Posts Tagged ‘woven’

25
Feb

Ravellenic Games are OVER

Posted under Weaving No Comments

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Whew. It’s been an insane couple of weeks for me with the Ravellenic Games in full swing. I challenged myself to get all 34 unique medals this year and I just barely made it! I was so busy spinning, knitting, crocheting, and weaving though that I’m quite a bit behind on posting. This means one thing for my readers: get ready for the deluge of awesome projects.

I’m going to kick off with my absolute favorite project of the games this year, my mini notions bag! You got a bit of a preview in the Rainbow Yarns post earlier. I posted those pictures of the yarn with the new electric spinning wheel right before the insanity started and I was challenged by a friend to get all 34 medals. So what did I do with this yarn? Well, not quite yet!

I didn’t want to use just rainbow yarn for a project because I’m just not very into the bright and crazy colors. My best friend teases me relentlessly about my ever so boring love of earth tones. So I went up to my favorite local fiber and yarn shop, Table Rock Llamas, and picked up some jet black merino wool. I quickly spun this into a 2 ply fingering weight yarn. It spun up fast on the new espinner and when a friend was helping me wind it into a center pull ball, we both marveled at how even it was as it flew through the tensioning fingers at high speed. I don’t think I’ve ever spun so much yardage so evenly, much less so quickly. There was approximately 125 yards from 0.8oz of fiber and I used every last drop.

For my project I opted to use the new black yarn with the rainbow crepe yarn. I set aside the rainbow light fingering yarn from the previous post for hexipuffing of course. How could I not? Here’s that crepe yarn again made from rainbow wool and two plies of polyester machine embroidery thread.

My best friend, K, was visiting the night I did this and so she helped provide extra hands to warp my four harness table loom with the black handspun yarn. We learned a very important lesson that night. Never, ever warp a loom with energetic yarn. You’ll be wrestling with it for hours trying to get the kinks out and tension applied evenly! Still, eventually we succeeded and I began weaving a plain tabby cloth immediately working with a shuttle of the rainbow crepe. I made this particular shuttle from lacewood last year for a specific project, hence the absurd length. But it was the only one I could find and I wanted to weave right that second. If I’d had patience, I’d have soaked and possibly weighted the black warp too! Or, you know, put on something other than jammies for the picture.

Before long I had a beautiful finished fabric but more space to go on the loom before running out of warp. Since it was handspun warp I felt extra horrible about wasting it and spent a while glancing frantically about my room trying to find something I could weave across my black warp to make a useable finished fabric.

I settled on a mini skein of solid black aran weight handspun and a second mini skein of DK weight black and gold thread with sequined yarn, both spun at Distaff Day this past January. I quickly worked them up for a bit in a striped pattern until I lost my patience and just had to cut my rainbow fabric off the loom.

From here it went right into the bathroom sink to be hand felted before being stretched out to dry. Given our difficulties warping the highly energetic black, it was a rather surprisingly flat and even fabric that wasn’t trying to curl up on itself. I had expected it to skew like the bias that forms in knits with energetic yarn worked flat.

I spent a day agonizing over how to cut up my fabric. I finally settled on three rectangles to make three little bags, a black and gold coin purse, a small rainbow notions bag, and a large project or double-pointed needle storage pouch. All three would have cotton liners and zipper closures.

Since I was trying for all the medals and the multiple bags would have all earned just more duplicates of the same medals, I didn’t finish them all. Each woven fabric has been sewn into the outer bag and the lining fabric for each liner cut. I did completely finish the bitty rainbow notions bag though and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

At about three-and-a-half inches square, it’s just the right size for a tape measure, stitch markers, a package of yarn needles, and a bit of lifeline thread – you know, just the knitting bag basics! It’s my first ever handwoven from my own handspun. I just love running my hands over the lightly felted fabric.

This was also my first ever bag with a zipper and I’m thrilled at how nicely that came out. I didn’t have any directions or idea what I was doing. I just made it up as I went along and it was so successful I’ll definitely line bags that way in the future too!

Keep an eye out for a bunch more posts loaded up with wonderful finished objects from my 2014 rainbow of Ravellenic projects!

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22
Jan

January 22, 2012 Hexipuff Update and a Free Inkle Pattern!

Posted under Free Patterns, Hexipuffs, Inkle Weaving, Knitting, Weaving No Comments

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I’ve been avoiding my hexipuffs lately after puffing myself out with 3-9 per day for the first couple weeks of the year. Today, I did manage to finish the second yellow tonal puff though so I can start winding the remaining yellow tonal into minis for sale and trade! For today’s puff photo, I decided to let the two yellow tonal puffs try to help my US flag puff use my inkle loom.

This new loom is a work in progress. Guy pal and I built it on Saturday, and I warped it and started weaving that night while babysitting for some wonderful sleeping kids. The loom needs some changes to be really sturdy and functional. Right now, it has some EZ-grip clamps holding it together! The body is made entirely of maple with half lap joints. The pegs are the problem. They don’t stay in well enough and the cheap hardwood dowels from Home Depot just aren’t very good. I went through the whole bin at the store to get the least warped ones, but they still had a bit of curl and they’re splitty. I standed them by hand with 400 grit Abranet, but I’m still not happy. The current plants to upgrade the loom include purchasing some walnut dowels at Woodcraft, and instead of having the dowels screw into one side, we will glue them through the side supports. Thank goodness guy pal has a set of Forstner bits to do just that. My drill bit set only goes up to a half inch. Our goal is to have one side of the inkle loom be removable for ease of warping, but if it has to have both sides be permanently attached for peg strength, so be it. I just want to weave!

This is my first ever inkle project. I’m making some US flag bookmarks. I read up on different designs and the basics of inkle weaving on various websites and then came up with this design myself based on a dog collar I saw.

It’s actually a very, very easy design to weave. I’m doing it here in Red Heart Super Saver yarn which I DO NOT recommend using for inkle weaving. I had it on hand, and it was easy to grab on my way to my babysitting gig. Now I know better! Anyhow, the beauty of the pattern here is that it is all done in the warp. You don’t have to do any picking at all! Warping of course takes a while, but it does with any design with color changes. If you’ve got the patience for color changes in your warping, it makes a fantastic beginners pattern because the back and forth weaving is easy while the finished project looks advanced.

Here’s the warping pattern I came up with for you to try out if you’d like. Just don’t use Red Heart Super Saver. Cotton works much better because it glides easier when you’re making your sheds. The finished project will also have better definition of the design because the cotton isn’t so fuzzy as the cheap acrylic I’ve used here.

Bold strands should have a heddle. You will need a total of 19 heddles in this project. Use gold yarn on your shuttle as the weft shows along the edges of the project and the edges are gold. This way, it all blends together perfectly making your weft invisible!

G = Gold

R = Red

W = White

B = Blue

G G R R W W R R W W R R W W R R B B W B B W B B W B B W B B W B B W B B G G

Good luck with your patriotic weaving!

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