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Category Archives: Weaving

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Handweavers Guild of Boulder

October 31 – November 4, 2012
Wednesday – Sunday
10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Boulder County Fairgrounds
Hover Street and Nelson Road, Longmont
Admission and parking are free.


Again, I promise it is not me. She got a great job somewhere closer to her family. So she gets a farewell scarf!

Warp: Hand-dyed Anzula sock yarn in Denim (Superwash Merino, Cashmere)

Weft: Cascade Heritage sock yarn in Steel

Sett at 16 for a twill, probably should have sett it at 15

Denim Sock Yarn Scarf

Yet another one

Current Audiobook: Castle Corona by Sharon Creech

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

$10, 14 pairs of knitting needles. Yes, metal, but useful to have around for sizes I don’t already have in bamboo.

Needle Treasure

Needle Treasure!

Another find from the thrift store this weekend; a plastic Weave-It Hand Loom. Something to do tiny samples on, or just a random piece to collect? Hopefully I’ll make use of it.



For more info on using these little gems, see the eLoomaNation site.

Current Audiobook: Having given up on the annoying Sister Grimm series, I’m moving back to adult books. Currently listening to 12.21: A Novel by Dustin Thomason

On Deck: Just picked up The Elgin Affair: The Abduction of Antiquity’s Greatest Treasures and the Passions it Aroused by Theodore Vrettos

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde

The last challenging bright scarf. Wandered around Shuttles trying to find something aqua, teal, or bright green – the recipient’s favorite colors. Found Plymouth Yarns Kudo (color #42, blue green), which seemed like a good base. Trouble is, the yarn is kind of crunchy, for lack of a better word. I needed something to soften it up and make it more appealing as a scarf.

After too much searching, decided on two hand-dyed merino wool and silk blends as additional warp, Malabrigo Silky Merino Yarn (412 Teal Feather from My Sister Knits) and Louisa Harding Grace Hand-Dyed from my stash (#16 Melon, purchased last year from sale bin at Tuesday Morning). Wrapped around the ruler, the Kudo was 11 epi, the others were 11-12. Set at 13.5 in a 6 dent reed, slightly tighter because of weaving a twill.

Weft = Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk sock yarn color #5633

Again, it is not necessarily recommended that you use Kudo as warp. It can pull apart, so it needs to be babied like Manos. Don’t pull it too tightly in the warp, choose a simple pattern, use a big dent reed (6), and add in additional yarn as warp. I also put a few threads of solid Cash Vero on the edges, to make stronger edges and match the solid warp to a solid (not variegated) edge thread. Conceals more errors that way!

Kudo Scarf 1

Kudo plus silk wool warp

Kudo Scarf 2

Washed and Dried

The pictures don’t show that this really is more teal and aqua than anything else, but the silk in the warp, plus the sock yarn weft, has given it a nice hand. Not too crunchy for a scarf now.

Recent Audiobooks: Starting the Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. Enjoyable, but clearly written for the adults instead of children. How many modern children actually read real Grimm’s tales? Will they understand these references? Or do they just think Jack the Giant Killer is a hero, and not understand the wealth of Jack tales indicating that he is a trickster (plot hint)?

“I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether it’s going to work or whether I’m going to fall flat on my face.” – Johnny Depp

Dug dug dug out the loom, at least temporarily. Two of the three scarves are done. Okay, all three were actually woven this weekend, but one of them turned out so badly I cannot give it as a gift. Talk about sleazy weaving! Between the cotton warp and bamboo weft, something went very wrong. Nothing shrank and tightened up as I thought it should, and the thing is just too fragile to consider wearing. Certainly not going to give such a failure as a gift.

The two that did work:

Very bright and stripey

I warned you that they were bright.

Pink and Black: Weft = bamboo knitting yarn. Warp = pink bamboo/cotton knitting yarn, black SugarRush sugarcane sock yarn.

Red and Orange: Weft = Manos wool/silk blend in red. Warp = Random 100 percent wool in solid orange (very similar to Manos, sorry already threw away the tag) and Manos del Uruguay Maxima 100 percent wool.

Apparently, some folks do not recommend weaving with Manos as the warp. As I am not a good weaver, it is not a problem for me. I have to weave the entire scarf in one day in order to get the beat to match. This means the warp is only under tension for 3-4 hours total, which the 100 percent wool Manos can handle if treated gently.

Recent audiobook: More About Paddington by Michael Bond, performed by Stephen Fry

Current audiobook: Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers, performed by Sophie Thompson from the films Emma and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

“Why do you always complicate things that are really quite simple?” – Mary Poppins

Three co-workers have left in the past month. I swear, it isn’t me. One retired, and two got great new jobs elsewhere. It means that three Goodbye scarves are owed, and two of the three have to be blindingly bright because those are the colors they like.

Seriously, only one of them likes black (but she likes it with hot pink). Due to home reno, the loom is currently unreachable, so the most I can do is select warp and weft, wind things out, and wait. And wait. And start digging out around the loom.

Recent Audiobook: Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (performed by Ralph Cosham)

Recent Reads: Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson (excellent); The Body Project by Dr. Joan Blumberg (incredibly depressing); Living Dolls : The Return of Sexism (incredibly depressing)

“I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves.” – Mary Wollstonecraft

Check-in for the annual fiber arts sale is tomorrow. Tomorrow! I have woven four scarves in two days, and am hoping against hope that everything dries in time. Seeing as these items are mostly woven out of silk and wool, I don’t want to pop them in the dryer and just see what happens.

These last four scarves were inspired by a talk we went to last weekend by Leatrice Eiseman, who is one of the important Pantone people who watch color trends across the globe. She is a psychologist by training and has some interesting things to say about the psychology of why we like which colors.

One of the things Eiseman stressed for 2012 is the combination of vibrant, almost neon colors with traditional neutrals (tan, gray, black). And that those yellow-greens aren’t going away any time soon. If you take a run through your local Ross, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls, you’ll see the neon-green-and-black scarves are already out on the shelves. I’ve tried making a couple of scarves in this type of color palette. We’ll see if they sell to the local crowd.


Color trends

Now to fill out all the pages of paperwork necessary to submit items to the sale tomorrow…

“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

As I’ve noted, the annual fiber arts sale is just a few weeks away. And I have little or nothing to sell. After discussions with my sister, I decided to try to make some things for men. Last year there were tons of scarves for sale, but most of them were clearly made for women.

First up in this series for men is a plain weave scarf I whipped up yesterday.

Masculine Scarf

Masculine fringe?

The warp is Malabrigo wool, the weft is Pima Fesca cotton from Queensland Collection. I know, I know, Malabrigo is not really strong enough to put in the warp. That’s why I made it plain weave; so I could pull really really gently and not stress the yarns too much.

I hate loom waste so much I actually wove the last four inches using a needle and pulling yards of the weft through the scarf that way. For those of you who aren’t weavers, when you tie all the threads onto the loom, you can waste up to 30 inches of yarn in the process. That “loom waste” secures the threads to the loom, doesn’t get woven, and generally gets thrown away. Multiply that by 70 warp threads, and you’re wasting a heck of a lot of yarn. Because I wove with the needle, I only had 3 inches of loom waste on one end, none on the other. Hence the fringe; helps me keep the loom waste to a minimum by using a lot of the tied-on threads as fringe.

That’s the problem and the question for the day:
What kind of finish/edge do you put on a man’s scarf? I cannot really see a man wanting to wear a scarf with this fringe, so I’m considering undoing the twists and just knotting small groups of yarn into bunches. That seems more masculine to me. This scarf is really too thick for me to cut off the fringe, fold over the edge, and just hem it. Suggestions welcome.

Recent read: Tiaras Past and Present by Munn. Recommended for the magpie in all of us.

Current audiobook: The Night Circus by Morgenstern, performed by Jim Dale (of the Harry Potter audiobooks). I’m not entranced, but I am enjoying hearing Jim Dale perform again.

“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are, it is our choices.” – JK Rowling

October 3 – 9, 2011

This week is the Handweavers Guild of America’s National Spinning and Weaving Week. Be sure to check with your local yarn shops to see what classes and events they are holding to celebrate.

Myself, I’m not weaving anything right now because I’m knitting and unraveling. I’ve finished two more pairs of wrist warmers for the upcoming sale, although the dye from the black yarn came off on my fingers. I’ll have to wash that pair carefully, to make sure I get all the extra dye out before I sell them. I also found six (6!) 100% cashmere sweaters this week at the thrift store.

Yes, eventually I need to make things using the reclaimed cashmere, but right now I’m still experiencing the thrill of the hunt. Hmm. Maybe I’ll knit wrist warmers out of the reclaimed cashmere…

Currently reading: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Currently listening to: NPR Road Trips – Roadside Attractions

“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” – Tom Peters

I’ve been using the amazing new Icelandic pattern book to knit wrist warmers for the upcoming sale. Two more sets done, one more set just started on the needles. I cannot believe the sheer number of amazing patterns in this book!

Riesines 9

Icelandic book wins again

I’ve also been continuing the yarn reclaiming and weaving it into new things. Up first a set of large dish towels, formerly known as an unattractive cotton sweater. Bill Cosby has a lot to answer for when it comes to men’s sweaters for the past 20 years.


Upcycled towels

I’ve also finished two silk and cashmere scarves, 100% silk for the warp and 100% cashmere for the weft. The silk provides a nice, solid warp for the softer upcycled yarn that I wouldn’t trust in a warp.

Quick tips on weaving with reclaimed yarn:
1) Remember that the yarn has already shrunk once. That means you need to sett and weave things a little tighter in order to get a solid weave. Think twill.
2) I’ve found I need to pull it a little tighter in the weft that usual – just to make sure the ramen parts are all stretched out before I beat things into place.

Even with all the upcycling, I still cannot resist new yarn. Found this alpaca/silk blend at Showers of Flowers.

Showers Alpaca

Yes, even more yarn

Recent audiobooks:
Daemon by Suarez, to make all the sys admins out there happy.

Ready Player One by Cline. A must read for anyone who was a teen in the 80s. It’s a moral imperative. (If you recognize that phrase, you are required to listen to this audiobook. For extra geek points, the audiobook is performed by Wil Wheaton.)

“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.” – Frank Capra