My new book cloth is a variation of a miniature overshot motif called Hopvine. To create my threading I worked from two other drafts. One was “Modified Hopvine” from a sampler from the Hill Institute. The other was “Modified Hop Vine” from Marguerite Davison’s classic A Handweaver’s Pattern Book. The threading from Hill had too many ends in each pattern repeat to suit the scale of my book covers (5.5 inches by 8 inches) so I wanted to make the motif smaller. The Davison draft had fewer ends in a repeat but looked weirdly jittery in the drawdown in my weaving software.

So, I tinkered until I found a satisfying balance in the pattern, and am still tinkering with the treadling. The design consists of two different diamonds, one a longer and more pointed and the other a little more squat and rounded. I am not sure if these are supposed to evoke different elements of a hop vine, for example the leaves and the inflorescences. Or maybe the name of the pattern has a different origin. There are some nice images of hops plants here.

For those of you who recall my emboldening tabby travails of a year ago, you might be surprised to hear that I ran into the same problem of keeping a consistent tabby this time, also. Sigh.

The inconsistent tabby problem is due to the fact that I had an odd number of ends at the turning points in the pattern. I foolishly didn’t bother to check this. After I settled on a threading that I liked, I just derived the treadling based on the twill pairs in the threading. Then I counted the total number of picks in a repeat, and since that was even, I figured my tabby would stay consistent. I actually think the cloth looks very nice anyway, but I have figured out a new treadling that should solve the problem, and will see what difference it makes in my next piece of cloth.

Here is a portion of cloth on the loom using woad-dyed 22/2 cottolin pattern yarn and natural 20/2 warp and tabby weft.

woad hopvineAnd here’s a close up:

woad hopvine close-up

Here’s a piece with a madder-dyed 22/2 cottolin pattern weft.

madder hopvine on loommadder hopvine close-upBecause both of these pattern wefts are a little thicker than 10/2 cotton, the motifs are slightly elongated. I don’t mind this and I think the proportions are elegant.

Unlike my last batch of books, I don’t plan to weave all of these with naturally dyed pattern weft yarns. So, some will be woven with commercial 10/2 cotton and 10/2 and 8/2 tencel, and these will presumably be more square.

Here are two photos showing two different ways to center the motif when cutting the cloth for the book covers. In one I decided to cut through the middle of a diamond, and in the other I cut at the edge of the diamond.

center hopvine motif 2center hopvine motif 1I glued one pair of boards each way so that even though they will be made with the same yarn, each book will be unique.