Sunday, August 3, 2014

In The Red

and in the grey and the black.

While at JCCFS a few weeks ago I did have a chance to work on
 a draft for my future coverlet. 

Sample I did at JCCFS

That pattern (Mary Ann Ostrander from Davidson’s book) is one that I wove when I was 19 years old while taking a weaving semester at Berea College in Kentucky.
 I was very brave or maybe just naive to weave an overshot pattern on my second ever weaving. 

My second ever weaving!
Notice all the mistakes?

This throw was woven with both wool in the warp and the weft and it has been so long ago that I don’t remember the reasoning why. 
That is not the traditional way for coverlets, which were usually a cotton or linen warp and tabby, with wool as the pattern weft. 
I took my throw to the coverlet class to have an example of all the mistakes 
I made: beating incorrectly, mistakes in treadling and 
sewing the wrong sides together! 
Still it is pretty good for an 19-year-old novice.
 I would not advise any new weaver to start out on overshot patterns but that is why I fell in love with weaving. 
Every throw of the shuttle and the fabric developing was like magic to me. 
I have woven a lot of overshot but not in the traditional way. 
I love to see what color can do to the patterns and have worked with enlarging or decreasing motifs and tables within the drafts. 

This red warp is a table runner using the pattern I wove so long ago
 but with a few adjustments in threading and treadling. 

Black Wool pattern thread and silver pearl cotton tabby.

Red wool pattern thread and black pearl cotton tabby.

The colors are subtle and without a lot of contrast (I’m waiting on a shipment of grey wool which will provide contrast), but will make very pretty table runners. One of them will be a donation for the TRAC auction, which is held in October to raise funds for our arts council. 
I’ll post a pic of them when they are off the loom and hemmed.  


  1. They are both very very beautiful! And I love the coverlet test piece. Wow!

  2. Even with the beginner's mistakes it looks just beautiful. I really had to zone in to see the mistakes and I would not have seen it if you didn't mentioned it. You do awesome work. My daughter Jackie is a weaving teacher at the art school here in Fredericton. I've never tried my hand at weaving and she never tried rug hooking so I don't feel bad.

    Have a great week ,

  3. Totally fascinating. I really had to look hard to see a mistake. The black and silver is absolutely gorgeous. The sample piece is beautiful too. My dear friend has a collection of antique coverlets & it's so interesting to look at them. Many have the makers name in them and it was a profession that men did. The patterns and colors are amazing. Not an easy task for sure. Sure enjoyed this and look forward to future post of your creations.

  4. All I can say is WOW!!!

  5. So cool! My husband is threading the heddles right now, prepping for a Mary Ann Ostrander runner! I can't see any mistakes in your early work--but then I couldn't tell warp from weft in that blanket I blogged about either. ;-) I'm especially fascinated with the entirely different looks you can get from the same red and gray warp.