I owe you several blogs, for example an update on the 2023 temperature blanket, the next customer projects showcase, more info for the Garment WAL, but how do I explain this blog? … You can call it a confession of an addict.
Fellow pin-loom weaver Glorian posted a picture of the cutest little purse that she discovered at a thrift store, and she added that she bought it because it reminded her of pin-loom weaving.
A closer look at this stunning little treasure revealed that it is a “summer and winter” pattern, something that has enchanted “big loom” weavers for centuries.
What is “Summer and Winter”?
Weavezine explains it well … “Summer and Winter is a block weave. This means that you can create designs by building up blocks of pattern against a background cloth. Summer and Winter uses four warp threads for each unit of design. These four threads comprise both tie-down and pattern threads.”
On occasion it had crossed my mind to see how such complex patterns like “summer and winter” do on pin looms. Glorian’s post however made me decide to try it out “right now”.
This blog summarizes very humble beginnings. Unlike my usual blogs, this is more a WIP notebook. I hope that sharing my ideas and observations may inspire others to try it out as well, and that together we may bring this beautiful pattern approach to the smallest of looms.
How I Wove my “Summer and Winter” Sample
Block patterns require 4 warps. To achieve that I wove two hexagons on top of each other: The first hexagon is in the pattern colors rose and lavender, the next hexagon on top of that is in the “background” color gray. I used the TexaTURTLE R-regular loom to have enough space in the center for one framed flower. I used DK weight yarn to make it easier to move the threads between layers (I used Yarnspirations Caron Little Crafties, which proved to be perfect for the job). For both hexagons, I wove the first part in rounds as usual, to establish the “warped” centers of the hexagons.
Sorry, no pattern … I counted the threads on the picture and tried to get as close as possible. There is enough space for one framed flower, and I added some sidebars.
Each row is woven twice. First, using the pattern color thread, I worked the pattern by bringing the threads from the underlying hexagon to the top and wove a regular plain weave for each patterned area. Each second weave is done with the “background” color … filling in the background, and diving down under any pattern threads to proceed with a plain weave there for the areas where the background should not be visible.
“Further Research Required” …
The sample is merely a proof of concept, a lot can be improved. For example:
- Proper “over/under” needs to be worked out, particularly when changing colors.
- Pattern writing and charting options need to be explored.
- For the next samples, simpler patterns than a flower in a wavy frame will help to better understand the mechanics.
A Few More Thoughts
- If you are a knitter, you may know the concept of double knitting or reversible colorwork, where you knit two layers of fabric in different colors, and switch the colors between the layers to work reversible patterns. The knowledge that you may have from this knitting approach may come in handy for “summer and winter” weaving.
- This method will work well on square or rectangle pin looms. When weaving, use any traditional warp/weft method (wind the warp only before you weave). Just wind the warp threads to get ready to weave. I suggest to weave 2 rows of plain weave before starting any patterns.
- Usage: Because this method requires a lot of concentration and patience, it is unlikely to expect a lot of people making king-size blanketsl However, as the sample shows, just one simple weavie can be a welcome treat. It’s a great learning experience, and … any “summer and winter” project will certainly make people wonder how you made it!
- If you like the pattern but don’t want to deal with a complicated weaving pattern … you can always embroider it!