12 Twills of Christmas: Twill 12

5 January

Tonight is Twelfth Night, the night before the feast of the Epiphany and the end of Christmastide. So for the last twill of our 12 Twills of Christmas, I’ve chosen one which will make a much more practical gift for a new mother and infant than gold, frankincense or myrrh! I used it first to weave a cotton blanket for my niece when she was born (a blanket that is still going strong as she approaches her tenth birthday this year), but it is such a versatile draft that I have come back to it several times for different purposes.

I found the structure in Ann Sutton’s book Colour-and-Weave Design. The draft isn’t given but there is a very clear photo of a swatch so the keen reader can work it out. Again it uses alternating twill and plain weave lifts on four shafts, and at its most basic the structure creates little outlined boxes like this:

What makes the wee swatch compelling, however, is that the alternating yarns are not just different colours, but different thicknesses as well. So it looks more like this:

In fact, what I have tended to do is to choose a fatter yarn for the box ‘filling’ and to use two strands of it, each threaded in its own heddle. This really exaggerates the contrast between the two elements. And, of course, you’ll want to add an extra end on shaft 4 to balance the draft. Introduce a few more colours and before you know it…

This is actually a great draft for using up odds and ends of yarn, as you only need a small amount to fill one ‘box’ in the pattern, and you can group yarns of different thicknesses to make up comparable bundles. So why not start this year’s weaving with a stash-busting project fit for a newborn baby?

First posted on weavingspace.co.uk © Cally Booker

4 Responses

  • Thank you for this wonderful series – 12 Twill of Christmas. Each day I looked forward to opening my email to see what you are offering. Such fun! A terrific gift you have given us. Have a wonderful 2018!

  • Thank you so much. I have loved reading about each of the patterns especially how to adapt the patterns with some simple modifications.

    • Glad you enjoyed the series, Gill! I’m shortly going to pick up the general topic of 8-shaft twills once more, so do stay tuned if that’s of interest…

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