Twill Wool Scarf

Twill Scarf

A few weeks ago, I visited Avalanche Looms and came away with this locally-produced wool. The yellow was dyed with goldenrod, the blue indigo. I discovered an unused hank of red in my stash, too, which was also a local yarn, and so I put them side by side on the table and thought, “Maybe.”

Twill Wool Scarf

For this scarf, I used a 10 dent heddle on my Ashford folding table loom, and I skipped every other slot to make it 5 dpi. Just for fun, I wove a bunch of different twill patterns and some colorful plain weave stripes. I’ll admit, when this was on the loom I wasn’t certain what to think of it, especially because, once again, I forgot that a floating selvedge can be a friend. Off the loom, washed, dried on the radiator, and with the fringes twisted, I suddenly liked it. A lot! It’s my happy January scarf, something that adds a splash of color to the wintry world.

Moral of the story is to weave with wool. It’s always fun. I really like wool. And the local flavor makes it even more delightful.


A Lull

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I took a few weeks off, but now I'm back at it, finishing the scarf. However, I'm still unhappy with the selvedges. So, I think I figured out why… the pattern is still wonky on the right side as it encompasses the center area of the diamond, where the dark ends or the spiral begins, causing the darks to jump out too much. Also, this yarn is too thick to comfortably loop black over white. The entire thing needs more balance. So, instead of a husband scarf, this may end being a bag for a flute. That way, it will be stitched up the sides.

Diamond Twill Scarf–Do Over

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It's better this time around. I rethreaded the edges to continue with the pattern. I also got rid of the floating selvedge. The bottom half is woven with the black thread always over the gray. The second set is with the black thread under, but only on the right side. I think it looks the best with it over. Lucky thing,  I only have to "unweave" one pattern set. Always learning something new…

Finished: Twill Sampler

I ended up trying about 14 different twill patterns on this first Louet project, a little sampler. Off the loom it measures 5.5″ x 20″, meaning it “shrunk” about 3/4″ in width. Luckily, I kept track of all the different twills by writing them on a scrap of paper, otherwise, I think I’d have to guess to figure out each section. I do remember that one of my favorites was the vertical herringbone. It’s nice to do a sampler because you can see how different the back of the pattern is compared to the front. Some of them are exactly the same, but if you weave one that is either more warp or more weft-faced, then you’ll have a very different back.

I hemmed one end by hand and then used a little dowel to turn it into a wall hanging. Greens and purples… Can’t go wrong with that!

Twill Sampler

Twill Sampler

Twill Sampler



Twill Sampler: First Louet Project


My first project: a twill sampler using four shafts on my new Louet. Writing Louet W30 8 Shaft Table Loom each time takes too long, so from here on out, it’s simply the Louet.

This is actually a used loom. One of the previous owners had marked the center of the reed with a black magic marker… something I would not do to any loom! I prefer discrete pencil marks. 🙂 But this Louet was 1/2 the price of new, so I’ll take the mark and deal with it.

I used a short cotton warp to play around with my new loom and a simple twill pattern. Harness 1 (the one closest to the weaver) is the first strand, harness 2 the second, 3 the third, 4 the fourth, and then repeat. I checked out of the library “A Handweaver’s Pattern Book,” by Marguerite Porter Davison (which I think I should buy if I can find a copy), and discovered several pages of twill patterns I can weave with this exact threading. So, I’m getting used to the little loom by weaving twill variations, and so far I love it. My selvages are messy because I have to hook the shuttle over loose strands. In the future, I must investigate floating selvages, which will probably solve this problem.

It’s really fun to flip the little levers on the top of the loom to raise and lower the harnesses. I’m only using four of the eight, so my mind is going crazy figuring out what’s next for the Louet.

As far as the history of this particular model, from what I understand, the W30 (meaning 30 cm wide of weaving) was once a give-away when an ambitious weaver would purchase one of the huge and expensive Louets. I guess when a weaver would shell out several thousand dollars to get a room-sized Louet, the W30 was just a perk. The small loom was probably used as a sample loom to practice a pattern before going to the trouble of warping the big loom. Because the tower can be taken off and the loom is easily transported, it is also used as a workshop or demo loom.

Since then, it’s been sold as a stand-alone loom, and it can still be purchased from a few vendors, but it’s no longer in production and Louet doesn’t sell it any longer, having put their energy into the sturdier Jane table loom. Although this loom is just what I wanted, it does have a light feel and if you’re the type of weaver who has a heavy touch, you may not want to choose this one. However, it’s compact, versatile and perfect for me.

Project ideas: bookmarks, fancy scarf, new iPod cover… 

Twill on a Frame Loom

Like many new weavers, I've always wanted to try twill on my rigid heddle loom, but if you're like me and have been brave enough to read about using double heddles, special warping, and lifting the heddles in a particular sequence, you may be exactly like me and put it off for another time. This morning, I wondered how difficult it could be. Isn't weaving simply raising and lowering threads and sending another thread over, around, under? Isn't it a fairly simple process to create a fairly simple piece of fabric? If my (extremely simplified) theory would hold water, could it be that twill is (gasp!) simple?

I dug out my little Wonder Weave loom and looked up twill online. I found a very simple pattern on Wikipedia, and started weaving 2 by 2 twill with a needle and yarn. It looked bad, but I could see a pattern emerging:


I then warped my Knitting Board (10"). I had purchased the AKB extenders which turn the knitting board into a frame loom for simple weaving projects. I used the identical pattern from the Wonder Weave, and after just a few inches, the diagonal weave of the twill jumped right out at me:


Basically, the pattern is two over, two under. To get the twill, your second pass will begin with a "one over, two under" then continue with the 2×2 pattern.

Here is a link to the image I used when weaving this:

Experimenting is the spice of life. Now if I could just finish one of those projects on my "big" looms.