I contracted the weaving bug when I first started looking at overshot. There is something about the idea of making circles and curves in a format of 90 degree angles that has always been intriguing to me.
However, I didn’t know the slightest thing about overshot patterns when I tried them. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t creating roses, or stars, or anything really- just weird floats with no pattern structure at all. The above pattern has been on my “to weave list” since I could comfortably warp a loom by myself.
Now that I have designed a little bit and have actually woven some true overshot, let me share with you what I have learned! (And hopefully get to weaving some of the drafts on my “to weave list”).
Most drafts do not have the tabby drawn in to the treadling.
Where I have highlighted in yellow, it says USE TABBY. What that means is that after every pattern shot, you want to use the alternating tabby shot to secure your pattern weft. So when you break down the treadling pattern step by step:
1) Tabby shot: 1,3
2) Pattern shot: 1,4
3) Tabby shot: 2,4
4) Pattern shot: 1,2
5) Tabby shot: 1,3
6) Pattern shot: 2,3
7) Tabby shot: 2,4
8) Pattern shot: 3,4
At first, when I thought I understood this, I tried to weave overshot by using the same weight yarn in the warp and weft.
Which leads me to my next lesson:
Your pattern weft must be heavier than your tabby weft.
So potentially what I wove above would have worked if I had doubled or tripled the pattern weft and left the tabby weft the same. Instead, by using the same weight through-out, made the pattern weft just as much a part of the structure as the tabby weft. Having a heavier pattern weft, allows the yarn to be pushed above the smaller tabby weft, so it covers what is woven below it. This means that after the cloth is woven, you could basically snip away the pattern wefts and the fabric will still be solid because of the packing of the finer tabby weft.
Next post we will cover more of the technical aspects of overshot: how the pattern is developed, how it forms in the cloth, and what you can or can not do with it.