The Weavers Overshot Challenge

Weavers Overshot Challenge Game Piece PackThe Weavers Overshot Challenge can be completed by an individual weaver or group of weavers as part of a guild one day or weekend workshop. The goal is to have a sampler that flows from color to color and row to row of pattern (at least different 8 designs) using overshot weaving techniques. The workshop is designed for 4 and 8 shaft table and floor looms. The Draft Solutions book contains both Lift Plans and Treadling drafts. No computer software required.

Time Requirement:
This challenge is intended to take 4-6 hours to draft and weave on a 4 or 8 shaft floor or table loom that has been pre-warped according to instructions.

When completing the challenge using your personal loom there is a minimum weaving skill required: The Ability to Warp a Loom.
Setting up the warp should be completed prior to starting this challenge. This process will require a weaver to determine their skill level for play and prepare a warp accordingly. It is suggested that brand new weavers should start with a loom already prepared for them.

YouTube Video showing some of the samples produced in the Weavers Overshot Challenge:

The Weavers Overshot Challenge has three components two of which can be ordered from Historic Weaving, and the third – the weft yarn can be ordered directly from Lunatic Fringe Yarns

Draft Solutions Workbook –  (One Draft Solution Book is needed for each weaver.) (If you are planning on using this package for a larger guild workshop – please contact me directly for a guild group license price). The digital draft package of files is also included in this package.

Game Piece Pack – (One game pack supports up to 10 weavers)

The Lunatic Fringe Munsell Color Wheel explained:

Ordering Link:   You will be ordering the full set plus three additional colors – Forest, Copper and Burnt Umber in 8 oz cones for a full guild workshop. This cost can be covered with a material fee for the workshop from each participant that equals the individual cone cost plus 1/20 of the shipping fee.


Levels of Play:
Beginning: weavers are not expect to know structures, develop drafts or treadling sequences. Beginners will make use of this book to obtain the necessary tie-ups, treadling sequences and lift plans to match the cards drawn from the Beginning Shuttle Pattern Deck – Rows 1-23. Beginner patterns will be the same across the whole warp.
Intermediate: weavers will be expected to begin to develop textile analysis skills by being able to devise and follow a treadling sequence that match the pattern cards drawn from the Beginner Shuttle Deck.
Intermediate weavers should be able to warp their own looms. Intermediate weavers will be working with a warp that has a reversing motif in the threading.
Advanced: weavers will begin with the intermediate level challenge, but also have the ability to manipulate the tie-up and can design or use a predefined treadling “tromp as writ” that matches the current threading.

Use the instructions for the motif builder to generate a brand new overshot threading pattern based on historic overshot coverlet patterns. Weavers will generate a pattern that will fits the number of threads in their warp, it will be unique to each individual.


Summary of The Weavers Overshot Challenge Learning Goals:
Overshot weaving while appearing to be a simple, even quaint structure is quite important to the understanding of weaving fundamentals.
Overshot is a structure that is part of the twill family. It was discovered that tie-ups could be changed to use most twill patterns.
An overshot draft can be woven on a wide variety of looms, with a 4 or more shafts. Overshot drafts can be woven face up or face down, or modified to include both design possibilities on both surfaces.
The different parts of the drafts (threading, tie-up and treadling) can be changed, and the weaver can still produce a beautiful, useable cloth. The possibilities can be almost infinite. We changed pattern rows, tie-ups and lift plans to demonstrate this property.
In this challenge changes were made to portions of weaving drafts but did not change weft fiber grist, setts, or color sequences in the warp. There are many adaptations that can be made in these areas as well.
Weavers learned about textile analysis on and off of the loom creating a draft from picture of a textile.
Participants who made use of the Motif Builder module also learned how to create overshot threadings from motifs to make an entirely new set of designs to explore.

Welcome to the New Studio

New Studio

Studio construction is complete, and now it is time to settle in and get back to business. Fall is around corner and you know that cooler weather and shorter days means it is the beginning of weaving season.

I will be available for lessons/workshops Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I can be available for a few Saturday workshops this fall as well. Please contact me (406-640-1651) to set up a session for you and your friends. I teach in my studio small groups, up to four students, but I can also make arrangements to make use of a larger space in Uptown Butte for larger groups when needed.

The cost of individual lessons is $25 per hour if you are providing your own loom and materials.

If you are taking a “Weave with me” workshop,  cost is $55, Workshops are 4 hours long and include instruction time and weaving time. You will have access to a warped 8 shaft table loom, and materials to complete a project.

Pre-warped 8 Shaft table looms can be rented for $25 per session. Looms stay in the studio at the end of the session.

I am also open for a weaver to bring their tableloom, or foldable wolf pup and be a visiting weaver in the studio for a few hours. If you need no instruction but just want the company of another weaver, what I ask you to do is give me a call so I can be sure I have a space ready for you.

I can also help you diagnose what is happening with your loom or your project. I do not offer repair services as I do not have a wood shop, but I do have a reasonable tool kit to make minor adjustments as needed.

My fun for the fall will to be set up my looms for holiday projects starting in October, I will let you know what projects are available on the looms and you can schedule your visit to make your handmade presents for the family this year.

Here is my invitation:  Come and “Weave with me” this fall.

Studio has easy access from I90 and I15. Located on South Montana St.

If you want to book a multi day session we can accommodate you. There is a Discovery KOA around the corner in the summer, several nice hotels with in a mile, and if you were into private guest rooms we have a modest one of those as well. Our goal is to have you enjoy your stay and have a pleasurable weaving experience.



Historic Weaving and 2022

View from the West

It has been a crazy start to a new year. The Historic Weaving studio has officially moved from Bozeman to Butte, MT. An in-state move that gives me better access for students and fellow researchers. Butte,MT or Butte America as the locals refer to it is a unique place in Montana, at the intersection of I-15 and I-90, it is centrally located. Butte offers great history, entertainment options, outdoor sport access, and for me the opportunity to have a studio on the Main Street – Montana St. I choose to locate the studio approximately 2 blocks from the South Montana exit on I-90. It is an easy on and off of the Interstate, with two convenient gas stations on the right side of the road. There is also a great coffee/lunch stop on the left side of the road if you are famished when you get here. The studio is located behind my home, and is visible from Montana St. According to the zoning rules, no signage is allowed, but finding the only green building on the left side of the road while driving South will not prove difficult.

Some of the great features of the studio so far: there is a driveway that can handle up to a 35′ Class Motorhome with ease. I am planning on setting up full service connections in case they might be needed. For now I can access 30 or 50 amp electrical service from the outside of the studio. It’s nice to know you can safely pull in and have your own space to rest your head. If you prefer a full service campground, Butte offers a KOA Discovery a few blocks away (Kaw Street – off of Front St).

If you were to fly in: Butte has a regional airport served by Major Airlines: SkyWest Airlines, United, Delta all fly non-stop to Butte.

Currently, we are in the process of setting up the new studio space, converting a 24 x 24 garage into a studio to house the Drawloom and the AVL Dobby loom. It will also include space for the “Weave with me” workshop looms. The studio will be insulated, well lit and air conditioned with a heat pump. Opening is expected some time in the summer of 2022.

If you traveling across Montana or cross country you will want to put Historic Weaving on your itinerary. You will find the new location both comfortable and convenient.

Until the studio conversion is complete, I am not planning on offering classes to the public. I am spending my time researching new historic designs and working exclusively with table looms and working on the studio construction. I welcome visits from friends and fellow fiber artists who understand what it is like to be in transition for a long period of time.

One of my other tasks for the year is to bring to life as a marketplace for handwoven goods to the public. I will not have a retail storefront here in Butte at the present moment. I am willing to market handwoven goods made by artists other than myself. I am in the planning phases thinking about what that could look like and what resources might be needed that I do not already have.

Book Review – The Big Book of Weaving

Big Book of Weaving

The Big Book of Weaving – Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials by Laila Lundell has been my reading selection for the past few weeks. There are books that you speed through and they give you great ideas. This is a book that is perfectly suited for winter months when you can take time to digest a section before moving on to the next.

As an experienced weaver, I was not sure that this book would have many surprises for me. I was wrong. In each section I was able to pick up a new tip or trick that I had not yet tried.

The book is a wealth of information for weavers making use of Swedish style floor looms, there is an excellent write up of dressing a floor loom using the front to back method in which the weaver pre-sleys a reed instead of using a raddle.

Laila also describes in detail the hanging of counter balance horses, as well as detailing the set up of lamms and tying them up.

There is also a great explanation of how to adjust the shed on a countermarche loom.

This book has often been used as a textbook for new weavers wanting to know how to get started with their first floor loom. The project sequence starts from the very beginning using plain weave and moves through pattern weaving. The author presents both 4 and 8 shaft projects for each type of weaving.

Projects that I found quite interesting – “Kitchen Towels with Small Blocks” that can be woven with 16/2 cotton. In this project Ms. Lundell also offers a complete project plan for weaving the bands needed for hanging towels. A great mystery solved!

I found her explanation of reading and writing warp sequences helpful for planning striped warps. She also explains how to adjust these sequences to meet the needs of your loom width and your particular project.

If making a drawdown from your draft is difficult there is also a easy to understand section in the book that describes in detail how this process is completed.

The most stellar explanation for me as an experienced weaver was the section on warp spacing where she explains how you can use multiple ends in warping at one time and how they are to be pre-sleyed into the reed so that you do not need to cut ends or use a raddle to spread the warp.

The author also discusses Rag Rug making and planning and loom set up in detail. If making a rag rug for the first time you will want to review this section before setting up your next project.

There is a section on Warp printed fabric, in which she discusses materials for the dye, and the process of applying the color to the warp in detail. This is a planned future project for me.

I was fascinated by the Inlay weaving technique descriptions:
• H-V Technique
• Russia
• Dukagang
• Small and Large Dots
• Loop Technique
• Kilim
• Crabba
• Half Crabba

There are also detailed instructions on how to make use of a cartoon on a floor loom.

The author explains the use of a temple and the problems that it can solve for you.
The book contains detailed instructions on how to construct measuring templates for pattern repeats and for plaids.

This is a book that I expect weavers will consult often.

Best Quotes:
“Weaving truly is a big journey of discovery!”

“Choosing the right materials for a weaving takes a lot of knowledge. It’s a good idea to train your eyes and fingertips to become familiar with various materials and to learn about their special qualities”

“Producing and comparing a variety of swatches, some good an some not-so-good, will help you tremendously when you plan a new project”

Project Summary:
Kitchen Towels with Small Blocks
Striped Kitchen Hand Towels
Twill Rag Rug
Striped Pillows
Color-Effect Mohair Throw
A Small Alpaca Throw
Small Reverse-Treadled Rag Rug
Cord-Striped Bags
Checked Fabric
Long Table Runner in Rep Weave
Large Checked Rep Rug
Rosepath Band
Cotton Summer Curtains
Bags with Bead Panels
Large Alpaca Shawl
Decorative Rosepath Weaving
Boa with Rya Knots
Slit Rya for a Bench
Dice-Weave Pillow
Double Width Throw
Decorative Weaving with Paper Yarn
Paper Yarn Screen
Warp-Printed Fabric
Half-Linen Mats
Inlay Rag Rug
Old-Fashioned Weaving
Rag Rug x 2
Bathroom Mats
Alpaca Scarf
Four Decorative Sample Strips
Transparent Interior Furnishing Fabric
Furnishing Fabrics x 2
Room Divider
Cotton Baby Blankets
Linen Table Runners and Hand Towels
Coordinated Furnishing Fabrics
Colorful Pillows
Picnic Blanket
Woolen Baby Blanket

Link to The Big Book of Weaving on the weaving resources page:

Book Review – Next steps in weaving

Today, I completed my reading of “Next steps in weaving” by Pattie Graver. I am glad that I picked up this book at my local library because I found it to be filled with a logical step by step process of learning about structures using a 4 shaft table loom.  The Book covers Twill, Color-and-Weave, Overshot including Mok’s Belt, Summer and Winter, Lace – both Atwater Bronson and Huck.

In each chapter Pattie explains the new structure in detail and presents both a sampler project and a functional project for the weaver to complete. The samples are going to weave up in an afternoon or evening, the projects will take a bit longer. The goal of the book is to have the weaver get used to making samples that are completed separate from a project warp, and are used to explore the inner workings of pattern design possibilities using only changes in structure.

Best quotes:

I became a “weaver”; that is, before I was able to progress from “knowing how” to “knowing why”.

My desire to get weaving was far stronger than any longing to understand weave structures.

You’ll gain experience much faster by working on smaller piece and you’ll have fewer surprises when you do move to full projects.



Scarf of Lucky Colors

Hydrangea Bouquet Scarf

Contemporary Overshot Towels

Summer and Winter Placemats

An Atwater-Bronson Lace Table Runner


The project that I will be completing from this book are the samplers. I have been weaving on 8 shafts or more for a while I have yet to explore all of these structures on a 4 shaft loom.

My favorite project to try will be the shadow weave. In this book Pattie Graver provide a very thorough explanation  of how Shadow weaves can be created from twill drafts. I have not seen this type of explanation before.

Link to Next steps in weaving on the weaving resources page:

Book Review – Spin to Weave by Sara Lamb

Spin to Weave - Cover

I have a need to learn more about hand spinning for a planned handwoven project.  I went to my local library and found this book to use as a reference. Things I like about the book,

There many tips and hints on handspinning fiber for weaving – there are a number of projects with details on how to spin the yarn and how to set up the loom, and further how to assemble the project which include patterns, and sewing instructions.

The book also contains plans for a PVC yarn blocker made from 3/4″ PVC pipe.

Noteable projects, I would like to try:

  • Tibetan Jacket
  • Hooded Scarf
  • Kimono
  • Half Damascus Edging


Favorite quotes from the book:

“Spinning yarn for weaving is no more difficult than any other spinning. Take the time to spin & weave as often as your schedule and interest allows and make samples with your yarns.

There will be times when your yarn doesn’t function as well as you would like or doesn’t look the way you imagined, but the more projects you spin and weave, the more successes you will have. Make lots of samples.

Make lots of things. Look critically at your work. Make more. And, as if by magic, one day you will realize that you know just what yarn you want to make, how to make it, & how to weave it into the perfect cloth.”


“There is no substitute for doing the work.

No talking about it.

No wishing or thinking about it.

No reading about it.

No journaling about it.

No daydreaming about it.

No repeating truisms will teach you what the fibers have to say,

Nothing beats doing it!”


Thank you Sara Lamb



Here is a link to the Weaving Resource page for the book, you can find it in your local library or via a ecommerce retailer like Amazon.





The Historic Reticule Project

Historic Reticule Project

The Historic Reticule Project began with a trip to a museum just prior to the pandemic of 2020. It was the last trip I would be able to take to a public venue for the entire year. Little did I know at the time it was the beginning of a time of intense research from my home studio. Follow a researcher’s progress from concept to cloth. The entire process occupied my loom for the better part of 6 months. I was not in a hurry as there was no place to go.  I share with you my candid process videos, the draft files from profile to final draft, *.wif files that you can load into your computer processing software. Experience the designer’s process starting from a historic object and moving to a final contemporary piece of Overshot weaving.

The learning begins with photographic textile analysis, moves to drafting and sampling to verify that the theory is correct before committing to the final warp. The entire package includes 19 drafts, and 9 woven samples. During the process I took time to video my weaving critiques of the work and the learning I had along the way. This a rare insight into what goes on behind the scenes in my weaving life.

To purchase the Historic Reticule Project Package: Click Here

Your purchase of a project or package from this website, helps to fund my historic weaving research. Thank you for your support.

Polychrome Tile Project

Polychrome Tile Pattern

At the beginning of the Pandemic, I found myself spending more time researching digital archives of some of the best Internet sites. I came across pictures of buildings that lead me to believe the architects where inspired by weaving drafts. I set about figuring out what type of draft the designers were looking at and developed a project to recreate it.

The project is for a table runner. The project can be woven on an 8 shaft table or floor loom. The project includes both WIF files and PDF copies of the draft for those that are not using weaving software.

Included in the package is a basic warp calculation for the materials needed to complete the project if you set it up as I did.

Click Here to purchase the downloadable package for The Polychrome Tile Project

Polychrome Tile Project

100 Horizontal Stripes Project – using stripes to create handwoven Christmas ornaments

100 Horizontal Sripes Cover Shot

Need to make something unique for your weaving friends and family this year? I have new project plan just for you. Using horizontal stripe patterns you can create a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with one of a kind handwoven ornaments that you design and personalize.

Over 100 patterns and drafts to launch your imagination, with no upper limit to the designs you can create on your own. There are no loom size or shaft restrictions to to hold you back, every pattern can be woven on every loom, by any weaver regardless of skill and experience.

Package includes instructions, 100 drafts in .WIF format, and a new painless pickup format that uses Microsoft Excel. No worry about having drafts that are too small to read, with Excel you can enlarge them easily without a loss of resolution.

With more than 100 drafts you will also get a digital catalogue PDF of the draft files and photos of each draft as it was woven to use as an index to the draft collection.

Tree Project ExampleMoose ExampleClick to purchase your copy of 100 Horizontal Stripes Project:

Just Getting Started Weaving?

Are you a new weaver?

Are you confused as to how to get started?

There are now four online instruction modules available from Historic Weaving designed to ease you into the weaving world.

I use these modules when I teach in person with my mobile weaving studio.  The looms I use for my instruction in my mobile studio are Ashford “Katie” table looms. While the looms are small in scale and quite portable, the methods that I present are the same ones used by professional weavers weaving on large looms. I present new tools with the methods to save time and effort and provide excellent results.

Clicking the links below will take you to the shop pages for the individual products:

Illustrated Weaving Glossary

Warp Calculator

Getting Warped

Drafting Solutions

New online instruction – Getting Warped

Getting Warped

Do you struggle with warping your table loom? Would you like to reduce the time it takes to warp your next project  while reducing threading errors and tension issues?

Learning to warp front to back can make your weaving look better and be less stressful. Spend more time designing and weaving than you do dressing the loom.

This method of warping works for both table looms and floor looms.

The illustrated guide contains many photos fully document the process and tools.

Instruction includes an example project to ensure you have the chance to practice your new weaving skills.

The concept of project planning is included and you can see how a warp calculated project worksheet is used to build a warp.

Click here to purchase – Getting Warped

Openings for Getting Warped

Getting Warped

Getting Warped

Local weavers, I have found there are 2 spots open in the next running of Getting Warped (April 12/13) and in the Historical Horizontal Stripes (April 26/27) Adult Continuing Education classes running through Bozeman Adult Education.


What will you learn:

Getting Warped: Beginning Warp Calculations (planning the warp). Using a Vertical Warping Mill, and Front to Back Warping on a table loom using the reed. You will plan, warp a loom and weave a project in 4 hours of class time


Historic Horizontal Stripes: How they were used and where to find them using Art pieces on display in museums, and online research. Discover how they were created using standard looms, not just tablet weaving or drawlooms. Learn about the earliest weaving books and what they have to offer to weavers today. Learn new weaving techniques using loom control and pickup without pain. You will also weave horizontal stripes of your own during 4 hours of class time.


Time and Location Mon/Tue 6pm to 8 pm, at the Willson School on the second floor. (Accessible as there is an elevator if needed).


Cost of workshop is $47. Looms and materials and handouts are provided.


To Register: look on the list on the left side of the page. It’s about half way down.

Weave with me – Adult Continuing Education – 2021 Spring Classes

Weave with Me - Historic Weaving

I am once again teaching through the Bozeman Adult Community Education Program- Spring Semester

Three courses are being offered, there is limited availability (4 students per course). This allows for social distancing and one on one instruction. Instructor is vaccinated!

The courses are very affordable for students – $47, this include 4 hours of lesson and studio time, rental loom and all weaving materials, and handouts.

Students bring home their completed weaving at the end of the second session.

The course is non refundable once you are enrolled, but that is because I spend the money up front to equip the looms and prepare the studio for your arrival.

Location of the course will be in the Willson School on Main Street in Bozeman. There is good access and parking, and an elevator if needed.

Course Names and Dates & Times

Apr 5 & 6  6pm – 8 pm  – Let’s Get Started Weaving  – The beginner’s course, if you have not woven before start here. Learn how to weave on a table loom.

Apr 12 & 13 6pm – 8 pm – Getting Warped – Learn how to use a warping mill and how to warp a table loom from front to back. Will also address warp calculation, learning how to estimate the materials you need to complete a project. You need to have woven before taking this class. (This is the second course in series)

Apr 26 & 27  6pm – 8 pm – Historic Horizontal Stripes – Learn about early weavers worked with stripes and bands. All can be woven on a simple table loom. This is a technique course, you will be learning easy ways to do pick-up weaving. You need to have completed the first course – Let’s Get Started Weaving prior to taking this class, or have some prior weaving experience.

If you are new weaver – you can get up to 12 hours of instruction and loom time for under $150 with a weaving instructor with more than 25 years of weaving experience, a bargain!

If these dates do not work for you and you want instruction this summer, I am offering opportunities to learn outdoors on my deck at the studio so that you do not have concerns about COVID transmission. Contact me via email  or message me for details.

Where to register for the April classes:





Weaving a Ribbon Heart

Weaving a Ribbon Heart Project - By Historic Weaving

Weaving a Ribbon HeartHistory shows that complex images can be woven on simple looms.

Follow the Historic Weaver on her journey through time to create a striking heart image on a table loom that rivals any produced on a drawloom.

  • Discover early pattern books for needlework that contain weaving drafts
  • Learn how to set up a table loom for complex block unit weaving
  • Explore techniques for successfully positioning an image in the warp
  • Combine loom control structure techniques and pick up block weaving

The Weaving a Ribbon Heart project can be woven by an experienced weaver using a simple table loom (4 or 8 shafts), or a drawloom that has 20 or more draw shafts.

There is no fancy equipment to buy, this project made use of knitting needles, and E-Z Bob embroidery floss holders.

There are step by step instructions (27 page book) with detailed pictures to guide you through all the techniques used in the project. The package includes 11 pattern drafts, and a template for creating custom pickup drafts.

Click here to purchase the downloadable project instructions.  Weaving a Ribbon Heart

I have been busy since Covid hit, while I have not been on the road teaching, I have been hard at work in the studio, researching, weaving and developing new tools to make your weaving experience easier. Weaving a Ribbon heart is a project that I completed for Valentine’s Day this year, and I thought it would serve as an excellent way for you to learn about what I have been up to while being isolated at home waiting for the vaccine to come.

This design is suitable for a card, a picture frame, or a table cloth.




What is so different about the Weaving with Excel Warp Calculator?

A totally new approach to design and warp planning – beginning with allowing the weaver to select the item they want to weave and the system providing standard dimensions for the item which the weaver can adjust manually.

Weavers are able to select the fibers they want to use for the project warp and weft, and the system will computes a range of setts to select from based on previous projects. Weavers make the final selection of sett to use.

Weavers are given a listing of reeds that can generate the sett they are looking for, and the weaver inputs reed size they want to use.

The calculator generates the sley order for the reed selected.

There are two types of warp calculation worksheets – a simple warp, supporting quick estimates of warps with up to four types of fibers and a detailed warp calculator that supports sectional warping, multiple threads in dents, support for borders, motif and selveges, hemming, fringes, and utilization of sampling results for shrinkage and draw-in.

Both Metric and English system of units are supported.

Both Warp Calculators also help weavers price their goods for sale.  All weavers have overhead costs, but often overlook using them in a pricing model because they might be complex, using the Weaver’s Overhead Calculator worksheet gets rid of the hard work and helps a weaver to know their hourly cost of overhead.

The best part of this new type of warp calculator, there are a number of customizable tables that the weaver can personalize to support their individual studio practices, standard sizing, warp material references, material pairings, and material costs. The warp calculator also includes a Reed Substitution Table for both English and Metric Reeds making finding the correct sleying order easy.

How can this system be used by a professional weaver? It is a fast way to estimate the profitability of an item even before sampling.

All of this functionality for $5. It will pay for itself on your first warp.

Click here to purchase the Warp Calculator