left over right and under, right over left and under

December 10, 2023  •  5 Comments

The words in today's blog title were the ones we were always taught in Girl Scouts, as far as tying a square knot is concerned.  It is the same knot that Fred uses to produce the Damascus edge on select rugs. But first, here is an image of Rug 397 in progress on the loom.

Rug 397 detailRug 397 detail



To secure the ends of the weaving, he ties 366 knots on the top and bottom, and then reverses the process and ties 366 more knots also on the top and bottom, resulting in 366 square knots.  When he finishes that process, he adds another touch to the rug - maritime cabling - which secures the Damascus edge.  He ties one knot at the end of each cable for a total of 92 knots before the rug is complete. Complicated but extremely strong as well as beautiful.  

The photographs below show how he uses this treatment on the warp ends of his rug.  The first step after removing the rug from the loom is to trim the edges of the warp.  Notice the engineer's scale being using to keep the length exactly even.  

Rug 397 Damascus treament 1Rug 397 Damascus treament 1

Rug 397 Damascus treament 2Rug 397 Damascus treament 2




In the next three photographs, he is tying knots - the first knot in the warp, followed by the second.

Rug 397 Damascus treament 4Rug 397 Damascus treament 4

Rug 397 Damascus treament 6Rug 397 Damascus treament 6
Rug 397 Damascus treament 5Rug 397 Damascus treament 5



The cabling is the last step before the rug is completed.  You can see the structure or architectural elements in the finished piece.

Rug 397 Damascus treament 6Rug 397 Damascus treament 6

Rug 397Rug 397




Fred has included a "Spirit Line" or ch'ihónít'i in Navajo, in the lower right hand corner of the rug.  A weaver puts her/his spirit into a piece, and the spirit line provides a pathway for the spirit to exit the work.

Rug 397 Spirit LineRug 397 Spirit Line

Thanks to all of you who commented this week and for your often creative words, including Connie, Barbara F. R., Charleen, Christina, Terry T., Jean and Sam, Marilyn G., Veronica (who geeked out at the blog, a high compliment indeed), Steve, Catherine, and Sara.  May you be presented with wonderful photographable things and events this week!

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©




Steve Immel(non-registered)
It's always a joy to observe and better understand the intricate process Fred uses to accomplish his works of art. This post is impressive both for the extraordinary rug and for your depiction of its journey. The 366 square knots, cablng and especially the spirit line speak to the craftsmanship and essence of Fred's excellence. I was not aware of the spirit line till this entry. That detail brings life to the rug.
That was interesting and the end result beautiful! Thank you!
Tim Anderson(non-registered)
Absolutely fascinating, Daryl. This goes perfectly with my morning cuppa! I had to spend a bit of time with each image to fully understand the process, one I am certain I will never pursue! Beautiful work! thanks for sharing it.
More excellent work by the weaver…well done! I too use an engineer’s scale. I give you props for being able to get down on the floor to tie the knots though! And the photographs are fascinating, thanks to Daryl. Happy Holidays, cousins!
Fred must have studied ASHLEY BOOK F KNOTS by Clifford W. Ashley-- the bible for every sailor!
love yourdocumentation. thanks
No comments posted.

January February March April May June July August (2) September (4) October (4) November (4) December (5)
January (4) February (4) March April May June July August September October November December