2008 Weave of the week #3: Overshot

"Whig Rose"

"Whig Rose"

As I mentioned in writing “First Steps,” I was deeply affected by a photo of a North Carolina weaver who was holding up an overshot coverlet that she had woven. Overshot is one of several types of woven designs that were brought to America by settlers from all over Europe. There are hundreds of overshot designs, with poetic names like “Twenty-Five Snow Balls,” “Lace and Compass,” “Walls of Jericho,” “Lee’s Surrender,” and “Blazing Star.”

“Whig Rose” (shown above) was expertly woven by Rachael H. Emmons in graphic black and white cotton. In “The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving,” Mary Meigs Atwater describes it as “one of the oldest, best-known, and best-loved of the old patterns.” Weaving overshot takes a great deal of skill, patience, and concentration.

My next post shows a surprising use of overshot patterns.

Update: An overshot coverlet turned up in another unlikely place — the film,  Julie and Julia. You can read my post about it here.

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