Hiding Yarn Ends in Pick and Pick Weaving

My first weaving project is a collection of mug rugs using the Webs Alpine Ridge pattern. These are tapestry-style pieces that use a combination of plain weave and pick and pick pattern.

The instructions are rather sparse. I don’t believe that they’re lacking, but that they were written for someone with at least a project or two behind them. But each item is small, and this has let me grow my skills in stages. The first few, I’m not sure I’ll be able to use because I didn’t know to weave the tails in as I worked. Then I figured that out, but I didn’t know how to maintain the pick and pick while weaving colors in.

It took me much fiddling around and many imperfect versions before I unlocked the winning combination. I’m writing out the steps here as much to help myself remember what I’ve done in future as I am to help other weavers exploring this technique.

Overview

Here, I’m setting up a new section of pick and pick. The pick and pick section extends from one side of the project to the other, and I’m weaving on a rigid heddle loom. Beginning on an up heddle, I wove two passes with the green order to create a border stripe. I have an odd number of warp threads, so one color will cover both of the selvedges. Throughout, I’ll refer to that as my outside weft and the other weft as my inside weft. The inside weft will be woven in the up shed and the selvedge color will be woven in a the down shed, where it can cover the weft.

Step 1. Overlap the Yarns

My inside weft is the cream color and my outside weft is green.

My green weft is already in play from the border stripe, and the shuttle is on the left side of the loom. Since it will be moving from left to right in the down shed, but my pattern starts with the heddle up, I introduce the cream weft by passing the shuttle from left to right.

In the photo below, I’ve just introduced the cream/inside weft and completed the first half of the first pass of green and cream pick and pick.

The tail of the inside weft should pass underneath the selvedge thread and the existing yarn.

Step 2. Wrap the Inside Weft Around the Outside Weft, and Overlap the Previous Pick

Bring the inside weft over the outside weft. Using your fingers or a tapestry needle, weave it back the way it came. For illustrative purposes, the photo shows this in a neutral shed, but I find it’s easier to leave the shed open and pass the tail through with my fingers. A tapestry needle can be useful here as well.

Step 3. Use your fingers to pull the end across.

Place it so that it sits behind the selvedge and aligns with the full-length pick below. Wiggle it about as necessary so that it isn’t too tight or too loose.

Step 4. Weave the Outside Weft

Change the shed and weave a pick of the outside weft. You should see it cover the selvedge. The pattern of the inside weft should be apparent on both sides of the fabric.

Beat firmly and the yarn will compress to fill in the gaps. (You can see the difference between the white and green rows, which I did not beat firmly before taking this photo, and the compressed orange-and-black checkerboard section below.)

Troubleshooting

If your tension is too tight or too loose, the outside weft may not fully cover the inside weft, or it may push into the first vertical line. If you notice either of these things happening after Step 4, undo the outside weft pick and adjust the tension between the inside weft tail end and the outside weft.

Too loose – inside weft sticks out from selvedge and will not be fully covered by the outside weft. This can be fixed by tugging gently on the yarn tail so that it sits just behind the selvedge.
Too tight – the outside weft can be seen cutting into the inside weft. To fix this, remove the pick of outside weft, adjust the tension of the inside weft so that it sits behind the selvedge thread, then throw another pick of the outside weft. Use your fingers to finagle the tension as necessary to make them sit next to each other calmly, then beat.

What is the Pick and Pick Weaving Technique?

Pick and Pick is a tapestry weaving technique that produces vertical stripes. It is a weft-faced technique, meaning that the entire warp is covered. The pick and pick pattern is formed by opening one shed, passing Color A through it, then opening the opposite shed and passing Color B through it. After a couple of repeats, you will see the colors start to stack!

Why Hide My Ends in Pick and Pick Weaving?

Well, you’re always going to need to take care of your yarn ends, and the more frequently you change yarns, the more ends you need to take care of. Easy finishing of your woven piece starts while you’re still weaving. When you change weft yarns, you can usually just tuck the end into the next shed and overlap it with the new yarn for an inch or two—but because pick and pick weaving alternates sheds for colors, you need to wait until the next pattern shed for the color you’re trying to end.

Will These Instructions Work for All Pick and Pick Patterns?

These instructions work for pick and pick patterns worked over an odd number of warp threads. With an odd number of warps, the same color will cover the selvedge at each side. This tutorial from Mirrix Looms was incredibly helpful in understanding the mechanics enough to figure out how to deal with the ends—what I’m describing here is essentially. If you’re working a pattern that has a different shed combination or an even number of warp threads, playing around with the first selvedge wrapping technique described first in that article is where I would start.

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