Friday, 22 May 2020


During the workshop I was asked about bookmarks.  Here are some suggestions and some new band patterns.

The simplest bookmarks are short lengths of woven band with a plait at one end and a fringe at the other. The length of the bookmark can be altered to suit the type of book it will be used for.  I use a fine cotton 16/2 Swedish cotton for preference but other fine yarns could be used.

I have made bookmarks made using darning yarn which comes inside the balls of Jawoll sock yarn by Lang. I use the sock yarn for weaving belts and bands as it is strong and comes in a wonderful variety of colours. As you can see, I have used quite a lot of sock yarn!  These little spools are great as they match the sock yarn but are much finer and very strong.

Bookmark One

Here is the bookmark made with the darning yarn from Yawoll sock yarn.

It is a Swedish pattern and I think it is most unusual because of the colours.

There are 37 pattern threads.  The weft is red. The width is 15 mm,  just over 0.5 inches


Red     2    2    2     1    1    1    1    1    1    1    1    2    2    2
Pink       2    2     1    1    1                      1    1    1    2    2   
Blue                                      1    1    1

Swedish band in pink red and blue

Close up of the pattern

Bookmark 2

Here is another unusual Swedish band.

There are 59 warp ends in white, yellow, blue and pink. It is woven in 16/2 cotton.
Width: 14 mm - just over 0.5 inches


White    4            4          2             2              4             4
Blue          4    4     2           2     2              2      4     4
Yellow         2                         3                             2
Pink                           4                          4

Swedish multi coloured band

Here is a close up of the bookmark.

One end has a plait. Take a look at the bottom and top. When the plait is made, the band curls in slightly. You can mitigate against this if the last couple of picks are woven with the weft tightly pulled so that the band becomes narrower. Of course the band is the same pattern on the top and underneath but I think that the non-curled part looks neater.
reverse side of band

Top of band

The other end is whipped with a small tassel of warp ends.

reverse side of band
Top of band

You can see that the same  happens here. So, remember to weave a couple of picks with a tightly pulled weft so that the band becomes narrower.
There is a further consideration. Try to whip the ends and plait so that the curl of the band is on the same side.

Of course you can vary the design by using a plait at both ends. The bookmark needs to be long enough so that the plaits are seen at both the top and bottom of the book

Bookmark Three

This is a Finnish band. I used a plait at both ends for the bookmark.
There are 29 pattern threads.  The weft is white. The width is 13mm   approx 0.5 inches.  

Two plaits for this bookmark


White    1    1    1    1   1     1             1    1    1    1     1     1
Blue         1    1    1    1    1    1       1    1    1    1     1     1
Red                                             5

Here is the drawdown.

There are lots more patterns in my book The Art of Simple Band Weaving. available from Blurb

Also   In Celebration of Plain Weave.  by Annie MacHale

This beautiful book has lots of colourful bands for you to try.

Do check out Annie's blog.  She has two excellent posts about pick up band weaving.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Workshop Week three: Designing and Recording Stripe Patterns

Here is one way of varying a pattern. 

These two exercises are from the online workshop.  I hope you enjoy these new patterns. 

1.  Analysis of band pattern from Peruvian bag.

Here is a simple bag strap from Peru.  There are only two colours but the four central red warp ends are doubled.  This makes them stand out more on the woven band.
There are 31 warp ends.

Warp Chart.

Exercise 2 from Week 2 

Altering a design by changing colours.

Here is my new design from the Finnish band in the booklet for week one of the online workshop. The original band is woven in wool using three colours, red, white and black.

The original band

I decided to use red, blue and white as my three colours.
Warp and weft is Robin Cotton Glace which is a double knit cotton.

My new design

Total number of warp ends is 41
Warp: red, blue and white   Robin cotton glace, double knit, cotton
Weft: white  cotton glace
The width is approximately  27  mm.

Designing bands

In the workshop, I demonstrated how to use a commercial program to analyse colours in a photograph.  Here is one of the programs that I used.  

I uploaded a picture. The analysis shows the proportions of each colour. These can be made into a simple stripe pattern. 

This is the analysis. 

I joined two halves of the analysis together. I ignored the brown, beige and grey stripes at the right.

I designed this band. I altered the proportions and used only a single warp end of green inthe centre. This produces a dotted effect.
new design for cotton band

There are 59 warp ends in 16/2 cotton. The width of the band is 13 mm. Here is the warp chart. 

Warp chart

Pale blue 8                                                   8
Yellow        2                                           2
Green              6                                  6
Burgundy            6                        6
Purple                     4                4
Pink                            3        3
Green                               1

Drawdown and threading chart

Making yarn wraps.

Here are three yarn wraps made by Durham Guild members on a workshop I ran several years ago.  I brought two boxes of coloured cottons so that after they had made a final choice, they could make a warp for an inkle loom. I asked everyone to think of their favourite colours. 

I have made a chart for the final band. There are three colours and 48 warp ends. It is very easy to record your pattern using this Loom Weaving Pattern Editor

Here is the band on my Swedish band loom.

The Crios from the Aran islands

At the beginning of the workshop and on my blog, I mentioned the red sash of Tutankhamun.

This lovely example of a single colour crios was sent to me by Sue. It is 184 cms in length excluding the fringes.  It was very dramatic when worn. I have been researching the crios from the Aran islands for a number of years. If anyone has any information or better still a picture of an old crios, I would love to see it. There is still so much more to find out.

Red crios from Sue C. 
When I visited Dublin I was fortunate to see a 1936 painting which depicted a crios.  The artist painted the crios in such a way that I thought that it would be possible to analyses the pattern and a weave a copy.

Close up of painted crios.  
This is a close up of a small part of the crios.  It depicts the front where it overlaps so two bands can be seen, one behind the other. Knowing how crios patterns are made enabled me to analyse the picture.

Close up of the crios from the 1930's painting.
Here is my analysis of the crios.  Of course, it is only an interpretation but I like the pattern.
crios pattern from painting.

Here is the crios I wove using 4 ply sock yarn which gave me the range of colours I needed.

Warp ends: 52

Width: 54 mm

The final woven crios.

A Peruvian variation

The coloured cottons used for the bookmark

I thought that I would weave another variation of the Peruvian inspired band using 16/2 cotton.

Here is my variation of the Peruvian inspired design using 16/2 Swedish cotton.
There are 37 warp ends of 16/2 cotton.
The width of the bookmark is 10 mm.

For the central section I used three warp ends of each colour.  This gives a lovely graded colour variation in the finished band.

Here is a close up of the finished bookmark.

I made several bookmarks and a lanyard from this band.

Happy Weaving.  I do hope that you have enjoyed these three blogs about weaving simple narrow bands.

Susan J Foulkes May 2020.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Workshop Week Two: Recording Patterns

In the first week of the workshop, I gave you a small exercise to do.  Here are three bands with the complete analysis.  

Band 1: Sami band 

I am using a commercial band lock 

Close up of band

Total number of warp ends is 59
Warp:  4 ply sock yarn  yellow, red, white and blue
Weft:  4 ply sock yellow
The width is approximately .

Warp Chart

Note that the warp chart only gives half the warp. The M indicates the centre. 

Threading and Drawdown

You can see from the drawdown that one white stripe on the left has 5 warp ends but  all of the other white stripes have four warp ends.  This may be an error in the original pattern or this may be a way of ensuring that the warp ends at the edges of the band  are threaded through a hole.  Threads through a hole are less likely to abrade.  

Band 2.   Japan: another Sanada-Himo band

Warp Chart

Total number of warp ends is 44.
The weft is white cottolin. 
Width approximately  12 mm. 

Threading Chart

Band 3.    Estonia

Total number of warp ends is 16
Warp:  4 ply sock yarn dk yellow, pale yellow and brown
Weft:  4 ply sock yarn brown
The width is approximately .

Drawdown and Threading Chart

Designing using a weave chart.

I made this heddle from coffee stirrers. 

This is a pattern for a band from Sweden in black, white and red. 

I use the PCW weave programme to check my threading and store the patterns.  I always weave a band to ensure that the pattern is correct. 

                            Warp chart

Red          2              1       9       1             2
Black            2                                     2
White                 1        1       1       1

There are 23 warp ends in total.

Loom Weaving Pattern Editor.

However there are other ways of planning a pattern and recording your design.  Here is the same pattern entered onto a very easy to use programme. 

Band Weaving Pattern Editor  

Warp chart

Red          2              1       9       1        2
Black            2                                2
White                 1        1       1

Threading charts

Here are the two charts from the Loom Weaving Pattern Editor.

Loom Weaving pattern Editor: the threading 

Loom Weaving Pattern Editor: the band

The two rows on these charts represent the threading . One row is heddled/ long slot/shaft 1.

The second row is unheddled/hole/shaft 2.
You can use these charts for the inkle loom, a two shaft loom or a standard heddle.

PCW Weave Program drawdown.

PCW weave program

This is the top of the drawdown using the PCW weave program. Again it shows the order for threading the warp ends on a rigid heddle or an inkle loom.

I hope that you have enjoyed these band patterns and I do hope you will try the Loom Weaving pattern editor.

Susan J Foulkes May 2020