Weaving is all about threads. Which threads go through which heddles. Which harnesses are tied to which treadles. Which harnesses are up and which are down. Make one little change, purposely or not, and the differences can be dramatic.

That’s what happened when I was weaving some cotton shawls. The results are fine, but not what I’d intended. I’ll start with my finished products. First, a shawl of 10/2 unmercerized cotton in huck boxes.
handwoven brown lace shawl

The second shawl on the warp was woven with a half-lace treadling, what I called huckish for my sunset shawls, and a variegated thick-thin unmercerized cotton weft.
handwoven half lace cotton shawl

In the sunset shawl post I showed you the draft I used. Here it is again, since it’s the same draft I used for these brown shawls.
huckish shawl draft

Looks fine. But that’s not what the first shawl turned out like, is it? I didn’t get that all over traditional huck pattern, but instead huck boxes. I’ve woven enough huck that I should have realized it immediately as I wove, but I wasn’t paying enough attention – at least not the right kind of attention. I was attending to having the same number of warp & weft threads per inch, not to what the pattern itself looked like.

After the shawl came off the loom and I wet finished & pressed it I set out to find out what I had done differently that gave me an entirely different effect than what I wanted. It took me far too long to figure it out. Why? Because it was so simple, so little.

Here’s the draft I actually used, instead of the one above I meant to use.
huckish shawl draft 2

It’s easy enough to see how different the fabric will be, but where’s the difference that created it? Look at the red square in this draft.
huckish shawl draft 3

I SHOULD have tied that fourth treadle to harnesses 2, 3, & 4, but I inadvertently tied it to only 2 & 4, leaving 3 out of the mix.

As I said, the end result is fine, just not what I had intended. Next time I might not be so lucky. Then again, sometimes ‘mistakes’ can produce wonderful new weavings.

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