Putting the Pattern on the Rug

The rug I’m weaving has a design composed of patches of different weaves and texture.  While I’m weaving I can only see a short section of the rug at any one time – a bit of what I’ve already woven and a stretch of the unwoven warp.  This means that I need some way to show when it’s time to weave another of the patches.

I do this by drawing out a cartoon of the rug – a full size image of what I want the rug to look like.  For a tapestry weaver the cartoon could be very detailed and finely drawn.  That’s not necessary for my rug, I just need to know where the patches go and how I plan to weave them.

To make the transfer I wind the warp far enough forward that the whole of my next patch will fit on the unwoven threads.  I pin the cartoon to the warp just behind the fell (the bit already woven), and use a permanent marker pen to roughly trace the cartoon lines onto the warp threads. Those threads will be covered by weaving and the marks then won’t be visible.  Then I remove the cartoon, wind the warp back to where it should be and I’m ready to carry on weaving.

If the next patch is close enough I mark where it begins as well so that I know when to get the cartoon out again.

Here’s a picture showing how it’s done.

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