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


What can you do with a mile of yarn?

The answer is, so many amazing things, but today we are going to focus on how much weaving you can complete with a Bobbel Box of yarn.

The Lola yarn is a weaver’s happy place, buying yarn to use on your loom or looms (as in my case) is a little different in quantity. Buying yarn for your looms can be done by the pound! Yes, that sounds a little crazy, but to make sure you have the materials you need to complete large and/or multiple projects, buying larger quantities at a time can speed you on the way of completed projects. The Lola Box is a little over a pound of yarn (approximately 18 oz), and 2,050 yards for over a mile of yarn!

You can use your yarn stash and purchase new skeins, cakes, and balls of yarn of all types to use on your loom in conjunction with yarn you will purchase in larger quantities. Many of my projects are made up of yarn purchased by the skein and a yarn purchased by the pound or half-pound.

The foundation yarn and primary colorway for these projects is the Lola Bobble Box, specifically the Hippie Galaxy colorway. The first project was inspired by a project in Handwoven magazine. As a matter of fact, it is on the cover of the May/June 2018 issue. It is called the Travel Shawl by Deborah Jarchow and it is an amazing combination of cotton/acrylic in the warp and mohair for the weft. Handwoven is an amazing magazine and I highly recommend getting a subscription, there are projects for all types of looms and no matter what your abilities it can inspire and help you along the Weaving Way. I wanted to use the 20” Schacht Flip Loom for this project, so I narrowed the project from 3 individual 10” wide warps to one 20” wide warp and adjusted the amount of each color used for the striped warp.

Tools
20” loom
10 dent heddle
Fringe twister
100” warp with 200 ends
String measuring tool

Materials
One Lola Bobbel Box
One ball Extra Klasse by Zitron

Warping
Beginning at the center of the heddle will give you better control with your color placement.

Mark a center slot on your heddle, this comes in handy for every project!

Tie on and tie off each color section to the back apron bar, once you have started the center color you will be moving back and forth on either side of the center to add the next colors. Painting your heddle with color!

The center color (color 1) will straddle the center of the heddle. If you are direct warping, divide the number of ends by 2 and warp the slots only. Once you have the center 10 slots warped you can tie off and then tie on Color 2 and warp 5 slots on either side of the center section, and so on until you are all the way across the 20” heddle or to your desired width. See the following chart:

Notes for Happy Warping (I love being warped)

When you have finished warping your loom and have tied the warp at the peg end, DO NOT CUT the warp loops at the peg. Just slip the warp off the peg and proceed to winding the warp on the loom using your preferred separation materials. Once you have your warp wound on and you begin to thread your holes cut only one loop at a time before threading. This may take a few more minutes but the rewards will be well worth doing it this way! So, you are wondering why, as you have noticed the yarn is made up of four individual threads not plied together. While this is one of the things that makes this yarn so great for weaving, it can also cause a bit of a problem with your warping. If you cut all the warp ends at one time you run the risk of not pulling the correct threads together when you thread the holes resulting in a not well-behaved warp (yes, I have had this experience).

When you have finished threading the heddle, its time to tie onto the front with your preferred method. You will be using the tie on ends for your fringe, so if you are tying the ends directly to the front apron bar make sure you have about 5” in the tie on. Spread your warp with waste yarn, this is my preferred method as it makes it easier to control the threads when I am knotting for fringe especially if I am not doing a hemstitch.

However, for this project I did hemstitch and then created the twisted fringe. I liked how the mohair looked in the basic hemstitch design.

But first, we need to weave our wrap! This is a lightly beaten weft, so when you beat your weft pick you are doing it gently. It is more of a placing of the weft at the fell line.

When you begin your weaving I highly recommend that you create a string measuring tool for your work. You can also clip a measuring tape to the warp, but I find that this works better for me. I use a contrast, cut to the length I need, piece of crochet cotton. To measure for this project: leave a 4” tail and tie a knot, then measure 90” from the knot and cut. The knot and tail will be threaded in the first row of weaving, using a tapestry needle thread the tail into the waste yarn for a few inches to secure.

This little string will answer the question “How far have I woven and how far do I have to go?” Make sure that you have recorded the length of the string on your Project Page along with all the other information you will need in the future. Such as, your materials, your heddle dent and width of project.

When you have woven far enough that you have the apron bar wound forward so you can see how much warp you have left, leave enough for fringe and put in a few picks of waste yarn to secure the warp. If you hemstitched at the beginning you can do that now before you remove the warp, if you decide after removing your warp from the loom that you want to hemstitch you certainly can!

Remember to measure your woven fabric after removing from the loom, and record on your project page. I like to twist the fringe before the wet finishing. Once you have finished the fringe, and woven in any ends, you are ready to wet finish. For this wrap I did a tub soak using Eucalan, while it is in the water I give it a few squishes to help encourage the fibers to work together and then let it soak for about 30 minutes. Then I squeeze it and then roll it up flat in a towel or two and hang to dry, I usually put it over the shower curtain rod. Yes, you can dry it flat, but here in the Pacific Northwest it dries better hanging. I do move it around a few times to keep it from getting kinked. And, I get to interact with the fabric and smile.

The information in this post is a guideline for your wrap. Weaving is a personal and individual process. You can make it wider narrower, longer or shorter! Remember you will have to adjust the amount of yarn you have for the weft. If your warp is wider or longer you will need to purchase an additional ball of weft yarn.

This picture highlights the airy and light nature of the fabric created by using the Lola and mohair together.

I hope you enjoy working with this amazing yarn, and remember this is only the first stop on our Lola Bobbel Box journey.

Weave on,                          

Cynthia          


Products mentioned in this post: