Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Greek Key" Pickup Tutorial

Well, this was a sort of challenge which came from the Facebook Inkle Weaving Group.
Someone asked if I could make a video showing how to do some of the simple pickup patterns which appeared in my last blog post. So, my sweetie and I set up our amateur video production studio in the dining room.  Usually, the walls are covered with my latest collection of straps, but I had taken them down for the  Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Show the day before.
The walls are bare!! 

This is what the "Greek Key" pattern looks like.

Here is the threading draft.

And here is the video demonstration of how to do the pickup.

If the video wasn't clear enough, or if you don't even want to watch it, here are the basics:
In the center of my band, I have 7 red threads in the open shed and 6 black threads in the heddles.
In plain weaving, they form horizontal bars of alternating colors.
To get the "Greek Key" I've picked up pairs of each color, alternating black and red while also alternately picking up from the right and left side of the pattern area. 

Here are the basic moves for doing the pickup:
1) Insert shuttle and beat but do not pass weft.
2) Reach through the top layer and pick up the desired pattern threads from below.
3) Add these to the top layer and pass the weft.
4) Change sheds.
5) Repeat above sequence.

Here is the weaving sequence for this pattern, specifically:
1) Pick up the two red threads on the far left.
2) Pick up the two black threads on the far right.
3) No pickup in this row.
4) Pick up the two black threads on the far left.
5) Pick up the two red threads on the far right.
6) No pickup in this row.
7) Repeat above sequence.


  1. Can you please post the pattern for the background for those of use who are challenged and are beginners. Thank you.

    1. Okay. I just added the pattern draft! I hope it helps!

    2. Awesome video, thanks! I can finally wrap my head around the pick up part.

    3. Lynn, I"m so glad that you found this useful!

    4. Thank you for the video, and the pattern . Very helpful

  2. Thank you so much for your video. I have found all of your information so valuable. I am a beginner and I have done crochet, knitting, but I really love the colors that can be incorporated into weaving. So thank you once again for your time spent on videos, blogs, and Facebook.

  3. You are welcome, Scrappy83. It is my pleasure to share my experiences in a way that will encourage and inspire other inkle weavers! ~Annie

  4. What would the pattern look like for the pickup? That is, how would I know which threads to pick up? I'm trying to learn how to read pick up patterns, could you include that please? This is a great video, very clear. Thanks.

  5. Thank you! This was very helpful. I am just starting weaving on an Inkle loom. Very excited about trying different patterns.

  6. DO both the red and black threads end up in "front" of the warp threads in the pickup areas, or do you swap them so the non picked-up color is on the back of the warp threads?

    1. Olivia, If I understand your question correctly, the answer is that they all stay on the front. In other words, you only pick up the alternating red and black threads and add them to the top layer. You do not drop any threads from top to bottom.

  7. Thank you so much for this great video. As with many others who commented, I am a beginner with an inkle loom although I have done pickup on my rigid heddle and have a couple of shaft looms. This 'new' style of weaving is very exciting and I just love your clear instructions. I also would appreciate some instruction on reading patterns that included pickups. Again, many thanks.

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!. There are no weaving groups in my area, so I have to rely on the internet. Your site has been a huge help to me , can't thank you enough for sharing.

    1. Great! It's my pleasure to help other inkle weavers. I had no group around when I was learning, either. At that time the internet did not exist!