Pattern Sampler

Project notes for miscellaneous patterns Tarot of the Tailors card: The Tool: Good fortune with tools, especially mechanized ones. Materials: Background: 14/2 Euroflax linen in Emerald Pattern: 3/2 pearl cotton in Silver Border accent: Stash pearl cotton scraps, probably 10/2, dusty blue Long-path warp on the inklette, one HEX.INK bracelet, plus assorted pattern tests. Pictures! Meant for a bracelet. May or may not be a good length for that. A thunderbolt for a Zeus band. Full band would have these on either side of his name. Eye and crown for a Hera band. Full band would have one of each of these on either side of her name. Double A, bow and arrow, and tripod for the Artemis and Apollo band. Full band would have either the AA or the tripod centered, with the other and another bow on either side. Haven't decided yet. And since I had some warp left, I tried weaving a tube for the first time. This is done by simply always passing the shuttle in the same direction, e.g. left to right, and then pulling the loose warp behind the web tight later, to pull it into a tube. I like it....

Alphabelt Part III: Off the Loom

The belt is off the loom, and I am SOOO excited! Now it needs to be washed, and I need to buy and install the hardware. I've decided to use grommets, since the pattern turned out longer than I expected, and to part the threads around them. Total length, unwashed: 47" Pattern length, unwashed: 39.5" Notes to self: You're always going to hate the phi the most. Sigma's pretty bad too. Everyone else likes them, so cope. Your obligatory small-error-that-no-on-else-will notice, which you did not see until it was off the loom and you could do nothing, was on the psi. A how-to post for basketweave pickup has been requested. This means there will be an entire series of inkle how-to posts, because I don't do small....

Alphabelt Part II

I've gotten behind on documenting this, so here's a bunch of pictures. Work on the Alphabelt continues! Quite swiftly, even. I can get three or four letters done a day, as long as I take breaks so I don't get those damned headaches. Notes: Letters with diagonals are going to be really wide, and there's really nothing to be done about that. You're not going to be happy with that, but really, it's ok. Wherever possible, use two threads for a horizontal. Wherever possible, only use 4 pick floats. For letters with 2 thread horizontals and 5 pick floats, swap off single pick breaks in the float. When adding a second horizontal to a center horizontal, add it above the center line....

The Alphabelt Begins!

Since I want to do woven bands with Greek lettering, I need a reliable pattern for those letters. To work that out, I'm doing a band with the entire Greek alphabet, which will then be turned into a belt for a friend who's a Classics major. Working this way means that each letter has to be undone and redone repeatedly, to correct mistakes and to refine the pattern. The alpha alone had to be woven six or seven times, and I had a splitting headache by the time it was done. I hope the rest isn't quite that difficult. Project notes: The waist the belt is for measures 36". I estimate the pattern will take up about 32-33", and am aiming for an overall length of 42-45". The beginning of the belt has 1.5" of unpatterned weaving for the hem around the buckle, a 3-pick slit to accommodate the buckle tongue, and an additional 3" of unpatterned weaving before the lettering begins. The draft is a basketweave pickup with 11 pattern threads in silver grey 3/2 pearl cotton, background of black in 5/2 pearl cotton. There's a border of 4 threads of black, 4 threads of blue 5/2 cotton, and another 2 threads of black before the 2 black threads that are the beginning of the pattern's ground. This gives an overall band width of 1". Each letter will be separated by 2 picks of background-only, 2 picks of unpatterned weaving, and 2 more picks of background. I hope that the unpatterned picks will help with the tension problems I've had with pattern threads before. Tension, my old enemy. We meet again. This time, I shall defeat you....

Baltic Pickup DIO Band

Being me, I could not bear to use any of the not-actually-all-that-awesome patterns in the one book I have, so I set out to learn two or three skills at once: Reading a pickup pattern, actually doing pickup, and creating my own pickup pattern. Whee! What a ride! All of the symbolism here — the snake, the bull with the star between his horns, and the Greek letters delta iota omicron, which are the first three letters of DIOnysos, as well as the black, white and red color scheme — comes from the Starry Bull tradition of Bacchic Orphism. There’s a group called the Thiasos of the Starry Bull, which is the main body of people in the tradition, but some few of us keep some practices and not others, and don’t count ourselves members of the thiasos. The thiasos has a blog and a facebook group that I don’t keep track of. You can learn more there. The ritual I’m helping to put on at Many Gods West, which has an Indiegogo running right now, is in the Starry Bull tradition. So, Baltic or basketweave pickup weaving has a drafting pattern like this: O| BBBXOXXOXXOXBBB H| BBBOXXOXXOXXOBBB Basically, while continuing to heddle every other string, you warp two background threads, then one pattern thread, which is much thicker. I used 5/2 perle cotton for the background and 3/2 perle cotton for the pattern. You should always have an odd number of pattern threads, so when you’ve finished the border, lay down one pattern thread before you start the 2:1 warping. Make sure to end with a pattern thread as well. This is what it looks like on the loom: You’ll note my border was black threads. Well, you should always use weft thread the same color as the border, so black it was. Hm. Maybe that wasn’t such a hot idea after all. Apparently the weft needs to be the same color as the background. Undid that, put two white warps on each edge, and went to white weft. Looking much better, huh? Got my little snek going and everything. I can’t tell you how many times I had to stop and take out multiple rows, because I lost track. But since there was worse to come, I was terribly relieved to reach the last snake at the other end, because it's actually less tricky than the rest of this. My bull with a star between his horns ended up looking more like a stag or something. Not sure what to do about the star, but I already have designs for future attempts at the bull. And the centerpiece, delta-iota-omicron, the first three letters of Dionysos. From there it was all downhill, doing stuff I’d already done, just backwards. Fewer mistakes, too. Consequently, it was pretty quick. Ta-da! The finished band. Not too shabby, eh? Closeups: This is the second snake. You may or may not notice that his head is a little different from the first. I tried giving the first one 2 eyes, but neglected to mark it on my pattern, so when I got to the second, I did what the pattern said (which I’d based on one in the book). I think I like two eyes better. Here’s what the back looks like: It’s sort of a negative image of the original. I like the effects on the snakes so much that I’m trying to design one that way on purpose. See, Two Eyes looks even better like this. One Eye just looks sort of sinister. And here’s the pattern as it ended up: Things to remember: Use weft the same color as the background. The patterns turn out longer that you think they will. The pattern threads lose tension faster than the backgrounds. I ended up having to stick a crochet hook under just the pattern threads before I was done. This one is going to be a choker, for ritual wear. Oh, and the other thing I’ve been working on is the woven bookmarks for that Indiegogo....