Rose and Star Fashion Pleases Twice – By Lausanne Allen

Just like chopping wood warms twice, Lausanne Allen’s woven Rose and Star Fashion potholders pleased twice: once for the weaving and once (or twice) for giving and receiving the gifts.

A year ago, in the height of not knowing what to expect from our first winter in the pandemic I warped my barn frame loom with what I affectionately called a “gratitude “ warp. It was threaded to this same single block of the Whig Rose pattern, woven to be potholder gifts for everyone on my long list of friends and acquaintances who had made 2020 a more bearable year for my husband and I. Here are some photos to share from my first (blue) warp last December 2020 and a second warp (green) that was finished in mid-January, 2021.

The calming pleasure found in my daily weaving habit grew as did my gratitude list . A second longer warp using a different color prolonged the pleasure as each pad became an opportunity to sample another pattern weft yarn. Each one became a meditation and each one different.

Giving these gifts, whether to the mailman who drove up our long slippery hill with needed packages when we didn’t dare to go out, or to long cherished friends we could now only visit with “virtually” in our winter of self isolation filled my days with a purpose that calmed me.

Weaving these every day on a sturdy barn frame loom became cherished time for me, marked by the steady shoosh of the overhead beater, the occasional squeak of the wooden pulleys and the rhythmic dance of the wooden horses at every press of the oak treadles. A few years ago my husband carved horses, treadles and pulleys for this old loom, so I could remove the shiny polished chrome pulleys that had come with it.  Weaving on this old loom brings such a feeling of contentment. A fresh snowfall provided a sense of wonderland outside my window.

Of course I wove some in each treadling fashion and as I did I tried to analyze why these two different treadling sequences yielded such different results. Your explanation here in terms of blocks makes perfect sense! All I understood then was that if I made a little clock face circle, with 1-2 at noon, 2-3 at 3, 3-4 at 6 and 4-1 at 9 that Rose treadling went clockwise around the circle, and Star treadling went counterclockwise, of course starting from a different place. The clock face made it easy to find my place when interrupted but didn’t explain why in terms of block theory,… As I write I’m feeling the urge coming on to begin a new gratitude list for the shortest days of the year that await us…. Now what shall I weave? Soon the cycle will begin again. What shall be this winter’s gratitude warp I wonder… in what will hopefully be a snowy Vermont again in little more than a month! I think the word is hygge.

(Peggy’s note)
a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). “why not follow the Danish example and bring more hygge into your daily life?” It is pronounced “hoo-gah”).

The warp was a soft 8/4 cotton  “Cottontale” and the weft mostly  three strands of a mercerized cabled Dk  weight knitting cotton, called “Cleo” , carefully wound on a rag shuttle so they would display their sheen,  smoothly lofting up  as pattern weft without twisting. It took a little more tweaking to keep them from twisting when being wound but it was worth it I think. 

11 thoughts on “Rose and Star Fashion Pleases Twice – By Lausanne Allen”

  1. What a beautiful post. You put me right there with you in the barn behind the big old loom. I assume the kitty was purring along with you.

  2. Zulke prachtige pannelappen!
    Lausanne was the first one who put me on the loom, when i was there in Vermont to teach tabletweaving. The loomweaving was new to me. We had so much in common, our age, the violin, tabletweaving, dancer and caller, folkmusic…… strange is that, to find someone over the ocean!

    • I feel so fortunate to have met a kindred spirit like you, simply by seeing your beautiful tablet weaving on a weaving forum and asking questions. Now you are weaving on a floor loom and learning so many new techniques like the form of double weave that is Beiderwand. I am in awe of how your design sense honed by years as a multi-faceted tablet weaver informs your floor loom weaving designs. We certainly are lucky to have found each other! ( After meeting online in early 2016, I visited Annelies in the Netherlands for 3 weeks in mid summer, played music, danced at a folk dance camp camp without knowing a word of Dutch, hiked in the Swiss Alps with her, and delighted in private instruction in tablet weaving–of which she is a master. She came to Vermont and taught tablet weaving at my home to 8 of us from our local Strands group that September. We didn’t waste any time! but in those pre-covid times, anything was possible.)

  3. Loved this post with the beautiful pictures. Perhaps you could do a post showing how to wind the shuttle so that the yarns don’t twist. The effect was lovely.

    • When winding the strands onto a rag shuttle I had to break out of my usual winding habit ( as when winding a ball of yarn) where the hand controlling the yarn is actively wrapping . I placed the 3 yarn balls in separate containers fanned out to my left and collected them in a light pinch with my left hand so they lay flat and stationary. The right hand had the job of holding the short 12” long but 2 inch wide rag shuttle at its midpoint and carefully flipping it it so that the yarn wound on in narrow bands across that width, slowly building a layer at a time. Since one’s wrist can only flip the shuttle about 180 degrees at a time , the shuttle would rest momentarily with every half wrap so I could reposition my hand for the next half wrap. The important part was that I maintained the stationary feed of those three strands while winding on. If you do it the other way, you can only add twist. Try it! It really doesn’t take that long.


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