Saturday, January 31, 2009

Planning Ahead

There is an old adage that "you have to be warped to weave". In order to be warped, you need to have an idea of what you will make, how long to make the warp, how close to sett the warp threads, etc.

These Weave-It squares are the first step in turning these yarns into warp and weft. The yarn at the top of the photo is a tan 40%/60% rayon/wool four-ply fingering weight yarn from my Grandma's stash. The yarn to the left is a reclaimed yarn from a knit skirt & sweater set that a friend sent my way. It's a five strand yarn (not plied). Two strands are a natural cream color acrylic/mohair blend. The other three strands are a gold metallic material.

The square on the right was woven with one strand of each yarn held together.

The square on the left was woven with the rayon/wool yarn as a warp and the 4strand gold yarn as weft. (Near the top I wove the weft closer together than the rest of the square.) For each of the yarns I used two strands together.


The colors of these two yarns blend well together. The tan of the wool yarn tones down the yellow of the gold.

I think these will make a nice shawl, scarf, hat, bag....or something! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dye Challenge

My cousin inadvertently gave me a challenge. She sent me a link to a professional dyer's page and asked if I could reproduce two colorways.

The short answer is: probably not.
The medium answer is: I've never tried.
The longer answer is: Let me Dye!

The orange/yellow/pink roving was dyed in a crockpot. The blue/green/purple was oven dyed.

Neither of them turned out like the photos I was sent....but they both look interesting to me! They both need to dry, and then they will find their way to my etsy shop (

Halfway There

I'm working on the vest for my great aunt. This was woven in a huck lace pattern on 8-shafts in one piece from backwaist, over the shoulders, to the the front waists.

The v-neck has a large number of warp ends that need to be woven into the fabric.

I was worried that the bamboo ends would work their way out, so after weaving in the ends I added two rows of stitching to help keep them there (I hope!).

One side of the neck is now finished. Soon I'll tackle the other!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Diamonds in the Rough

I am making a vest for my great aunt. Can you see the diamonds in the fabric? The yarn is a 10/2 bamboo (natural color). It is so soft!

The vest is woven in one piece from the back waist to the shoulders, then a second shuttle is introduced and the fronts are woven at the same time from the shoulders to the waist.

This is a new technique for fact, weaving for clothing is a new thing too! ..The technique is based on some ideas from Paula Simmons in "Spinning for Softness & Speed".

The weave structure is a 8-harness huck lace pattern called "Eight-Shaft Huck Lace Diamonds" by Susan Harvey.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Christmas (again!)

This post might also have been titled "ME! I finally made something for ME!"...

This is the pair of fingerless mitts I made from the roving "Santa" left in my Christmas stocking. I spun the wool into a 3-ply yarn ( I was very pleased with myself....I read Abby's post about plied yarns and their uses and I intentionally made a 3-ply yarn to show off some cables--'cause I love cables!)

The pattern is by Carissa Browning and is available on Ravlery. I modified it slightly to work with the gauge of my yarn.

(For the record, I chose to make fingerless mitts so I can wear them and drive. I know that regular mittens are too slipery for me to use while driving. The mitts do leave my fingers a bit cold--I wore them on a road trip yesterday--but I think they might work for driving! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mermaids in Winter

A number of years ago I received some of Amy King's Falkland wool (mermaid colorway) to spin. It spun beautifully! I separated the roving into chunks of color and ended up with three small skeins of green, blue, and purple/green. They have sat in my stash for a long time.

Over the holidays I found a project for these little skeins (~100 yards each)--"Striped Fringe", a scarf, by Amanda Blair Brown in "The Best of Interweave Knits". I modified it, of course!, but the over all look is just fun! I ran out of my green yarn, but added in a pink 2-ply that had green in it. The scarf is for my 8 year old daughter and she was really excited about the idea of adding pink to the scarf!

Each stripe is 12 stitches wide. The knitting was done in seed stitch on US 5 needles.

The ends were woven (good old "over under, over under) to make the decorative front for this photo. :)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Cheese-y Smiles!

I'm thrilled with this project! I wove two rayon scarves on a small Structo loom and I love how they turned out!

The yarns are a mix of stash yarns--a burgandy 6-ply rayon from WEBS, a tan 2-ply rayon, and a multi-colored rayon single. The structure is a M's & O's variant from "A Handweaver's Pattern Book" by Davison called "Forest Crook's Blanket Weave.

The little Structo loom (on loan from a friend in my weaving guild) had a miniature/toy-like feel. Maximum weaving width is 8 inches! But, the loom works great. I will be using it later on this year for a double weave demo for the Wabash Weavers Guild.

Two intersting points--I wove two scarves with two slightly different treadlings (is it ok to call it that even though it's a table loom? Should it be "lever-ings"?) The first one was ho-hum. It was just a scarf. The second one, more of a 2/2 twill, was stunning to me. Once off the loom and wet finished, the differences between them seem more subtile, but I'm still partial to the 2/2 twill weave structure.

Point number two: check out my drying rack. This is a wonderful, inexpensive, three arm rotating drying rack from a local store. It works great! However, it leaves a lovely crease in my scarves when I hang them to dry. The solution? Increase the diameter of the arm with an old, plastic cone. No more creases!

Happy 2009! May your year be full of moments of joy and peace!