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.
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.
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