I've had my riddle-heddle loom for a good number of years now and I've dabbled at weaving every so often when something pretty someone else made caught my eye, or when I needed a quick gift. I consider myself just Okay at weaving--I still struggle with getting my selvedges consistently straight and working with colour can be tricky since things look quite different after they're off the loom and washed. I confess I haven't done much experimenting and I know there's a lot I can do with this simple machine if I want to jump in and try stuff out.
My knit-pal Therese recently got a loom and jumped in with both feet and her stash. She's making lovely things. And she's very good at documenting her ideas, the sources of the techniques and her finished objects. Her recent scarf really inspired me and I tossed the stash, found some yarn and got warping.
The technique described by Syne Mitchell here as The Painted Skein Warp, really maximizes the qualities of some handpainted yarns. I say "some" because it all depends on how the dyer adds colour to yarn and the article describes what to look for in your stash. The idea is that the colours are added in a particular sequence and by warping them a certain way, you can create an ikat-like effect on your piece. Weavers sometimes achieve this look by painting the yarn once it's warped on the loom. It's really pretty.
It turns out Blue Moon Fiber Arts uses this technique and I have a fair bit of it hanging around. I dug out some very pretty Malabrigo Sock in Violeta Africana for the weft which matched nicely with the Socks that Rock Silkie Sock in Alley Oop!.
It took me a bit of figuring and some help from Craig to get the warp started right so that the colours pooled the way I wanted. But when it was finished, it was WOW:
The colours lined up nicely (maybe a bit too nicely--note for the next time) and were just so vivid and lovely.
Then I started weaving.
I wasn't certain that I picked the right colour for the weft. I worried it was too similar to the warp and the stripes would disappear. It's really hard to tell since the yarn is under tension and most of it is wound up on the beams. I just plunged forward and waited.
I chose the right yarn.
It was pretty nice once I got it off the loom. It needed a wash, but first I had to twist 270 ends. I love the look, but the twisting is mighty boring.
Then I gave the scarf a long soak in Eucalan and warm water and hung it to dry.
It's the nicest thing I've ever woven. The yarn does most of the heavy lifting, but I'm pretty pleased with my selvedges and the drape and overall look.
Even with Emma's new DSLR, this scarf was being tricky with the camera. It doesn't pick up the subtle bleeds of colours as they transition and the slight tweediness of the Silkie Sock.
I love the twisted fringe and that strange little dark stripe of purple at the bottom left near the edge. I must have beat the weft too much, and yet it adds interest.
I'm already planning my next one.