Traditional Shift Twill Rainbow

Another four-four shift twill rainbow, in traditional size with FL brights as the warp and skillet in the weft.

I love the “spectral confetti” effect, and the false impression that it might be woven with multi-color loops. (The pro version is even more impressive.)

Given how much this weave shrinks up when taken off the loom, I suspect an industrious weaver could continue the pattern and pack in a couple more weft rows.

Charts available in pro and traditional size.

Three-Three Twill Solo Wave

Here’s a brand-new chart with an especially-plush weave: “Three-Three Twill Solo Wave.”

This is a variation of our “Three-Three Twill Zig Zags” chart, with the contrasting color restricted to a single stripe. There are charts for 28/27 pegs and for 19 pegs.

Note that this shrinks up even more than a straight 3/3 twill, and as a result of that, it’s super thick and soft. The example below is woven with pro-size FL/Harrisville loops, 28 in the warp and 27 in the weft, and after binding off it’s just 6.5″ x 7″.

There are some long over-five floats, but the fabric holds together well and there are no gaps in the weave.

Lozenge Twill Series 1

As part of our exploration of the possibilities of lozenge twill patterns on woven potholders, Piglet has been making up matching sets of traditional size potholders in a range of adjacent patterns, the first of which is shown below.

Despite each being quite distinct, they make a lovely set, with recurring motifs that show again and again, but rotated, inverted, or paired differently.

The following diagram shows the four different patterns used in this first group:

When comparing the charts to the photos, or looking at the on-loom and off-loom photos, you can see the ways the patterns shift and soften when they’re bound off.

Charts for each of these are included in the PDF found in yesterday’s Lozenge Twill Madness post, and will eventually be added to the main collection on the front page.

Piglet’s woven a dozen more variations, so additional posts will follow in the coming days — and I hope these photos will encourage other folks to dive in and try weaving a few of their own!

Lozenge Twill (3/3 A)

Lozenge Twill (4/4 A)

Lozenge Twill (5/5 A)

Lozenge Twill (6/6 B)

Lozenge Twill Madness

Lozenge twill, sometimes called diamond twill, is an attractive family of weaving structures that produced by reversals in twill direction.

I say it’s a “family” because there are many variations, depending on how frequent the reversals are — ranging from little “birds-eye” twills up to big chunky diamonds — not to mention the variations produced by switching between 2/2, 2/1, 3/3, or any number of other twill ratios.

But how many such patterns are there, given the constraints of our tiny potholder looms, and how different would they look? A bit of web-searching failed to turn up an answer, so with Piglet’s help, I decided to try to explore this question systematically.

The results were startling — even just confining ourselves to 2/2 twill, and the limited canvas provided by the traditional-size loom, there are hundreds of distinct possibilities.

I charted a few dozen of them, and Piglet got to weaving, figuring that by sampling a few points in the space of possibilities we could decide which ones were the most attractive, and add those to the collection on our website.

… but they were all lovely, and it’s impossible to decide!

I’m not sure the world really needs a hundred different lozenge twill potholder-weaving charts, but I figured I’d start by presenting some of what we found and we’ll work out the rest of the details as time goes on.

You can view the first tranche of more than fifty charts in this PDF file, and I’ve included an analysis of some of the similarities and differences between them below.

Pattern Comparison

To understand the relationships between the patterns that appeared at different scales, I gathered small versions of each on a summary diagram.

The diagram shows a range of repeat sizes, along with two variations available at each size. (Each of these variations also has an equivalent with inverted colors, which I am omitting for simplicity.) Below each miniature chart is a label that encodes some information about it, explained more fully below.

Next Steps

As you scan across the diagram, you’ll find various motifs that repeat in adjacent charts, and similarities that emerge at regular intervals across them, and you can guess at charts that might look good side-by-side as a pair… but it’s important to remember that the woven products will look different than these digital charts, and the real test is when the loops come off the loom and draw up into their final fabric form — so it’s no use just staring at the pictures, you have to dive in and weave them up and see how they turn out in real life.

… which is exactly what Piglet has been doing. More photos in the next post!

About the Chart Labels

Each image on this grid is labeled with [Half Repeat Width] / [Half Repeat Height] — [Center] [Adjacent].

The repeat scales are shown as half of the number of loops in the warp or weft before the pattern repeats.

The center and adjacent values refer to the “spot” in the very center of the design, and to the corresponding spots that are diagonally adjacent to it; they are shown as:

  • A: black dot
  • B: black plus
  • a: white dot
  • b: white plus

Each image’s center/adjacent values can be one of the following:

  • AA / BB: tiles all same colors, same center.
  • Aa / Bb: tiles alternating colors, same centers.
  • AB / BA: tiles all same colors, alternating centers.
  • Ab / Ba: tiles alternating colors, alternating centers.

At each given repeat size, the pair of images will fall into one of these groupings:

  • AA + Bb: identical black-dot tiles paired with alternating-color plus tiles.
  • Aa + BB: alternating-color dot tiles paired with identical black-plus tiles.
  • AB + BA: black-dot and black-plus tiles; paired versions are same pattern but offset.
  • Ab + Ba: tiles have mixed centers and colors; paired versions are inverted and offset.

Double-Faced Twill

Here’s another extra-thick potholder with a tricky twill weave that requires a bit of extra effort: double-faced twill.

It features two completely separate faces, produced by two independent weft layers, joined by a single warp which shows up as a thin diagonal stripe on both sides.

This edge-on photo (taken right before binding off) highlights the multi-layer structure:

As you might expect, the resulting potholder is extra thick — after all, it has 50% more loops than usual!

It lies nice and flat, with none of the curling we often see in uneven twills, because each side is uneven in the opposite direction, so they balance each other out.

The chart shows the independent weaving pattern for the upper and lower loops on each weft peg — the upper face is three-one twill, while the lower face is the opposite one-three twill:

I’m sure folks can come up with interesting color choices — perhaps a rainbow spectrum on one side and black on the other, with thin white pinstripes crossing both of them?

It should also be possible to extend this technique to include zig-zags and diamonds, although we haven’t attempted that yet.

This photo sequence shows the process from end to end.

If you give this a try, please drop us a line and let us know how it turned out!

Three-Row Rippenköper

Last week Piglet wove up a lovely large potholder using the basic rippenköper pattern — three rows of two-one twill alternating with three rows of one-two twill.

The side view shows off the gentle ribs introduced by the twill reversals.

(It turned out that her remaining stash of yellow loops were from two different dye lots, so you’ll notice that a couple of the ribs are a slightly darker shade — it’s subtle, but I think it adds to the visual interest.)

A Basket of Flowers

Oh wow, check out what we stumbled across! Exploring the diamond twill space, Matthew was inspired to try lengthening the cross floats, to emphasize the little flowers shapes that the smallest version makes. We got another magic fabric! This is a very striking result with a flat(ter) side and a bumpy(ier) side, one of which is very squares, and the other very diamonds.

Flower Basket, we are calling it. As charted, it is 18 columns, 19 rows, for pattern symmetry. It works up *very* quickly, with only 2 pattern rows, one of which has very few over/unders (4-floats across its length).

I first worked it in lavender & leaf. I was expecting the front side to draw up into flowers, so I put the lavender into the white areas — oops! The *back* side draws up into flowery diamonds, so I ended up with leaf flowers on the bottom of my work, and the basket-woven effect on the top.

Before posting the charts to our site, I flipped the back and front from the draft version Piglet wove from, so the “flowers” should now form on the front face, in the “dark” color of our chart. — Matthew

The cayenne and white combination has much better contrast, so you can see the effect more clearly. The resulting fabric is great as a potholder. It does not bias or curl in any particular direction. It lies flat, and is quite thick and protective.

What a fantastic discovery! I cannot stop chortling over and petting it.

Matthew’s Postscript, March 2:

I love the fact that there are so many fun variations to explore in this space, and so many connections to make with the work that other talented weavers have done!

When I posted the chart for this design, I also included a split-loop variation, from which Eve created a fun weave that included horizontal stripes along the weft.

That reminded me of a design I’d seen a long time ago, and I poked around until I found this cool example from Christine from May 2022.

Then this afternoon a stray comment brought a neat weave from Linda from January 2023 back to the top of my Facebook feed, which uses a different variation of diamond twill and orients the color variations along the warp

Looking for similar patterns led me back to a lovely four-color weave by Julie from June 2022, which turns out to use the same split-loop structure as the one I’d posted, and includes pointers back to even earlier examples on Pinterest.

It’s wonderful that these basic structural elements — so simple that they’re independently re-discovered over and over again — can support such a wide range of expression as to create endless streams of unique woven pieces of art.

I’ve added another pair of charts incorporating the striped warp shown in Julie’s example — and may a thousand flowers bloom!

Four-Four Shift Twill Rainbow

Okay, this one has to be seen to be believed!

Because of the way the warp loops are hidden under the weft and only peek through occasionally, it almost looks like we’ve found a stash of multicolor tie-dyed loops, or maybe we’ve strung the loops at an angle, or some other kind of trickery — but as you can see from the “on the loom” photos, they’re just regular single-color loops woven in the normal fashion.

This uses the “four-four shift twill” pattern from our site. It’s a simple over-four/under-four sequence, so it weaves up really fast, but the offset from one row to the next is different from regular twill and that’s what produces this effect.

The appearance is symmetrical on the front and back sides of the potholder. The example shown here is pro size, but it should work just as well at a traditional size.

Piglet used a rainbow of eleven bright colors, but I suspect you’d also get pleasing results with a different color palette as long as you used a large number of colors. (This weave also looks good in a small number of colors but it no longer exhibits the startling rainbow effect seen here.)

This is a brand-new discovery so we’re still learning what it can do… If you give this a try, please post some photos and let us know how it turned out!

Offset Twill Rainbows

Here’s a pair of examples that highlights the extent to which Three-Three Offset Twill weave brings the weft to the surface while hiding most of the warp.

Both of these examples are woven using the same pattern, but in one case the color is in the warp while in the other it’s in the weft — and when removed from the loom, the results are dramatically different.

Woven by Piglet in the autumn of 2022.