Continuing with overshot, I wove two table runners (or maybe more accurately, one loooooong runner, and one table square/topper) in the Whig Rose design from A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison.
I used Venne organic 2/16 cotton in cream for the warp and tabby weft. 2/8 organic cotton in Brick Red was used for the pattern weft in the red runner, and a 2/8 mercerized cotton that shall remain nameless was used for the green one. The organic cotton is a high quality cotton with great twist and is wonderful to weave with.
At 54.5″ long, the red runner would suit a long harvest table (which must of been what I was thinking, hence its long length), it would look great as the centrepiece of a holiday table setting. The green one is 20.5″ long and would make a great table square for the centre of a smaller table.
Back when I was weaving the overshot runner (see here), I met a much more experienced weaver and I told her my tale of woe on this project. We discussed a few possibilities and then she asked what yarn was I using for my warp, “Oh” she said, “you never use their mercerized cottons for warp, they don’t have enough twist”. Ironically, that was what I thought when this yarn arrived, but this company sells weaving yarns, and still being a new”ish” weaver, I could be wrong. I had e-mailed them about my problems, they refused to acknowledge that it could be their yarn. Hence the project was cut from the loom.
The problem with not really knowing what the source of the problem is, is that you don’t know what the source of the problem is (yarn, loom, weaver). I went through my stash and discovered some 2/16 non-mercerized cotton, mostly likely from the same company as the mercerized. The first thing I noticed was that there was definitely more twist in this yarn. I didn’t use the organic 2/16 cotton I just brought in because I was still unsure whether it was the yarn or my weaving technique that had caused the earlier problems.
I started winding the warp, things were going well, and then nearly at the halfway point, a knot. About 3 yards later, another knot. In total, I encountered 5 knots while winding this short warp, I was not impressed. I soldiered on and got the warp on the loom, threaded the heddles, sleyed the reed and began to weave. And weave. And weave. Miraculously, no broken threads, I felt vindicated.
This runner was fun and quick to weave and I will definitely do it again. I love the fineness of the 2/16 (pattern weft is in 2/8 cotton), the runner has an almost heirloom feel to it.