Simple Eight-Shaft Twill?

This eight-shaft twill, woven with string yarn weft, has a delightful raised-surface texture. The distinct pattern makes it interesting to weave. The treadling is / / / / This sequence completes one full diamond in the pattern. Simple enough, right?

Raised surface of eight-shaft twill, woven with string yarn weft.

Ski shuttle is able to hold a large amount of the string yarn weft. The string yarn produces a raised surface on this eight-shaft twill.

Simple, but not easy. The treadling reverses direction every twelve picks. I can’t tell you how many times I forget which direction I am going. When I make an error, I don’t see it until I’m two or three inches past. I’ve had to undo and do over several times. But when I get it right, for longer and longer stretches, it is a satisfying weaving experience. Everything on the loom is set up for my success. It’s the internal and external distractions that keep me from experiencing the best.

Midi stringyarn for weft in woven bathmat.

Midi stringyarn has about 26 fine strands of cotton thread grouped together.

Eight-shaft twill woven bath mat. Karen Isenhower

Terra cotta tiles come to mind…

We want life to be satisfying. My soul longs and searches for living water. Internal and external distractions keep me from getting a satisfying drink, but God has everything ready for me when I come. Our souls were made to long for God. Is he really there? Yes, the Grand Weaver is. There is no better way to explain the warp on the loom.

May your distractions disappear.

Happy weaving,


  • Julia says:

    Gorgeous, Karen! I certainly know that experience of such a treadling. You probably have a good solution, but here is one that worked for me. Write out the treadling just as you’ve done here on this post, and assign each step it’s own number 1-24. As you treadle count the numbers 1 – 24. At first it takes a while for the muscle memory to kick in, but pretty soon you will be floating along on those glorious Living Waters and singing praises the whole way!

    • Karen says:

      Dear Julia,

      That is a great suggestion! It makes perfect sense to number each step like that.
      I am definitely going to try it.

      Thank you so much!

  • Sandy says:

    I love the thought, like your loom is set up for your success, our Master weaver sets us up for success too. And I often get distracted. There’s always hope, & redemption…..a do over 🙂

    What is “String Yarn”?

    • Karen says:

      Yes, there are do overs. I’m so thankful for that.

      String yarn is multiple strands of thin thread used together as one. It is commonly used for the thick weft in rep weave. I find that it also works as an alternative to fabric strips in rag rug weaving. Vavstuga sells it in three sizes and in many colors.

      All the best,

  • Debbie says:

    Lovely fabric and pattern. Love the texture in it! What will you use the fabric for? Thoroughly enjoy your thoughtful metaphors.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie, I love the texture in it, too! It begs to be touched. I intend for this to be a large bath mat. I could change my mind after I see it off the loom… It will be a rug or mat of some sort.

      Thank you for your sweet encouragement!

  • Liberty Stickney says:

    I love this mat Karen, I can’t wait to try something like it myself! I am doing a Christmas gift for my Daughter next, then I’m going to try it! Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Liberty, That’s great! I think you will really enjoy weaving something like this! It’s almost like weaving a rag rug, except with this string yarn you don’t have to load the shuttle as often.


  • linda says:

    I have a stash of yarns cotton rayon wool novelty. I’m trying to use them up so when I do placemats, rugs….. I grab 5 different cones of complimentary colors and wind them on a shuttle to see if they’ll work. 99% of the time they do. I guess that’s string weft.

  • linda says:

    your project looks great. love it!

  • Kathryn says:

    Hi Karen,

    What’s the set on this project? Also, what do you use for the warp? I’m thinking of using hemp yarn for something new.


    • Karen says:

      Hi Kathryn,
      I away from all my notes at the moment, and I don’t remember the sett for this. I’m guessing about 8-10 epi. The warp is 12/6 cotton rug warp, as I recall. When I get home in a couple days I’ll check my notes and send you an email to verify the sett and the warp. I’ve never woven with hemp. I’m sure that will give you lovely results!

      All the best,

  • marlene toerien says:

    HI what is the draft for this.

    Thank you
    Marlene T.

  • Ellen Redman says:

    Hi Karen,

    I see this is an old thread, but I am looking to weave a bath mat myself. I did some experimenting with string yarn (after one of my adventures at Vävstuga) and found it is a lovely texture. BUT, I had a lot of difficulty making a nice transition when I needed to start and end a shuttle full of it. Do you have any tips for not ending up with a thready/frayed join?

    Love your blog and work!


    • Karen says:

      Hi Ellen, I cut the ends of the stringyarn to a tapered point to reduce bulk, and then overlap the tapered ends in the shed.

      I hope that is helpful.

      Thanks so much for your kind words.

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