Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Triloom weaving with Red Heart Swirl, card weaving, and project planning

I've been weaving in my studio recently, while I'm in between silk painting projects. I've finished one project, started one project, and have another one in the planning stage. Hey, at least one is finished!

This is the finished one: a new shawl on my triangle loom. I'm still hunting for just the perfect yarn to use with this loom. The pegs are kind of far apart, so the yarn needs to be super bulky. The result needs to hold together securely, drape beautifully, and be super soft against bare skin. This attempt used Red Heart Boutique 'Swirl' yarn, which is a mix of polyester, acrylic, wool, and alpaca. It certainly passes the skin test! And it drapes wonderfully. But I think it is a hair too thin to be really structurally sound. I'll need to wear it for awhile to see how it works.

I'm thinking the way to go with the yarn hunt might be to use a double thickness of yarn, instead of trying to find a really thick chunky yarn. That would give me more of an opportunity for color blending, too. The materials would cost more, since I'm using twice as much, which is why I haven't really experimented with this yet. But I think I'll try it out for the next shawl.

After I got the tri-loom put back away, I dug out my inkle loom and got it warped up for card weaving. I clamp it to the cone holder my husband made me, which makes warping much easier. In fact I just leave the loom on there for the weaving part too. It puts it at a nice height when I'm sitting here in my computer chair.

This project will be a belt, inspired by the colors in the heraldry of my local SCA group. I'm doing a card weaving pattern that relies on having two light and two dark threads in each card. I paired the white and the yellow threads for the 'light', and the blue and the purple threads for the 'dark'. They are close enough in value that the eye visually blends them at a distance, and you just see the contrast. I used the red for the border. The store didn't have 4 balls of the same shade of red, so I got two light and two dark. I set it up so the pattern subtly continues on into the border. I think I like that effect!

I'm finding I really prefer card weaving to inkle weaving. The pattern opportunities are very flexible, the resulting fabric is much sturdier, and it is easier to get a clean even selvedge.

The project that is in the planning stage was inspired by this post, by Susan of 'Thrums': http://weeverwoman.blogspot.com/2011/07/between-two-pages.html . She is a most inspiring weaver, and a very gracious lady. She was weaving book marks in very fine linen and cotton. I was particularly caught by the results of the 'tromp as writ' pattern half way down the entry. Is that not spectacular? I realized that my dobby loom had the capability to weave that pattern, and asked if she minded if I took inspiration from her work. Not only did she not mind, she sent me the pattern draft. Did I mention that she is very gracious? Lovely lady.

I can see this pattern slightly larger, made up in yardage to be turned into a Medieval tunic. I wove yardage recently in my hand spun wool yarn, and sewed it up into a super warm winter tunic. But I wanted something for summer wear too, seeing as I live in Arizona. So I went ahead and ordered dark blue and green yarn in 10/2 mercerized cotton from Webs. I'm eagerly waiting for it to get in!

If I have time in and among other (paying) projects, I'd like to get that worked up in the next few months. I've also got some sewing that I want to get done, and there is a possibility of a large scale scarf order in the works.

I do love staying busy here in the studio!


  1. Hi Melissa,
    Just wondering what the spacing on your triloom actually is. Im thinking about buying one and have no experience with trilooms. I don't think I would want to be limited to bulky yarns either.


  2. Oh you are making me jealous with your loom! I just recently learned how to weave and I fell in love. What a relaxing craft.

  3. Beautiful weaving or shall I say beautiful art.
    Your shawl is lovely.

  4. I have been enjoying my tri loom lately, too, but I use a cut thread on the bias technique--that way I can mix many, many different thicknesses of yarns! Love how you do the card weaving on the inkle!!! xo

  5. As always you are an inspiration, my friend.

  6. I really like how you used 2 shades of red in the border of your belt.

  7. Diane, I measured and the centers of the pegs are 5/8" apart. A half an inch would be a better choice for the bulky yarns out there. Getting a triloom with the pegs/nails closer together limits you in the other direction, to thin yarns that can fit in between the pegs. With the slightly wider set, I'm told can weave double on each peg if I choose. I need to try that out.

    Cait Throop, I haven't tried the cut thread bias technique yet. It is certainly on the list of things to explore, though!

    AsteropeBC, the more I look at the two shades of red, the more they're growing on me. :) The darker red is a maroon, which has some blue in it. So it looks like the white and blue of the pattern part just kind of got dyed red for the borders. I'll have to remember that effect.

    Thank you Tweal, Frannie, and Jennifer. :) The feed back keeps me inspired to keep exploring!