Weaving figures in Boundweave

pastors-image-fragmentSince I published photos of my friend Nancy Ellison’s weaving of pastors and sheep, I have had requests for drafts and help from others who want to weave similar pieces.  I haven’t even tried it myself! But I can help you learn to do it with information graciously shared with me.

In the fall of 2016, Jane Flanagan, a weaver and instructor in Bolton, England, wrote to ask whether her student could reproduce Nancy’s “Pastors in a Row” weaving, after it appeared on the Scandinavian Weavers Study Group blog.


It was fine with Nancy, but she didn’t have a written draft or instructions.  Jane figured it out, and two of her students went on to weave pieces similar to Nancy’s.  See them here. This fall, Jane sent me a draft and some notes about her weaving experiences.  PDF here. Thank you, Jane!

boundweaveAlso, this fall at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota I picked up a used copy of Clotilde Barrett’s wonderful book on boundweave titled just that–Boundweave. Her book includes a whole chapter on weaving figures in boundweave. Since the book was published in 1987, but I didn’t see it available digitally, I thought it was worth writing to her and asking whether I could share her information.  Clotilde was very positive about my posting the pages, and happy that weavers would be interested.

figuresWhat a lovely gift! The pdf for Chapter 7, “Figurative Boundweave,” plus a portion of Chapter 6 on krokbragd, is here.  I’d love to see photos of projects you weave, which I will send on to Clotilde, too.

Clotilde wondered whether I am planning to attend Convergence in Reno this summer (I don’t think I will be going).  She plans to attend, so if you run into her, you can thank her personally for sharing her knowledge with us.

My practice of asking authors whether I can share information–because it never hurts to ask–has served me well over time. That’s the way I acquire a lot of the content for the Norwegian Textile Letter.

I am so often struck by the generosity of people in sharing their knowledge. Weavers especially!  One notable failure was last fall when I asked the Dow Jones Company if I could reprint an interesting article I read in the Wall Street Journal, “A Scientist’s Guide to the Coziest Sweaters,” for the Weavers Guild. No problem was the reply, at the special nonprofit 1/2 price deal, it would only cost $825 to post it in HTML for six months ($1100 for a pdf version). So thank you Jane and Clotilde for your instruction.  You won’t become as wealthy as Dow Jones as a result, but you have the appreciation of many weavers.

ADDENDUM:  I noted this blog post on the Facebook “Weaving” group, and alert reader Bill Crawford suggested another resource.  “Don’t forget that Nancy Hoskins has a wonderful book on weaving figures. She has a video also. Book title is: “Weft-Faced Pattern Weaves: Tabby to Taquete.

Also, Ingrid Koch, the moderator of the “Weaving Krokbragd” Facebook group, has posted many great instructional resources and photos in the “Files” portion of the group. When I get around to making my own figurative piece, lack of instructions won’t be an issue!








  1. Hi Robbie, I have done a great deal of work on this boundweave technique since we last communicated and my teaching on the subject has hopefully improved!
    I feel I should maybe explain to less-experienced weavers, that in my original pdf draft, where the lift sequence is shown in the 4 columns directly below the tie up, if woven as shown the images will be upside down! With my limited computer skills it was almost impossible to represent the woven cloth alongside a meaningful weaving draft! It may make more sense if the weaver starts at bottom right of the lift/treadling sequence and looks at the sequence as a block of 4 lifts in which each block starts with lift 1, then 2, then 4 then 3. In other words, lifts are 2,3,4 then 1,3,4 then 1,2,3 and finally 1,2,4. This block of 4 picks is woven 3 times to square the image. The weaver then moves up four squares to the next block of 4 lifts and works their way down through these and so on for the rest of the design. The lift sequence remains the same throughout! What changes is the weft colour order. The appropriate weft colour for each pick in the block is shown in the narrow vertical column to the right of the lift sequence. For example, in the first block, which weaves the pastors’ legs, the first pick (raise shafts 2,3 and 4) is in blue, the second (1,3 and 4) is in green, the third (1,2 and 3) is in green and finally pick 4 (1,2 and 4) is in blue. Three repeats of this sequence weaves “to square” and to make the legs longer the weaver can repeat these blocks as many times as they wish before moving onto the next block, in which the colour sequence is blue, green, blue, blue. This has the effect of joining the legs together to make the bottom half of the body, and so on!
    I hope this helps and does not confuse people! Weavers please feel free to email me at janesflanagan@yahoo.co.uk for any clarification.
    I will be teaching this subject (with slight variations) at the Association of Guilds Summer School in York in August 2019.
    Apologies for the horrendously long and wordy comment!

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