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Knitting the Leftover City Cowl

The possibilities are endless with this cowl by Kacey Herlihy. Mix it up with bold solids, softer tonals, funky tweeds, or even a hand-dyed with our Sueño Minis by HiKoo®. This is a great colorwork cowl for every level of knitter.

If you have never done colorwork this project is an easy one to learn. The Leftover City Cowl by Kacey Herlihy has simple colorwork stripes that allow you to get the feel for holding multiple strands but will also give you a break on the solid Stockinette Stitch sections. Other techniques that are suggested in the pattern are the German Twisted Cast on (this one is like magic once you figure it out) and a stretchy bind off which works really well for those who knit tightly.

We used the following DK weight minis (in this order, beginning at the bottom of the cowl): 

1447 Reflecting Pool Tonal

1100 Natural

1602 Flying Fuchsia (the tweed!)

1199 Lemon

1150 Plum

Want to make a Leftover City cowl of your very own? Purchase 5 or more mini hanks now through May 1, 2022, and we will include the Leftover City Cowl pattern as a gift!

Our sample was knitted up in a DK weight using Sueño Minis by HiKoo® on size 6 and 7 needles. We only used 5 colors (but you can do more!) and made the cowl a bit shorter than the suggested 13". However, there was no alteration to the number of cast on stitches.

The possibilities are endless with this cowl. Mix it up with bold solids, softer tonals, funky tweeds, or even a hand-dyed with our Sueño Minis by HiKoo®. This is a great colorwork cowl for every level of knitter and can be worked up in a weekend! 

While choosing your colors for this cowl, take a look at some of these other color combinations: 

1136 - Corny

1603 - Peaceful Purple

1100 - Natural

1608 - Fabulous Flamingo

1143 - Shamrock


1147 - Turks

1190 - CHARTREUSE

1135 - Indigo

1115 - Cantaloupe

1139 - Mulberry


1141 - Ice Ice Baby

1182 - Lilac

1135 - Indigo

1100 - Natural

1196 - Silver Sage


1147 - Turks

1605 - Comforting Cream

1190 - Chartreuse

1602 - Flying Fuchsia

1135 - Indigo


1405 - Tree Bark Tonal

1120 - Rust

1108 - Shifting Sands

1140 - Grasshopper

1401 - Seattle Beach Tonal


1182 - Lilac

1606 - Soothing Silver

1140 - Ice Ice Baby

1605 - Comforting Cream

1100 - Natural

We hope you have fun making your very own Leftover City cowl! Remember to share photos of what you make - we love seeing your color combinations!

10 Reasons Why Hand Knitters Need an addiExpress Kingsize Knitting Machine

Curious about why a hand knitter might want to own an addiExpress Kingsize knitting machine? Here are 10 reasons this useful tool belongs in every hand knitter's collection:

  1. When you want to see how a yarn will pattern, you can quickly run it through the machine and get a general idea. True, you cannot alter the gauge or needle size, but like we said, you will get a general idea – and if you don’t bind off, you can quickly photograph the fabric with your smartphone or camera, and then easily rip it out.  You can even rewind the yarn into a cake directly from the piece you knitted. Easy peasy!
  1. You can use the addiExpress Kingsize to knit panels that can be combined to make a sweater. Since your machine has a row counter, this is most easily done by casting on and working in waste yarn for a few rows, then working the desired amount of rows in the main yarn, and then ending again with a few rows in the waste yarn. Once the desired amount of panels are created, take a circular needle and run it through the first row of stitches of the main yarn on the cast on end and bind off. Repeat this on the bind off end. Next, line up the stitches and match your panels row by row. 
  1. You can do far more knitting for charity!  Reversible hats especially, are very easy and quick to make on the addiExpress Kingsize. No hand knitting is necessary– but you can certainly add some flair by using your hand-knitting skills to create ribbing or other embellishments.  
  1. Tubular scarves make scarf knitting easy! To give them more of a “hand-knitted” look, we recommend casting on and binding off using waste yarn, and finishing the ends of the scarf by transferring the stitches to a circular needle and either creating a ribbing in the round, or close the ends entirely by knitting two stitches together (one from each side of the fold), followed with ribbing.  You can also add fringe! 
  1. Felted slippers are a breeze...but do require a little shaping created by hand-knitting!  Check out our free felted slipper pattern!
  1. As a hand knitter you know how knit stitches are created, allowing you to manipulate stitches on the addiExpress Kingsize more easily than someone who does not hand knit. This knowledge offers the opportunity for so much more creativity, such as dropping stitches that can be picked up with another color, or from the reverse side, creating a more dimensional stitch pattern than simple Stockinette! 
  1.  It is a true stash buster ! You can hold finer yarns double (and triple) stranded on the addiExpress Kingsize, making it possible to create hats and scarves and panels by combining those lighter weight yarns to achieve the worsted gauge the machine creates. 
  1. Creating felt that coordinates with your hand-knitted piece is super easy. Simply knit your non-superwash yarn in a tube and bind it off. Toss it in your washing machine to felt, cut the tube open, and you’ll have a great piece of felt to use in conjunction with your hand-knitted pieces. Create felted collars, button bands, front panels or patches that coordinate perfectly with your knitted piece. 
  1. Twisted headbands are all the rage! They are quickly knit in stockinette stitch by hand. but imagine how quickly they are made on the addiExpress Kingsize! Adding special touches, like a cable, can be accomplished with practice, but only if you understand stitch construction, (which as a hand-knitter, you do)! 
  1. It’s super fun! Once you get started combining your addiExpress Kingsize along with hand knitting techniques, you are certain to discover how pleasurable it is to create items for yourself, your family and friends, and for charity, using the two together.  It truly is the best of both worlds! 

Meet the Author: Hannah Mann

The other day, we sat down with Hannah Mann, author of The Essential Guide to Machine Knitting to learn a bit more about the addiExpress Kingsize Knitting Machine and her incredible book.


MM: Thank you for taking time to chat with us today, Hannah! We are so excited about your book and want to know, what was the inspiration behind writing it?

HM: I became interested in making patterns with the addiExpress Kingsize once I discovered how easy it is to use, and how quickly it knits. I wasn’t finding exactly the kinds of patterns I was looking for out in the world and thought it could be beneficial to new and experienced addiExpress knitters alike to have a guidebook that included detailed instructions for finishing, embellishment, and modern patterns that were easily customizable.


MM: So, the book also includes all that extra instruction? That's fantastic! Do you think the book is suited for people new to the addiExpress, or is it for folks more experienced with the machine?

HM: Both! But especially for newbies. This essential guide brings you completely up to speed on all things addiExpress—the history, the parts, how to cast on, bind off, embellish, do special techniques, all from the very beginning. And all 30 patterns are arranged with the most beginner-friendly at the start, all the way up to more advanced projects by the end. So, by the time you make it through to the end of the book, you’ll be an addiExpress Expert!


MM: Aah! It's a bit of a course in how to become a brilliant user of the machine. We have a number of customers who ask if the machines good for kids as well?

HM: Absolutely! Anyone can learn how to use the addiExpress knitting machines! Cast on is simple, and turning the handle is all it takes to knit round after round. No matter age or ability, the learning curve for the addiExpress is accomplishable by anyone willing to learn.


MM: I know you can make hats, but what else can you make with these machines? Can you make other things like sweaters?

HM: Anything you can imagine! They can make tubes, flat panels, and you can increase and decrease just like with regular hand knitting. The online community of addiExpress knitters has also gotten ingenious with hand-manipulated alternative stitch patterns, as well.


MM: A LOT of our customers ask for information about what yarns work best in the machine. Do you have any ideas/suggestions as to what size yarn works best?

HM: Generally, worsted weight is just the right size, but fiber content can make a big difference in your stitches per inch. Natural yarns usually work the best, because of their stretchy animal fibers, while acrylics and cottons tend to have less flexibility. The needles on an addiExpress Knitting Machine are about the equivalent of a US 10.5 [6.5mm] knitting needle. Weights from Lace to Aran will work in the machine, but each yarn is unique, and it is recommended to make a swatch before committing to a project with a new yarn. 

Some of my favorite yarns available through Makers’ Mercantile® include:

HiKoo® Simpliworsted, Simpliworsted Spray, Simplinatural,  Sueño Worsted, as well as Schoppel Reggae, Zauberwolle, and Nimbus, & Luv & Lee by Zitron (Click on any of the names to learn more about that particular yarn).


MM: One last question. With all the fluff and fuzz that might build up in a machine, how do you keep it clean?

HM: Keep some canned air on hand! After a few projects, take your addiExpress outside, hold it upside-down and spray as much as you can inside the top with the canned air. This will help get out any residual fibers that get caught inside while knitting. You can also disassemble your machine to spray out the inside, just be sure to keep track of all your screws so they don’t roll away!

I have done a number of videos demonstrating how to remove/replace parts on the addiExpress as well. Even if you don't need to replace any parts, they are a good resource to learn how the machine is assembled.


MM: Wow! What an accomplishment it is to have created such a comprehensive book. Thank you for taking time to chat with us today!

HM: My pleasure!


Interested in getting The Essential Guide to Machine Knitting with the addiExpress Kingsize by Hannah Mann? Click the link below to get your copy today!


Scratch Board Weaving

We have arrived at our final destination - the sixth wrap made using the  Hippie Galazie Weaving Works Kit.

Read about the previous projects:

Wrap #1
Wrap #2
Wrap #3
Wrap #4

Wrap #5

It all started with a box of yarn……

which after 6 projects now looks like this:

This final project began with a black warp of doubled 8/2 cotton. Width on the loom was 15” with a length of 90”. Then came the sitting and looking at this completely blank canvas. Inspiration struck, I remembered seeing mini scratchboards that my Grandchildren were working with. Wow, this warp looks like a giant 15x90” scratchboard. How cool is that? Thinking of all those colors that could be lurking beneath the surface, sparked the idea of squares and rectangles, some connected and some becoming fringe on the sides of the warp. Why should the ends of the wrap have all the fringe fun?

For the planning on this project, after sketching and re-sketching, I used a string pattern marked at every 10” (see blog post number 3 for an explanation of a pattern string). Because I was down to small amounts of each color it was important to know each color would have its own space on the warp. The first supplementary color is color #1 and the design was planned to use each color in its own approximate 10” space. This was continued until color #10 was used. As you can see in the pictures some of the colors had fewer shapes in the design.

This wrap is woven with 8/2 cotton doubled with the Hippie Galaxie (HG) yarn as supplementary weft. Every weft pick is done with the 8/2 cotton, with an additional partial pick of the HG color. The partial pick will come up out of the warp and lay on top of the warp as you beat the pick. Change sheds and after a pick of 8/2 you will send the shuttle back into the warp and come out again on the other side of the supplementary design.

When you decide you want to add a fringe at the edge of the warp, you will need to leave a tail of about 6” each time you come to the edge. I used a narrow rectangle for each fringe with approximately 4 weft picks to give me 4 ends to twist into fringe.

Wrap Specifications

Off the loom: 14 ¼” x 75 ½” plus fringe

After Wet Finish: 13 ¼” x 70” plus fringe

Finishing

The ends are hemstitched and then trimmed to 2” for straight fringe after wet finishing.

I hope that this idea inspires you to try working with a supplementary weft. Enjoy and weave on, and on, and on…….


Resources

Winter Roses KAL

We are excited about the upcoming knitalong with skacel and Hannah Mann of Dear Ingénue! Running the entire month of November, join your fiber friends in knitting the Winter Roses pullover!

For a laid-back sweatshirt feel with a fun tri-color motif, this ultra-cozy sweater is knit in the round—from the top-down—so you can try it on as you go! The circular yoke and body are embellished with bands of bold colorwork and textural garter stitch ridges. 

Knit in HiKoo® Simplinatural—a smooth, fluffy, aran-weight yarn, featuring a sumptuous blend of baby alpaca, fine merino wool, and mulberry silk.

The free pattern offers two neck variations, as well as a full-length or cropped-length body. Charted and written instructions are available for the colorwork.

Winter Roses is available in 5 different sizes with two neck and two length options (cowl neck or crew neck & full length or crop length).

Want help choosing colors? Keep scrolling to see some great options selected by the designer!

Save 15% off Simplinatural
now through 10/31/21

Purchase 5 or more hanks of Simplinatural, and we will send the Winter Roses Notions Bag as
our gift to you!


Offer good through 10/31/21

  • 40% Alpaca, 40% Merino Wool, 20% Mulberry Silk
  • 183 yards per 100 gram hank
  • 4 - 4.5 sts/ in on US 8 - 9 (5.00 - 5.50 mm) needles
  • Size I (5.50 mm) hook
  • Aran weight
  • Hand wash cold, lay flat
  • Made in Peru

Sizes
1 (XS-S) - 2 (M-L) - 3 (XL-2XL) - 4 (3XL-4XL) - 5 (5XL)

IN INCHES
Bust Circumference: 32 (40, 48, 56, 60)“
Cropped Underarm to Hem: 8”
Full-Length Underarm to Hem: 12.75 (13, 13, 13.5, 14)”

IN CENTIMETERS
Bust Circumference: 81.5 (101.5, 112, 142, 152.5)cm
Cropped Underarm to Hem: 20.5cm
Full-Length Underarm to Hem: 32.5 (33, 33, 34.5, 35.5)“

Model shown is a 40” (101.5cm) bust wearing size 2 (M-L)

Color Combinations

yarn requirements


COWL-neck / FULL-length

SIZES1 (XS-S)2 (M-L)3 (XL-2XL)4 (3-4XL)5 (5XL)
MC4 hanks4 hanks5 hanks6 hanks7 hanks
CC12 hanks2 hanks3 hanks3 hanks4 hanks
CC21 hank1 hank2 hanks2 hanks2 hanks
Total7 hanks7 hanks9 hanks10 hanks12 hanks

COWL-neck / CROPPED-length

SIZES1 (XS-S)2 (M-L)3 (XL-2XL)4 (3-4XL)5 (5XL)
MC3 hanks4 hanks5 hanks6 hanks7 hanks
CC11 hank2 hanks2 hanks2 hanks2 hanks
CC21 hank1 hank1 hank1 hank2 hanks
Total5 hanks7 hanks8 hanks9 hanks11 hanks

CREW-neck / FULL-length

SIZES1 (XS-S)2 (M-L)3 (XL-2XL)4 (3-4XL)5 (5XL)
MC4 hanks4 hanks5 hanks6 hanks7 hanks
CC11 hank2 hanks2 hanks2 hanks3 hanks
CC21 hank1 hank1 hank1 hank2 hanks
Total6 hanks7 hanks8 hanks9 hanks12 hanks

CREW-neck / CROPPED-length

SIZES1 (XS-S)2 (M-L)3 (XL-2XL)4 (3-4XL)5 (5XL)
MC3 hanks4 hanks5 hanks6 hanks6 hanks
CC11 hank2 hanks2 hanks2 hanks2 hanks
CC21 hank1 hank1 hank1 hank2 hanks
Total5 hanks6 hanks7 hanks9 hanks10 hanks

Gauge: 20 sts & 24 rows = 4” 10cm in pattern

Smaller Needles: 16” (40cm) and 32” (80cm) US 8 (5mm) skacel by addi® circular needles, and DPNs for sleeves if not using the Magic Loop Method

Larger Needles: 32” (80cm) US 9 (5.5mm) skacel by addi® circular needles, and DPNs for sleeves if not using the Magic Loop Method

Notions: Stitch marker, Tapestry needle, Scissors

Yikes Stripes

Still exploring how many wraps can be made out of one  Hippie Galazie Weaving Works Kit, the adventure continues with the FIFTH wrap! 

Read about the previous projects:

Wrap #1
Wrap #2
Wrap #3
Wrap #4

Hello and here we are again. Another wrap? Although it really does make a beautiful wrap, this time I thought we needed another option. How about some stripes for your table?

Once again, this fabric was made using the Hippie Galaxie magic box of yarn. This is the fifth piece from the box. When I started warping my loom there was a loose plan on the size of the stripes. This will vary depending on how much yarn you have left in each color. Planning out the stripes on graph paper will help, you know how many ends your heddle will hold and how many colors you can use. This piece was woven on my Ashford RH 16” loom. The total number of ends are 159 using a 10 dent heddle on this loom. I highly recommend that you note how many ends each of your heddles will hold. This will help you in your design process.

Remember to add the color Black (8/2 cotton doubled) to the number of ends you are calculating.

Warping the Loom:

Warp Length 90”

Width on Loom: approximately 15 1/4” in a 10 dent heddle with a total of 156 ends

This photo shows the final stripe sequence.

The width of the color stripes is controlled by the amount of yarn I had left. There was a lot of scribbling and warping and unwarping before I was happy with the stripe sequence. At times when I am trying to design a pattern, the loom is my design board. Maybe that sounds like more work than designing on paper, but it helps my process to use the materials that will create the final fabric.

There are several ways to go about putting the stripes on the loom. You can start at the center and design out from there or begin on the right or left edge. Remember this is your project and my ideas are just that, ideas and there is no right or wrong. Your thoughts and ideas may lead you in a completely different direction. Just remember to keep your notes, as these will help inspire you on future adventures.

Tying on your Warp:

For this piece I wanted fringe at each end. When I had the heddle threaded and ready to tie on, I used the simple tying on to the apron bar method. That gave me the option of using the fringe or not. I did hemstitch after spreading the warp. This would give me the option of twisted fringe or just trimming the ends, leaving 1 ½” length of straight fringe on each end.

You may not want long fringe on a table runner, since that can lead to messy accidents if the fringe catches on something or someone or possibly a curious and fun-loving cat or dog.

Another optional finishing technique would be turning under the end twice and hemming either by hand or machine. You could also use a contrast fabric to finish the end and turn under one time and stitch.

Hemstitching:

Hemstitching the ends can be done while the piece is on the loom or after you have removed the piece from the loom.

The picture above shows hemstitching done with a single thread of 8/2 cotton. The next picture shows the hemstitching done with 8/2 cotton doubled.

Weaving the Stripes:

 The entire piece is woven with black 8/2 cotton doubled.

Measuring and Finishing:

On the loom this piece is 90” x 15 1/4”

Off the loom and after wet finish the piece measures 70 ½” x 14 ½” with an additional fringe length of 5”

The table in the photo, when opened completely measures 60”.

Enjoy using your beautiful stripes! And……weave on and on…….

Coming soon…….Galaxie Scratch Board Wrap, project number six.


Resources

2021 Puget Sound LYS Tour

Welcome to the 2021 Puget Sound LYS Tour! This year, we are excited to offer 10 days of fiber fun PLUS the option to visit in person or online!


In Person

18437 E. Valley Hwy #102, Kent, WA 98032

August 13 - 22, 2021

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Bring your passport into the shop and get it stamped, and be sure to enter the daily drawing. 


Virtual Visits

Visit our website any time during the tour for purchases and be sure to enter the Grand Prize drawing! 


Finishers

A hearty congratulations to everyone who visited all 20 shops during the tour! It is a fantastic feat that we are certain will leave you inspired. Here are the crafty folks who made Makers' Mercantile stop #20:


2021 Tour Swag

2021 Tour Patterns

Visit the shop in person or make a purchase online during the tour and you will receive download codes for the knit and crochet patterns we have created for the tour.

Alternatively, during the tour, you will also have the option to purchase the patterns for $10 each.


Mitered Square Tunic

by Melissa Leapman

Most sizes of the Mitered Square Tunic by Melissa Leapman take just two cakes of Concentric Cotton by HiKoo®. It begins at the bottom and is worked in a few simple pieces. Some quick finishing around the neck and the addition of sleeves and voila! You've created a lovely, gradient crocheted tunic you
can be proud of.

Want to make the piece shorter? Simply begin the neck shaping sooner... it's as easy as that.
 
This pattern is our gift to our customers now through
August 22, 2021.

Save 10% off Concentric Cotton now through 8/22/21


Choose two colors of CoBaSi by HiKoo and knit up a pair of Crab Walk Socks! Designed by Ellen Thomas of The Chilly Dog, these ankle high beauties feature patterning that keep the knitting interesting.
This pattern is our gift to our customers now through
August 22, 2021.

Save 10% off CoBaSi now through 8/22/21

Shipping Updates

Due to increases in the cost of shipping, we will be revising our shipping policy effective August 1, 2021, as follows:

  • Free shipping on all orders of $75.00 or more within the contiguous US.
  • Orders under $75.00 being shipped in the contiguous US will be charged a flat rate of $5.00. We will choose the most economical way to ship your order. This may be UPS, USPS, or FedEx.
  • Orders of any amount shipping to Hawaii, Alaska, and other US territories, will be shipped for a flat fee of $7.00. This may be UPS, USPS or FedEx.
  • Expedited shipping may be requested for $10.00
  • International orders will be charged based on product weight, size, and the country being shipped to.
  • Subscription boxes will ship at the rate specified at the time of sign-up.

If you have any questions about this change, please contact us at hello@makersmercantile.com and we will be happy to answer your questions.

Color and Shadow

When this journey began, the plan was for three wraps. You can read the first post HERE, and the second post HERE, and the third one HERE. When these wraps were complete, the box was not empty, so the journey continues.

When you sit down to your loom, you are the artist the dressed loom is the canvas and the weft yarn you choose is your paint. There are so many different types of materials and with so many design weav-abilities and combinations, it can be overwhelming. This project let me focus on creating many different patterns with the same materials.

You can get the Hippie Galazie Weaving Works Kit HERE.

A new warp:
Single ends of Maurice Brassard 8/2 cotton in black
12 dent heddle
80” warp
Width in heddle 15”

Weft:
8/2 doubled
Lola Bobble Box in Hippie Galazie all colors

Additional texture using black mohair (Zitron Extra Klasse) wound with one strand of 8/2 cotton on an additional shuttle.

This photo shows the beginning textural section. Using a measuring string pattern with every 10” marked helped me keep track of my spacing.

This project is using the colors in the Bobbel Box that are left from the first three projects. This example is to give you an idea for using the remaining yarn. The amount of yarn that you will have left greatly depends on the way that you weave and the width and length of the warps that you have already put on your loom.

This is just off the loom before wet finished to give you an idea of the color placement and texture sections. As you can see I was a little more generous with my colors at the beginning of the warp (the first colors are the yellow/orange group).

When I started weaving there was really no color pattern, also, I had more yarn in some colors. As I was winding shuttles I separated them into groups, I saw a fire section, rainbow section, an ocean and ocean sun section. One color group leads into another divided by textural shadows. This idea is only a place to start!

This project uses a technique called hatching. There are a number of different ways to create hatching. This technique is created with at least two colors and are overlapped or butted up against each other in the shed. If they are to butt up against each other both colors are used in the same shed. If they are to overlap only one color is used in the shed at a time. In this warp the colors are overlapped, I wanted a constant contrast of color and shadow, so the black weft always begins on the right and the color weft on the left in the warp.

When you are using this technique the shuttle will come up out of the shed in the spot you want the color to end. Beat the pick in place and change sheds, then send the shuttle back to the same side of the warp it came from.

For Example: the shuttle with the color will come from the left side of the warp and come up out of the warp at the spot you have decided upon. Beat the interrupted pick into place and change sheds. Send the shuttle back through the new shed to the same side (the left) of the warp, making sure to catch the warp thread closest to the thread where your shuttle came out of the warp. Beat the pick into place and change sheds. Now send the shuttle with the black thread from the right side of the warp and overlap the color, bring the shuttle up out of the warp. Beat into place and change sheds. Insert the shuttle into the new shed, again making sure to catch the warp thread, and out to the same side of the warp (right).

This project was inspired by the Sunset Shawl by Judith Shanagold

References for Hatching:

Handwoven Loom Theory rigid-heddle scarf collection (ebook) Sunset Shawl by Judith Shanagold

Tapestry Weaving by Kirsten Glasbrook

When weaving the black intermingled with color I used the 8/2 cotton and mohair wound together. In the black sections there are wide stripes alternating with 8/2 cotton wound double on a shuttle and the shuttle with the 8/2 cotton and mohair.

This wrap was designed as I sat down to weave, but next time I may do a little planning with colored pencils on graph paper to see other ways to apply the techniques of interrupted weaving.

Finishing the Wrap:

My vision for the wrap was a loose fitting somewhat poncho style wrap. Since the warp was lashed onto the front with no extra warp for fringe, I left enough warp at the end to use for twisted fringe. To add another pop of color I cut pieces of the Bobble Box yarn to add to the fringe. To make this easier, I will secure the warp with knots all the way across and then add the color to each section. You will need to cut the yarn double the length of the existing fringe, thread it onto a tapestry needle and thread it up and then down through the knot before twisting the fringe.

Next, I finished the end without fringe by zigzagging with my machine and then finishing the edge with silk ribbon.

Next step is to place the ribbon end overlapping the edge of the wrap at the fringe end as seen in the above photo. This will become the wrong side.

The photo above shows the right side of the wrap.

And that is the story, but is it the end of the journey……?

Stay tuned for more weaving adventure.

Cynthia


Upcoming online

Weaving Workshops

Stop Number Three

Hello again weavers,

Just a little note to let you know we are still adventuring along on the More than a Mile-long Hippie Galaxie path. In other words, a very colorful journey. You can read the first post HERE, and the second post HERE. I hope you enjoy this new project, it was a lot of fun to make!            

When I was originally thinking about the idea of using color blocking for this wrap the idea was huge! I envisioned a large wall hanging of Mondrian type color sections divided by black lines of various sizes. So, I needed to pare it down to a doable size for a Rigid Heddle loom idea. Changes were made and I sliced the middle out of the original idea and came up with Not Quite Mondrian. When you look at it perhaps you can see the rest of the original plan.

To simplify the pattern, I left out the vertical solid black lines that were part of my original vision.

The next photo shows my final design decision. Get out those colored pencils! Yes, it is in my notebook - you know how much I love keeping records! You can download the free Weaving Project Page HERE.

The color blocking is made possible by a tapestry technique called single weft interlock. There are a number of different ways to execute this technique, I have also seen it referred to as interlocking weft and discontinuous weft. This also means that you can have more than 2 colors to a pick to create blocks of color. That’s where the simplification came in for this idea, I reduced the number of sections and so reduced the number of colors that needed to interlock with each other in a single row. If I had left the vertical black lines in the design, there would have been three or four colors to each pick. That being said, I encourage you to  experiment with variations of this technique.

Weft interlock is really a family of techniques.  Each technique using 2 or more colors that come together either in one shed or a combination of sheds. Each throw is not a full pick of the weft thread, they are interrupted either by another thread or by stopping within the warp itself and venturing off into a new direction.

For this design we are interrupting the pick in the approximate center of the warp using one color from the right and a second color from the left. Both colors will come up out of the warp in the same spot: 


The warp is then beat into place. Change sheds, interlock the two colors... 


...and then go back through the new shed to each respective side of the warp. Beat the pick into place and you have completed 2 picks of 2 colors each.

This technique also creates a definite right and wrong side to the fabric. I like both sides, one has more texture the other is smoother after the wet finishing process. The top side (the top of the cloth on your loom) is referred to as the wrong side.

The next two photos are taken after the wet finish process. The first is the top or wrong side of the work, the second is the reverse side. You can see the textural difference. Since this project became a closed loop scarf, you will see both sides. But my chosen side is the one with more texture and that is the side with the fringe.

Scarf Specifications

This scarf was woven using a 12-dent heddle on a rigid heddle loom with a width of 15”. The warp is 8/2 cotton used as a single thread. The warp length is approximately 100”.

To keep track of my sections I used a measuring string. This time I measured and divided the length into 10” sections and marked them with a black permanent ink pen. Your measuring string is now a pattern string. I keep mine in a marked plastic bag, so I do not have to remake it for every project. Make sure that you write down the length of your string and the number of sections so you don’t forget once it begins to be wound into your warp!

The picture below shows the string pattern circled in green.

When winding the color shuttles, you will need two at a time. After securing the first color to the shuttle, begin winding onto the shuttle counting every time you make one full rotation around the shuttle. For this color plan I counted to 20 and cut my yarn. This shuttle is loaded and ready to weave. Move onto the second color and wind the same way. This plan allowed me to have less waste on the shuttle and fewer smaller pieces of yarn, since you are using the shuttle until it is empty. You will also need to wind a shuttle with the 8/2 cotton doubled to use in between the color blocks. Depending on the way that you weave, you may want to add more yarn to your shuttles. Also, you may want to change the size of the black stripes that divide the color blocks and that will affect the amount of color. The 10” sections are just a guide to spread the colors more evenly throughout the scarf.

Begin weaving with a waste yarn to spread the warp and use waste yarn at the end of the warp.

Remember, this is only an idea! A place to start……the loom is your canvas, your thread is your palette, you are the artist.

Weave on……..

Finishing

When you are removing your warp from the loom make sure to keep your waste yarn in place. This will make it easier to complete your fringe. This scarf is finished as a continuous loop held in place by the knots at the edges of the warp.

This is just an option, personally I like a scarf that does not have ends to slip off my shoulders. So, it became an oversized, double wrap cowl. You could finish this as a straight scarf with fringe on both ends and add beads, or not, and it would be amazing!

IS THIS THE END OF THE MILE??? A resounding NO!!!

When we started this journey there were plans for 3 scarves, but since the box still has yarn in it, there is no stopping us now!

Stay tuned for a little lagniappe for your loom…….

References for this post:

www.ashford.co.nz/ashford-club (Stained Glass on the Rigid Heddle Loom)

The Weaver’s Journal Summer 1987 (Tapestry Tips)

Weave*Knit*Wear by Judith Shangold