My own weft-float pattern, in purple!

So I got pretty excited about this technique and right after I did the green scarf, I put another one on the loom… and then… well… I got distracted. You know, it happens.

That’s meant the poor project has been on the loom for weeks and weeks and I’ve only been picking at it. Right now it’s “almost done”…except it’s been like that for about two weeks. Yep.

To insult the project further I took a totally dodgy pic of it:

Not sure I could have taken a less complimentary pic if I’d tried to! Still, you get the idea: There are ziggy-zaggy boarders with occasional small diamonds.

In truth, I’m very excited to see what it’ll look like off the loom! The yarn is a bamboo mix so it’s silky and soft, which is nice in itself. Plus it’s purple and I personally think that makes most things beautiful (except bruises).

I promise a better pic once the scarf comes off the loom.

A weft float pattern for an isolation Easter

Happy chocolate egg day! Or whatever this particular day means to you and yours. I’m very excited to have just (literally) finished a new scarf in the most deliciously pale pistachio coloured yarn. With a weft float pattern…

You might have noticed over the years that I’m not big on the floats. I’ve sampled different ones and tried things out, but overall I’ve not found many float patterns that I like.

Until now.

Funny thing was I’d already decided I was going to do a float pattern, and that I was going to use my pistachio yarn. What I hadn’t decided was what kind of pattern. While doing a vaguely related search on the interwebs, I stumbled on a vid by a weaver and instantly fell in love with the weft float pattern she was doing! Pure serendipity.

So, here is the project hot off the loom (hemstitched this about an hour ago!)

So simple for such a lovely effect! Which makes me doubly happy, because you know I love the simple.

The exciting thing about this way of using floats is that the design possibilities are endless. One light colour, or two contrasting colours, or a darker shiny yarn… just start there and see the possibilities! I’m already planning my next weft float design (insert here maniacal laugh).

The other thing I like about this way of using floats? It gives an almost flat reverse. I realised in the making of this scarf that this is a strong deterrent for me with floats – I don’t like the reverse. This, however, I think is very attractive.

As always, I’ll be interested to see how it comes up after it’s fulled!

A fresh scarf!

After a four month no-weaving zone, I finally got bitten by the bug this weekend. I was finishing off my wavy shuttle experiment (more to come), but finally lost interest (this happens) and so cut it off and started something new!

What surprised me was that I did a scarf-in-a-day! It was very satisfying. As was the colour…

Pink fluffy yarn crossed with black yarn

It’s also soft and fluffy. Very soft.

This is why I like plain weave, because a lovely yarn is all you need to make a lovely bit of weaving! I can’t wait to see how it washes.

Curves and temples…

So my second wavy shuttle project got off to a pretty good start…

A blue and white web with curves of weft on a rigid heddle loom
A short way in I was feeling good…

Then it all went to hell. Why? Because I started getting the most uncontrollable draw-in! I was losing so much width I actually contemplated trying to make a tapering scarf all the way to the other end. Sadly I was losing width too fast.

It will take a bit of playing with the ol’ wavy shuttle to figure out why it was such a problem this time. I have theories. They may be wrong.

But, in the way of most weaving disasters, this has led to an exciting opportunity! I’m going to use a temple for the first time!!

Yes, a temple. Reviled by some as a cheat and considered just sensible by others, I’m going to deploy one here to defeat the draw-in. Hopefully.

Of course, I don’t own one and will, in fact, be making one. So I’m excited about that all on its own! (I know this will shock you, dear reader of bloggy.)

The first step in saving this wavy scarf was – sob, sob, wail – to undo all but the very start of the scarf. Yes. I undid about a quarter of a project. The loom, yarn, shuttle and I all in therapy now. But it had to be done and the second version of the scarf will hopefully be much more successful!

First “wavy scarf”

As promised, I have taken some pics of the first wavy shuttle experiment scarf… You can see I haven’t pressed it – sorry for the creases – but I think you can still see most of what’s going on from a texture point of view!

A backlit photo of the web created by using a wavy shuttle in one way
Looking through the web gives you a sense of the dense patches and curves created by this way of using the wavy shuttle…

So, here I was taking the curves and slowly shifting them to the left with each pic of weft. Then when I’d moved the centre bump to the edge, I moved slowly back to the right. This created these lovely almost leaf shaped dense areas in an otherwise fairly even weave. I love this!

A section of a scarf woven with the wavy shuttle
Because of my yarn choice the colour fleck and variegation hides the waviness a bit…

Another yarn would probably have shown the waves better, but I think you can still see that its curving and zig-zagging rather than the usual regular web of plain weave.

Also, I love this yarn. Such a satisfying colour mix.

Introducing the wavy shuttle!

I don’t think I mentioned that, a little after I bought baby loom, I also bought a new ‘accessory’? No, I think it slipped my mind!

This, is a wavy shuttle. Can you see the squee (aka fun) inducing potential?three sizes of wooden stick shuttles that have wave shaped edgesNow I did pretty much instantly throw a warp on the loom and start playing! Sadly I’ve yet to photograph the result so you’ll all just have to wait for my next post. But it was a fascinating tool to use.

It can be used in a few ways and I’ve not explored them all yet, of course because I’ve been off writing, but what was interesting about my first attempt was the texture it gave the cloth. You see you get open areas and condensed areas, which leads to an interesting web!

Like I say, pics will follow. Who knows I might have even finished a second test piece by then!

Exploring leno #4: leno in sections

For me, personally, the fun of leno – and much of its design potential – is in not doing whole rows, but instead just using it in sections of the warp. Why?

Well, it gives you curves! I like curves.

So here you can see how the weft curves between the central section of plain weave and the leno on either side

By stacking your plain weave and leno sections you get a nice lacy, curvy look…

An example of a pattern made using leno
This is curvier in real life too!

The other use for leno as a design tool is to use the solid and open areas to form shapes. I haven’t tried this yet, but I have seen some fascinating examples and this is a link to one of the loveliest!

It’s been fun exploring leno and I’m determined to use it more for future projects. The next, and final, post in this series will be a short one about creating your twist…