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Madelyn van der Hoogt's, The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers  
Mary Black, The Key to Weaving

The design ideas on this page are ideas that have helped me to design and weave overshot. 

Overshot: A supplementary weft pattern weave.
Pattern = weft floats (pattern weft), background = plain weave (tabby weft), and the third appearance is called halftones.

When weaving overshot, you may notice that sometimes the edges of blocks have pattern picks that spread apart or are snuggled together. In the Blue overshot sample above you do not see this occurring.  The orange sample is linen and in a handwoven cloth from Estonia. Here the pattern weft is smaller in comparison to the tabby. In the blue overshot above the pattern weft is larger and hides the differences. In order to make the blocks appear symmetrical even with the spreading pattern ends -- use an even number of pattern picks in turning blocks (or mirror points in the threading.)

In weaving overshot, I often need to adjust the weaving in order to square the design.

Squaring a Design or making circles instead of ovals. The final samples must be tested at full width.

1. Sett. The sett can be adjusted to make it easier to weave a square design.
Sometimes you can not make the design wider due to limitations of loom size.
2. Tabby yarn.
  Change the size of the tabby so that more/fewer ends will help square the pattern.
3. Adjust the number of picks.
Change the number of picks in some of the blocks to square design.

Using Software

1. Enter threading using keyboard shortcuts. It is easiest to type numbers to create the threading draft.
2. Enter one repeat and then repeat using repeat in software. Add borders last. Use copy and paste and mirror paste when useful.
3. Check using tabby. This will catch some typing errors and is a good first check.
4. Check for symmetry around mirror points and balance draft if desired. Drafts with 'pine' in the name are often unbalanced.

Finding the blocks in an overshot threading/treadling is useful for several reasons. So here is a on screen method for identifying blocks.

Finding blocks to create Tromp-as-Writ/Weave as Drawn In  'block' treadling:

Color blocks: Instead of circling the blocks use color.
Repeat the threading and color only one repeat. Choose four different colors, one for each block.
In this example: Block A (1,2) is red; Block B (2,3) is yellow; block C (3,4) is green; Block D (4,1) is light purple. 
Start with end 1, look at the next end which is on shaft 2. Color the ends on shafts 1 and 2 red until you come to a shaft that is not 1 or 2.
The next block is a B block (shafts 2 and 3) Color Yellow.

Figure 1. Shows overlaping ends at color changes.

Blocks are marked with color. Notice how the first and last thread in each block overlaps the adjacent block.

Figure 2. Shows one repeat colored with no weft. The color helps you to see the relative size of the blocks and the balance/unbalance in the draft. You can also see the mirror points quite easily.

 Download WIF file for these diagrams.

The 'weave-as-drawn-in' weft treadling uses each block the same number of times as the colors appear in the threading. 

Figure 3. One repeat is colored and the treadling is added.


  Weave-as-drawn-in blocks will produce a draft in star fashion.  To weave as drawn in: Look at the number of ends of each color and enter that number of weft picks for the block. The number of colored ends at turning blocks is even, the number of ends for non-turning blocks is odd. This mirrors the tabby at the turning points. 

Once you have the blocks identified you can manipulate the draft to suit your project. It is also easy to see how to enlarge or miniaturize the draft. Do this by adding or subtracting pairs of ends to each blocks. Keep the block proportions the same. For example if you add ends to the larger red blocks, you should also add the same number of ends to the larger yellow blocks. You can look at the balance of the draft by looking for the color balance, figure 2.

Figure 4.  Compare this draft to the one on page 50 of Madelyn van der Hoogt's Complete Book of Drafting.

   Another use for the colored blocks is help in creating profile drafts from overshot drafts. Most overshot drafts are 4-blocks on 4-shafts.

Computer Software Special Overshot Helps.

WeaveIt    as part of the Name Draft tool, WeaveIt will automatically produce an overshot treadling.

Fiberworks Weave as Drawn In -->Overshot; Fiberworks has a choice under Weave as Drawn In the will produce an overshot treadling.

5. Try different tie-ups using the 'wrap feature' in the software. Eight different treadlings possible. Once you have an overshot draft on the screen, you can manipulate the tie-up to see different designs. 


5. Wrap part of the threading/treadling for pattern variations.


Also see the Convergence 2008 handouts under Conferences on this website.



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2007Judie Eatough
Comments and questions about this website should be sent to Judie