Some years ago, my local weavers guild, the Handweavers of Bucks County, acquired a copy of an early 20th century weaving book, 2000 Grund-und Phantasiebindungen für Schaftgewebe, by Carl Hintschich. It contains 2000 weaving patterns originally intended,most probably, for industrial dobby looms with 4 to 20 shafts.
All 2000 patterns are in the same format: 24 by 24 grids arranged 12 to a page. In most of these old weaving books, unless there is an explicit indication otherwise, you are expected to assume a straight draw threading. The page title is the only clue you get to the number of shafts. From there you have to inspect each grid row by row to discover where the lifting sequence begins to repeat. In the copy of the book owned by the guild, some poor apprentice seems to have been assigned the task of figuring this out. Under each grid, someone has lightly pencilled in the unit size of the repeat, as 4 x 6, or 4 x 10, etc. Often it is too faint to read and, in at least one case, he or she seems to have given up, writing only ‘4 x ?’. But in the cases where it is legible, it was a handy check against my own calculation.
It has taken a while but I recently finished ‘translating’ all 100 of the 4 shaft patterns into wif format So that I could weave them all up.
When I was ready to wind that first warp, I gathered an eclectic assortment of lights and darks, heavy and fine, silks, wools, cottons and blends. I like to mix fibers, colors, and textures in my warps, even though it usually means that the beaming process is a bit of a challenge. But the irregular stripes served two functions in this project. First I could tell which side of the cloth was ‘up’ when woven, and second, I could see the effect of a particular set of colors with each interlacement.
Once the loom was set up it was just a matter of choosing a weft and starting with draft number one and proceeding one after the other. I wove two scarves, each about two yards long.
For my first scarf on this warp, I wove the first fifty patterns, in order, with three or four rows of plain weave between each section.