My studio is abuzz with weaving weaving weaving…. here’s a glimpse of some of what I am up to these days…..
Tag Archives: handwoven
A couple of months ago, I published my new eBook on weaving jewelry with stick looms: See LINK
My friend, Donna McFarland of Dewberry Ridge Looms was looking at the photos when her husband, Gary, walked by the computer.
Donna told me that he said:’ Those have to be Noreen’s designs, right?’ and she agreed.
He then mused that he would like to make stick looms.
Well… I was delighted, and immediately asked if they would consider building peg looms.
I have a couple of peg looms, but felt that they could use a re-design with improvements that I knew Gary could build.
After lots of conversations, Gary and Donna have created the most wonderful peg looms!
Here’s the link to order them LINK
They are truly the Rolls Royce of the Peg Loom world!
Here’s what I asked for, and they have designed and created:
1: Taller pegs so I could see more of the weaving emerging before having to advance the warp. This is especially important in weaving tapestries on the peg loom.
2: Fine wooden pegs that are slimmer and closer together to give a firmer, tighter weave. A close sett avoids too loose, loopy fabric.
Another important note about the pegs: I asked for close grain wood for the pegs, as smooth pegs that don’t catch the weft are essential. Gary has found the perfect wood for the pegs that is smooth as silk. He also carefully shapes the top of the pegs to make them guide the yarn beautifully. His attention to detail is exquisite!
3: A really nice threading tool – I came up with a rather crude one, and Gary totally surpassed my concept.
4: Legs that would stabilize the looms- Gary’s design for the legs is so elegant that it knocked my socks off!
Donna and Gary came up with some neat ideas, too.
They suggested tilting the looms backward slightly. This is brilliant, as it improves the ergonomics of the loom enormously and makes the loom more comfortable to work with.
They also decided to offer a loom with 3 sizes of pegs, for people who want to work with larger pegs.
Personally, I am so smitten with the thinnest pegs that I probably will just be working with them and not the larger pegs, but Gary and Donna wanted to appeal to the widest possible group of weavers.
Gary also decided to make the base of the loom removable in case a peg gets stuck. What a great idea!
Peg looms are eco friendly, as they are great for using t shirt yarn, or tarn, or fabric strips torn from discarded clothing.
And, I am working on a new book for peg loom weaving, so do stay tuned for that
I have made a little video that introduces the Dewberry Ridge Peg Loom:
My daughter sewed me a couple of gorgeous triangle shaped bags that got me thinking….
‘Hmmmm…. could I weave a triangular shaped bag?’
And, the answer was so obvious that it was a palm to forehead moment!
Duh! Use the triangle loom!
So, I did, and here’s the result:
The easiest bag ~ever~!!!!
These bags are so comfortable to use- they hug your body!
I designed it so there are 2 pockets on the outside for glasses, cellphone, business cards, lip gloss etc
I wove mine on the 3 foot configuration of my Dewberry Ridge Triangle loom LINK to their site.
But, you could weave it on the 6 foot configuration, too, if you prefer.
Demonstrating with the full size triangles was too hard to get into the screen of the video camera,
so I used triangles woven on my 14 inch triangle:
The finished bag is about 24 inches from the tip of the handle to the base point and about 18 inches across:
It’s such a fun and easy bag to make, I know that I am going to be making a whole lot more of them!
Here’s the video tutorial on how to make them:
How to weave a hexagon using continuous warping and weaving techniques on the Lily Speed O Weave loom
A couple of years ago, when I was working on the designs for The Lily Speed O Weave design book LINK,
I figured out how to weave a hexagon on the loom, using continuous weaving methods.
The method is slightly tricky (it took me a LOT of experimenting to figure it out!) and has one disadvantage….
You have to use quite bulky yarn or else the hexagon is really loopy and open meshy (aka ‘sleazy’).
I decided that this made it not worthwhile to share the technique, as the knotting technique that was traditional for the Lily Speed O Weave loom allowed you to use absolutely any weight of yarn or thread.
Besides, I had figured out a way of speeding up and streamlining the knotting process, so I decided to just go with that.
But, a few days ago, a lady on Ravelry asked if anyone knew how to weave continuously on the hex loom and wasn’t into the knotting technique.
So, I figured…. okay…. I’ll make a video showing how to do this….
The secret to weaving continuously on the Lily Speed O weave looms?
Mashing up triangle loom weaving techniques with the continuous weaving technique of the potholder loom.
AND>>>> There’s a VERY important switcheroo that you have to make, mid-stream, as it were.
Once you have mastered the technique, it’s REALLY quick and easy to weave up hexagons on the Lily Speed O Weave loom!
And, here’s the video to show you how to do it:
Today’s installment of the Soumak Pouch Weave Along is a video tutorial about warping the looms for the ‘no warp ends’ technique that will be the foundation of the Soumak Pouches.
There are a number of hints and tips that I have found that make warping for the pouches much quicker and easier.
The video shows how to warp the 8 inch and 12 inch Mirrix looms, using ‘s’ hooks.
The Mini (5 inch loom) is warped using the ‘no warp ends’ kit from Mirrix.
The looms are almost gift wrapped after warping!
I have found that using ribbons to tie around the ‘s’ hooks on the lower edge of the 8 inch, 12 inch or larger Mirrix looms keeps the weft yarn from getting snagged on the hooks while weaving.
And, the Mini wears little babushkas or headscarves!
Yep. I tie bias tape or ribbon around the ends to cover the paper clips and keep them from snagging on clothing and to protect them.
I know it may seem odd, but it makes the weaving go more smoothly.
And, having the weaving be a joy is really important
Here’s the video that shows how the warping is done for the Weave Along:
I’ve been shooting videos for the weave along that begins on September 2nd.
As I was shooting, I was weaving along on a couple of pouches.
Here they are:
A Stripey one, with some beads and other embellishments:
and the back:
I wove it with Lion Brand Bonbon yarn- cotton for the body of the pouch and metallic for the embellishment.
The size 8 beads along the sides are from Mirrix and the bone beads at the lower edge were in my stash.
The medallion on the back of the pouch is one that I snitched from a box of stuff that my daughter in law was going to give away.
(She gave it away, but to ~me~ instead of giving it to ‘anonymous’ I can be shameless when it comes to pretty goodies! )
My daughter in law grinned at me when she saw the finished pouch, and said: ‘This one is yours, isn’t it, Mum?’
‘Yes! but how did you guess?’
She just laughed.
I guess it’s because I adore these colors and use them all the time!
I was concerned about this pouch:
Why? Well, because both my daughter and my daughter in law declared that they loved it and would love to have SantaMamma leave it in their Christmas stocking.
I didn’t want to make two pouches that were exactly alike, so I had to have a big old think about it.
And, I came up with the perfect answer!!!!!
TADAH!!!! I wove it up in the same colorway, but using the drop dead luscious wool yarn from the Mirrix kit
[LINK to purchase]
(and, please note,: I don’t profit by raving about the delicious and gorgeous yarns I am using for these pouches, but I am just tickled pink with them, and VERY happy to say: WHEEEEEEEEEEE about them and to say: Yup… thumbs up, order and love ‘em, too)
Here’s the back of the woolie pouch:
Kreinik supplied me with the gorgeous embroidery thread and edging cord for this pouch.
Here are the links for them:
The edging is 3/8 ” trim: # 170 Natural Pewter
The embroidery thread is: Ombre: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=622&cat=0&page=1
1000 – Solid Silver
I love the combination of the soft loftiness of the wool with the sparkle of the metallic embroidery floss.
By the way, the embroidery thread is soft and lovely to work with. Some metallics can be barky and sharky.
This is soft and nooshy.
My daughter in law (who happens to be an incredibly gifted and talented handspinner, so she is naturally inclined to be more drawn to wool), likes the woolie pouch -
HURRAH! SantaMamma is so relieved!
My girls will have their lovely pouches in their Christmas stockings, and they are ‘sister pouches’…. similar, but each unique!
Alright… time for me to get back to editing video…..
In September, I will be leading a Weave Along, using Mirrix Looms.
I will be posting the pattern, video tutorials, instructions and step by step photos for the Weave Along here on Tottie Talks Crafts.
The project is a Business Card Pouch, which also works well as a cellphone pouch, woven in Soumak, embellished with corded edges and chain stitch embroidery.
I have designed it to be welcoming to entry level weavers, but also, with options that will appeal (I hope) to more advanced weavers, too.
Because it can take awhile to get orders cleared and shipped, I am posting some suggested warp and weft yarns, as well as the links for ordering them now.
Hopefully, your yarns will arrive before September first.
Here are a few photos of some of the Business Card pouches that I have woven so far:
This is the first Business card pouch that I wove, using:
copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay
Harrisville Warp LINK
and: Wool weft: Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack: Brights LINK
I wove the second pouch with the Harrisville warp and for weft:
Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack Jewels LINK
I quite like both p0uches, but …. OOPS!
They are slightly too small for their intended purpose! EEGADS! Business cards don’t fit in them!
So, I went back to the drawing board, and altered the pattern.
By then, gorgeous yarn had arrived from Lion Brand yarns: LINK TO BONBON YARN
The photo doesn’t convey the scale of the balls of Bonbon…
They are tiny, perfect little balls of loveliness. Each of them is 2 1/2 inches (6cm) tall.
The cotton is simply gorgeous to weave with. I love it.
I wove these Pouches in Bonbon cottons, with Metallic chain stitch embroidery:
I used the ‘Nature’ colorway for the pouch in the photo above, and ‘Beach for the pouch in the photo below:
The Metallic yarns come in six packs, as does the cotton. I used yarns from both colorways: Party and Celebrate, for these pouches.
My daughter in law suggested that I add a swivel snap hook to the upper corner of the pouch.
I thought that it was a great suggestion, and so I have added it.
The swivel clip allows you to clip it to your bag, or the belt loop of blue jeans.
If your cellphone is one of the larger ones, you may need to upsize your pouch if you would rather use it as a cellphone pouch instead of a business card pouch.
I used Lion Cotton for the warp for these two pouches, because I wanted to use yarns that you can order at the same time to make this all easier for you:
I wasn’t sure if it would work for the projects, but it does just fine.
I don’t think that I would use it for tapestry warp for a really large project, because it has a cheerful slightly bouncy nature.
Warp for tapestry really does need to be made of sterner stuff None of that youthful springiness!
Speaking of warp- a couple of my Ravelry friends have asked if carpet warp would be okay for the Weave Along, and yes, indeed, it will work fine.
I am going to weave some of the pouches on carpet warp, and also on the green linen that’s on that ginormous spool.
I am waiting for yarn (both Warp and Weft) from Mirrix. When they arrive, I will edit them into this post.
They haven’t arrived yet, but Elena has posted a photo and a link for the kit:
Here’s the link to order them: MIRRIX KIT LINK
In my next post, I will show you the equipment, materials and tools that you will need to gather up for the Weave Along.
Here’s the link to a post that has all the blog post links, to keep everything quick and easy to refer to : LINK
You are invited to post comments on the blog posts here on Tottie Talks Crafts…. AND….
Please post your photos and join in the discussion on the Facebook group: LINK
And, you can post your weave along photos and chat with the other WAL participants on Ravelry, too: LINK
There’s a sign up on the Mirrix website so you’ll get notifications of the posts. LINK
This is going to be great fun! You are so welcome to join in!
CHECK LIST FOR WARP AND WEFT:
-optional contrast yarn for chain stitch embellishment
I love how easy it is to warp the Mirrix looms.
I’ve found that there are a few things that can make the process of attaching the heddles go quick as a wink.
Efficient is good!
The first thing that I do, after I release the warping bar from the blocks and turn them around, is to slide a piece of cardboard or masonite between the layers of warp strands at the front of the loom and the back of the loom.
It sits there, in the middle, blocking the distracting view of those warp strands at the back of the loom.
Then, I use a shed stick that is at least as long as the width of the loom to pick up every other warp strand.
Then, I flip the shed stick on it’s side, with each end being supported by the shedding device blocks.
I now have 2 layers of warp strands because of this shed being open.
So, to keep the back warp strands out of view, I slide a ruler or strip of cardboard into the open shed.
Bliss! Now, I just have one set of warp strands ready for the heddles- Yay!
This makes things sooooo much easier!
I like the center brass knob of the shed changer to be as close to the exact center of the warp strands.
So, I count how many strands I need to attach to the rod, and divide that in 1/2.
I place 1/2 the heddles on 2 of my fingers, and 1/2 on the other 2 fingers.
I loosen the heddle rod and slide it along so it’s about 2 inches/5 cm from the edge of the warp strands.
Then, I reach behind the warp strand with a crochet hook, pluck a heddle off my fingers, and pull it behind the warp strand.
I catch both ends of the heddle loop and pop them onto the heddle bar. Slide the bar along as you go.
When I run out of the the first clump of heddles, I should be half way along the warp strands.
I work across , picking up all the strands, and attaching them to the heddle bar, then tighten up the little nut that holds the heddle bar in place.
Remove the shed stick and ruler, then rotate the heddle bar, sliding the heddles down the warp strands.
Turn the shed opener enough so the heddles open your first shed.
Use the shed stick to pick up the warp strands that are between the warp strands that you have just heddled.
Turn it on it’s side, insert the ruler, and repeat the process.
Check to make sure that all the heddles are securely attached to the heddle rods.
When I was making the video, one little bounder escaped, which was actually a good thing.
This allowed me to show how to capture the escapee heddle and tie it back in place.
Remove the shed stick and ruler and check the sheds, then attach the handle or treadle and Voila!
You’re ready to weave!
Here’s the video:
All the looms in my studio have been full of happy warps.
As well as working oh so hard on a couple of new books (one on potholder loom weaving and one on Lily Speed-O-Weave looms) as well as designing for magazines, I have been weaving up a storm.
Here’s a little of what’s going on:
I am working on a new freeform weaving jacket that is all in creams, whites and naturals. This is the first sleeve.
There are several yards of the jacket fabric on ‘Patient Zillah’, my ‘paper doll’ manequin- the jacket fabric is the widest, plain cream, highly textured layer under amost a hundred yards of narrow strips of fabric. I wove the jacket fabric on a rigid heddle loom.
I am also working on a tunic or shirt for me and am going to be piecing strips of narrow fabric together for it.
The narrower lengths of fabric were woven on my Structo loom.
I am madly in love with small loom weaving, and dearly love my old vintage looms.
I have had to do some fixing up to make it work, but it’s been pure delight to get it fully functional again.
I put really really long warps on them and have had a delightful time playing with clasped wefts as well as different patterns.
I love the freeform philosophy of weaving- it’s all about feeling free to play and express your creativity in any way that ignites your imagination.
So, when I was learning the ins and outs and ups and downs of the Structo looms, I felt quite free to change my flight plan whenever I got bored with a pattern or became interested in a new one. It’s all about the learning process and I love that.
My shirt/tunic will be a record of some very playful weaving.
I am hoping that he will let me break loose and weave him a much ‘jazzier’ vest to go over the serene shirt!!!
I wanted to do a beautiful, artsy photo of the miles of fabric, draped over the branches of the apple tree that is right outside the studio window. It’s heavenly – stuffed full of glorious blossoms, and oh so beautiful!
The mosquitoes are so vicious and the clouds of them are SO intense, that I am barely able to go outside, let alone be draping miles of fabric in the tree! so, you’ll have to use your imagination, and just envision all kinds of lovely fabric strips hanging in this tree:
Would you like to see a little of what I have been up to with my potholder looms in the last year, as I work on the new book?
This is the ‘Gossamer Wings Woven Butterfly Shawl’ to weave on the Potholder loom.
I love this shawl so much that I decided to release it as a stand alone pattern.
You can read all about it, and order the pattern, if you’d like, at:
I decided to take a little break and finish the book on weaving on the Lily Speed-O-Weave loom.
I’ve been working on this book, on and off for several years, and finally, after a whole bunch of people have sent me notes, asking for it, I decided: Okay… Just do it!
Of course, I totally under-estimated how long it would take to do it, as I have been re-writing, re-photographing, photo-shopping, then re-doing it all over and over… you know how it goes in the editing and polishing… and besides, I got all inspired and excited and came up with a whole bunch of new projects.
One of the things that struck me this week, is that I really needed to put in at least one project that shows a traditional pattern on the Lily Speed-O-Weave. I have been so busy with coming up with innovative ways of working with the looms, that I forgot that there will be people who want some of the ‘classic’ stuff, too.
So, here’s for the fans of the ‘classics’…. the standard flower pattern…. although, I present it in a way that is a heck of a lot easier to understand than some of the old old booklets.
So, there you have it! A little of what’s been going on in my studio!
Happy springtime and happy yarntime!
And, as always, big hugs all round
Last summer, I bought a huge cone of variegated red shaded mohair at one of our fave thrift shops.
Ever since then, I’ve been thinking: Ooooh…. gotta weave myself a red jacket with that yarn….
Just before Christmas, I thought- Mmmm… why don’t I warp up that neat red mohair and weave myself a new jacket to wear to Jim’s Christmas concert? (My husband, Jim, is a jazz musician extraordinaire, and his trio always does a jazzy Christmas concert every year).
So… I got warped, and wove and wove and wove…and wove up 2 yummy lengths of freeform weaving yardage for the jacket.
I had scissors clutched in my hand, poised above the yardage, about to cut it out, using a pattern that I had never made before.
Luckily, my little inner ‘Oh Oh Voice’ popped up and asked if I was nuts, and shouldn’t I consider making the jacket up in commercial fabric first before I slashed my way through my yards of handwoven treasure?
I went… oh… what a good idea.
I whipped up the jacket in some stash fabric and was aghast to discover that it looked truly horrible on me! Yikes!
Luckily, it looks fab on my daughter in law.
I was so put off by the whole thing that I folded the fabric up, plopped it on the top of a shelf in the studio and carried on with Christmas-ing.
Last week, when I realized that the concert that the ‘Road to Django’ concert that Jim was playing in on the 23rd was a really important one for him, I thought: I need to make something really spiffy to wear to it!
And discovered that I didn’t have anywhere near enough fabric, as I am quite tall and that means that there is a lot of me to cover!
So, I warped up and wove the 2 sleeves for my Gypsy Jacket.
And then, started snipping and stitching it all together.
Did I take pics of the process?
No… my camera is stuffed full of step by step photos for my new book, and so I didn’t want to take the time to deal with those while I was frantically building the jacket.
As we were racing out the door to the concert, I had to leave one pocket still on the loom.
Just not enough time to finish the weaving, and to get it stitched onto the jacket.
I had some doubts, as I was putting the jacket together…. I wasn’t sure that it was going to work.
BUT… I love it!
It is the MOST comfortable jacket – and it’s just plain fun to wear.
NOW… I can hardly wait to get warped up for the next one!
Here’s a larger view of the jacket:
What looms did I use? A 24 inch rigid heddle loom, an inkle loom, a potholder loom, a frame loom, and a 2 inch square vintage weave-it loom.
I stitched it all together by hand, but did use my sewing machine to zig zag the cut ends of the fabric.
Yarns: Mohair, silk, wool, cotton, chenille.
Today, I finished weaving the second pocket and stitched it onto the Gypsy Jacket.
By the way, the concert was FABULOUS!!!