Learning Overshot

October 22, 2021

On this day, I warped an Ashford table loom (16” wide and 8-shaft) with a 4-yard warp of 10/2 mercerized cotton (also Ashford, in Fog colourway) and started learning how to weave overshot. At first, I used some Gist Beam 3/2 organic cotton that I had on hand, but it was really too thick for weft and so I switched to 5/2 mercerized cotton (also Ashford) and it started to work beautifully. What a fascinating structure.

This sampler is from Patti Graver’s book “Next Steps in Weaving” and I believe is the Star of Bethlehem threading. The first sample was woven as written originally, and the second sample was just treadling the “blocks” to see where everything was. Then the third sample was woven in “star fashion”.

After a few messed up tabby picks (forgetting which shafts I raised to make the tabby shed), I settled on the convention of raising 1 and 3 if the shuttle was entering from the left side of the shed, and raising 2 and 4 if the shuttle was entering from the right side.

As I look at the drafts and drawdowns, I am trying to notice where the diagonals are, if and where any circles appear, and how you might tell the difference between “star fashion” and “rose fashion”.

Questions that arise here in this moment: how do you know you have the right combination of warp and weft? How much would handspun yarn or knitting yarn pack down if it was used as weft. Would it work? How do you weave as drawn in, if you don’t have the treadling progression?

So many questions that hopefully more practice will help with. I’m thinking about moving this warp from the table loom to the Mira counterbalance to get some added efficiency of being on a floor loom and hopefully help develop a rhythm to the weaving.

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  1. Renee Berry says:

    I saw the bottom pattern on School of SweetGeorgia’s FB Page and love it! Is it your pattern or where can I find it? I know i could probably figure it out eventually in about a year or two, but I am taking the easy way out, lol.

    1. Thanks Renee! For sure, that’s the threading for “Star of Bethlehem” and the bottom pattern is woven by just treadling four pattern picks of blocks A, B, C, and D. This sampler is the exercise out of the Patti Graver book “Next Steps to Weaving” 🙂

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