Monday, June 14, 2021

24-Shaft Four-Color Double Weave Sample Extravaganza Scarf

8 different samples do not a scarf make.

Another name for this could be "The Greedy Weaver Scarf." I've tried so many tieup/treadling/weft yarn variations on this 24-shaft threading that I really couldn't settle on just one sample for a scarf. So I wove a scarf using eight of my favorites -- and even that wasn't enough! But I will wear it with pride.

Also, I will use it as a resource and a teaching tool. I'm getting more and more immersed in the mysteries of four-color double weave: How the colors shift with the patterns, how the colors change depending on what color they're next to (part of the over-arching theory of simultaneous contrast), how the textures change with active yarns in the weft, how the two sides can be quite different, how much latitude this gives for designing. I could go on!

And I will in this blog post ;o) Let's start with the vital statistics: This is a 24-shaft pattern in a two-color extended parallel threading at an interval of 12 shafts. For the warp, I used 16/2 bamboo in rusty orange and a lilac I dyed myself because the color I wanted wasn't available. The sett was 60 epi and there were 816 ends in the warp plus two ends on either side for floating selvages.

Here's what the threading looks like (this shows one repeat out of two):

Because I repeated this once for 816 ends, there's a line right down the middle in some of the designs, which I really don't like, but be that as it may. These are samples! I wanted to play with tieups and treadlings to see what happened.

My first sample -- one of my favorites -- looks like this:

For the wefts, I used a 16/2 cotton in bright turquoise along with a 20/2 cotton in soft yellow, with the following tieup and treadling. (The treadling is just an 11-end advancing point twill.) The result is lots of color -- how many different colors, I can't really count.

Next I tried a tieup that produced a rectilinear design. I learned about it from Mimi Anderson, immediate former president of Complex Weavers, who creates beautiful scarves in four-color double weave. Here's my sample, followed by an image of the tieup and treadling.

Still with me? To keep things moving, I will show you just two more samples with their tieups and treadlings -- my two other favorite patterns.

Another favorite, front

And back

And below, my most favorite (that's a double superlative), which I think I'll use for a garment. The wefts are 16/2 cotton in bright turquoise and a gossamer-fine (20,000 yds./lb.) silk/stainless steel yarn in mint green. The silk/stainless relaxes after washing and makes the cloth pleat randomly thanks to separate "pockets" where the double weave divides into two layers. At other points in the fabric, the two layers are integrated, which allows for a lot of textural interest.

On the top layer of the fabric, the silk/stainless steel weft is so fine 
that you see mostly the warp colors.

On the bottom layer of the fabric, the 16/2 turquoise weft adds a blue cast.

And here's the tieup and treadling.

Thanks for reading! Happy weaving.



Mimi Anderson said...

Wow, Denise! The sampler is perfect as a scarf -- you are really able to show what can be done on one warp! I love dobby looms!

agnes hauptli said...


Denise Kovnat said...

Thanks to the both of you: inspiring weavers with dobby looms. Or maybe I should call you painters....

Linda said...

Hi Denise. Gorgeous, as usual! I had a question for your design process. In the first tie-up you show, the parallel treadles are shifted by 5 down, rather than the more usual 12. And I love the effect it produces! "Five" seems an odd number to land on. Did you pick that number beforehand (and if so, how did you pick it)? Or did you just play around with shifting the treadles in the tie-up until you found a look you liked?

Thank you. Lots of inspiration here!

Linda Schultz

Ruth Henriquez said...

These are all mezmerizing. The piece with the stainless steel weft has such beautiful texture (in addition to great color). The rectilinear piece (with the tie-up by Mimi Anderson) particularly draws me in -- there is almost an overlap effect where the vertical color sections abut each other. I would put this on my wall.

Lynn S said...


Denise Kovnat said...


I wish I could tell you that there was a plan as I shifted my tieup -- but, as you might predict, I played around until I found something I liked. Sometimes I feel like I'm panning for gold ;o)

Debbie Fister said...

I love your designs, but I can only look and admire them. I am liked to 8 shafts and I know I can do a lot, it's not the same. However, I want to understand tie ups and certain weave structures well enough to have a command as to how they work and not just follow a draft.

Laura said...

Debbie Fister,
You can weave awesome designs that feel like this on 8. Ask Denise about her workshop!

Notes from CNCH, the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

  Let's start with the photo above: a series of samples woven on eight shafts in deflected doubleweave by Marta Shannon. It's just o...