Posted by: lavernewaddington | April 20, 2010

Backstrap Weaving- Andean Pebble Weave-my ebook

Well here’s a surprise midweek post!

Syne Mitchell, editor and publisher of WeaveZine, after working closely with me for quite some time, announced last night that all was in place and ready to go on the WeaveZine site to sell my first ebook tutorial on my number one favorite South American pick up technique…(now available at Taproot Video.)


Today was a travel day for me – I took  the train down from Humboldt County in Northern California with its majestic redwood forests and turbulent rivers through wine country with distant snow capped peaks to bustling San Francisco  so I had to wait all day to be able to tell you all about this.

Andean pebble weave – this was the first pick up technique I learned with my  teacher Margarita in Huancayo, Peru back in 1996 and it really is my favorite for the flexibilty in the designs you can create as well as for the fact that it weaves up a lot faster than the other pick ups that I know.

It is partly loom controlled so only every second row requires a manual manipulation of the warp threads.

You will recognize pebble weave easily by its spotty “pebbled” background on which the indigenous weavers of Peru and Bolivia place a myriad of traditional and contemporary motifs.

It is also double faced so that both sides of the textile show the same motifs with their colors reversed.

You may remember from my blog post last week that this was the technique that I taught to Juan in Salasaca who wanted to learn something about his Bolivian weaving heritage and now I get to teach it to all of you.

The e-tutorial is really crammed with step-by-step photos – once I decided that it would be an ebook, I went to town with the pictures! There are over thirty pattern charts too.You can see that it is too huge to have here on the blog – it just kept growing!!

I have woven it on my backstrap loom, as Margarita taught me, as well on my rigid heddle loom by lashing the warp to the warp sticks. For some time I was lashing the warps to my Navajo loom in Chile as you saw in my last post. More recently I have been playing with it on an inkle loom using my fingers as a picking cross. Once I get home to Bolivia and unpack my inklette and get it set up I will see about installing two sets of string heddles and see how it goes – shall keep you posted on that.

So, it can be woven pretty much on any kind of sturdy frame that allows for tension adjustment and gives you enough working space to get your hands in to pick the pattern warps.

My e-book shows you how to wind the warp and arrange the threads in a cross ready for weaving. It is then up to the reader to decide how they would like to suspend and tension the warp. That could be by attaching one end of the warp to the body and the other to a fixed point (backstrap-style) or by lashing the`warp to the frame of a rigid heddle or other loom.

This is what Andean Pebble Weave looks like with its spotted or “pebbled” background…

Pebble weave Guarani designs from lowland Bolivia that I wove into a guitar strap.

A pebble weave motif from highland Peru woven in my handspun llama fiber. This was made into a shoulder bag.

I have used it on very narrow and wide pieces like guitar straps, belts, bag straps, purses, bookmarks, keyfobs, table runners and wall hangings. The e-tutorial takes you through four lessons from the narrowest plain bands to introductory patterning and then on to wider pieces with more detailed motifs and leaves you with pages of pattern charts of pre Columbian and contemporary designs.

My friend Janet inside a redwood!

I am still on the road with lots to tell which I am saving for Friday’s post – a new braid tutorial along with some other great videos and photos. I have had all sorts of unexpected weaving encounters up in the redwood forest area of Northern California with my buddy Janet and now find myself with a little quiet time here in the Youth Hostel in San Francisco. Just what I need to get all my pictures together and write my post.

See you all on Friday. I hope you like my e-tutorial and I get to see your own pebble weave projects soon. 🙂

Thank you to all who have downloaded it so far.


  1. Have just ordered and paid for your Andean Pebble Weave ebook and downloaded it. I cannot find it in my computer. Help please. Did send same message to Weavezine. (a little computer impaired here).

  2. Nevermind…(she said sheepishly) I found it.

  3. How very exciting! Pebble weave is so lovely! I will probably pick up the ebook 🙂

    • Yes, pebble weave has always been my favorite. I am hoping to have lots of lovely pebble woven things from my readers to post here. 🙂

  4. Outstanding! I’m heading over to Weavezine now to get my copy! Congratulations!!

    • Thank you! I hope you like it. Remember I am here if you have any questions. 🙂

  5. Thank you so so much for visiting and sharing all these links. It will take me some time to get through them and I do hope that my other readers find them and can take a look too. I shall mention all of this in my next blog post. Yes, I am sure that my friend did not buy a high quality piece-jut some small thing made for tourists but a nice gift for me, her weaving friend. The edges were very carelessly woven too. I know that Indonesia must have many much much more spectacular examples and that you must be very proud of your culture and would not like to see inferior quality pieces being shown. Thank you again for sharing all this. Are you a weaver yourself?

  6. Congratulations! What wonderful news! Best of luck and much success!

  7. Greetings Laverne. Congratulations on the release of your e-book. I have ordered and received a copy and am very excited about learning andean pebble weaving. We corresponded last year (I live in Nicaragua) and although my electronic communications have been limited I have been lurking about, enjoying your tutorials and also weaving. After incorporating a rigid heddle with the backstrap loom I found the opening of the sheds much easier. More recently, and my current project, is incorporating backstrap single faced brocading using my four shaft table loom. I am finishing a band using that technique now and should be finished and ready for another project in a couple of days so ….andean pebble weaving is a top priority. Like your tutorials and web writing, the instructions are clear, precise and the illustrations speak volumes. Thank you so much Laverne for sharing your weaving passion. Carol

    • O f course I remember you, Carol. How is your B and B going there? I would love to see pictures of the brocading you have been doing. You can post them in the group at Weavolution. If you manage to set up for pebble weave on your four shaft loom I would love to know about that and see pictures as I have had a question about that by email just this morning and would love to be able to give a better response. Thank you for buying the book and for your comments here!

  8. Johnson,
    You don’t need any special device to access the e-monograph. You can just download to your computer and read it there. In any case you can buy either the download or the book at:

    Where do you live? The book is also available in some yarn stores in the US.

    • I live in Taipei,Taiwan. Any idea about my country?


  9. Hello,
    I want to tell You that I like Your site very much, it gives a lot of inspiration!
    Have a very colorful new year!

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