Finally Weaving

After a winter of dreaming about weaving, it was hard not to get right down to it when I returned home.  During the 8 weeks of waiting for surgery, then recovering and waiting for the pathology reports I distracted myself with knitting.  Last week I finished the warping process and got down to weaving!  Boy, it feels great!

Some weavers have asked for more info on this project, so here it is.  The warp and weft are two entirely different colorways of Just Our Yarn “Almaza,” which is an 8/2 tencel thread.  One colorway is a bit on the cool side, with blues and purples, jazzed up with a bit of acid green and soft roses.  This is my warp.


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The weft is a rather bright analogous colorway of watermelon, coral, pale peach, and cream that is very slightly yellow.  It looks like candy.  It’s NOT a colorway I would ever buy on purpose!  And yet I did, at the suggestion of Cathie and Diane from JOY.


Here is a bit of plain weave showing the color interactions.


The weave structure and the two very different colorways are creating an amazing fabric!

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I planned the fabric at 35 ends per inch to weave a fabric with enough body for a garment.  If I were weaving a scarf I would have used fewer ends per inch.  My weave structure is a blend of plain weave with lace floats in the warp and weft.  I am using one of the designs in the book Sixty Scarves for 60 Years that the Greater Baltimore Weaving Guild published a few years ago.  The name of this pattern is “Raku” by Carol Bodin.  I am sorry to learn that this book is now out of print.  Time to consult your guild library!

Carol Bodin describes this structure as a lace overshot.  I can’t follow that.  To me it seems like a lace structure with advancing lace modules of 1-2-1, 2-3-2, 3-4-3, 4-5-4…etc with a plain weave structure surrounding the lace elements.  Make sense??

I put the basic weave structure into my PCW program which I wrote about here.  Then I had to make the BIG decisions.  The pattern moves across the warp in one direction only.  Did I want that or did I want a mirrored repeat at the halfway point across the warp?  Did I want to mirror every pattern repeat?  After sampling these ideas in PCW, I decided to leave the structure in its simplest form.  Mirroring every repeat made a very busy fabric that looked like a headache waiting to happen!

The width I have on the loom is 16″ which means I’ll be using two lengths of fabric for fronts and backs.  I can mirror the weave structure when I put the garment together.  To make any mirrored design elements in the fabric would have made the overall design too fussy.

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This is less fussy:

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I’ve woven 3 1/2 yards of the lace structure, and now I think I’ll switch to plain weave for the next 2 1/2 yards.  This way I’ll have some complex fabric for the body of a jacket and some plain weave for front bands and sleeves.  It would have been so smart of me to choose a garment pattern before I began to weave, but that’s just not the case.  This is a case of wanting to weave the fabric and the devil make care what it becomes!

When I’m not weaving I’m enjoying the garden.  August is almost here, and the heat is starting to build.

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I’ve had a couple of wonderful experiences that have inspired my weaving ideas lately.  More on that next time!


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