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Moving beyond woven scarves

I’m starting to think about using hand woven fabric for clothing.  I have 600m of natural coloured cotton that I thought I might use for an easy summer top.  I’m also thinking about making a kimono style dressing gown for summer.  The kimono will require 4m of fabric.  The top will require just over half that amount.

A friend told me to look at Kimono patterns as Kimono fabric is 14″ wide.  As I have a 50cm loom these patterns will fit comfortably on my handwoven fabric.

The top will be made in 8ply cotton so will require 300 metres of yarn or a bit over 3 50g balls for the warp another 2 – 3 balls will be required for the weft.

The kimono I want to do in lace weight so it will be woven at 15 – 20 dpi and will therefore require up to 1500m just to complete the warp!

I have the cones below in sand, red and black so I can make it make it multicoloured.IMG_20131114_164543[1]

Once I have completed these 2 projects (which could take a while) I will consider some tailored garments made with my hand woven fabrics.

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1 lace weight skein – 3 different scarves

I like combining colours and textures to get different looks.  I had a skein of lace weight alpaca/silk in a pale lavender which wasn’t quite my colour, so I mixed it with other yarns to produce the following:

1. A silk and alpaca wide woven scarf for summer.  This one combines bright pinks and purples with the pale lavender to give a fairly bright summer wrap.
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2. This one is soft, fluffy, thick and warm for winter, the lavender is combined with thick undyed  mohair and bilberry kid silk haze to give a pale mottled look.
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3. This is my latest.  It is combined with a dark purple stainless steel/silk to give an interesting texture with a mottled purple look to it.
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I used a Fibonacci sequence for the stripes which were formed by dropping the alpaca silk for 2 rows.  As the silk/stainless steel is so fine it is almost like breaks in the scarf.  I think this will be really effective when worn with dark jumpers and jackets.

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Big warm and snuggly

I finished this wrap recently.  It has a 12ply Cleckheaton Country warp and a hand dyed 3ply weft in yellow/green/blue.  I made it 2m long and 38cm wide so it is great for the current cold mornings where the temperatures are a few degrees above freezing point.

The width is perfect for scrunching up as a scarf when I have a coat or jacket on or opening up when indoors for an extra layer over my shoulders.  The extra length means I can throw it over my shoulder and it doesn’t slip making it much easier to wear without pinning.

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Eno’s scarf

The problem with a loom is that you make a rectangle of fabric, then you have to make it into something.  Sewing is not my favourite activity so I end up weaving lots of scarves and wraps.

Last week I made Eno’s scarf, the yarns were chosen by him to make a bright orange scarf that reminded him of a shirt he had 20 years ago that was orange but looked yellow on certain angles.  For this one I used some handdyed aran weight wool from Ewe Give me the Knits (warp) and Anny Blatt fine kid (weft).

Scarves are really quick to make compared to knitting them so it isn’t so bad making them to give away.

When Eno went back to the shop that we bought one of his yarns from the day after we bought it, he took the finished scarf to show them.  The girl serving was shocked, one of the other customers said she was going to have to learn to weave!

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Now for some texture

I’ve got plain weaving now so time to start playing with texture.  Using the Ashford knitters loom or other fixed heddle looms you need a ‘pick up stick’.  I just used a spare shuttle which works really well.

For each of the patterns below I put the heddle in the down position and picked up every second warp thread at the back of the loom.  For plain weaving the stick is left at the back, for the pattern row it is brought forward to the heddle.

1. Weave 3 rows plain, bring stick forward and weave one row.

2. weave 2 rows plain, 2 rows with stick forward.

3. weave 2 rows plain, 1 row with stick forward.