Woolgatherers' Placemat Project
January to June 2019

Click image for enlargement.
In the fall of 2018 the weaving study group for our local guild decided to do an exchange of placemats. To make them coordinate we decided that all would use the same warp yarn and that we would chose our weft colours from this photo found in a magazine one of the members brought along.

Unfortunately I have no information on the wood workers or who took the photos.

The warp is 2/8 Orlec (a synthetic yarn) from Brassard, in colour "Champagne."


Here it is going onto the loom.

By the end on January weaving had started. All of the placemats are to be woven in twill patterns. All are to have 1-inch fringes and be hemstitched at the beginning and end - which took almost as long as the weaving!

For weft I chose to use a dark chocolate brown for half of the mats and a dark purple for the other half. Everyone's weft was 2/8 cotton from Brassard.


My loom was threaded in a point order - from shaft 1 to 16 back to 1. Before Christmas, when I was working out what designs to treadle, I was saddened to learn that my friend Ingrid Boesel had passed away. She was an expert on twills, so in tribute to Ingrid I decide to use the drafts that she had given freely with Fiberworks weaving software.

The pattern above is called "Endless Twill". This one is called "Orange."

Tumbling blocks.


Maltese. Two mats - one brown, one purple were made with each treadling.

I called this "Diamonds". Ingrid's draft was for straight threading instead of points and made triangles.


There were originally 14 of us in the exchange, and I was running out of Ingrid's designs, so this one is based on a networked twill by another expert weaver, Alice Schlein. Her original draft was for waves on a straight threading.

This is the only pair that is my own design. It doesn't have a name - something like "Random Blocks" would probably describe it.


I had some room at the end, so after two more of the "Endless Twill" I had reached the end of the warp by early March.

Sixteen placemats wrapped around the cloth beam.


Unrolled, they were longer than the distance between the door to Allan's shop and my sewing desk at the other side of the house!

In all that length there were three places with an error caused by a shaft sticking. Those long "floats" aren't good.


They had to be repaired by using a bodkin to "needle weave" in replacement wefts to catch the warps that had been missed. This is the other side of the cloth because it worked better from that side.

All fixed. Once these have been washed the repair will disappear.


Two people have dropped out, so "only" twelve mats are needed. Here are the six designs for the exchange in purple.

Here they are from the other side. Some of the patterns are similar on both sides, others are quite different.


I'm keeping the pair I designed for myself and entering them in the exhibits at the weaving conference in Prince George in June.

None of these have been wet finished (washed and pressed) as we will each do our own set after the exchange, which doesn't happen until early June. I will report again after the exchange!

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