Thought I’d better release the privacy setting on this post first because you’ll need these instructions for some of the patterns you’ll soon run across. THIS IS AN ADVANCED TECHNIQUE, so beginners might find it confusing—anyone might find it confusing, but go on, give it a try. To find other L2M patterns, just type L2M in the Search box.

For a very simple L2M of the Hourglass pattern, see this blog post.

Layer 2 Manipulation, or L2M

As a pattern weave designer I’m frequently frustrated by my inability to use the three-layer warping method and end up with a design that’s centered on the square. Anything symmetrical, it seemed, always presented the same problem: rows 8 and 9 couldn’t repeat each other (unless they were plain weave rows) without creating a gap in the final figure (see “Hourglass Pattern“).

I discovered that a simple trick of manipulating one strand on L2 took care of this problem. It also created new problems, but I’ve dealt with those as they’ve come up.

For this sample, we’ll be weaving “Farewell Maggie” version 1. (Named in honor of my Maggie‘s passing the day I began work on this pattern.)

Maggie Nov 2015

I don’t prefer this version of the pattern, but I’m including it in the library in case someone else does. All “Farewell Maggie” versions have the same weaving instructions; it’s the L2M that gives each its uniqueness. And, as it happens, rows 8 and 9 are both plain weave, but L2M produces a design in the middle of this symmetrically centered design.

notebook and diagram

It’s been over a year since I wove this pattern and I want to re-familiarize myself with the procedure, so I’m following my notebook instructions just as you’ll be following what I write here. This is what I had to say about “Farewell Maggie” version 1: “There’s something wrong with the manipulated row; it’s going over 5 sts.” Of course you can go over (or under) 5 stitches at a time—it’s totally allowed—but it’s not what I had planned. So I went back to the drawing board—three more times. Now, enough time has passed so that I’ve ended up liking all the “Farewell Maggie” squares.

Farewell Maggie 1

Step 1: Warp up the loom L1-3. We’ll be switching colors on L4, so cut the yarn after L3 without wrapping the pins to measure your weft. Leave enough of a tail to secure the end of L3 to one of the pins with a slip knot. (Or, cut about 6 yards of yarn [5 yd 22 in] and warp L1, L2, and half of L3.)

L3 in place

Step 2: Thread your needle and un-warp most of L3. Pattern instructions say, “Pass L3’s warp #6, #7, #9, and #10 UNDER L2’s weft #8.” This means exactly what it says. Notice that L3’s #8 goes OVER all the L2 wefts as it usually would.

L2M–make sure you get the right warps and weft! (Once again I made a major mistake in my first attempt so I could remind you not to.)

After manipulating L2 in this manner, finish warping L3, secure the yarn to the loom, and add the second color.

Second color added and R1 complete

*Remember to pack R1 against the pins with your fork. This will give you a better-packed square with a more even weave.

Proceed with weaving as usual.

Weaving in progress

Farewell Maggie 1 (w/L2M)

L1-3: mill end light green
L4: CSS “White”


L = layer
R = row
P = plain weave
U = under
O = over
Rpt = repeat

Special Instructions
L2M: Warp loom taking L3 warps #6, #7, #9, and #10 UNDER L2 weft #8.

Pattern Weaving Instructions

R1: P
R2: P2, (U3, P9) x 2, U3, P2
R3: P4, U3, P5, U3, O1, U3, P5, U3, P4
R4: P6, U3, O1, U3, P5, U3, O1, U3, P6
R5: P2, U3, P3, U3, P9, U3, P3, U3, P2
R6: P4, U3, P17, U3, P4
R7: P6, (U3, P5) x 2, U3, P6
R8: P
R9: P
R10: Rpt R7
R11: Rpt R6
R12: Rpt R5
R13: Rpt R4
R14: Rpt R3
R15: Rpt R2
R16: P

Farewell Maggie 1 finished, front and back

Some patterns will require taking L2’s #8 weft under L1 warps along with taking L3 under L2 . . . adventure awaits! Here are a few photos illustrating the process.

Farewell Maggie 4
Step one: Take L2 #8 UNDER L1 #6, #8, #9, and #11

Step two: Take L3 #6, #7, #9, and #10 UNDER L2 #8

Finish warping the loom and proceed according to Farewell Maggie 1 pattern weaving instructions.


Loom provided by Wunderwag Industries:

One Thought on “Layer 2 Manipulation Instructions

  1. Pingback: Part 2: Various Unnamed Textural Patterns — 4″ (31 x 31) patterns – Adventures in Pin Loom Weaving

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