Designing Echo as Double Weave for 16 Shafts

Above: the front of a 16-shaft drawdown that I just finished designing. 

My inspiration came from Pinterest, where a while back I came upon a design I really admired. It was for 24 shafts and I have just 16 on my Toika, but still I had to figure out what made it so appealing. It was for double weave in an Echo threading and the tieup looked like this:

My first reaction was, "Oh boy, here's one of those irregular double-weave tieups that makes absolutely no sense." And my second reaction was, "How did they DO that?" My third reaction was, "I want to do that!" 
I knew that the original tieup had been modified -- "carved" you might say -- to veer off a straight twill angle for some of the shafts, creating interesting and eccentric patterns in the cloth. So I set about adapting the design to 16 shafts, first by breaking the 24-shaft tieup into two sections, one each for the top and bottom layers of the original 24-shaft draft.
Here's what they l…

Ready, Sett... Re-Sley!

I wove the sample above with a silk/ramie blend yarn -- which I love -- that has a grist of about 8,000 yards per pound. This is about the same as 30/2 silk, which calls for a plain-weave sett of 32 epi. But because silk/ramie has the look and feel of linen, I wanted to loosen up the sett a bit, to give it a lacy hand. So I decided to sett it at 28 epi. It was too loose, as you can see from the photo. The square-shaped motifs (in orange) are flattened, making the pattern less appealing. And the selvages are way loosey-goosey, even for Deflected Double Weave.

Just some background: For these samples, I painted two warps, one in warm colors and one in cool, and created an 8-shaft design in Deflected Double Weave that I thought would show off the changes in the warp colors.
So, for the sample shown above, I re-sleyed to a sett of 36 epi, which was then too tight. The selvages are OK -- remember, this is Deflected Double Weave, which typically has two selvages -- but the motifs are now elong…

Zooming Ahead with Deflected Double Weave

8-shaft Deflected Double Weave sample by Karen Berk.  Warp and weft yarns are 10/2 Tencel/cotton (in fuchsia)  and 18/2 Jagger Spun superfine merino.

Like many of us these days, I've been Zooming a lot with friends and family. All of my workshops through January have been cancelled, so I've begun teaching on Zoom -- in some cases, to replace my cancelled on-site workshops and in other cases because guilds are scrambling to offer remote workshops for this fall.
While Zoom workshops can't replace face-to-face communication and hands-on learning -- not to mention the joy of actually touching a handwoven sample -- online workshops can offer a worthwhile learning experience. It all depends on the investment of the students, in my view. And I can't say enough about the investment of the weavers who took my recent workshop, "Deflected Double Weave for Collapse Fabrics."
It served as a fundraiser for the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center here in Rochester, NY (the teaching ar…

Weaving Psychology: The End of the Warp Phenomenon

I’d like to make an observation – there's a question in there, too – about something you may have experienced in your own weaving practice. I certainly have.Why is it that, so often, something we weave at the end of a warp comes out really, really well? Sometimes even better than the first part of the warp that we planned and wove so carefully?
The photo above shows you one of my favorite end-of-the-warp toss-offs. I'm being honest -- and I hope it doesn't sound boastful -- when I say I love it! And it just sort of happened, with less than a yard to spare at the end of my warp.
I was weaving the fabric below, with Echo and Jin treadlings on 12 shafts. I had planned the colors for months, painting two warps of 20/2 silk and beaming them together on the loom; carefully designing the threading, tieups and treadlings; and dutifully weaving it all up on about 12 yards of warp, using a 60/2 silk weft.

So at the end of the warp, I had maybe a yard left over and I got a little lazy. …

Waves of Color: Double Weave with Echo Threadings

"Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises." Elizabeth Zimmerman
As usual, Elizabeth Zimmerman nailed it: Substitute "weave" for "knit" and that's some of the best advice I can think of in these troubled times. 
So let's look at one of the most beautiful techniques weavers have been focusing on lately (at least judging from Facebook and Instagram and texts I've gotten from friends).
There's this gorgeous piece, from my fellow upstate New Yorker, Amy Parker (first photo shows side one, second photo shows side two):

This is an 8-shaft double-weave fabric woven on 32 treadles with a variety of warp and weft yarns, according to Amy, all around the grist of 10/2 cotton. Each vertical section has 2 colors in the warp and 2 in the weft, so the back side of the piece looks different from the front.
The draft is by Marian Stubenitsky, who generously shared it here on (It looks a little dark in this reproduction, but hopefu…