Painting Two Warps for Turned Overshot: Cat's Paws and Snail's Trails



We all love color, true? And weaving offers so many techniques -- polychrome, color and weave, supplemental warps and wefts, painted yarns, variegated yarns -- that allow us to play to our heart's content.

I have been experimenting for a number of years now, using two hand-painted warps in complementing color palettes in warp-dominant weaving structures, combing them into one warp to achieve maximum color play. At least that's one slightly complicated way to describe it. (A plug here: I hope to teach a course on this technique this July at the MAFA Conference at Millersville University: "Paint 2 Beam 1." We will find out on Monday, May 18, as to which courses will run.)

Among the structures that lend themselves to this technique: Turned Taquete, Echo Weave, double weave, twill blocks (I like to alternate stripes of 1/3 and 3/1 twill) and Turned Overshot -- which is the sample pictured above.

Cat's Paws and Snail's Trails is a classic 4-harness pattern. When you turn the draft, you're weaving on 6 harnesses because you have a tabby ground cloth. The advantage using my painted-warp technique is that your pattern warp is painted in one set of colors (in this case I used turquoise, purple, teal, and blue) while the ground warp is painted in another palette (coral, orange, gold, yellow, and red). It's a one-shuttle weave, and my weft yarn matched the gold in the warp.

Just coming out of a linen workshop with Kati Reeder Meek, I chose to work with linen. My ground warp is 50/2 half-bleached linen and the pattern warp is 14/1 in natural. Both yarns are wet spun. My weft, like the ground warp, was 50/2 linen.

Here are two more views. The sample is long and narrow, about 4 inches wide, because the sett was about 60 ends per inch. Not hard, really, and well worth the effort!




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