Tuesday, 30 August 2016

So Not Over Over-Shot

I love weaving on my loom. I love the feel of throwing the shuttle in my hands, the pattern building up, the sound of the wooden treadles gently clacking, and the surprising way the threads interlace before your eyes and transform into cloth. *sighs relaxing hmmmm*

Chunky weave Overshot
My latest project on the loom was a four shaft overshot pattern with my own handspun and "handspun look" yarns from my stash.

I planned to make a set of two cushions covers to fit some neglected bare cushions from home. And anyway- who can ever have too many cushions right?

I love the way the yarn "poofs" through in the design
As many of you may know, I am a great lover (and habitual hoarder) of yarns. I have boxes and boxes of yarns in all shapes and sizes and fibre content which I have collected over the years. I started collecting yarns during my textile degree when I specialised in machine knitting, so I rummaged through my stash of cones to see what I could find for my project.

I decided on a pale duck egg blue shetland wool two ply for the warp, which was dusty and rescued from a mill surplus supply warehouse sometime in the 80's, and given to me with an old knitting machine. The colour was perfect. Soft and pastel and fresh. Lovely I thought! However, I forgot to think about wether this yarn would hold up well in my warp. It turns out that using *old* shetland yarn in a warp is not the best of plans, as it is prone to breaking. However, i'm sure that using a newer cone of shetland would be fine if anyone wanted to make a similar project. :-)

Handspun overshot 
For my first cushion fabric I wove a baby pink thick singles style yarn in a wool blend. It looked very handspun, and that's why I liked it I suppose! The second cushion was woven using a thick n thin spindle spun handspun yarn from my "Nebula" blended roving colour way of pinks, greens, turquoise and black.

I love the thick n thin yarns, and the change of colours. So pretty!
I warped my loom ( a four shaft folding Lervad countermarch) from back to front after winding my warp of 200 ends and set about weaving!

After weaving my two lengths of fabric for my sections, I've taken my fabric off the loom, fulled it using warm water, shampoo and conditioner, and now it's waiting in my studio to be cut and sewn into cushion covers.

Here is my recipe and drafts if you would like to make this fabric. The backs of these fabrics look just as awesome and I can't really decide which way to sew it up yet!

Warp: two ply pale blue shetland yarn
Warp length: 3 meters
Weft: Cushion one -  pale pink wool blend singles yarn.
          Cushion two - Handspun thick n thin singles yarn in "Nebula"  blended roving colourway

Working ends: 200 ends
Reed: 10 EPI, threaded one per dent
45 cm in the reed

The draft for cushion one and two are below. You need to add a tabby shot after each pattern weft row, as for standard overshot.  I've named the first draft "Naughts and Kisses" because thats what I think it looks like! The second one made some really stunning "polka dots"
 designs all over the fabric.
Pink "Naughts and Kisses" overshot draft
Handspun "Polka Dots" Overshot draft


  1. It's always fantastic to see weaving with handspun, especially when the yarn is more unusual. The pink is very 'you' but I especially like the Nebula version, it almost looks jewelled! Do post the finished cushions.

    1. Thanks Shiela! I can't wait to make up the cushions. I may even add little pompoms at the corners. We shall see. I am loving receiving your handspinning newsletter by the way. Such a treat in my inbox! :-)

  2. HI, your weaving is so pretty. I am getting ready to warp this up and i was wondering whether you knew your meterage for your pattern weft yarn...thankyou

    1. Hey Jessica! Excited to know you are going to have a go at weaving these cushions. :-) I'm afraid i didn't really take notice of the yardage, however I believe I used around 100-200g of bulky weight yarn in the weft.

    2. Yeah i used about that also, thankyou for your inspiration. I ended up making 2 bags, everyone loves them especially me. Hopefully you can see the pics https://www.deviantart.com/yarnnerd/art/Overshot-Handwoven-bags-761275304