Twill Experiments

My very first weaving project was a twill sampler woven with heavy worsted wool and mohair knitting yarn on a table loom.  I used a dark purple color for the warp and gold for the weft.  The fabric was a bit bulky, but it had nice drape and I've been enamored with twill ever since.  

This year, the weave structures group in my guild is studying block structures, which provided me with the impetus to sample a two-block twill.  For this project, I used Knit Picks Palette in Fairy Tale, Mauve, Regal, and Hyacinth for the warp and Marble Heather for the weft (12 epi, 15 ppi)  These yarns were from my knitting stash and were surprisingly easy to weave.  I utilized the Fibonacci sequence when creating my plan for alternating between blocks A and B (1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, etc.) in the warp and varied the colors in the warp with the blocks using a revolving sequence (1 2 3 4, 2 3 4 1, 3 4 1 2 and so on).  I wove two repeats of block A and then two repeats of block B throughout, ending with block A for balance.

 A draft of the scarf pattern from my weaving software.

A draft of the scarf pattern from my weaving software.

After weaving, I twisted the fringe and then washed the scarf in the gentle cycle (cold water) with a couple of towels and then tumbled in the dryer until damp.  I then pressed the fabric with a hot iron.  The wash and dry fulled the fabric slightly.  The hand of the finished fabric is lovely and I look forward to wearing this scarf during the cooler winter months.

 The finished scarf after blocking.

The finished scarf after blocking.

Posted on September 6, 2018 .

Weaving Away

For the past few weeks, I've been at the loom nearly every day.  Sometimes for a few minutes and other times for a few hours.  With each new project, I've learned more about weaving and about my loom.  Late last year, a used AVL Folding Dobby Loom came to live with me.  With 16 harnesses, automatic cloth advance, and a dobby, this loom will keep be busy for a good long time.  Though I started weaving about 10 years ago, weaving on such a complex loom is an entirely new experience.  I'm having a great time experimenting with structure and color.

 16 harness twill towels in 8/2 cotton from Lunatic Fringe.  Pattern from  Pikes Peak Weavers Guild .

16 harness twill towels in 8/2 cotton from Lunatic Fringe.  Pattern from Pikes Peak Weavers Guild.

 8 harness shadow weave towels in 8/2 cotton from Lunatic Fringe.  Pattern from a scarf designed by Susan Horton from the January/February 2012 issue of Handwoven magazine.

8 harness shadow weave towels in 8/2 cotton from Lunatic Fringe.  Pattern from a scarf designed by Susan Horton from the January/February 2012 issue of Handwoven magazine.

I'm currently weaving a twill block sample using some Knit Picks Palette from my stash.  I'm working out a pattern that I hope to weave with some 20/2 silk in future.

Posted on September 4, 2018 .

Back in the Studio

I've been spending quite a bit of time dyeing spinning fiber in my studio lately.  And I'm really excited for my shows this fall, where I will be debuting several new roving colorways, including new ombré colorways.

This year, I have been particularly inspired by deep shades of green, wine red, and purple, and many of my new colorways reflect this.  I've also been experimenting with blended colors and shades, which make for an interesting and more subtle look.

I can't wait to see everyone at my shows this fall!  If you won't be in southern California, you can always find my work in my Etsy shop.

 Painting BFL roving

Painting BFL roving

 BFL rovings ready spinning

BFL rovings ready spinning

Posted on August 12, 2016 .

Ombré Rovings Are Here!

I'm very exited to announce my latest product:  handpainted ombré or gradient rovings!  This is something that I have been scheming about for a while now, and today the first of several colorways is live in my Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/listing/241724846/handpainted-bluefaced-leicester-wool.

Cranberry Ombre 1.jpg
Cranberry Ombre 2.jpg
Cranberry Ombre 3.jpg

There are many different ways to use an ombré roving in spinning projects.  Here are just a few suggestions:

*Chain ply (i.e., Navajo ply) to maintain the color gradient
*Split roving in half lengthwise to create a two-ply yarn that preserves the color gradient
*Ply with a roving with shorter color repeats to create a two-ply fractal yarn
*Ply with a solid-colored roving for a two-ply yarn with subtle color gradation
*Spin a singles yarn that retains the color gradient

Below is a picture of the Cranberry Ombré colorway spun as a two-ply yarn.  I split the roving in half lengthwise and spun two singles.  I plied the singles together beginning with the darkest color.  The final skein is about 320 yards and weighs roughly 4 oz.  I love the way the colors gradually move from dark to light.  I plan to knit a cowl (stitch pattern to be determine) with this yarn that emphasizes the color gradation.

Cranberry Ombre Handspun Yarn.jpg
Posted on July 28, 2015 .

Wool Fabric and Pottery

This Fall I have been exploring new creative arts, including making ceramic dishes and dyeing wool fabric.  My ceramics class started in October, and I feel like I am just now beginning to get the hang of things.  My first bowls are now finished, and I am happy with the results.  The fact that each is unique (and a little wonky) is fine with me.  My favorite item so far is the bowl shown below.  It is the perfect size for oatmeal or yogurt, and best of all, it is purple!

Pottery Bowl

I have always enjoyed overdyeing grey and brown spinning fibers, and I decided to try these same techniques on wool fabrics.  All of these wool fabrics are beautiful to begin with, and overdyeing them makes them feel a bit vintage.  Wool fabric is perfect for a variety of projects, including rug hooking, appliqué, and quilting, and more.  I will be posting all of these fabrics in my Etsy shop, so stay tuned.

Vintage Red Wool Fabric
Vintage Green Wool Fabric
Vintage Rust Wool Fabric
Posted on November 26, 2014 .

Weekend Adventures with Fabric

I spent this weekend working on projects, and have several finished objects to show for it.  Two of my projects were a baby quilt and a baby blanket for my soon-to-arrive nephew.  All of the fabrics that I used are cotton flannel from Connecting Threads.  I especially love the Yosemite fabric, which I used as the quilt top.  I also couldn't pass on the blue and brown plaid for the baby blanket.

 Baby Quilt
Baby Blanket

I also finished the border on a rug hooking project that I recently completed.  I purchased this project as a kit from Designs in Wool on Etsy.  I tried several different ways of finishing the edge before I settled on a method that I liked.  I discovered this approach to edging while taking a look at the ever-inspiring Karen Kahle's blog.  Her work is absolutely stunning, and this finishing technique is brilliant.  Rather than using fabric strips to finish the edge on my project, I opted to use a handdyed silk noil yarn.  Because this project is meant as a piece of decor and not a rug, I am not concerned about how the silk will hold up over time.  I just love this little pumpkin!

Pumpkin Mat


Posted on November 16, 2014 .

Spinning Batts

The last few weeks of fiber time have been devoted to spinning up some of the batts that I carded last month.  I've been experimenting with plying the batts with handpainted rovings and with natural colored fibers.  So far, I am really happy with the results, and I can't wait to see how the sample skeins knit up.

 Handspun yarn from a batt containing Bluefaced Leicester Wool, Merino Wool, Bombyx Silk, Angelina, and more.

Handspun yarn from a batt containing Bluefaced Leicester Wool, Merino Wool, Bombyx Silk, Angelina, and more.

 Handspun yarn.  One ply is from a batt containing Bluefaced Leicester Wool, Tussah Silk, brown Merino Wool, red Kid Mohair, Angelina, and more.  The other ply is natural colored Shetland blended with cinnamon and white Alpaca.

Handspun yarn.  One ply is from a batt containing Bluefaced Leicester Wool, Tussah Silk, brown Merino Wool, red Kid Mohair, Angelina, and more.  The other ply is natural colored Shetland blended with cinnamon and white Alpaca.

 Handspun yarn.  One ply is from a handpainted roving.  The other ply is from the same batt as the purple yarn above.

Handspun yarn.  One ply is from a handpainted roving.  The other ply is from the same batt as the purple yarn above.

Posted on April 15, 2014 .

Finishing projects

Last week I finished three knitting/crochet projects, including a crocheted hexagon baby blanket that had been hibernating since 2010.  I also finished a hat out of my handspun yarn that I started last summer (no picture, sorry!), and a baby sweater out of hand dyed superfine merino wool.  The pattern for the baby sweater is called Henry's Sweater by Sara Elizabeth Kellner.  I love shawl collars in general, so this sweater really won me over.  And it was quick to knit - just a couple of weekends.

hexagonblanket.jpg
henryssweater.jpg

I've also been setting up my new studio space, and have organized all my craft books into a bookcase made from vintage apple crates that my dad gave to me years ago.  It feels great to finally have everything in one place!

bookshelf.jpg
Posted on March 22, 2014 .

Carding Batts

I've been having a great time over the past few weeks carding batts on my Fancy Kitty Kitten drum carder.  I suppose you could consider these to be "kitchen sink" batts, because I am throwing in a bit of many different types of fibers.  I've been using a variety of handpainted and natural colors of wool and silk fibers that I have in my stash.  And to liven up the batts I have been adding a hint of sparkle with some angelina fibers.  My goal is to make batts that create a heathered yarn, and after two or three passes through the carder the colors are well-blended, but not so much so that you can't discern the original colors upon careful inspection.  The spun singles are beautifully heathered, and I can't wait to ply them up and start knitting.

IMG_0303.jpg
Posted on February 23, 2014 and filed under Carding, Spinning.

New Year, New Studio

Now that I have a dedicated studio space, my looms and spinning wheels have some breathing room.  I've been enjoying a few minutes of spinning in my studio nearly every day for the past three weeks.  My fascination with plying two different colorways together continues, and in just a couple of week I had spun and plied enough yarn to wind a 3-yard warp out of the reddish-pink hued yarns.  The weft yarn that I am using is one of my handspun yarns in purples, periwinkles, and greens.  So far, I am loving the results!

 My Schacht Baby Wolf loom in the process of being warped with some of my handspun yarn

My Schacht Baby Wolf loom in the process of being warped with some of my handspun yarn

 Current weaving project that combines a straight twill with plain weave.  Warp and weft are both my handspun yarn.

Current weaving project that combines a straight twill with plain weave.  Warp and weft are both my handspun yarn.

Posted on January 25, 2014 and filed under Weaving.