Handwoven May/June 2020: Dedicated to Draft Geeks

The theme of drafts for the May/June 2020 issue of Handwoven was my idea. Here’s why.

Susan E. Horton May 21, 2020 - 3 min read

Handwoven May/June 2020: Dedicated to Draft Geeks Primary Image

Lyla Agius’s North Light Meets Southwest Dish Towels draft was based on a scarf draft. By playing with color combinations and changing the yarn type, Lyla adapted that draft for her beautiful towels. Photos by Matt Graves

Handwoven May/June 2020 is dedicated to the weaving draft geeks among us. You probably know who you are but in case you need some help:

• Have you ever sat down to look at something simple, such as the number of ends in your draft, and come to your senses several hours later after having played with all sorts of color combinations, different tie-ups, and treadling variations, many of which were completely impractical (but fun!)?

• Will you happily look through a book of drafts with or without photographs of fabric in the same way you might browse an art book? You mark one only to find the same draft, or one very similar to it, marked in another book.

• Although it isn’t always necessary, do you work up plain-weave drafts for your rigid-heddle projects either on paper or using weaving software?

• Do you store drafts all over your computer, in your binders, and on random pieces of paper floating around your studio?

• Do you wake up at night, wondering inane (perhaps?) things such as whether you could weave overshot with a twill ground cloth?

Pigg Towels MJ20 Graves

Diane Pigg blended an overshot draft with huck lace for her Hoosier Huck Towels.

I’ve done and still do all of these things and have no intention of stopping. You will be right if you guessed that the draft theme for the May/June issue was my idea. I’ve been fascinated with drafts from the beginning of my weaving career, when I worked with graph paper, through today, when I use weaving software. The relationship of warp to weft as they are connected through the tie-up and treadling intrigues me. Weaving without the whole concept of drafts would be far less interesting to me.

As I said in my editor’s letter in Handwoven May/June 2020, a draft is to a weaving project as a blueprint is to a building, and I love drafts for the potential they hold.

Weave well,