3 - Secrets to Columns and Checkerboards

Columns and Checkerboards, it's one of those things you look at and say, "I'll never be able to do that", but like in most things if you know the tricks it's a piece of cake.  So let's do this cake walk. 

First Secret Revealed:   you must learn to count.

Count out the pattern you're attempting.  How many stakes does it require?  How many times do you want to repeat that pattern in your basket?  Does the design require a LOT of stakes because that will limit the amount of repetitions available unless you want to make the basket larger.

In the African Tower basket the stakes required for the pattern to occur is 40.  It has 5 checkerboard stakes and 5 column stakes that create the pattern.  This design occurs as result of twining with 2 different colors.  One light and one dark.  MAKE SURE that the colors you choose CONTRAST or the colors will blend and you won't be able to see the pattern.

Second Secret Revealed:  a double over changes the pattern.

If you look close you will see that a double over has occurred within the pattern and that is what makes the change in pattern occur.  So what is a double over?   A double over is a TWINED stroke that goes in front of TWO as well as behind TWO (versus a regular twine of in front of one - behind one). 


Third Secret Revealed:  the pattern changes every two rows.

The pattern becomes apparent in FOUR rows of weaving, we'll call these 4 rows  - ONE SET.  The first row of this twined pattern begins with  a double over with a natural weaver in this case.  When you choose the double over color that color will ALWAYS be the DOUBLE OVER color through out the pattern.  The DOUBLE OVER is followed by three normal twines and this pattern is repeated for the first row of weaving.  The SECOND row of weaving pattern is a duplicate of the first with DOUBLE OVERS followed by three normal twines. So it's like, oh, someone did the hard part for me and now I have a pattern to follow.  The THIRD row of weaving is all twining with NO double overs as is the FOURTH row of weaving.  

Now how easy is that?!  The only real "thinking" row is the first one, the second looks EXACTLY like the FIRST and the last two are just twined rows.  


PERIODIC CHECKS to Make Sure your On:

1) Am I doing DOUBLE-OVERS in the same color?  

2)  Are my columns in alignment?

3)  Are my checkerboards in alignment?  

If you take a periodic check on each SET to make sure the pattern is correct and remember that DOUBLE-OVERS are ALWAYS in the same color it makes quick fixes a lot easier then ripping out the weave.







 What Baskets Use this Technique?




Jill Choate
Jill Choate


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