Mata Ortiz Runner

May 28, 2013


If you are wondering what my hand-turned maple bowl is doing in this photo, the answer is that it is pretending to be a Mata Ortiz pot.  Mata Ortiz is a Mezzo-American revival pottery featuring clean forms and ornate surface decoration.  I wove this runner for a couple of Mata Ortiz fans. (The bowl is also there because I’m just that awfully proud of having found it at Goodwill for $4 brand new.  It’s the perfect shape to hold a ball of yarn, or for stuffing cut ends of thread into while weaving, and I’ve been using it constantly.)



Design constraints included the palette of the pots, the muddying effect of my putty brown sample warp, the narrow weaving width, the colors of cottolin I had on hand, and the fact that I ran out of one color mid-weaving!

Still, I found it really engrossing to design something so far outside the scope of what I’d design to please myself–to the point that I actually grew rather fond of it in the weaving.  Now my only beef are the proportions.  The central ochre section was longer in my sketches.  I ran out of that color four inches early; it shows.


Runner: Mata Ortiz

Completed: March 2012

Woven on Varpapuu Kothe Nordia table loom

Threading: 8-shaft rosepath, 17 repeats plus balancer and selvedges.

Pattern: Interleaved zig-zag twill from (draft #12247, reverse side up for slight weft dominance), with overshot motifs in borders adapted from #12408, and basket weave hems (or rather the closest you can get to basket weave in rosepath).

Warp: sample warp in putty brown 8/2 unmercerized cotton mill ends, and border stripes of “Polo” (the color of unbleached linen) 8/2 unmercerized cotton by Uki

Weft: 22/2 cottolin (Borgs and Bockens: ochre, orangey red, turtle green; Louet: pastel green), white 8/2 cottolin from Pacific Wool and Fiber, 3/2 mercerized cotton in cornsilk yellow, and Lily size 20 perle cotton in light bronze (as tabby weft for overshot border motifs).


Warp preparation: wound 12 yards and 5” by the single thread on warping reel with cross at both ends, cut in half for 6 yard and 2 1/2” warp, beamed 8 epi in 2.5 dpi raddle

Ends: 275 total including floating selvedges, 95 dark, 80 light

Sett: 22.5 (ended up being more like 22.75) epi, sleyed 2-2-2-3 in 10 dent reed

Picks per inch: 23-26

Width in reed: 12”

Woven width: 11 3/8”

Finished width: 10 3/8” – 10 1/4”

Length on loom: 53 3/4″

Woven length: 52”

Finished length before hemming: about 48”

Hemmed dimensions: 42 5/8”

Loom waste: 13.5” back, but next time stop at 15”

Finishing: normal warm wash and tumble dry twice, remove from dryer while still slightly damp both times, hot iron, 3/4” slip-stitched hems.

Conclusions: Close sett reduced draw-in, though it muted the weft colors a bit more than I wanted.  My beat was lighter for the first decorative border than the second, should have done more counting of ppi.  The overshot figures in the second border looked squashed after wet finishing.  Modified basket weave worked well for hems, but they are too thick.  Next time bind raw edge with seam binding and fold only once to hem?



Wow, here’s is an old one.  I finished it nearly a year ago.  Even the photos are old.  I snapped them before I stuffed it into a Christmas box along with the packing paper on a whim.

For the sake of completeness in documenting my locker hooking experiments, yes, it’s another trivet:


Measurements are 6.25″ by 6.25″.  An inch bigger would have been better.  It’s worked with two strands of vintage Lily Sugar ‘n Cream yarn on 5 mesh locker-hook canvas.  I think I used a slightly fatter cotton for the locking yarn.  Maybe the same blue I used as for the center square and to bind the edges?

Two strands of Sugar ‘n Cream gave good coverage, a single strand was not enough.  I cut the strands off the ball strategically so I could keep the ombre color-changes matched up side-by-side.  It was a bit of a pain catching both strands in the hook at once, but not too bad. They do want to twist around each other.  Next time I would just let them.  A person could make a very nice looped-pile bath rug or chair mats if their wrists were sturdy and they took it slow.  Cheap yarn in lots of colors = plenty of patterning options.

Something I noticed: this older Sugar ‘n Cream, from my Great Granny’s knitting stash circa 1980’s, is nicer than the Sugar ‘n Cream yarn you can buy now.  It’s rounder, more evenly spun, less pill-y, and I’m pretty sure just a higher grade of cotton.  If I were to do a bigger locker-hook project with this yarn, I would be careful not to mix old skeins with new.  The resulting pile would sport noticeable variations in and texture and in height.

The back of the work.

The back of the work.