Radiating Boxes

You know how tabby (plainweave, over/under across the row) can be a little stiff? This weave includes 3-floats in the center, and 2-floats that progress along the vertical, the horizontal, and both diagonals, so that the potholder flexes easily in all directions, and can be crumpled into your hand. The mostly tabby construction keeps it stable. It molds extremely well, and would be excellent for items like Dutch oven lids, whose knob can be hard to grasp and also wicked hot, fresh out of the oven.

The 3-floats cause the small boxes (4 white on the front, and one blue on the back) to close up on themselves, hiding the center opposing color.

Because of its moldability, this would be an excellent base for a potholder bowl or other flexible construction.

You’ll see in the captions that I have ideas for adjusting the weave. If you work this before I put out the finished pdf (and honesty even after, I’m always up for improvement), I’d love to hear your input on your twilling choices.

I decided to work my example in white and turquoise, one of my new Harrisville colors, because it really popped when I put them together. (And maybe also because I was wearing blue-and-white stripes!? Must’ve felt it that day…)
I begin with my center row. The pattern is symmetric in both directions, so I will be working the same half-row 4 times as I proceed (left & right of the rows above & below the work already in place).
Row 13 is in place. What the heck!? We start with a 3-float!!? Yup, the center of row 13 (and also the corresponding row 15)You’ll notice that it doesn’t fully lock our columns in place, and they do like to roll around on us. That’s okay, we can nudge them where they belong. Hey, do you see my mistake? Don’t worry if you don’t; I won’t catch it for another 2 rows.
Here’s how the loom looks after I’ve taken a moment to straighten my columns and line them up properly.
Here we are with the center 3 rows completed. Oh no, you say!! There’s a white column totally unsecured, floating in space! Yup, there sure is. You’re doing it right. That’s the center 3-float that will help tighten up the middle box into a tight square of apparently solid color. Let’s check out the other side….
Oh dang. Here’s the other side. I have 2 (blue) columns unsecured!! Whoops. Where did I go wrong??
My colors matched the pattern, but I got the over/under on a blue/blue square wrong. The 3rd column from each end of the row should be on top of the row loop, not underneath.
Time to start marking up the chart! Pink highlighter, to show myself where the 3-floats are; yellow highlighter on the 2-floats, to help me get them in the right place in the row.
Here the center white column is about to be locked down by rows 12 and 16.
Highlighting the 2-floats in the row makes them easier to see and also alerts me when the floats in one row line up with the floats in an adjacent row. It feels natural when weaving to run the row under the columns that are lower, and over the columns that are higher. When floats line up, you find yourself working against that tendency.
Comparing the work to the chart as you go can be tricky. Bordering the work with fresh contrasting loops can make it easier to compare to the picture.
Now that we’re past the center, the work proceeds more smoothly. Each row is a bit like the previous row, with the outer 2-floats moving one step away from each other, and inner 2-floats staying the same columns. (This might not make sense until you are weaving. It’s hard to explain in words.)
Here I’m using the white loops to double check the I am forming the correct picture.
As I continue highlighting the floats, you can see that we have a center capital I formation of 3-floats (one column, two rows), and 4 surrounding capital T sideways formations (one column, one row). The I formation causes the one-dot-center box on the back to draw up tightly into itself. The 4 front boxes, where we have a T formation, do not draw up as evenly on themselves, and so leave a bit of color poking out. I would like to try another weave, switching columns 12 and 16 in rows 10 and 18 from “-” to “|”, to see if that works as well, and update the pattern if it does.
Halfway through, the work is progressing rapidly.

Most of the way through, I have marked up much of the chart, and you can clearly see the diagonal, horizontal and vertical progression of the 2-floats, highlighted in yellow.
Looking at my finished weave on the loom, I ponder those 3-floats in the center area and wonder if I can switch up my twills somehow to eliminate them…
The highlighted spots are my first thought, which I reject after exploring how they would affect the neighboring columns. I wish I’d thought of the alternate arrangement that I figured out (above) looking at the completed work, lol.
Closeup of the finished work, still tensioned on the loom, in case anyone wants a visual reference for the stage.
Binding off, whee!
The “radiating boxes” side of the potholder, having rested after being taken off the loom, and having to close up on itself.
The ‘intersection” side of the finished potholder.
Does it crumple? YES!! It does.
You can see the 8-way creasing as i loosen my grip and let it unfold in my hand.
And now it recovers to hang mostly flat.

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