Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Whig Rose overshot and a small study in pattern weft yarns

Hello, friends. We've had a record-setting month for snowfall here in our part of New England. As such, it seems as though I've spent as much time shoveling as I have handling a shuttle. Alas! On Sunday I spent the day hand stitching hems on the overshot runners that have been on the loom.

Overshot runner with wool pattern weft (the black yarn)

Whig rose overshot with two strands of 5/2 mercerized cotton in two shades of red for pattern weft

Whig rose overshot runner with 3/2 mercerized cotton for pattern weft

I used 10/2 mercerized cotton in ivory for the warp and for the tabby weft. I don't have a lot of experience with overshot and am by no means an expert but I did want to see how different yarns behaved in the pattern weft. (For those of you who are less familiar with overshot technique, it is basically a design in which a thicker, often color-contrasting yarn skips over designated threads in the warp to create designs. See the nice looking wheels and diamonds?) I had some leftover Harrisville Shetland yarn in my stash as well as some 5/2 cottons and 3/2 cottons. I liked the results of all three of the yarns but did learn a few things:

  • 5/2 mercerized cotton yarn, when doubled, creates a  nice color effect when using two different shades of yarn (I used reds).
  • 5/2 mercerized cotton yarn, used doubled, can make for some sloppy floats if the yarns don't slide off of your shuttle neatly
  • 3/2 mercerized cotton worked up nicely
  • the wool worked up nicely although I found that the black yarn really bled while washing.
  • the cotton versions seemed to have more "heft"
The wool was something I'd definitely use again. It has a nice drape. I'd also use the 3/2 cotton again in an overshot pattern. I'd use the 5/2 yarns again only if I felt I needed a particular color effect and/or if I needed to substitute for the 3/2 or wool yarns for the pattern weft.

So, there you are. I've had enough of the overshot for a while and am working on some dishtowels in a nice twill pattern. Photos to follow soon!

Be well,

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