Shrinking Your Draft-Straight Twill


Remember when Alice went down the rabbit hole and tried multiple ways to make herself grow bigger and smaller?  Wouldn’t it be grand if we too could make our projects or looms grow larger or smaller?  We often are asked how to weave a kit or project when the loom you have is not wide enough, and we would like to share what we do when we adjust projects to fit looms.

Let us look at making the project you want to weave smaller (narrower and shorter!) first.  You might need to do this when your loom is not wide enough or, horror of horrors, you do not have enough yarn and cannot get more from your favorite yarn supplier.

For example, let us transform our 20 Color Tubular Spectrum Color Gamp kit from the original 34” draft to fit on the popular 26” Baby wolf.

  • How many ends of each color should we put in the warp?

We will use 10/2 yarn for our example:

Originally the draft called for:

    • 40 ends of each of 20 colors for a total of 800 ends
    • sett at 24 epi: this is 33.33” wide in the reed
    • Here is a draft showing the 4-shaft straight twill for two colors, 40 ends of each color:
4-shaft straight twill – 40 ends
Step 1 in shrinking a draft is knowing what you have.  You need to know:
  • the ends per inch (epi)
  • the width of the original project
  • the total number of ends in the original draft

Then, determine the maximum number of ends in the smaller project.

  • How wide is the weaving width of your loom (the width of the reed)
  • Multiply the width of your loom by the desired ends per inch (epi)

On the Baby Wolf loom:

  • Baby wolf loom has a maximum weaving width of 26”
  • At 24 ends per inch, the maximum number of ends = 624 (24 ends per inch X 26” wide = 624 warp ends)
  • And using 20 colors in the warp you can have a maximum of 31.2 ends per color (624 ends / 20 colors = 31.2).
Step 2 is to look at your draft and determine the repeat in the threading.

For a straight 4-shaft twill:  1,2,3,4 the repeat is 4 threads.

4-shaft Straight Twill – 40 ends
Step 3 is dividing the number of available ends by the threading repeat.

Returning to our Baby Wolf Gamp project:

  • We have established in Step 1 that you have a maximum of 31.2 ends per color to work with.
  • For a straight 4-shaft twill (4 thread repeat from Step 2): 28 ends of each color would work.  28 is divisible by 4, giving you 7 sets of 1,2,3,4 straight twill, for a grand total of 560 ends at 23 1/3” wide.
  • Here is the modified draft for two colors showing 7 repeats of the threading unit for each of two colors.
4-shaft Straight Twill Draft- 28 ends per color
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