The Mournin’ Max Weaver’s Challenge toolkit has arrived.

"Mournin Max"

There are four parts of the “Mournin’ Max” Weaver’s Challenge toolkit.

1. The “Mournin’ Max” – Celebrating 100 years of distance learning in hand weaving. An e-book to telling the story of how and why this project came to be. This book also contains my process notes for the design and weaving of the sampler.

2. The “Mournin’ Max” Weaving Challenge Card Deck – A deck of 108 cards that can support up to 6 weavers undertaking the challenge at the same time. The cards are used to determine the colors and patterns that will need to be woven to complete the challenge. The deck has been configured to require weavers to draft the treadling sequences needed to weave the designs. This deck will need to be ordered via this link: https://makeplayingcards.com/sell/historicweaving (link is live)

3. The “Mournin’ Max” – Sample Draft Package. 78 Draft files with nearly 100 drafts in both Treadle and Lift Plan formats. Files are .wif so they will work in most weaving software packages. These file contain the answers for the bonus draft cards in the “Mournin’ Max” Weaving Challenge Card Deck.

4. The “Mournin’ Max” – Draft Solutions e-book. A 36 page row by row solution guide to the drafting of each of the original 23 sampler rows. Each individual weaver participating in the challenge will need access to this book. It can be used as an introduction to the project, and confirmation that the solution the participant provided matches the original design before weaving the rows into the sampler. This book contains the rules and instructions for setup up of the challenge, the materials needed and loom warping instructions, as well as a hyperlinked introductory weavers glossary and a first lesson in draft reading and development.

The “Mournin’ Max” Weaving challenge can be completed by an individual or as a guild study group or full day workshop.

This is a workshop that I can present with my mobile studio for up to four weavers. The looms will arrive dressed for the challenge and all materials will be included in the workshop fee.

“Mournin’ Max” Sneak Preview

"Mournin Max"

“Mournin’ Max” – by Elizabeth Tritthart

Coming shortly to this website’s store:

The story behind the weaving of “Mournin’ Max”, my summer research and my learning while on the road with my loom.

A collection of the “Mournin’ Max” project overshot drafts for both 4 shaft and 8 shaft looms based on the work of Mary Meigs Atwater. Draft package will be available in .wif files for weavers with weaving software, and pdf format for those that do not have weaving software.

A “Mournin’ Max” Weaving Challenge 108 card deck, and a companion Draft Solutions book. Perfect for a full day guild weave-along or workshop. Designed to introduce weavers to the concept of building a draft from looking at a textile.

Who was Max anyway, and why would someone mourn him?

Mourning Max Sneak Preview

“Mournin’ Max” the story behind the weaving

Draft Solutions Book Cover

Draft Solutions Book Cover

Sample Draft Solution Page

Sample Draft Solution Page

Mournin' Max Weaving Challenge Card Deck

“Mournin’ Max” Weaving Challenge Example

Detail of "Mournin' Max"

Detail of “Mournin’ Max”

Double Bow Knot Coverlet

Woven sample of Double Bow KnotAn old pattern in overshot weaving that has had many names over time: Muscadine Hills, Hickory Leaf, Blooming Leaf.  The Double Bow Knot name comes from the leaf like square  that forms the larger portion of the design. The dark square is called a table. Because there are two motifs used the pattern it may be most properly described as a Double Bow Knot and table design.

This design can be woven with only four shafts in an overshot structure. Overshot blocks can share shafts, which is what makes them so efficient. It is a structure that will require you to have planned your design carefully before you thread your loom. The threading typically is the most limiting design factor. coverlet - francis goodrich with coverlet

The goal of traditional overshot weaving is to be able to “square” the blocks as they are woven from the lower right hand corner of the loom to the left most block, which will result in the leaf or bow portions being square also. The coverlet in the photo on the right was not a perfect square and did not “match” when sewn together. This could be from the choice of threads for pattern and weft, and it may also have been impacted by how tightly it was beaten when woven.

DoubleBowknot_Pattern - old drafting methodEarly copies of drafts for this coverlet were written with a different notation than weavers use today. Draft of Pattern from Edward Francis Worst The only threads listed were pattern threads. Weavers were expected to  know where the plain weave threads were to be placed. The draft to the right is a modern version of the draft on the left. All of the needed threads are shown for the pattern. It is read from right to left and top to bottom. What it does not tell you is anything about the needed tie-up or the treadling.

Not to despair, these early weavers knew some basic weaving information that may not be apparent to weavers today. If you look closely that the draft above on the right, every other thread appears on either the first or second shaft, this is our clue as to where the plain weave background will come from. The first treadle will need to be tied to shafts 1 and 2 and the second treadle will be tied to shafts 3 and 4. When you alternate these using treadles you will achieve a plain “tabby” weave. When translating a historic pattern I suggest simplifying it into a profile draft to demonstrate the order and number of blocks that must be threaded on the loom.  When you do this you can now use any block structure you would like.double bow knot profile draft This design can be woven using any loom that can support 4 blocks of the desired structure. This pattern in overshot will require 744 threads. If sett at 24 threads per inch a single repeat will be  31 inches wide when woven. In the photo of the full coverlet above the coverlet was woven with 2 and 1/2 repeats in each piece. The documentation for the coverlet indicates it was sett at 40 ends per inch (epi). It would have likely to have been woven on a 60″ wide loom.

This profile could be woven as:

  • Overshot or Crackle on a 4 shaft loom
  • Spot Bronson, Bronson Lace, Huck Lace, Summer and Winter, Even Tied Overshot, Half-satin, or Bergman,  on an 8 shaft loom
  • Turned Twill, Patterned Double Weave, or Beiderwand, or Twill Lampas on a 16 shaft loom
  • Damask will require 20 shafts.

There are a ton of possibilities based on your choice of profile and structure,  we haven’t even begun to talk color, or choice of materials.

Because of the large size of the profile draft, it is not expected that the coverlet will require a border. The table portion of the design can function as a border if it is placed on both sides of the warp.
Primary Weaving Resources:

  • The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving  Open Page 182
  • Foot-power Loom Weaving  Open Pages 96-97
  • The Book of Handwoven Coverlets  Open Pages 22-23
  • Of Coverlets: the Legacies, the Weavers  Open Pages 347-352

Additional Weaving Resources: (Use Resources search page for a complete listing)

    • A Basic Approach to Designing and Drafting Original Overshot Patterns  Open
    • American and European Handweaving Revised  Open
    • An Introduction to Turned Overshot  Open
    • Contemporary Approach to Traditional Weaves: Overshot and Summer and Winter  Open
    • Creative Overshot  Open
    • Creative Overshot  Open
    • Foot-power Loom Weaving  Open
    • Functional Overshot: Basic Source for Modern Fabric Design  Open
    • Handwoven Overshot Figures on 8 Harnesses  Open
    • Master Weaver Library, Vol. 7: Contemporary Approach to Traditional Weaves: Overshot and Summer & Winter  Open

Drafting Files for Download:

WIF File Download File - Profile Draft Only

Download a Profile Draft to use in your weaving software

WIF Files Download File

Download the FULL Weaving Draft to use in your weaving software.

Zip File Download File - No Software

Download a Zipped (Compressed) file with the Full Draft images of threading, treadling, and tie-up. Does not require you to have weaving software.

Project File Download File

Download a Double Bow Knot Shawl Project. Package includes both a PDF file with a complete weaving draft and a WIF for use in weaving software.