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Two Go-To Design Tools

I was reading an online article about the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Mean, and I was once again reminded what a powerhouse these two systems are for weavers. Before I even knew what they were, I discovered I was using them completely unintentionally. My “clever” stripes turned out to be Fibonacci. My asymmetrical blocks …

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Stripes, Checks, and Plaid Oh, My!

Stripes are the backbone of woven design—the workhorse of colorwork. When warp and weft stripes meet, beautiful things happen. Perhaps the three most common terms used to describe woven colorwork are stripe, check, and plaid. In general, I try to be precise with my language while trying to avoid some of the traps of being …

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Geeking Out: Rugs

Rugs have been made by weavers for thousands of years on all sorts of looms. I have woven many rugs on a rigid-heddle loom and have included projects for them in my books, workshops, and weave-alongs.  I hear from time to time the pronouncement, “You can’t make a rug on a rigid-heddle loom.” The reasoning is …

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When Is My Work My Own?

The Yarnworker School patrons and I are spending our summer school session of 2020 tackling the process of formulating a plan to weave a project or essentially learning how to design projects for our own use. This is a round of of ideas about looking at design from a bird’s eye view. What is Design? …

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Sett’s Effects

In A Weaver’s Guide to Yarn I start with sett. Understanding warp density’s effect on cloth is where the rubber meets the road, or in our case, the yarn meets the loom. Sett is the number of warp ends within an inch of the rigid heddle reed. Because rigid-heddle weavers often double up our ends in …

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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.

Swatch and Learn

I released my first self-published book, A Weaver’s Guide to Swatching, back in January. Some of you know the back story: The previous year I had reached out to Angela at Purl & Loop to see if she could devise a tool that would help me swatch while working on Handwoven Home. To date, there were …

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The Design Process

Creating cloth requires both engineering and imagination, but most of all it requires that you play with your materials a lot. Getting to know yarn and how it behaves is learned by conducting lots of experiments. Designing is like a Mad Lib.  The basic formula goes something like this: I want to make ____________ (project) …

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Liz Gipson Widgets
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