Tag Archives: soumak weave

Soumak Pouch Weave Along Part 2-Design Notes

I am sure that everyone who is participating in the Soumak Pouch Weave Along wants to create a finished piece that is completely unique.

So, that’s why I am sharing a few design notes.

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In Part One of the Weave Along LINK   I posted my design for the Soumak Pouch.

How did I come up with this design, and how can you make it be a reflection of your personality?

I started the design process by thinking of the rug that was in my grandmother’s dining room when I was a little girl:

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I spent many a happy hour on that carpet, when I was a child, playing with my cousins.

The flowers became a deeply ingrained part of my ‘pattern language’.

So, when I was designing the pouch, it was natural to look at the flowers in the carpet and see if there was a starting point there.

Indeed there was, and I sketched and played with variations on carpet flowers:

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I  traced out lots of copies of the prototype pattern.

I find that tracing the pattern by hand is better for me than scanning and printing the pattern.

When my hand and eyes are quietly engaged in tracing the design, then connections are made that are really helpful in making creative leaps.

I choose aquarelles (watercolor pencils) that matched my weft colors.

Then, I colored lots and lots of variations on the theme, playing with combinations of colors and trying to push myself to use the weft colors in ways that I might not have considered.

I also would make little sidebar colorways when I was uncertain about a specific motif in the pattern.

And, then, when I was happy, I started weaving.

As I wove the prototype pouches, I discovered a few things:  OOPS! The weaving contracts when it’s released from the loom, so it NEEDS a header and footer beyond the pattern!

Also, I felt that making the pattern more geometrical would make it more weaver-friendly, so I re-designed the pattern to make it conform more closely to the warp strands:

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I felt constrained to stick to using only the colors of yarn that were in the various kits and packages supplied by the yarn companies.

I didn’t mix and match, BUT… you can feel totally free to use yarn from your stash to personalize your pouch.

The only exception to the ‘no stash’ rule that I was following was that, for the black and white checkered pouch, I did pull white wool from my stash (well, my daughter in law’s stash to be perfectly honest… bless her for her donation to the cause ❤ and 😀 )

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In this photo, you’ll see that I traced the pattern onto graph paper (4 squares to the inch or 2.5 cm).

(The photo of the pouch at the beginning of this post was woven with the Mirrix Soumak Pouch Kit yarns and this colorway.)

Graph paper is the top of the list of my favorite design tools…. it’s a weaver’s very good friend indeed!

Playing with graph paper allows you to try out all manner of interesting things.

So, in a nutshell, what are the key points of designing a unique project?

1-  Look for a starting point in something that you love or are inspired by.

2-  Be willing to make mistakes and to start over

3-  Trace, don’t print the extra copies of the design.

4-  Use colors in ways that you might not usually consider when you are experimenting with your coloring pages.

BUT… if you have signature colors, then, of course, feel free to use them.

5-  Make multiple color combination sidebars if you are uncertain about a part of the design.

6-  Use graph paper to work out colorways and patterns.

7- The ways that you choose to embellish your pouch will make your pouch TOTALLY unique, as the finishing and embellishment techniques are incredibly expressive 🙂

Here’s the Design Notes Video:

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Two more pouches for the Soumak Pouch 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:

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and the back:

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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:

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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!!!!!

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TADAH!!!!   I wove it up in the same colorway, but used wool yarn instead of cotton.

 

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
http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17023&cat=0&page=1
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.

!AND! 

Happy dance!

and   ~whew~

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…..  🙂

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Pouch- 1- Warp and Weft

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.

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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:

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This is the first Business card pouch that I wove, using:

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Harrisville Warp LINK

and: Wool weft:  Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack: Brights LINK

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I wove the second  pouch with the Harrisville warp and for weft:

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Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack Jewels LINK

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I quite like both p0uches, but …. OOPS!

They are slightly too small for their intended purpose!  EEGADS! Business cards don’t fit in them!

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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

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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:

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I used the  ‘Nature’ colorway for the pouch in the photo above, and ‘Beach for the pouch in the photo below:

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The Metallic yarns come in six packs, as does the cotton. I used yarns from both colorways: Party and Celebrate, for these pouches.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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I am going to weave some of the pouches on carpet warp, and also on the green linen that’s on that ginormous spool.

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.

CHECK LIST FOR WARP AND WEFT:

– warp

-weft

-optional contrast yarn for chain stitch embellishment

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