Saturday, April 30, 2011

Name that textile

I have always loved this design:

When I was little, my mom made a quilt that had pinwheels on it.  It was my favorite quilt and I still have it today (see below).  We referred to that quilt pattern as Snail's Trails, but in weaving Snail's Trails is a different pattern.  Funny enough, the pinwheels pattern exists in the quilt world too and it doesn't look like this either!  Generations ago, they must have gotten it mixed up when they were making pattern exchanges. 

Snail's Trails for quilts:

 Snail's Trails for weaving:

Pinwheels for quilts: 

Pinwheels for weaving:

Nevertheless, I feel like I'm obsessed with this woven pinwheel pattern.  When I first got into spinning and knitting several years ago, I was at my local yarn store Studio Three and saw a great scarf wove with the pinwheel pattern.  I knew someday I would figure out a way to weave this.  I got excited back in January when I found this free pattern for star dishtowels.  I tried it with a yellow and white warp, but I was unsatisfied about how it turned out.  It was o.k. on the loom, but after washing it kind of kinked up tight in horizontal stripes because the weave was a 1/3 and 3/1 twill.  Maybe it was the not-too-contrasting color choice... or maybe it just wasn't enough like the pinwheels. 

But today I'm happy.  I wove pinwheels!

Friday, April 29, 2011

All dressed up and ready to go!

 Heddle threading... check.

 Winding on the warp...  
Tying up the pedals... double check.

Tying on the warp...
attaching the floats...
checking for errors... 
and loading shuttles... check. check. check. check.

We're ready to rumble!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vegetable Towels are next on the to do list!

My handwoven-towel-exchange-friend KarenInTheWoods provided me with a copy of the draft for the vegetable towels!  They were from the May/June 2000 Handwoven magazine:

Thanks Karen!!!  This is going to be soooooooo AWESOME!!!   I can't wait to get started on these next weekend!!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

YAY!!! Here we go again!!!!

I'm starting a new warp tonight!  8-yards... 30 e.p.i. on a 15 dent reed... 12/2 brown and blue yarn... 100% cotton... all of this with a 3-day weekend right around the corner... SWEET!!! Here we go again!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Houndstooth pulled thread scarf

I am trying to make a houndstooth project for my sister.  She LOVES this pattern:

My sis wants a black and white scarf someday with only a few threads pulled tight so it ruffles.  Kind of like this:

I got the idea from this book:

I think it will look really cute in the end.  She's been wanting it for awhile now!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Handtowel Projects I admire...

 I love to scan the internet and look at other weavers' work.  I always get ideas no matter where I go.  Here are some dishtowels from this site that I want to make someday.

This is one from this person on Etsy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pinwheels on 4-shafts?!

I find myself thinking outside the box more and more these days!  Here are pinwheels done on 4-shafts.  It's an 8-shaft pattern!  How is it possible on 4-shafts?!  Well, I just spend a lot of time picking up individual threads.  It's so tedious, but the good part is it slows me down and keeps me from using up too much yarn too fast!  Slow weaving is good, right??

I hope to work my way up to this project:  I love the colors!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My weaving projects 2007-2011

Welcome visitors from!  Here is a slideshow I put together of some projects I have made throughout the years.  I hope you find it inspirational!  Please come back and visit anytime!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weave Design

I love the weaving program called Weave Design from Pikes Peak Weavers Guild!  It is simply amazing to sit and design weaves on the computer.  I love being able to eaily plan projects, or tweak small things in a project to see how it reacts before I put it on the loom.  I have designed some twills on the computer before weaving them on my loom.  It's a good way to allow your imagination soar without using up all your yarn supplies!
I designed this overshot sampler with the name drafting rules in mind.  It was one of my first name drafting designs I've created.  I made it around Valentine's Day and it says "I love you."  I haven't gotten around to weaving it yet, but I plan to soon!  It's on my list of things to do... I like how it has almost a grid look to it from afar.  Also, if I can find this shade of pink yarn in my collection, I think it would look really cute!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's spring!

It's spring!  Bring out the yellows and creams and other lovely lighter colors!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Handwoven cross-stitch fabric

I've got big plans for this small hand towel!

I've been wanting to try weaving cross-stitch fabric and actually cross-stitching something on it.  I was thinking some of these retro video gaming designs would be a lot of fun!!  These came from here.

I haven't cross-stitched anything in years... this should be interesting!!

And to go along with those vintage designs, how about Mario Bros piano music from here?  It's free!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The online weave-along project is done!

My weave-along project for (thru Handwoven magazine) is done!

It's not bad considering:
1.) Three different changes in color part way through
2.) misreading the profile draft and skipping some squares... we'll refer to that as my creative interpretation.
3.) Using only yarn that I had on hand in my stash
4.) This being the first profile draft I've ever done!

I love this project!!  It was challenging and a lot of fun!

An up close picture of the neat threads made by a 1a-2b-2a-1b treadling pattern:

More juicy weaving details:

Warp & Tabby: 10/2 orange pearl cotton
Weft: 10/2 magenta pearl cotton
2 yard warp
epi = 20 on #10 reed
Summer and winter weave with unusual treadling sequence (1a-2b-2a-1b)
Very small project: 228 ends + 2 floats = 9.5"x18" (post washing and drying)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Free Weaving Project for Ashford Inklette Loom

Making a Wallet from Inkle Bands
Using the Ashford Inklette Loom

I designed this watermelon wallet after visiting Dallas, Texas in June 2010.  The owner of  White Rock Weaving Center really liked the wallet I had made from inkle bands so I sent her some instructions and a wallet.  Here are the instructions reprinted so you can make one for yourself!  Feel free to design whatever inkle band you want!


  1. Get an idea of what you would like and make a sketch.  Try to aim for a size of 1 5/8 inches minimum and 2 inches maximum for the finished width of your band.  I was aiming to make a watermelon looking wallet because I was impressed with Texas watermelons on a summer trip!

  1. Gather your materials.  Warp your loom and weave an inkle strap.  Use the whole length of your loom.  You need 6 pieces 7.5 inches long, and you will have a little scrap leftover.

3.  Sew the edge of the strap 3 times in one line.  This is to make sure that the stitches hold all those threads together.  Make sure your machine is set to a lot of stitches in one inch, like 15 sts to the inch.

  1. From the first line, measure out 7.5 inches with a ruler.  Place a pin as a marker.  Sew another line 3 times. 

  1. Measure out 1/8 of an inch.  Sew another line 3 times to make a small channel.  Make sure you are on the outside of the 7.5 inches and not the inside or your wallet will end up too small.  I like to use the other side of the foot on my machine to make the 1/8 inch channel, that way I don’t have to measure it before I sew!

  1. Measure out 7.5 inches from the 2nd line and sew another line and then measure out another channel and sew.  Repeat until you have 6 pieces that are 7.5 inches.  You will have a longer piece left at the end.  Mine was 12 inches.  You can save it for a scrap book or as a scrap piece for another project or a backup piece for this project.  Cut all the straps apart through the channel.  You may get some warp threads that come out, just trim them off.

  1. Hand sew 2 sets of 2 pieces together.  Do this by putting the needle through 3 of the warp pieces on one side and then catch 3 warp pieces on the other side.  Just zigzag back and forth.  Try to make the pieces line up as you make your way to the end.  You should only see the stitches on one side, but not the other.

  1.   Lay out the pieces and lay some cards on top.  Arrange them to the way you would like your wallet to be. 

  1. Sew the back card holding piece to the back of the wallet pieces you already joined together.  Then sew on the front card holder piece.  Only sew the bottom of each of these pieces so far.  I sewed this one twice.

  1. Sew down the center point of all these pieces three times.  You sew the center first because the edges may move around and stretch a bit.

  1. Sew the edges of this middle section.

  1. Sew the very back of the wallet to this section.  Sew the bottom first, then the edges last.  I did 3 times all around to strengthen it all.

  1. Clean up the edges by cutting off the excess.

  1. These wallets don’t want to stay closed at first when you put all your stuff in it.  Hold it closed for awhile with a rubber band, but eventually all the fabric pieces will stretch to fit the shape it needs.  You may also notice the parts you sewed together by hand may leave a small bump, but again it will all stretch to where it needs to be within a month or two and not even be noticed.


Good luck making your own!!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Understanding the Profile Draft in Summer & Winter

I put together a tutorial for the crowd to help weavers who were having trouble understanding the weave-along profile draft.  Here is the cheat sheet:


I can't get the powerpoint to post on blogger, but you can view it here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Book Reviews

Two months ago I purchased The Coverlet Book by Helene Bress.  It comes as a 2 volume set, and weighs in at 14 lbs total!  These are really hefty books, and you get a lot of bang for your buck.  Helene really took a lot of careful notes when constructing this book.  You could replicate any pattern you wanted to with The Coverlet Book.  It is simply amazing!  It also comes complete with a CD you can look at in your computer.  The CD is full of huge drafts that couldn't be easily seen in the book.  There are a lot of 4-shaft patterns, especially in the first volume.  But the second volume as an assortment of drafts for all kinds of looms.  I love the way Helene wrote this book, it feels so friendly and casual, almost like you are standing right beside her as she investigates these coverlets.  She allows you to hear her true thoughts.  Sometimes she so brutally honest that it's kind of comical and I find myself chuckling at her opinions of these weaves and weavers of years ago! 

My most favorite section (which is hard to choose from a volume set with 1000+ pages...) is the section on overshot, which is actually most of volume I.  I love looking at these old drafts, and seeing the colors that some of the weavers chose to use.  This set has given me some really good inspiration to retrofit the designs to fit into more modern times with more modern uses.  I can just see myself setting up my loom very soon with some placemats based on these old designs.  I can't wait!

Volume I of Helene's book reminds me of another one I have spent a lot of time looking at and studying.  For the last month and a half I have been coveting the book called Of Coverlets: The Legacy, The Weavers by Sadie T. Wilson.  This book was only published once, and it was way back in 1983.  I have seen prices on this book range in the $200-$400 range!  Wowzers... I just keep checking it out from the library and hoarding it!  However, I think The Coverlet Book by Helene Bress is very comparable to this book.  Helene's book might actually be better because it's slightly more comprehensive, and I am really happy that I found a much more cost effective replacement!  However, the Of Coverlets book does have more historical pictures of families and weavers that are neat to study.  Maybe someday I will come across Of Coverlets at a yard sale or thrift store.  In the mean time, don't go looking for it in this area because I've probably got it check out! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A closer look at the color and weave dishtowel experiment from March

Here is a closer look at my dishtowels from the warp that used different colors and textures.  This is the same set that I wove at the end of March, I'm just posting more details of each towel.  I wanted a good comparison picture of both the fronts and backs of each.
These are made of 12/2 cotton, 30 epi.  I warped an 8 yard warp with 2 strands of color at one time, green and brown.  It is a point twill threading on 4 shafts, sometimes I treadled it as a waffle weave, sometimes as a twill, and for a few I just made it up!  I played a lot with colors on both to see what kinds of cool things I could make.   

This started as just an experiment, but I feel like I want to dig deeper into what different color combinations do on the loom.  They were a lot of fun and full of surprises!