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Doubleweave WAL Weaving Tips

Janet Loupe Davis took my two heddle class at John C Campbell Folk School this summer. I snuck in before class and put a little creature between each of the student's layers. Janet got a Tigger between her layers. She is back for more doubleweavefun during the weave-along and so is Tigger!
Janet Loupe Davis took my two heddle class at John C. Campbell Folk School this summer. I snuck in before class and put a little creature between each of the students’ layers. Janet got a Tigger between her layers. She is back for more doubleweave fun during the weave-along and so is Tigger!

Weavers never cease to amaze me with their good cheer, adventurous spirit, and curious minds. Oh, and how we laugh! The Yarnworker Weave-Along is in full swing. Most WAL weavers are warped and ready to go. Some are already done and ready to warp another throw.

If you aren’t warped yet, don’t sweat it.  There is still plenty of time. This is a choose-your-own-adventure—your speed is the right speed. (See this previous blog post for tips on warping. Pattern errata/clarifications can be found here.)

The official weaving portion of the WAL begins on Friday, September 9 and will last until 22. When those two layers appear, it is nothing short of magical! Here are a few weaving tips to help you work that doubleweave magic.

Start On the Opposite Side of the Accent Stripe

A few warpers loaded their accent stripe on the right instead of the left. Step 2 was unclear as to which side to start on. If your stripe is on the right, no worries, just start weaving on the left instead of the right as indicated in Step 13. After weaving a few inches, check for a double thread in the fold edge.  You can either snip this thread and remove now or you can leave it in as a spacer if your selvedges have a tendency to pull in.

Keeping a Tidy Selvedge

All the same tricks apply to doubleweave when it comes to selvedge managment: maintain a generous weft angle, advance often, and add weight your selvedges if needed. Keep in mind that the selvedge threads on the bottom layer may not be the edge thread. This blog post goes over selvedge best practices.

Tension is Your Friend

Doubleweave loves good, strong tension. Even if you think you have a lot of tension on your yarn, see if you can give it a few more clicks.  You may be worried about breaking your yarn, but tension is held on the yarns collectively, not individually, so the warp can take more tension than you might think. This will help you get a good clean shed and keep an even beat.

Open layers on one edge

Managing the Bottom Layer

You are flying blind on the bottom layer.  The bigger and cleaner the shed, the better off you will be. You don’t have to use the same-sized sticks on the bottom and top layer. If you don’t have a wider pick-up stick, you can use a shuttle or any other flat, wide stick as long as it is about 4” longer than your warp width.

For most, it is the B shed where the floats will appear. Slot sheds are easier to manipulate than hole threads, making it is easy to dip your shuttle in and out of the shed without even realizing it. Making that shed as big as possible, peeking in the shed every once in a while to make sure you are getting a clean shed, and passing your shuttle through at the widest part of the shed near the heddle, will help. So will advancing often and keep good firm tension on the warp.

Doubleweave Fold
Closed layers on the other side

Replacing Pick-Up Sticks

If you pull out your sticks, don’t panic.  Although I demonstrated picking up from the front in the video for Pick-up Stick A, you can also pick up from the back.  Put your heddles in the down position, and pick up all the yarns that are the same color as the yarns threaded in the back slots.  This is your top layer. If you pulled out Stick B, place the heddles in the up position and slide Stick A to the back of the loom and replace B.

Mistakes Will Happen

Floats will appear, your beat will be uneven, your selvedges may start to get a little wonky.  Don’t sweat it—just keep weaving! You can fix floats after the throw is off the loom. I’ll go over this more when we get to the official finishing stage, September 23-29. Once the throw has had a bath, you will hardly even notice them. Doubleweave is magic and so is water!

This Way Isn’t the Only Way

There are very few things in weaving, or in life, that can be done only one way. I teach you one way to do things, but as you gain skills, you will see there are ways to modify this technique to meet your own needs.

I am so excited to see how many people are tackling doubleweave for the first time and realizing the full potential of their looms. Magic is happening, y’all! Keep lifting those heddles and sticks.


1 thought on “Doubleweave WAL Weaving Tips”

  1. I’m not in the WAL but am reading all the posts. The tips are very helpful and when the time comes I’ll be ready to doubleweave.
    Thanks for doing this, Liz.

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