Little Trees Baby Blanket

With some happy news from a friend, next on the loom was a handwoven baby blanket.  Final size, 40″ x 30″.


Baby blanket

Yarn Bernat Softee Baby: Little Trees
Draft Plainweave
Sett 10 epi
Ends 400 ends
Length 2 yards
Warp  800 yards
Weft 444.4 yards
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Baronial Kneeling Pillow

We’ve needed a new kneeling pillow in the Baronial regalia for quite some time.  Something heavy duty and machine washable.  I finally made one.

New pillow

Pillow front

New pillow

Pillow back

New pillow

Showing the hidden heavy-duty zipper

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Blue and Yellow Wickelbander

Finally got around to hemming and photographing my latest set of wickelbander.  I finished these ages ago.



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This blog has been unusually silent, but I have not been idle.  I’ve been working on a set of garb for my elevation to the Order of the Laurel.  It might not sound like much, but it’s a big honour in my club. I now have pictures to share with you all.

Vigil Ceremony. Photo by Lord Dafydd ap Alan.

Vigil Ceremony. Photo by Lord Dafydd ap Alan.

Elevation. Photo by Lord Dafydd ap Alan.

Elevation. Photo by Lord Dafydd ap Alan.

Laurel Scroll. Wording by The Honrouable Lord Colyne Stewart. Calligraphy by Maestro Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza.

Laurel Scroll. Wording by The Honrouable Lord Colyne Stewart. Calligraphy by Maestro Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza.

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Weave Sample: Damask (5-shaft Satin)

Oh look, I’m weaving my samples out of order. This is damask on a 5-shaft satin, which is the most common type of damask from the 15th century onwards1.


5-shaft satin damask

[1] Pattern and Loom, by John Becker

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Warping the Drawloom

I few people have asked to see the steps needed when warping the drawloom compared to doing it without the drawloom attachment.

1) Adding the loom extension

The second set of harnesses requires more space, so the back beam needs to be extended.

loom extension

The new back posts are extendable much further, but this is all I need for now.

2) Winding the warp

The goal here is to produce many lengths of yarn that are all exactly the same length. Using a warping board, I wind the threads back and forth. Near the top, I create a cross – this keeps all the threads in order. I do this in batches, so the warp doesn’t slip off the pegs. When removing the warp from the frame, I first add ties to preserve the cross and then wind the length into a basic crochet chain to keep things from tangling.

Winding the warp

Warp on the warping board

3) Presleying the reed

Rather than using a raddle, the process uses the reed to ensure that the warp is spaced correctly before winding it on the beam.


I forgot to take a picture of this, so I’m using an old one.

4) Beaming the warp

The warp is attached to the back beam while still threaded through the reed and lease sticks. This is made easy by the fact that the ends here are all loops – I just thread the stick through the loops and attach it to the warp beam. The warp then goes over the back beam, through the lease sticks, through the reed, and over the breast beam, around the foot beam, and up over the warping trapeze. This step requires an additional person, or a warping trapeze, to provide tension on the warp while it is being wound.

Beamed warp

Here the warp is fully beamed (wound around the back beam)

5) Mount the drawloom apparatus and thread the cords

The shaft drawloom apparatus sits on top of the loom.  The cords are threaded, but the shafts are not yet attached.

Drawloom apparatus

Shaft drawloom

6) Pre-weighting the pattern heddles

The pattern heddles are weighted by unit. I am separate them into units and adding a lingo (‘U’-shaped weight) to each grouping – here, five-heddles per weight, grouped in bunches of ten for counting.  I’m using the front beam just because it’s a convenient place to hang them.

Pre-weighting the pattern heddles

Weighted pattern heddles

7) Threading the pattern heddles

Which warp threads go in the pattern heddles varies by weave.

Threading the pattern heddles

Pattern heddles half threaded.

8) Threading the ground weave heddles

Next we thread the warp through the ground weave.  Again, which warp threads go in the pattern heddles varies by weave.

Threading the ground weave heddles

Ground heddles half threaded.

9) Sleying the reed and tying up

The reed is threaded (or sleyed) in order to achieve a particular number of threads per inch. The sett of this yarn is 28 ends per inch. The lease sticks are removed and the warp is then attached to the front cloth beam with as even tension as possible.

Sleying the reed and tying up

Warp is all threaded and tied up.

10) Countermarche tie-up

The countermarche controls the raising and lowering of the ground shafts. The treadles are threaded as needed for the ground weave.



11) Attaching the pattern shafts

The pattern shafts are moved into place and connected to the drawloom apparatus.

Attaching the drawloom shafts

Drawloom shafts.

12) Ready to weave

Ready to weave

Here we go!

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Damask Research

What is Damask?

Silk; damask weave. Italy ca. 1550.

Damask  weave as defined by CIETA vocabulary is a figured textile with one warp and one weft in which the pattern is formed by a contrast of binding systems. In its classic form, it is reversible, and the contrast is produced by the use of the warp and weft faces of the same weave. By extension, two distinct binding systems may also be employed.

Where/When was Damask Produced?

It is debated whether damask originated in China or Syria.  Wherever it originated, the earliest extant damask textiles were from Palmyra and were woven before 276 C.E.  They are believed to be of Chinese origin.  Examples of  3/1 – 1/3 twill block damasks have been found throughout second to fourth century Europe, and is believed to be of Roman origin.  Damask was considered to be one of the five main weaves of Byzantine and Islamic centres.  Damask weaving was becoming scarce by the 8th or 9th centuries, except for Islamic Spain, but was revived in some places in the 13th century.  By the 14th century, damask weaving was found in Italy.  Damask linen tablecloths and napkins were very popular in the 16th century in northern Europe

Silk damask. China, 200-400 C.E.

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Pretty Party Dress Planning

For my birthday this year, we’re doing a speakeasy/Gatsby-type theme, and I decided I needed something faboo to wear.  Not finding anything I liked in my budget, I found some great fabric for half price online, and went from there.


Sequin and mesh fabric

They only had two yards, so I didn’t have a lot to work with.  I’m thinking a straight top, cut along the pattern on the bottom, with handkerchiefy flounces in plain black sheer fabric.  Sort of like this.

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Diamondweave Shawl

I had leftover linen warp from my Perugia towel project.  I had planned to weave myself a towel, but then received the wonderful news that a dear friend was being elevated to the Order of the Laurel.  I decided to use the remaining warp to make her a gift instead.  I’m very glad I did.

The shawl is a 3/3 lozenge weave in 40/2 linen, sett at 36 epi.


Finished veil



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Understanding Samite in Detail

As I’ve written before, samite is weft-faced compound twill weave. A compound weave is any type of woven structure which involves more than two sets of elements – such as one (or more) warp sets, plus two (or more) weft sets that interact to form a pattern. Samite uses two warps acting seperately (a main warp and a binding warp), and a weft composed of two or more series of threads. These weft threads work in combination to produce one weft pick on the face of the cloth (called a passée).

To better understand, let’s look at the two warps separately. We’ll use a simple design as our pattern. Each square represents one main warp end (or more if the main warp is doubled/tripled), and two passées (or more if the main warp is doubled/tripled). When patterning we ignore the binding warp.


Pattern graph

First, there is the main warp. This is the warp responsible for the patterning of the fabric. The dominant weft (the one we want to see) runs over top of the main warp, while the others are kept to the reverse. Colour changes are achieved by bringing a new weft thread to the face, while simultaneously dropping the other weft to the back. Only one weft at a time will be dominant, all others will be held to the reverse. The main warp will be completely covered on both sides of the cloth, and will never be seen.


Main warp in red, wefts in blue and white

Secondly, there is the binding warp. This warp works independently of the main warp, binding the cloth in a 1/2 twill. Unlike the main warp, this warp treats the full passée of warp threads as one unit.


Binding warp in black, wefts in blue and white

The two warps together produce samite.


Main warp in red, binding warp in black, wefts in blue and white

And the finished fabric will look like this. Note the main warp is completely invisible.


Binding warp in black, wefts in blue and white


* Drawings done in the style of Riboud’s Samit & Lampas, and Becker’s Pattern and Loom.

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