I Give Up

I decided to revisit the overshot runner project with the 2/16 mercerized cotton warp.  But instead of trying to continue on the existing warp, I decided to make a new warp and put it on another loom.  I made a shorter warp than before, only about 3 yards, using a warping board.  Since this loom has a plain beam, the warp was beamed in the usual manner.  I also replaced all of the existing heddles with brand new inserted eye heddles.  I wanted to see if these changes would provide me with a more pleasurable weaving experience (i.e. no broken threads).

Things seemed to progress okay, but then 3″ into the pattern, the first thread broke.  After another inch, one more, and after another inch, well you get the idea.  I have now woven 20″ and have repaired 11 broken threads.  I am not getting any joy out of this project.  I love the pattern, I love weaving overshot, I love the colour combination, I hate this yarn.  I am not thrilled with the 2/8 mercerized cotton I am using for the weft either.  It seems to be loosely plied and twists on itself and around the tabby yarn as well.

So here is a shot of it before I cut it off the loom.  I have to find a use for the remaining 2/16 (fire starter?), and when I find a better quality yarn, I will try this project again.


Happy weaving,


Stores Update

More colours of Venne Organic Cotton are in stock for your weaving projects: Bright Pink, Fawn, Fern Green and Irish Cream.

And new Handmaiden and Fleece Artist in stock:

Happy knitting and weaving,


Snakeskin Scarf

On the cover of the current issue of Handwoven (May/June 2015) is a scarf woven in a structure known as crackle weave (I believe), but it can also look like or resemble a snakeskin or other reptilian creature (not to my reptilian loving son, however).

snakeskin scarf 002

At first, I wasn’t drawn to this particular project, but then one of my fellow weavers wove one and I decided to give it a try.  First, what to weave it with.  Our group was gifted with a couple of bags of weaving yarns, one of them being Orlec, aka acrylic!  Those who know me know I like natural fibres, it’s what I carrried in the store, it’s what I carry on-line, but it was the right weight of yarn for the project so that was what I used.

I made a warp, put it on the loom, and began to weave.  It behaved nicely, no warp breaks like in the overshot runner project (will discuss this in another post).  It was stiff after weaving, but like tencel, after washing, drying and pressing, it became quite drapey.  While my preference will always be for natural fibres, I can see a where there is a place for Orlec in a weaver’s repertoire.

Finished scarf:

snakeskin scarf 006

and again,

snakeskin scarf 005

with spools of orlec:

snakeskin scarf 009

Happy weaving,


New! 2/8 Organic Cotton

Now available, Venne Organic Cotton.  It is GOTS Certified (Global Organic Textile Standard), is available on 100g cones and comes in a wide array of colours.

For more information, please check our website.

Colours currently in stock are:

I used the Venne Organic Cotton to weave my Keep It Simple Towels (in an earlier post).  It is lovely to weave with and washes and dries beautifully.  For readers of Handwoven magazine, this would be a great choice for the Shades of India Kitchen Towels and the Moscow Nights Tea Towels in the March/April 2015 issue.

Happy weaving,


Overshot Runner Part 1: Warped

Now that I am familiar with the technique of overshot, I have decided to weave some more runners on my home loom.

I found a draft that I like from the Leclerc Looms website.

(photo from Leclerc website)

(photo from Leclerc website)

Pattern Details:

  • 2/16 cotton for warp and tabby weft
  • 2/8 cotton for pattern weft
  • 30 epi
  • 16″ wide in the reed
  • 480 ends

I am using a sectional warp beam, something I’m not that familiar with.  Since I am only doing a small warp (6 yards), I needed to figure out how to get my warp on.  I decided to wind 16 warp chains, 30 ends each.

warp chains

warp chains

And, thinking I was being clever, wound them all on at the same time.  Note to self:  do not do that again.  I did however, use a warping valet/trapeze to maintain a nice tight tension while winding on, and I will definitely do that again.  The following picture shows the warp chains coming from the back of the loom, under the front beam and up to the valet (aka broom handle in the floor joists).  After this picture was taken I removed the front beam because it wanted to pop off.

Overshot Runner 009The warp chains were weighted with bottles of water:

Overshot Runner 010

Three warp threads broke while I wound on the warp that will have to fixed, not too bad I think.

This is how the warp looks from the back of the loom:

Overshot Runner 013

and tied onto the front apron rod:

Overshot Runner 014

Now to start weaving!

Happy weaving,


Hot for Overshot

A weaving technique that I have wanted to learn since I began my weaving adventure is overshot.  Overshot is most often associated with beautiful woven coverlets of the 18th and 19th centuries, consisting of a white or natural background and a complex looking pattern, usually woven in a blue or red wool.

This past fall, I finally had the opportunity to try my hand at this technique at MERA, as a group of us wanted to learn/explore this structure more.  We settled on the project we wanted to do (in this case a runner), warped a loom, then we each had our turn weaving. Even though we all did the same runner, it was so much fun to see how each differed, based on the yarns used, and share what we learned.

The warp was a mystery yarn in the stash, probably cotton, in a 2/8 weight.  My weft yarn is 2/8 cotton, doubled.  Others used a boucle type yarn, or doubled 2/8 with more than one colour.

I absolutely love this technique, and can’t wait to set-up my home loom for more overshot projects.

Runner in progress on loom:

overshot 001


Finished runner:

Overshot 011


Overshot 012


Underside of runner, hand-stitched hem:

Overshot 017


Happy weaving,