Anyone who knows me very well . . . well, at least as a weaver . . . knows I love the four-shaft weaves. For the first 30 years I wove, I didn’t weave anything except four-shaft weaves. With Marguerite Davison’s book, A Handweaver’s Pattern Book, in one hand and a shuttle in the other, I never ran out of ideas . . . However, Robin and Russ Handweavers had a periodical that tempted me with weaves for more-than-four for a long time.
As I mentioned in my favorite thing #44 (Robin and Russ Handweavers and Warp and Weft), I was fortunate to grow up and learn to weave in Portland, OR. Not only did my high school, Woodrow Wilson High School, have an art room with 15 floor looms . . . I was also a little more than an hour away from Robin & Russ Handweavers in McMinnville, OR.
Even though I was more than happy and fulfilled weaving on four shafts, it was the Robin and Russ periodical Drafts and Designs – A Guide 5 and 12 Harness Weaves that got me thinking about weaving on more than four shafts.
What impresses me is how contemporary many of the woven swatches look! I hope everyone can take a look at some of my favorites swatches below from the periodical and get inspired.
The following link will take you to the entire collection available on-line. https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/dad.html
Deflected Doubleweave – Vol 2., No 6 – April 1960
Red and Black Shadow Weave with Huck lace – Vol 4, No 3 – November 1961
Black and white – Vol 6., No 1 – September 1963
Blue ocean waves – Vol 7., No 1 – September 1964
Six-shaft single two-tie (aka Summer & Winter) – Vol 9, No 2 – October 1966
Eight-shaft huck lace variation – Volume 11, No 8 – April 1969
Eight-shaft supplementary warp weave – Vol 21, No 1 – September 1978
The above samples prove what’s old is new again. I hope some of these will inspire weavers to check out Drafts and Designs – A Guide for 5 to 12 Harness Weaves. If you don’t have a loom with more than four shafts, perhaps this becomes the tipping point to encourage you to consider a loom with more than four.