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Geeking Out On Deadlines ?

In my haste to cross things off my list, I started a new page as a blog post and the auto sender sent it to my blog subscriber list.

Rushing to get things done, never pays.

Sorry for the error and thanks for being a blog subscriber. I’ll have better content next time!



Geeking Out: Help, My Slot Layer Has Gone Slack!

You have been weaving along with nary a care in the world, and then suddenly the slot layer of your shed goes slack. It happens for lots of reasons. Here are three fixes that will get you out of a jam. Add A Supplemental Stick Looms without front and back beams can sometimes lose even tension …

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Geeking Out: Swatching Structures Other Than Plain Weave

As most of you know, I’m a fan of the swatch. I make them for four specific reasons: to test out my ideas, try yarn substitutions, check my sett, and experiment with color. To make this process easier, I worked with Purl & Loop to develop the Swatch Maker Looms and subsequently wrote A Weaver’s Guide …

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Geeking Out: Get Multiple Setts From a Single Rigid Heddle Reed

The question of how to modify your threading in a rigid-heddle reed to alter its sett comes up from time to time. Similar to the floor or table loom reed, the threading of the rigid heddle determines how many warp ends you have in an inch of warp. The difference between a rigid-heddle reed and …

Read moreGeeking Out: Get Multiple Setts From a Single Rigid Heddle Reed

Geeking Out: Doing a Loom Waste Audit

Most weaving patterns tell you how much loom waste they allow in the warp length within the project specs. In general, I allow 18”– 22” for the direct method, which requires that you tie onto the front apron rod and 22”– 26” for the indirect, which requires that you tie onto the apron rod in front and back. How much loom waste you need for any given project depends on how much yarn you use to tie on your knots, your loom type, and your finishing technique.

Loom waste is the length of warp that you can’t weave due to loom mechanics and the bits that you use to tie onto the apron rods. I’ve observed that beginners tend to use more loom waste than more experienced weavers. This is largely due to dialing in your knotting technique. Your style of loom can also dictate your loom waste. On my Cricket, I use about 6” of loom waste in the front and 11” in the back. I increase this by 15% when weaving on my Flip. If my project includes fringe, much of this length isn’t wasted, it is used in the final project.

Loom Waste on the Front of a Schacht FlipThe next time you weave a project, take the time to do a quick loom waste audit to determine how much loom waste you actually use. If using the direct method, you can do this by measuring the amount of warp left that you can’t physically weave at the end of your project, before you cut it from the loom. Then you can cut the project free of the back apron rod, unwind the project from your front beam, untie the warp from the front apron rod, and measure how much warp you used in the front. Include your headers in these measurements. If using the direct method, you will need to untie in the front and back before taking the measurements.

By taking the time to do this, you have your own personal guideline as to how much yarn you need to allow for any given project. If you are trying out a new Loom Waste on the Back Apron Rod of a Flip Loomtechnique or fiber, I recommend increasing this amount by 10%–15%, to allow for the learning curve.

Schacht Spindle Company wrote an article in their July newsletter about lashing as a way to reduce your loom waste. It is a tried-and-true method weavers use to decrease their loom waste, particularly when they are trying to eke out those last few inches at the end of a project. I generally don’t recommend this technique for beginners because it can be tricky to get your tension even when your learning curve is steep, but after you have a few projects under your belt, you may want to experiment with lashing. That said, you never know what you can do until you try.

Heddles Up!


Wear Your Weaving, No Scissors Required

This summer, I’ve been experimenting with doubleweave as a way to create garment shapes and play around with colorwork. It is a little side journey after the launch of the Colorwork class at the Yarnworker School. I love how one project always gives you an idea for the next. As I was working out different ways to create garments that didn’t require me to get out my scissors, it got me thinking about all the ways we weavers turn yardage into wearables. Here is a wee list of the many ways we weavers wear rectangles.

Scarf, Muffler A piece of yardage of varying lengths and widths worn about the neck, shoulders, or head. Example shown on ladder: Rad Plaid Scarf I wove out of two dip-dyed skeins from Shepherd’s Lamb. It is available as a free pattern.

Shawl, Wrap, Manta, Stole A long, wide piece of fabric, designed to be worn around the shoulders. Example shown on ladder: Linsey-Woolsey Shawl that was featured in my Twice as Nice video workshop with Interweave. Unfortunately, it was involved in the train wreck of ’16 and I haven’t had the heart to write it up.

Ponchoblanket-like garment with a slit in the center to slip over your head. Example shown on floor: This lace poncho was a garment that didn’t make the cut for Weaving Made Easy

Ruana A poncho-like garment with a closed back and an open front. Example shown on model front and back: This is the ruana I wove this summer, worn by my little sister, Meg. It is a doubleweave garment that takes full advantage of the technique. The long loom waste at the end of the warp is turned into a long fringe. The bottom and top layer are laid out as two different stripe configurations. The front was woven as stripes and the back as plaid. I’m slowly working on a garment workshop that will teach this technique.

Cowl A circular piece of fabric worn around the neck and/or head. Examples shown on mannequin and on shelf: The triangle cowl was the featured project in Weaving 101: The Basics and the circular cowl is made using the techniques outlined in the Crepe Cowl Workbook.

Cacoon, Shrug A wide piece of cloth sewn partially together on either end to form a tube with an opening in the middle. The seamed ends form sleeves. Example shown on hanger (thanks to Purl & Loop for the custom hangers): This Shibori Shrug is another piece that didn’t make the cut for Weaving Made Easy. It was a prototype made from indigo-dyed mohair bouclé. I tied marbles into the cloth using rubber bands before the final wash. The baubles formed by the marbles are still defined over a decade later.

The key to any handwoven garment is drape, the opposite in what I typically look for when weaving for the home with the exception of towels. I love the challenge of weaving the prefect cloth for the perfect thing. It never gets boring.

Heddles up!


P.S. If I have forgotten any ways leave a comment. I’d love to know what you are weaving to wear.

Reading a Pick-Up Pattern

We are in the midst of the Spring 2018 Yarnworker Weave-Along, weaving the Linen Facecloths from Handwoven Home. This project provides all sorts of interesting challenges for new and experienced weavers alike by weaving windowpane with linen, using multiple colors in warp and weft. The thing I love best about the weave-along process is that I …

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Geeking out on Sett Charts

Yarn selection and sett are at the heart of what makes woven cloth great. When pondering the question of sett, fabric design, and yarn substitution, an underused resource by rigid-heddle weavers is a sett chart. A sett chart is a list of yarns described in generic terms, their yardage, and a range of suggested setts. …

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Geeking Out: Increasing the Capacity of your Cloth Beam

We just wrapped up—pun intended—another weave-along, tackling the Hudson Bay Inspired Throw from Handwoven Home. It was our second doubleweave weave-along, this time tackling a larger, wider, and bulkier piece. I often get asked, “How much warp can I pack on my beam?” I included my answer to this age-old question on page 149 of …

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Liz Gipson Widgets
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