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Note: There may be changes to the syllabus during the year in response to student feedback about course content and pacing.

Learning Path 1

Fundamentals of Color &
Designing with Muted and Neutral Colors

(December 2022 through March 2023)


“Dull” colors aren’t dull! By choosing the right near-neutral colors, you can make a piece that gives the visual impact that YOU want – dramatic or calm, dark and moody or full of light, with a clear or subtle pattern. In this Learning Path, you’ll discover how “dull” colors can make fantastically interesting pieces.

You’ll also find out the properties and potential uses for cotton yarn, the secrets of sett, and much more.

Rigid heddle weavers will find this Learning Path particularly helpful, because our structure for this Path is plain weave – making everything applicable to the rigid heddle loom!


What You’ll Learn

Color and design:
      • How to design with a palette of muted and neutral colors
      • Ways to create cloth with the visual impact and mood you want
Design process:
      • An effective visual design process for any woven project
      • Sampling: when, why, and how to sample (and no, you don’t always have to!)
Physical design and drafting:
      • How to calculate sett using Ashenhurst’s Rule/our sett calculator
      • Project calculations: all the math you need to design your woven projects
      • How to use drawdowns as a blueprint for success
      • The properties of cotton yarn: how to use it, its limitations, and when to choose cotton for your project.
Weaving technique:
      • How to wind striped warps quickly and effectively
      • How best to throw a shuttle ergonomically and efficiently
      • The best way to wind a bobbin or pirn.

Practice What You’ve Learned: Wrap-Up Project

Armed with what you’ve learned, you’ll design and weave the final project for Learning Path 1, a scarf in muted and neutral colors. This gives you the opportunity to practice designing with low-saturation colors, and change the yarn size and sett to whatever you prefer.


Learning Path 2 

Tantalizing Twills

(April 2023 – September 2023)



If you think twills are boring, think again! In this Learning Path, you’ll explore a whole universe of possibilities. While you could spend a lifetime exploring twills, here you’ll meet the many members of this majestic family, and learn how to design with them.
You’ll begin with an introduction to eleven different types of twill, touring through straight, broken, undulating, plaited, and advancing, plus six more! (And maybe more than that, if Janet gets over-enthusiastic. She rhapsodizes about twills!)
After you meet the family, you’ll explore design methods for twills: creating curves, combining twill angles in treadling and threading, and expanding and contracting design lines. 
And then you’ll learn how to “chef up” your twill designs, combining different twill families in the same piece, changing tie-ups, and much more.
Last but definitely not least, you’ll also master color mixing in weaving – how to predict and control what happens when you mix two colors, and how to choose drafts to mix or separate warp and weft colors, as you wish.

What You’ll Learn

      • The ins and outs of the twill structure: What makes a twill a twill? 
      • The classic twill structures: straight, broken, dornik, point, rosepath, extended point, and the various “eye” twills (birdseye, goose-eye, etc.)
      • “Sexy” twills: undulating, plaited, advancing, advancing point twills, etc.
      • Turned and block twills
      • How to shift twill angles, create curves, alter tie-ups, and remedy over-long floats
      • Expanding and contracting twills to more or fewer shafts and treadles
      • How to “chef up” your designs by combining different twills in the same piece!
      • How color mixing works in weaving
      • “Color recipes” that create beautiful designs in different kinds of twill.

Practice What You’ve Learned: Wrap-Up Project

Our final project for Learning Path will be a set of four cotton napkins. We’ll give you project specs, but you’ll choose your own colors, pick one of three twill structures to work with, and plan your project in your choice of cotton yarns. (The more adventurous are welcome to design their own twill drafts, but you will likely need your own weaving software to do so.)

By designing and weaving these napkins, you’ll practice everything you’ve mastered in Learning Path 2, transforming theory into practical knowledge.


Learning Path 3 

(Starting October 2023) 


Crackle is a beautiful and versatile structure – and one of only a handful with the design potential of four blocks on just four shafts, or eight blocks on eight! Sadly, it’s often overshadowed by overshot in spite of its many advantages, one of which is its beauty when woven as twill, with just a single shuttle.

Learning Path 3 introduces you to crackle and teaches you how to design projects using crackle woven as twill. We’ll be looking at these topics through the lens of fabric woven for wearable accessories, though they apply to any fabric. You’ll learn how to recognize a crackle draft, how to choose colors for twills with larger scale motifs that overlap and merge into one another, and how to pick the perfect yarn and sett for a luscious wearable accessory.

Learning Path 3 will also take you on a painless first foray into the world of blocks and block weaves using crackle-as-twill’s familiar threading and treadling.

These drafts show just two of the wonderful patterning possibilities of crackle:

8 shafts!
4 shafts!

What You’ll Learn

      • How to use color in twills without a clear boundary between motifs
      • How to pick a yarn to get the perfect drape for a wearable accessory
      • How to design and weave beautiful pieces using crackle woven as twill
      • How to recognize crackle, how to tell whether a twill draft is crackle or not, and why you’d care
      • What “blocks” and “block weaves” are and how to begin designing with blocks

Practice What You’ve Learned: Wrap-Up Project

The wrap-up project for Learning Path 3 will be a shawl in crackle-woven-as-twill. We’ll provide a basic spec, which you’ll adapt as you please, mastering your discoveries in Learning Path 3.


Learning Path 4

(Dates TBD)

Crackle can also be woven like overshot or like summer and winter – two other block weaves that can be woven on four shafts – but without some of the significant design limitations those two better known structures have. Crackle’s short floats, unlimited block size, and one-block-per-shaft potential open up a world of design possibilities no matter how many shafts you have available.

Learning Path 4 takes you farther into the world of designing with blocks and introduces you to the basics of profile drafts (also known as block drafts), profile designs, and block substitution. You’ll learn what profile drafts are and how to use them; how to choose colors for warp, tabby, and pattern weft; and how to choose yarns and setts for compound weave structures.

Finally, you’ll learn more ways to treadle crackle (or overshot, or summer and winter!) than you could possibly have imagined! 


What You’ll Learn

      • How to choose colors for warp, tabby, and pattern wefts in crackle
      • Several treadling variations for crackle and how to choose the ideal one for the cloth YOU want to make
      • The power and possibilities of designing with blocks:
        • How block weaves work
        • How to design with profile drafts
      • Inspirational “recipes” for profile drafts (which will work in any block weave, not just crackle)
      • How to tell which profile drafts can be woven as crackle
      • How to turn a profile draft into crackle woven as twill OR as a block weave
      • How to use Fiberworks PCW or to create simple profile drafts and interpret them as crackle

Practice What You’ve Learned: Wrap-Up Project

The wrap-up project for Learning Path 4 will be a table runner (cleverly disguised as a scarf if you prefer), combining two, three, or four weft colors. We’ll provide a basic spec, which you can adapt as you please, cementing all your discoveries in Learning Path 4.