MWS Chapter 5: the distorted grid

OK, I am jumping the gun by a few days, but I am super excited about this chapter.  The distorted grid is explored here through a variety of different weave structures (laces, honeycomb, M's and O's, and spider weaves).   I am totally captivated by what Sharon calls the spider weaves.  Happy warping, everyone.


Posted on Mon, 04/27/2015 - 20:50


I'm so glad you are excited abou this chapter. I have still only finished 1 of my 2 planned waffle weave samples. I ended up signing up for a weaving workshop in 3 weeks time and need to get one of my looms cleared off and warped up for it!

I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to do that without dragging out the big honking table loom, I think I need to try like heck to get back to that satin warp!!!!



Posted on Sat, 05/02/2015 - 14:05

I think I've worked out what I will use for a spider weave sample warp, but my 10-minutes-a-day have been devoted to finishing up my Swedish weave sampler (I'm super slow at that). 

What do you think about the linen honeycomb shown on page 111.  This fabric has captivated me since the first time I looked through this book.  I think there are tiny honeycomb cell hiding in there, but its been challenging for me to generate the draft.  Thoughts?

Posted on Sun, 05/03/2015 - 19:37

That is stunning!!! The cloths on 112 and 113 are also very beautiful and interesting! :)

I may well have to change my mind about only doing the theory of this chapter!

Posted on Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:36

Busy days have been eating into my weaving time, but finally last night I carved out some "me" time.  I am going to sample 5.22 (page 120), for the zig-zagging weft.  I found some examples of this structure on pinterest that used bright colors, and found those so inspiring!  10/2 cotton warp, and still deciding on the tie-down warp and weft.  My plan is to leave extra heddles in case I want to add additional tie-down warps, and do that as a supplemental warp, just weighting them down behind the loom.  Here is the draft:

Another thought I had was to use two slightly different shades of grey on either side of the orange tie-down warps to try to give it a bit of a 3-D effect.  But I will save that idea for another day.

Is anybody else going to explore this chapter with me?  Is there any interest in extending the time frame so you can participate?

Posted on Tue, 05/19/2015 - 16:53

Take as long as you want! I think I'm going to take the month references off the group description to encourage more folks o join the group! I'm surprised we've st a yed on the proposed schedule this long! :)

Posted on Tue, 05/19/2015 - 18:54

Thanks, Erica.  I think its discouraging for folks to fall behind, and that there is no shame in taking years to complete this book.  Indeed, I think I could spend a year just on chapter 5, its makes me that excited Embarassed.  Summer is also a difficult time for many people, all that great weather out there.... 

Posted on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 11:50

Hi Erica , hi queezle ! Is ist only you two left there outside to work with chapter 5 ? I`m sorry I lost connection, there was a lpt of family stuff etc, but now I want to join again . Just in the right time , I wouldnt have missed chapter five. I am weaving honeycomb-samples - for ages I wanted to that ! My warp ist Nm 28/2 wool , weft mercerised cotton or some rests of vera fine silk. I dont have any photos today , but I will tra to post some in the next days. What about your spider-weaving , queezle ? Gretings   Barbara 

Posted on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 13:23

Barbara, I'm so glad to have you back.  I totally understand the family/life demands that take you away from weaving - in my life it led to a ~ 16 yr break.  Welcome back.

I finally have my loom dressed for the spider weave.  I put on a dark grey cotton warp with bright orange tie-down warps.  I'm pretty sure those tie down warps will take up differentially, and I wish I had a second beam, but I will just have to watch for problems and add more weight for them.

I think I have to be really careful about the pattern weft.  I'm basically just a cotton weaver, but I think something with more give will be helpful.  Somewhere I have a bag of cheap acrylic yarn scraps given to me long ago, and this might be the time to deploy them.  Or I have a bit of wool, which would probably be lovely.

I have a pile of work to do today; yesterday's loom dressing was an embarrassment of errors, mostly in measuring out my warp, and as a result, what should have been a 2h job took all day.  But I hear my loom calling, so undoubtedly I will spend a bit of time, and will also post photos.

Barbara, do you get handwoven?  There is a project in it with honeycomb that was turned into a pillow.  It was very nice. 

Posted on Tue, 05/26/2015 - 07:56

Its so exciting to see the weft bend.  I'm not very good at getting each pick of the thick weft to bend the same as the past, but I'm sure its one of those things where practise will help!  I'm anxious to try some different pattern weft colors, and welcome your suggestions.

Posted on Tue, 05/26/2015 - 05:52

Your sample is so cool! What would you use this fabricfor? Also would you pleaae share it with the group? I hope more people will join and ourprojects should helpthem in their study.

Posted on Tue, 05/26/2015 - 12:11

I've been so intrigued by what Sharon Alderman calls the spider weaves, which are shown on page 119.  Sharon shows elegant fabrics woven in pale tones, where the texture is the main statement.  I became intrigued with the idea of injecting some color.  My goal was to sample the fabric shown at the bottom on page 119, which the book says is draft 5.22.  Well, its not draft 5.22, and I will have to review the errata again - perhaps I've found a new error.  But till it looks pretty cool.  I'm not in love with the orange and red, and I'm having trouble getting the larger weft's tension loose enough, but I have more warp with which to play.

spider weave, MWS draft 5.22

Posted on Thu, 05/28/2015 - 08:20

Queezle, thanks a lot for your tip ! No , unfortunately I don´t get Handwoven any more , but I have some issues of 2013. Perhaps I will find somthing in there? In the meanwhile I did some experiments , not so successfully,I`m afraid ! My warp is Nm 28/2 wool, slightly energized, and I worked the first samples with 18 ends/cm ( ca. 40 epi ) , which was much too dense , nothing happened after washing .Second try was 12 ends / cm ( ca. 26-30epi ) , seems to work better ,but I am not yet content about the result. I used fine silk , a very fine merino/cashmere-blend and mercerised cotton for weft. I will try to post photos .

Your sample looks so nice, queezle , I like the colours ! 


Posted on Thu, 05/28/2015 - 10:03

This is my latest trial. Weft ist silk/steel blend. I will try to post more photos .

Posted on Sat, 05/30/2015 - 22:36

Oexi2012 ,
I'm not a member of your group but I found it irresistible today to not poke my nose in here and what did I find? Your beautiful sample! I think that this has many possibilities and find it quite exciting. I take it the stainless steel is in the brown weft? This is really interesting, and if this is not your final sample I encourage you to keep working on it.
Cathie, who loves to sample!

Posted on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 02:14

Oexi2012 - that is beautiful!  Honeycomb?  I've been super busy with work, and for a huge change, I've been very focused and taking fewer weavolution breaks.  I'm so thrilled to see your sample.

I've done very little work with wool, and so cannot advise, but I love that vibrant blue peeking through the brown.

What does the other side look like?  Are there long floats?


Oh and Cathie - please join us any time. 

Posted on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 11:31

Thanks Queezle! I find Sharon Alderman irrestible! I took the most dynamite structure workshop from her probably 25 years ago. She arrived with her suitcase full of samples. Then proceeded sample after sample explain how they were done . I've never taken soooooo many notes! But can she explain things.
Her book is great, I think it's terrific that you're doing this. Are you going to stay with the distorted grid for awhile or move on to Overshot?

Oh and I see it's a silk / steel blend so that must be the blue.

Posted on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 12:47

Hi all of you , thanks for your encoureging comments ! Actually , I`m not yet really happy with the results, the photos look better than it is in reality. The cloth ist still quite stiff and I want to create deeper cells - sort of more "3-D-effect". I think its an question of density ( is ist the right word? Sorry for my English!) and of course a question of materials. The Steel/silk blend ( yes, Cathie , it is the brownish/grey one, the blue one is mercerized cotton ) ist very fine but probably not fine enough. I will have another try with linen and perhaps even less ends per inch in the warp. In the end I want to get a cloth which can be worn as a scarf - dont know if this will be possible. I`m on the way !

Posted on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:23

Cathie - this is an irresistable book.  Before I moved to Utah 16 yrs ago, I knew of Sharon from handwoven, and knew that this would be a good place to weave.  Surprisingly, I've yet to meet Sharon, but there is a vibrant weaving community here.  

Oexi2012 - sampling is a great tool for learning.  I'm looking forward to your next one!  I really like the color combination you have here.

Posted on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 14:41

I missed out on my local guild's weave structure Study Group, it wrapped up right before I joined. Every one wove at least one sample for the guild sample box. Base  on our experience here, I offered to scan them all to be available to Guild members. Ironically the first box I came home with, by complete happenstance, had the distorted grid samples! Although I did not weave any of these yet, I did study the 20 samples while scanning them this morning. 

I noticed many of them are very dense!!! So you are not alone Oexi2012. One of the nicest samples used 16/2 linen, cotton, and silk. The size was only specified for the linen.

Posted on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:17

To keep the great discussion going, we got right on tgat error message. I think it is sorted now! We will delete the duplicate comments! 

Posted on Mon, 12/28/2015 - 15:38

I've returned to this book and will work through it a bit more.  I think I could spend a year or more just on this chapter, but will force myself to more on.  That said, I have one final question for the group.  On page 111, there are two beautiful examples of honeycomb.  I am fascinated by the one on the left - it is similar to the sample I wove for chapter 1 but gets a similar effect through honeycomb.  However, I've not fully worked out how this effect is achieved.  Any thoughts?

Posted on Sat, 03/12/2016 - 19:25

The honeycomb that captured my attention was also featured in Handwoven - its on the cover of the March/April issue, 1991.  I've spent so much time staring at this, I think I will have to weave it.  It goes after my double-weave experiments, though.  And I think it would make a lovely pillow cover for my sofa!