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Weaver’s PlayBox: Fine Blends




The PlayBox series is a collaboration between Yarnworker and Gist Yarn & Fiber. Our goal was to create a series of boxes that introduced rigid-heddle weavers to yarn staples and the inspiration to use them. Our focus is on small North American yarn makers who create small batch yarns that will bring joy to your loom. You can learn more about the development of the PlayBox in my conversation with Sarah Resnick in episode 73 of the Weave podcast.

Each box focuses on a particular fiber and sett. PlayBox 1 concentrated on a variety of wools in a sett of 8 for scarves, PlayBox 2 concentrated on Cottons and Cotton Linen blends in a sett of 10 for towels, and PlayBox 3 concentrated on fine blends in a sett of 12 for wraps.

Gist sells these boxes on a pre-sale basis a couple times a year. The pattern was not made available separately from the box, until now and only for Patrons. It is my way of saying thank you to the Patron community for keeping the Yarnworker School afloat.

PLEASE NOTE: If you purchase a PlayBox the pattern automatically comes with it so there is no need to purchase it. Click this post for a $10 off coupon on PlayBox 3 in the purple colorway while supplies last! There are a limited number of boxes in stock. We expect to have more in stock in the New Year.

In more good news, your Patron level discount applies. Check your Patron Perk Post for your discount code. Gist and I are in the process of updating the yarns and pattern for PlayBoxes 1 & 2 to include more of their house brands and to introduce a few new yarn makers—stay tuned for those in the New Year.

About PlayBox 3: Fine Blends 

This pattern takes a deep dive into how to use fine lace yarns using a technique called cramming. Cramming allows you to warp fine fingering and lace yarns and make them work in the setts available to you. This technique creates a stable cloth from what, if sett as single ends, might be a flimsy weave. To “cram” a warp, you place more than one thread in a slot or a hole, but primarily slots, to create a denser sett.

You may be familiar with cramming when you have doubled your yarns in every slot and hole to create an all-over denser sett. This pattern takes a deeper dive into this technique, exploring both texture and color opportunities. You can adapt these ideas to a wide variety of setts and fibers.

This pattern is very robust, spanning 30 pages with five variations, including a cravat, scarf, stole, and a seamed wrap made from two scarves. It includes tips for warping long, fine warps and offers various creative ways to use your weft and finish your fringe. Each warp uses a variation of two basic crammed building blocks.

Equipment Requirements

Rigid-heddle loom with a 12 or 12.5 dent rigid-heddle reed; 2 stick shuttles about the width of your warp, or a stick shuttle and a boat shuttle (one of the stick shuttles will be used for header).


Warp Yarn: Pattern shown in Echoview Fiber Mill Lapidary, fingering weight 3-ply, 50% Merino/50% Tencel, 400 yd per 3.5 oz [100g] skein (1,816 yd [1,659 m]/lb), and 3-ply, 85% Merino/15% naturally black alpaca and Swans Island Sterling, fingering weight. 525 yd [480 m] per 3.5 oz [100g] skein (2,384 yd [2,178 m]/lb)

Weft Yarn: 2-ply, 50% Merino/50% silk, 765 yd [700 m] per 3.5 oz [100g] skein (3,473 yd [3,173 m]/lb) pattern shown in SweetGeorgia Yarns Merino Silk Lace, lace weight.

The pattern was designed to make the most of three skeins of each of these yarns. Yardage requirements vary from a scant 225 yd up to 1,300 yd—these figures are the total warp and weft yardage required.

Liz Gipson Widgets
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