Confessions of a Novice Weaver–Week Two


After finishing my first sample, I had the basic concept of weaving under my belt. I decided that a scarf would be a good first project, so I consulted Deborah Chandler’s book “Learning to Weave” for pattern reading instruction. Then I found a nifty pattern in my brand new copy of “The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory” and set to measuring my warp.

Confession #4:

I cut my warp in half. I know that usually the method used in measuring a warp is to cut it in two places, once at the end and the other at the cross end. Since I was using warping pegs set at one and a half yards apart I decided to use them as set to measure a three yard warp with the thought that I could cut just once to achieve my three yards.

Confession #5:

I’m not much for following the rules. I haven’t figured out if this method of measuring a warp is unorthodox or not, but it seemed like a good idea as my warp was only one color, it wasn’t very long, nor did it consist of many warp threads (my teacher would probably disapprove of this method). What went through my brain next remains a mystery. I finished measuring my warp threads, and out came the scissors. But rather than making a single cut at the start of the warp chain as planned, they found their way elsewhere. As soon as my scissors began to slice through the threads at the half-way point, I had that horrible, sinking feeling that my brain couldn’t tell my body to stop in time to prevent the ruin of my warp. I now could weave a lovely length of undulating twill that might serve as a short runner (unless I can find someone with a very small neck). Mental note: check twice before cutting.

This week our class topic turned to basic patterns. Judy showed us several examples of the use of stripes, checks and plaid, and we were sent home with instructions to come back with a sample that demonstrated one of these techniques. I decided that there was no sense in not challenging myself a bit, so I gathered up some 3/2 perle cotton in various colors, and set to work on weaving a bit of plaid. I really enjoyed this project. It wove up quickly, and I am quite happy with the end result. The layout of my final piece is asymmetrical, which I find appealing, and the plaid is quite large. I am now mad about plaid, and once my class is over and I actually have time to weave whatever I like, I’ve got some grand project ideas: bags, scarves, skirts, pillows…

Melissa Ludden Hankens

You can find Melissa designing weaving projects for the Schacht blog and E-news. Melissa is also online at and on Instagram as mlhankens ( ).