And Then There Were Six – Viking Whipcording Variations, Part 2

In the previous blog entry I explored patterns that could be made with six bobbins.  I limited my discussion to what could be done with single passes and simple sequences, focusing on how the bobbin arrangements alone changed the resulting cords.  Now I will show what adding complex passes can bring to our asterisk and star patterns.

Flat Cords

My standard pass sequence for asterisk patterns is 2-5, 3-6, 1-4.  This brings your passes around in a continuous circle.  When you change it to 2-5, 3-6, 1-4, 3-6, like a see-saw, you get a flattened cord.  The extra 3-6 pass squishes the cord with the other threads flaring to the sides.  If you use a bulkier fiber, it works very nicely as trim; it lays well and shapes easily to curves.




Textured Cords – Triple Doubles and In-and-Out

These variations produced exciting cords with beautiful textured effects.  The depth of the waves on Triple Doubles, the double-pass asterisk pattern, is particularly striking.

In-and-Out is the star pattern made by passing each triangle three times, all the way around to its starting point, before passing the other triangle.  I only tried this to be thorough, and I didn’t expect anything interesting to come of it.  I thought that by returning each color to its starting place, I would just get long, single-color stitches around a dense core.  I was very pleasantly surprised by the little dots the wrapping threads make!  It has a more subtle texture than Triple Doubles, but the interplay of the two small stitches on the larger stitch is quite lovely.



Single Doubles and Double Doubles

The Single Double pattern is similar to the Flat Cord pattern, but not as flat.  Also, the stitches on the double-passed pair alternate small and large, rather than the even stitches of the 3-6 passes in the Flats.  I did find, however, that the pattern is much more distinct if you use your 3-6 pair for the double-pass.  If you double-pass on the 2-5 or 1-4, the small stitch tends to get swallowed by the twist that forms when you start the next pass sequence (visible in the pictures below).  The same holds for Double Doubles – the pattern is more distinct if the 3-6 pass is unique; the single-pass between two double-passes.

The direction of your passes, clockwise (CW) or counter-clockwise (CCW), is more important in these patterns than in the normal single-pass patterns.  If the direction of your double-pass is in the same direction as the previous pass, e.g. CW CW, the pattern gets muddied and sloppy.  Passing the double in the opposite direction keeps the look more crisp and defined.  For example, I typically start each sequence with the 2-5 pair going CCW.  When I pass the 3-6 pair, I need to pass them CW to keep the pattern neat.

sds     dsd


The colored charts above are a simplification of the actual cords.  As you can see in the picture of the real cords, the CW-CCW transition between the 1-4 and 2-5 passes produces an angled stitch that subtly impacts the pattern.  Play with this quirk to see how you can use it to your advantage.

I haven’t completely explored the designs possible with doubles patterns, but I have figured out one that my kids love.  I’m using a narrow yarn, so the cord is thick enough to make a nice trim for a tunic or two.  Have fun with Poké Balls!





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