Playing with Esme, the 12 harness loom and 12 harness patterns

Note: this is a picture heavy post. And I’m learning about wordpress’s new block editor, which is its own brand of fun. So layout is a trifle simplistic.

In the summer of 2019 I purchased a 12 harness tableloom from Egypt; it came packed in a lovely box, some assembly required. Which also allowed me to learn a lot baout how the whole loom was constructed. Here is what she looks like as I’ve assembled the castle – the structure that houses the 12 harnesses – and am about to tie the harnesses up to the levers that control them.

Esme’s Castle is assembled …

Since then she was assembled, I warped her up, I started weaving, I had shoulder surgery, covid hit, cancer hit, and … just recently I started weaving again. And I’ve been playing with weaving patterns that use 12 harnesses. I’ve been posting quick pics on facebook, but realistically, I would like to start collecting the patterns in a logical place. Like, uh, here …

The first placemat on Esme

So this first placemat wasn’t too complicated, because it was a modification of twill, and I could follow along with my pattern so I knew where I was. Also, I finished this first placemat before the shoulder surgery. And then I started the second placemat …

2nd placemat on Esme

And then I made the colossal mistake of stopping for 2 years … and not marking my spot in the pattern. (So the restart had … issues. And then I made a weaving mistake. And then … yeah. We’ll weave this one off and hide the bad bits.)

But meanwhile as I’m weaving I’m fantasizing about new patterns. Preferably ones that are less fiddly than this one because the fiddly doesn’t work as well as I would like because I’m working with fairly fine thread (10/2 cotton) so that the individual details fade out over any kind of distance. So after some inspirations from (where I had oodles of fun searching for other patterns with the same threading) the next two patterns I want to try are below. The difference is that these patterns are easier on the brain, because the changes are very predictable. Well, at least the first one.

New pattern to try

In contrast this pattern below is very different from the previous patterns, in that it has much longer floats. Now if I was weaving in wool the floats wouldn’t worry me in the slightest, because in the wet finishing the wool always felts to itself at least a little. But the current warp is cotton, which will shrink but not felt. On the other hand, this warp is set at 30 epi (ends per inch) so a 5 thread float is one sixth of an inch long. That’s about 4mm. It may be manageable. Especially if I end up throwing these into the feast kit for placemats.

2nd new pattern to try

Not dead yet …

It’s been a rough 2020, especially after the breast cancer diagnosis June 1st.  Surgery June 4th, extra surgery June 27th or so to remove the infected bits, then one more surgery to install the port just in time for chemo.

We’re on radiation now.

Today I noticed the site had been hacked, for which I apologize: it has been cleaned up with malice etc.

Weaving posts should resume in 2021, when I have the energy to do some weaving.  It may be the most basic of weaving, but at some point I will weave again.


Class Notes for Geometric Drawing

So next week Saturday I’m going to be teaching a class on geometric drawing, using only a compass and a straight edge.  Thought I’d better get some course notes together.  So here they are.

Geometric Drawing 01 Handout

Students, you will need a ruler aka straight edge, a compass, a pencil and quality eraser, and probably one or more pens.  Paper would be really really useful too.


Kingdom A&S 2016 – A “How To Paper”

I didn’t compete for champion in this year’s Kingdom Arts and Sciences championship in Gleann Abhann, which happened this past weekend, but I did enter a somewhat tongue-in-cheek “How To” paper, in which my husband and I discussed the process of choosing an item to enter for competition.

The assumption in this case was that we would choose the item first, and then make it; quite often I am tempted, once I have made an object, to enter the said object in a judged Arts and Sciences competition afterwards, which means that I need to “reverse document” what I did. In all honesty, choosing an item to make first is much easier; this way you have an opportunity to take in-progress pictures, and to adjust your project based on the criteria and guidelines of the competition.

So this is the paper my husband and I wrote:  How to Choose and Entry

Gulf Wars is Coming!

Which means I’m winding off spools of silk for Dixie Weaver, and working on class notes.

I’ve updated the Starter handout by adding more patterns, and have added a second handout with patterns for the Egyptian Diagonals class.  I’m planning on using the old hand out for days 4 (doubleface) and 5 (3/1 broken twill).

So the new handouts are added to the Class Notes section and we’re slowly getting more and more ready.

Losing track of time …

We’re heading to the middle of February, and time has been getting seriously away from me.  Gulfwars XXV is just over a month away, and there’s a lot I have to get done before then.

I’m teaching a week long series of tabletweaving classes; we start warping on Monday, and end on Friday with 3/1 broken twill, stopping to play with simple patterns, as well as Egyptian Diagonals and doubleface before we get there.

Which means I have been writing teaching handouts; it was time to take some of the old ones out and refurbish them.  And I’ve added a new one which introduces some very simple patterns on the same warp you can use for the fancier patterns: Tabletweaving Starter Class Handout.


And while working on that, I also found an old class handout from a few years ago, that explains how to play Rithmomachy (Rithmomachy Class Handout)- a game that was played from the 11th through the 17th century, primarily in monastery schools, where it served as an excellent way of reinforcing students’ abilities to add, subtract, and factor.  I keep wondering if we could reintroduce the game to modern students …