Archive for the ‘weaving’ Category

Color Study

Equipment: 15″ wide rigid heddle loom and 10 dent rigid heddle.

Yarns; warp and weft: 10 skeins Handwerks So-Soft Sock, 80% superwash merino/10% cashmere/ 10% nylon, 435 yds/100 gram skein. Colors used are listed below in warping order.

Warp length: 3 yards, allowing for 12″ loom waste and 12″for fringe. Warp the loom with 14 ends of each color in the following order: Desert Sands, Peach Blush, Pyracantha, Heirloom Tomato, Lavender, Twilight Dance, Sage, Bodega Bay, Winged Teal and Bay Blues.

Tie the warp on, leaving 6″ for fringe at the beginning of your weaving. Spread the warp with 4 picks of a smooth fingering weight waste yarn. Begin weaving with weft yarns.

Weave a total of 80″ as measured on the loom, end with 4 picks of waste yarn, cut off leaving 6″ for fringe. Finish fringe by twisting or knotting. Wash by hand to lightly full and hand to dry.

Weaving Suggestions:

1. Weave 8″ of each color in the same order as the warp colors.

2. Weave 2″ of each color in warp color sequence and repeat 4 times.

3. Weave 2″ of each color in the warp color sequence then repeat the sequence but in reverse order. Repeat again.

4. Weave 2″ of each color in the warp color sequence and then experiment with color sequences and size of stripes, leaving enough warp to finish with 2″ of each color at the end. Use the Fibonacci series to design the size of stripes, playing with wide and narrow stripes next to each other, reversing the color order.

5. Play with color sequences to see what patterns can be created by varying color order. Notice how the stripes stand out as well as blend because of the value of the color, i.e. how light or dark they are. Look at the grey scale scan of the yarns used to see the value of the colors. Try weaving the colors from lightest to darkest or vice versa.

6. Try weaving a few picks of fingering weight yarns that are in the same color families as the warp yarns. For example, weave Tide Pools adjacent to Winged Teal, Violet Asters next to Bay Blues and Fir before Sage.

7. Experiment!


Here is a grey scale scan of the yarns I used:

color study grey scale scan 001labels

And the finished scarf/wrap:

color study scarf web

The New Kid


My new V-Series is now assembled and ready for its first warp! One section down and a few more to go for a scarf with a point twill threading. ¬†The warp is long enough to let me play and put the loom through its paces. I have a good feeling about the size and managability of this loom, here’s to hoping I can weave without shoulder issues (or too many issues!) ūüôā


Reinvention says: To re·in·vent: invent again or anew, especially without knowing that the invention already exists. remake or make over, as in a different form: At 60, he reinvented himself as a volunteer. We have an opportunity to reinvent government. bring back; revive: to reinvent trust and accountability.

“Women’s lives are about redefinition”, excerpt¬†paraphrased from Anna Quindlen’s¬†book,¬† Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. How¬†does reinvention differ from redefinition? Maybe they are variations on the same idea or theme. It seems to me like it is about making something old anew.

Are we reinventing or inventing or creating or borrowing ideas from¬†others or¬†just doing what we do when we make things? Here is what I’m working on; I have all of this swirling around in my head, mixing together¬†ideas, colors and techniques that¬†I’ve tried and seen before. It pours out it in all these forms and somehow its related and makes sense.

More Pick-Up

I had so much fun with my pick-up samples on the rigid heddle loom I wove off a scarf. I designed this simple pattern to pick-up the ribbon yarns in the warp and let them show more prominently on the surface of the scarf. I also picked up some contrasting yarns to complement the ribbon. I’m on a roll.. as I’m sure I’ll do more of this kind of structure. I especially like playing with color and texture.¬† (Class schedule is on my website if you are local and interested.)


Picking Up Pick-Up

I’m playing with pick-up patterns on the rigid heddle (RH)¬†loom in preparation for a class I’m teaching at Uncommon Threads.¬†Its giving me a break from threading¬†the big 24H dobby loom. ¬†This is a fun and easy way to get patterns on a simple loom. I’m struck by the comparison of simple loom complex patterns vs. complex loom simple patterns…..It took about the same amount of time¬†to warp up the RH loom, weave 3 samples of different pick up patterns, and wash the samples¬† as wind a 20 yard warp on the back beam of the dobby loom, and organize the heddles. OK, I know that the end product is really different as I’m going to weave a bunch of towels on the dobby and just a few samples on the RH but its kind of interesting to¬†compare. Sampling on the RH is very quick and¬†interesting if you want to try out something new. With pick-up, the patterns approximate what would take you much longer to achieve on a dobby loom.



Double Two-Tie Twill Blanket

I’m getting down to¬†my last few pounds (!) of Angora¬†yarn. Years ago I raised Angora¬†rabbits. (Before Handwerks was officially a business.)¬†I was going to insert a picture here but it was before I had a digital camera, yes back in the dark ages… so you will have to imagine what they look like. I had 4 white Giant/German hybrids (Fluffernutter, Harvey, Marshmallow and Snowball), one dark grey French (Midnight)¬†and one English (Einstein)¬†Angora¬†rabbit. They are great animals but require a lot of care and attention as they are prone to some breed specific health problems. The Giant/Germans are big commercial sized rabbits and I would shear them periodically and save their silky long white hair. The French and English rabbits shed seasonally so I harvested their hair by a combination of plucking and combing. Within a short period of time I had more pounds of ¬†fur than rabbits! (and I¬†also discovered that I had more rabbits on the way too…such as it is with rabbits)¬†I soon found that my time was being taken up by tending the herd and I didn’t have enough time to spin up the fiber as well as take care of everything else. In 2002, I¬†packaged up and sent off several large boxes of Angora fiber and merino fleeces to a wonderful business,¬†to have them process the fiber into yarn for me.¬† I’ve been using the yarns since then.

I just pulled out the last skeins from Midnight blended with natural black merino in a 1:3 ratio.

It’s a¬†nice charcoal color and you can see the¬†French Angora¬†guard hairs poking out. Its soft and will full nicely when¬†it’s washed. The yarn is 2 ply and about sport weight, 1220 yards/pound.¬† I’m going to use it for weft. I could have used it for warp but I thought it might fuzz too much and I didn’t want to fiddle with sticky sheds.

I warped the Gilmore, 46″ wide, 12 epi, with a commercial wool/alpaca DK weight yarn in a double two-tie threading.

and here it is close up:

and my progress so far,  just beginning:

The warp is 3 1/4 yards long and I’ve left 8″ at the beginning to tie on and make into fringe at the end. I’ll just weave it off and leave enough warp for fringe at the other end.

The rabbits are long gone¬†but it will be nice to remember and enjoy the memory of them when I have this blanket finished and want to curl up on the¬†couch next Fall and WInter with a good book ar a fun knitting project. ¬†I’m enjoying weaving this and it’s¬†exciting to have the bottom of the “Angora Yarn Box” in sight!

Finding time to finish projects.

I’m listening to audiobooks (Steve Jobs) and finishing up projects this weekend.¬† I’m enjoying the book and the discussion of design and art. I can¬†appreciate¬†many of the ideas and it is reminding me of my perennial New Year’s resolution to “do less and do it better”. Over the past couple of years I have collected a big pile of handwoven towels that just need hemming. I used to be so good at focusing on a single¬†project and completing it before moving on to the next. I have so many projects now, and I’m going from one to the next and not really¬†focusing on enjoying them.¬†¬†After I finish hemming this big pile of towels I really am going to start doing less and doing it better.

Yards of waffle weave, pointed twills, taquete on summer and winter… soon to be kitchen towels!


It seems like it¬†¬†has been raining everyday for the past week. At first I was feeling cooped up but then I started using the opportunity to do a little spring cleaning. I’m having trouble getting things finished because I keep getting sidetracked by partly started projects and equipment all over my studio space.¬† I’m hoping that if I get things in order and put away or sell some unused things I will be able to focus on more by having less.

Here is my plan – sell equipment that I haven’t used in over 5 years, buy more plastic storage bins for yarn and label the bins!!, group the bins by content – weaving yarns together, Handwerks shop yarns together by type, and¬†personal knitting stash yarns¬† in one or two places,. Then a bin for started projects and one bin or drawer for whatever. I always need one “whatever” drawer.

Cheers – here’s to spring cleaning!

Simple projects simple joy

I’m so enjoying my current project, a simple 4 shaft weave with¬†handyed Classic Sock weft and undyed Classic Sock warp. I’d almost forgotten how satisfying it is to work on a simple project with simple tools in simple yarns. Nothing¬†complicated going on here¬† but the results and experience¬†is wonderful.¬† Seems like the perfect project to be working on during the holiday season.¬† Happy Holidays

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