February challenge: weave a heart

Weave a heart --warp faced, weft faced, or anything in between.  All techniques welcome.  

Share your ideas and Valentines.


Posted on Sun, 01/24/2016 - 21:27

Well my friend you have chosen an excellent February challenge! I think I shall choose a heart project on my inkle loom. I still have not gotten the inkle loom I ordered way back in Sept & can't seem to get any answer as to when it will be finished.


I do have another one I ordered a couple of weeks ago on it's way. This gives me the perfect project to get started learning how to use it. One of my Inkle books has several heart patterns I will pick from.


And I just put an order in for several colors of 5/2 perle cotton to use with this.Laughing

Posted on Sun, 01/24/2016 - 22:26

Idea for challenge started from thinking about making an inkle bookmark with heart on it. Can orient vertical or horizontal so hair ribbon could be another choice for Valentine gift. Wider band could make a nice coaster. Looking forward to seeing the patterns you are considering. 

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 01:37

I'm in the slow process of moving, and my loom is in a box...somewhere, but I do want to learn all I can, even if I won't be (sob) weaving much in February.

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 01:42

i have neve been in a group such ad this. How does one start and what do we do in a group such as this. Is this for any loom or just Inkle. I have a new one. I have been wanting to do something with hearts on it.  Can we just pick a draft from a magazine or book with hearts or do we have to design our own. I definitely dont know where to start. 

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 02:52

Welcome to the challenge and sharing of our journeys. I offered to moderate a study group about warp-faced band weaving so that I would explore possibilities using my Glimakra band loom. My one attempt to weave letters was not a great success but I think a heart would retain enough shape to be recognizable on a bookmark in time for Valentines Day. 

Thinking about what to weave is a great beginning. Sharing designs and creating simple short term projects that allow us all to learn and share along the way is what I envision for this challenge. No rules and no limits.  

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 03:13

But sadly I do not have an inkle loom.  But I do have an idea for a heart, and I have a hunch that when I see all of your creations, it will be likely to lead to an inkle aquisition.

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 03:29

Can't resist the pun. Inkle loom is not a requirement. I have never woven on an inkle loom. I bought my band loom because it let me have treadles and a floor loom experience while my Gallinger 4 harness counterbalance floor loom awaits my retirement. Many of us need ways to weave while we have limited access to beloved looms.

Needleweaving on a matchbox loom using thrums opens this to everyone.


Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 22:55

I'd planned to start a warp-faced project using a kit I bought for the holidays(Candy cane countdown from Cotton Clouds), but I think it would benefit from a supplemental warp inlay heart. My mother collects hearts, so this would make it an even better gift for her!  I'll be doing it as my first project on my new-to-me Glimåkra Emilia.


Edited for <bleeping> autocorrect.



Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 03:45

Hazel, Your concept is terrific.  I look forward to seeing everyone's designs over the coming days.  

Puzzle for tomorrow: What is the minimum number of pattern and background warp threads for a warp-faced bookmark with a pickup patterned heart?


Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 15:17

inkle looms do not take up a lot of space:-)  I am a believer in that old saw of there is always room for one more!

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 02:11

Double slotted heddle for 13 pattern threads guided the heart you can see on Susan Foulkes blog: 


If you use 2 background warps between each pattern warp and add a narrow border the actual number of ends might be 49 as in the example. If the pattern threads are doubled that would add 13 bringing the total to 62.  Motif, draft, and sample appear on her blog.

13 pattern threads can also be used with 3 background threads between each pattern thread. The link below may inspire changing the number of background threads between pattern threads and help with transferring ideas between this type of heddle and a conventional inkle loom. The sample pattern almost looks like interlinking hearts:


Interesting side note from a standard 8 shaft straight draw twill threading to weave a similarly shaped heart --13 warp threads are required for a single repeat of the heart motif. Adding 1 weft thread brings total to 14, surely a sign that 13 is a good answer for this puzzle!

Certainly not the only answer.

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 16:18

that you mention 13 pattern ends.  It just so happens that I have my mini-inkle warped for some pick-up pattern work that I was doing a while ago and I have 13 pattern threads and I have been able to weave a couple of different heart shapes.  The warp is not true valentine, there are orange and red patterns threads there, but close enough.  It had been a while since I pulled out the graph paper and developed my own pick-up patterns, quite enjoyable. 

Posted on Thu, 01/28/2016 - 03:52

starting date.  I just had some warp left on my mini inkle and decided to see what happened.

pick-up hearts

A couple turned out better than others.  End of the warp tension gets a little iffy on the mini.

Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 01:11

This sounds like fun. I'm working on a few ideas. Let's see if inspiration and time permit! Thanks for starting this.

Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 10:20

A whole month for hearts.  

Welcome inkledpink and everyone else whether or not you have yet posted anything to the group.  Invite your friends, try out a weaving software demo, find your graph paper, play with shape as you weave.  Unlimited fun be yours my Valentines.


Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 18:02

In preparation for this, I've been reading about the Theo Moorman technique.  I am a bit double-dipping - I will count this project also for the Mastering Weave Structure informal study group.  My plan is to put on a dark warp (it will include two types of warp - fine tie-down and a regular warp, prob with bamboo) and use red yarn (for a heart) as a supplemental weft.  This is an interesting weave structure invented by Theo Moorman, and used both for a tapestry-like effect and for transparencies for watercolor-like effects.  I also want to see if its a suitable way to use recycled sari yarn, because my current project using it as supplemental warp is not a good match to my patience ;)

Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 23:39

Excellent idea. Theo Moorman technique with subtle contrasts in light color values takes me back to Florida window treatments.  Deep reds sound very interesting. Varying the difference in values as you audition threads should be great fun.  Glad the effort will be for two goals!

Leftover end of warp on any loom can be great place to experiment with weaving hearts. 


Posted on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 15:28

All right Laura!  Way to get into the spirit.  Well done.

Posted on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 15:41

Laura Fry, you always impress me. 

My house guest is now gone, so I will have a bit of time to get back to my hearts!  My plan is to chop up my woven hearts to make cards for Mom and MIL. 

Posted on Wed, 02/03/2016 - 01:43

Great honor to have Laura Fry join us! The towel draft and weaving are both beautiful and instructive. The photograph shows a range of shape effects based upon the viewing angle. Within the 5 x 5 heart grid, I especially like the shape of the middle row. The two rows that are above the grid suggest arrows to me. Coming back to my band loom, working with a single motif in width, the arrows would be a great design element for a book mark.

Hearts to give away can be made with paper or tag board strips. Search Pinterest for "weaving hearts" and you will see several very weaverly samples.  

Weaving with wire or soft metal strips is one way to quickly create a nice jewelry heart for the right Valentine.

Posted on Thu, 02/04/2016 - 19:21

Looking for ways to foster more interaction in our group.  Sharing ideas increases creativity and can help overcome the small challenges that arise between idea and finished product.  Should we have a design day/week?  We could decide to compare the same design woven with different tools and techniques.  Simple bands weave quickly using very different techniques with different results that could be fun to compare.  I have fond memories of a friend weaving bands on a toe loom using string heddles in the Bolivian tradition.  Variety is the spice of life.  Would small prizes be a good thing? 

Posted on Thu, 02/04/2016 - 22:21

I like the 13 pattern threads for a heart concept.  Does the same number hold if the heart is formed using double weave?  Is it 26?

I will get some cardiac weaving done this weekend - I like this group and am sorry that I am poor at contributing to it intellectually.

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 03:43

Queezle has posed a very interesting question and opened another avenue for thinking since double weave would be a way to make a dimensional stuffable heart!  

Gillianbeads RH warp makes me smile.  Multiple traditions of rigid heddle band weaving made contemporary.  

Continuing to think about Queezle's question while looking at Gillianbeads loom has led me to think about tablet weaving, one weft double weave on a backstrap loom, and Andean Pebble Weave. 



Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 04:13

Hi everyone in this group. Thanks, Francine for inviting me to the conversation. I have never made hearts in warp-faced double weave but it would be pretty easy to come up wth a pattern. The same pattern chart could be used for supplementary-weft inlay. Again, I have never woven a heart in that particuar structure. I liken both those structures to ''doodling on plain weave'' and so it would be easy to add arrows or other things to the basic heart motifs. Of course, warp-faced double weave gives you a pretty thick band and supp weft has some limitations in practical weft-float length. Maybe I will play around with that this weekend when I shut myself in from the Carnival crazies.

My Andean Pebble Weave book includes a heart chart for 16 ends that is sweet.

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:22

My only loom options are a RH and a 60” 4 shaft floor loom and I couldn’t find a heart draft for fewer than 8 shafts.

I'm sure it's not as quick as a real Inkle loom would be but there are lots of band weavers that use rigid heddles “loose”. 

You can see that my tension had some issues at the beginning but I’m figuring it out. The fourth heart is a much better proportion than the first. At the fourth heart the band is 1 1/8” wide. I’m using Wollmeise fingering weight wool.

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:42

Gillianbeads, You rock--the results are terrific.  Rapid weaving process to produce beautiful results is rewarding and could become most addictive!

A warm welcome to bolivian warmi.  Her expertise is matched by her creativity.  

This weekend, I will think up games and prizes. 


Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 15:44

Like your hearts.  I know what you mean about the tension and how it can cause distortion in the shape.  I had the same thing happen on my mini-inkle.  

Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 16:29

what a great band. I have never used my RH for band weaving, I might have to give it a go.


Posted on Fri, 02/05/2016 - 23:57

Thank you all, for your kind comments.

It is fun but I'm very inexperienced...I really have to keep advancing the band to stay in the "sweet spot" for proportionality. I need a smaller shuttle too.

Posted on Sat, 02/06/2016 - 02:19

One of my favorite bandweaving tools is a small condiment/butter knife.  Using that as the beater also allows free improvisation for a shuttle.  A thread butterfly without a shuttle, weft wound around a small piece of cardboard, sewing bobbin, or small spool...  Joanne Hall taught me to weave on the Glimakra band loom using a piece of a cardboard quill meant for a boat shuttle.  I have used pill bottles and film canisters--particularly for multistrand weft that happened to be wound around the container for convenience.  Look at your tools for other crafts for ideas. Netting shuttles are particularly handy for pick-up bandweaving.

In addition to the knife from the kitchen flatware drawer, I have two other favorite sword tools, one is an exotic wood sword that is extremely thin on one edge and the other is a Vavstuga band knife produced for Vavstuga by their neighbor in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, Lamson & Goodnow.

Calling all improvised tool stories--the funnier or more unexpected the better to win our first small prize. 


Posted on Sat, 02/06/2016 - 02:34

Advancing the warp frequently makes it much easier to maintain uniform band width.  Warp-faced weaving thrives on maximium draw-in. When warp threads are spread by heddles, the draw in is obvious in the angle as the threads come together in the weaving (as you can see in Gillianbeads photograph).  By weaving in the same location on the loom, the width is the same.  This is basic geometry.  Fine threads on a backstrap loom may have the least spreading and therefore less of a hypotenuse along which to draw in.

Gillianbeads, after discovering for yourself the "sweet spot" secret of experienced weavers, you are no longer very inexperienced.  Experience  increases very rapidly when weaving narrow bands!

Posted on Sat, 02/06/2016 - 13:14

I use a clip-at-the-edge temple, with the clips attached to yarn that passes over a wooden dowel.  To pull those clips, and get even tension, I use water bottles.  What I like about them is that I can vary how much they pull on the selvedge by adjusting the amount of water in the bottles, and I can make them even by weighing the bottles.

Another improvisation that comes to mind was when I first got my loom.  I didn't have a warping board, and so instead I turned chairs upside down, and used the legs as the warping board. 

Finally, after reading weavolution, I learned that I didn't have to pain by back by leaning over my warping board that was leaned up against the wall.  I found that I could clamp it to a step ladder, and test different heights. 

OK weavolutionaries, I bet you can do much better than these stories.

Posted on Sat, 02/06/2016 - 14:29

Years ago, I was very actively involved in traditional archery and made my own cedar arrows. I always keep my broken ones, it was hard to throw them away after staining, painting my color bands, and gluing the fletching and so forth.  When I went to warp my Archie Brennan style pipe loom I needed dowels and lo and behold, I was able to use my arrows.  I also use one to hold tubes of yarn when winding either bobbins or on the warping board on my winding stand.  Anywhere I need a smooth, pretty dowel I am able to use my old arrows.  Kind of sweet to take one interest and use it with another.

using arrows

Posted on Sat, 02/06/2016 - 16:33

that idea is right on target ;)  sorry, couldn't resist.  I loved archery as a child, the only sport I was ever any goot at.  Back at whispering pines camp in rhode island. 

Posted on Sat, 02/06/2016 - 17:26

that is okay, archery puns are always a bullseye!  LOL

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 01:46

I've been playing with recycled sari yarn as a supplementary weft, but got frustrated with it because its fiddly to get it to advance smoothly.   So I decided instead to play with it by "scribbling" - in Anne Dixon's The Handweaver's Pattern Directory, p. 227.  Maybe if I tried sideways instead it would work better.  I think it was going OK until I tried to do the two hills at the top of the heart.

Here you can see it in context with a few other strands of sari yarn:


No artificial light in my studio yet, so I have to wait till tomorrow to try again, maybe sideways.

heart attempt using scribbling.

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 08:01

Repurposed arrows must make cupid smile so hereby invent and bequeath a cupid award to theresasc.  Group will still be able to vote for other tools through the rest of the month.

I rather like Queezle's freeform heart--very recognizable.  It does remind me a bit of my first attempt at loom controlled embroidery when I took a Penny Drooker workshop.  DH easily bested me with his superior crewel embroidery experience.  The idea of combining techniques and materials fascinates me.  Theo Moorman + Penny Drooker?  Sari + ?.  This may lead to new weaving math code award.


Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 13:29

I think this has potential! It has a SAORI feel to it. I could see many ways of augmenting plain weave and sari yarn is so beautiful.

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 13:31

I've finished my heart band, it's 40" long from a 2 yd. warp, around 10" of loom waste (much better than my floor loom!)
I learned a ton about tensioning, will definitely do more.  I love how the reverse pattern is so geometric.

Posted on Sun, 02/07/2016 - 17:24

My arrows and I thank you for the cupid award:-)

Queezle - I like your heart, I can see how an inlay technique would work.

Gillianbeads - Nice finished band.  I know what you mean about the reverse side - inkle pick-up has some surprising reverse sides to them.

Posted on Tue, 02/09/2016 - 00:11

The fringe effect at ends could be planned with symmetry.  Purpose should guide finishing.  I hate to admit how many unfinished bands I have.  Unless you are selling yardage, the most beautiful band graduates to private weaver viewing.  This could be ok if you use the band as weft (or warp) for another project.  Calling for ideas to share.  Surely there are multiple ideas to take gillianbeads wonderful band to greatness.

My apologies for posting this to project instead of main thread this morning.

Posted on Tue, 02/09/2016 - 11:17

The width varies by 1/16" in the early part of the strap. The last half is nice and even. I was hoping to use it as a vertical accent on a woven messenger bag idea I have.

Since the pattern is unidirectional having it as a strap would mean that the heart is upside down for half of the strap. It's not quite long enough for a belt, too wide for a lanyard.

If I did it again I would measure the halfway point and reverse the heart pattern for the second half to make them symmetrical.

Posted on Thu, 02/11/2016 - 10:59

Hope we have not been sidetracked by more than mailing deadlines for Valentines.  We can share our favorite finishing techniques after Valentines Day.  We need a new contest to keep us at the forefront through the weekend.  

Tomorrow is Abraham Lincoln's birthday and this weekend in US is called Presidents Day weekend with Monday holiday that honors US Presidents through combination of two previous holidays honoring the February birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  Anyone ready for more of a challenge is welcome to figure out weaving a face.  

The person who suggests the best contest for this week will receive a small reward.  I am underwriting the prizes that will be gift certificates from advertisers on Weavolution. 

Please help us keep our group on the first page!  It is not too late to join us.  Weaving hearts is fun and does not take a lot of time or preparation.  

Posted on Thu, 02/11/2016 - 12:29

It's a Danish tradition to make woven hearts for Christmas.  They are usually made of paper...here's a link to a tutorial


I would love to find a way to weave these out of yarn! The bottom part could be any woven pattern turned 45 degrees but how to make the rounded "lobes" stumps me.  Anyone?