooth project, and I thought that given the Wensleydale content it would also work well as warp – and it did! Almost three metres of warp, and not a single broken warp thread! It is beautiful, and at the sett I used (15 both as epi and ppi) it is a nice firm fabric which is however still soft. Hope not too soft for my ends!

For the actual weaving the repetitions are as follows: 
Each repetition is:

  1. I & II up
  2. II & III up
  3. I & II down
  4. II & III down

I was aiming at 30cm with of fabric, and ended up with 30cm width, art of living dangerously! I really have to improve on that draw in!

Yarn: 204 ends +2 floating selvedges, each 3m long; 278.4 m/304.5 yds for each colour
Sett: 15 epi, 15.5 ppi 
Width in reed: 34cm/13.38” 
Weft crimp percentage: 9.8% (3/30.5cm)  
Width off loom before wet finishing: 30.5cm/12″
Width off loom after wet finishing: 30cm/11.75″
Wet finishing take up (horizontal)
Length of woven fabric off loom before wet finishing:
277cm/109” (approx, fabric shifts around!) 
Length of woven fabric off loom after wet finishing:  269.5cm/106″
Wet finishing shrinkage (vertical):
Loom waste:

4 shaft lace/spot on the rigid heddle loom

I happened by chance on Kate Gagnon Osborn’s beautiful LeCorbusier Scarf, and it was love at first sight, I had to weave this!

I have since discovered Bronson Lace – the November/December issue of Handwoven Magazine has a feature on it by Madelyn Van Der Hoogt on Bronson Lace on 4 shafts.

Lace and spot weaves consist of weft and/or warp floats on a plain weave base. Lace produces holes in the fabric, while spot weave produces closed (as opposed to lace’s open) spots. To my untrained eye, Huck, Bronson and Swedish lace look all the same in terms of drawdown; what I think changes is the threading, that will assign the plain weave to one or more shaft, but this all gets lost when you are weaving on a RHL. A very interesting article by the Guild of Canadian Weavers is pretty illuminating on this issue.

The lace spots have weft floats which are 5 warp long. The way I understand it, the Le Corbusier scarf modifies this increasing the distance between two consecutive floats. It also uses different colours and yarn weight in warp and weft to great effect.

I wrote down the draft making sure I noted down properly which picks where in DK weight and which in laceweight.

So I really do not know how I managed to swap those warp yarns! The effect is quite different then – the floats in my version are thin, while in the original they are thick, but I have to say that I quite like how it turned out:

undefinedcundefinedThe original design is on the right, my version on the left-it happens to invert not just the thick/thin dessign, but also the colour contrast.

Still I find it quite nice – so I’ll have to weave at least one more version, possibly two: one with the same colour combination, but as for the original pattern, and another one in earth tones… and perhaps a fourth!

The threading did take me the best part of an evening, with the second evening used mostly to sort out crossed threads, but in fairness once the warp is up and tensions, most of the job is done!

The threading – all warp threads are in the same colour, here the colour code is to show the threading more clearly

Actual weaving goes as follows:

Tabby (in case you want a few picks at the beginning and the end for hemstitching):

  • II & III down
  • II & III up


  1. I up
  2. II & III up
  3. II & III down
  4. II up
  5. II & III down
  6. II up
  7. II & III down
  8. II & III up

However start and end with one 2-8 step sequence. I used the lace yarn in picks 1, 4 and 6, and the DK weight yarn in picks 2, 3, 7 and 8; the original patter instead calls for swapping these.

181 ends+2 floating selvedges, each 1.90m long; 342m/373 yds Meadow (heavy lace) for warp, 163 m/178 yds of Acadia (DK) and 90m/98yds Road To China lace (lace) for weft. 
15 epi, 15.5 ppi 
Width in reed: 
Width off loom before wet finishing: 
Width off loom after wet finishing:
Wet finishing take up (horizontal):

Length of woven fabric off loom before wet finishing:
Length of woven fabric off loom after wet finishing:
Wet finishing shrinkage (vertical):
Loom waste:

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…

Four shaft twill on the Rigid Heddle Loom

I cannot remember exactly when is that I decided to try weaving, but I got attracted it progressively more in my quest for hand made skirts – I am not too fond of how knitted skirts look (though there are exceptions), and while I adore knitted dresses, for standalone skirts I wanted something else. True, I could start sewing (which I’ll have to anyway if I want to sew my own cloth), but the temptation to create fabric in the exact same way you like it, with the exact same yarn you love, was to great to resist. And so I took advantage of a very good deal that Ashford has around Christmas time to get myself a “kit”, with a 40cm/16″ Ashford SampleIt loom, which cames together with addititonal heddles, pick up sticks, shuttles, wapr sticks, threading hook, yarn, a canvas carrying bag, Rowena Hart’s “Ashford book of rigid heddle weaving” and even beeswax to treat the parts before assembly.

I knew that, as in everything, once you get to know the details I might end up wanting something else, but you have to start somewhere.

I was travelling a lot, and so while away from my brand new loom, I did a lot of reading, and came across two eyeopeners: The Xenakis Technique for the Construction of Four-Harness Textiles on a Rigid-Heddle, by David Xenakis, which is available for free; and the excellent Weaving With Three Rigid Heddles, by Reverend David B. Mckinney, which is incredibly good value for money. These invaluable resources show you how to replicate drafts for four shaft looms on your humble rigid heddle loom, provided you have three heddles available – and since I had found on this blog and this blog that even the small SampleIt could accommodate three heddles, I quickly became the proud owner of sets of three heddles in all dent sizes that Ashford produces (7.5, 10, 12.5, 15), ‘cos you never know with what yarn inspiration will take you!

With three heddles you can in principle produce all the sheds that you can produce on a four shaft loom (though admittedly some are easier to obtain than others), and so it wast that my weaving project number two was a herringbone scarf (in case you are curious, project number one was a three colour houndstooth scarf).

Herringbone is based on a 2/2 twill structure: each weft thread passes over and under two warp threads, and each pick is offset as compared to the other one. This creates diagonal lines; by changing the order of the threading in the warp, you change the direction of the diagonal lines. The herringbone pattern, or broken twill, is obtained by combining these two directions, here is a draft with four shafts (created with the excellent Pixeloom software)

in the treadling/tie-up (box in the top right corner) each dot means indicates lifting the corresponding harness. Created with Pixeloom

How about a rigid heddle loom? For that I just drew my own draft, where I borrow notational convention from Reverend McKinney and use ∧ to indicate raising the corresponding heddle, and ∨ to indicate lowering that heddle .

In the threading (the horizontal box),“I” means “thread through hole in heddle I, and slots in heddles II and III”, “II” means “thread through hole in heddle II, and slots in heddles I and III”, “III” means “thread through hole in heddle III, and slots in heddles I and III”, and “S” means “thread through slots in all heddles”

Drawing is fun, but then you have to thread the warp. I started from the back heddle (Heddle III), which I threaded as I would normally for direct warping. Then once the warp was packed on the back beam, I started slaying it all. For that purpose the following may be helpful (though do bear in mind that I put it down after finishing the project) – the idea is that in the first heddle, that is the one closest to the front beam, you want to have as many threads as hole and slots for the width of the project: so while you will by necessity have some slots with two threads, then the next slot must be empty, otherwise you risk spreading your warp on a wider surface, and no longer having the epi that your project requires.

So each half of a herringbone consists of 10 warp threads. I used a beautiful yarn, The Fibre Co Cumbria Fingering, in Barrow (154g/461.9 meters) and St. Bees Beach, The Fibre Co. Cumbria Fingering.

Each twill column is 10 ends wide, 2 columns for each herringbone, total of 9 herringbone patterns, so my warp had 180 ends + 2 floating selvedges, each warp thread being 2.5 metres long.

For the floating selvedges (about which I learned from jeen on Ravelry, here), remember to enter OVER the floating selvedge and exit UNDER the (opposite) floating selvedge on the opposite side – or the other way around, but do so consistently at each pick.

For the actual weaving, I began and ended with four picks in pattern in Barrow (dark brown), while all other picks were in St Bees Beach (light brown).

The herringbone pattern is obtained by repeating the following four steps (one pick for each):

  1. heddles I & II up
  2. heddles II & III up
  3. heddles I & II down
  4. heddles II & III down

To finish, I twisted and knotted the fringe, then wet finished. I couldn’t be more pleased with the result, and the delighted smile of the recipient was priceless!

Yarn: 180 ends+2 floating selvedges; 462m/505yds warp, 300m/328yds weft (one broken warp thread) 
Sett: 15 epi, 17 ppi (I was aiming for 15ppi) 
Width in loom: 30cm/12” 
Width off loom before wet finishing: 28cm/11” 
Wet finishing take up (horizontal):
Width off loom after wet finishing: 27.5cm/10.8” 
Length of fabric off loom before wet finishing (excluding fringe): 178cm/70” 
Length of fabric off loom after wet finishing: 169.5cm/66.7” 
Wet finishing shrinkage (vertical):
Twisted fringe: 3+3 ends per twisted, knotted fringe (apart from first and last braid, 4+3), 10cm/4in lenght before twisting, 8cm/3.14” after twisting

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