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Variegated Yarn Challenge Weave-Along

The next Yarnworker Weave-Along project is a little different from ones we have done in the past. Rather than focusing on one specific project, we are going to take a generic form—the scarf—and look at three ways to weave it highlighting variegated yarns. We all have these types of yarns in our stash, those beautiful hand-dyed or commercially prepared yarns with tantalizing color combinations. Figuring out the best way to use them can be a puzzle.

I’ll introduce you to three ways to use variegated yarns in the warp—pick-up lace (second from right), pooled (second from left), and clasped (right). The term “variegated” can refer to many things. Pick-up lace and clasped warps can highlight any multi-colored yarn you have in your stash. Pooled warping works best with hand-painted yarns with distinct bands of color.

This weave-along will allow you to weave a project wherever you are on your weaving journey. The first technique, pick-up lace, is the most beginner friendly. The second technique, planned pooling, is most easily accompanied by using a warping board or pegs, not in the way you might think, and the final technique uses the direct method in a unique way.

An additional stealth objective is beefing up your yarn choosing, sett selecting skills and working on fundamental weaving techniques. During the 2019 Biennial Survey, this was high on the list of things where weaver’s needed extra support. So while the warping techniques may be new the fundamentals of yarn selection and weaving technique are the same for all your weaving applications.

The registration link will be available October 16, 2019 (see below for schedule). I’ll post the link to Patrons first, then email the link to everyone who is on the Yarnworker mailing list who checked “weave-alongs” as a special interest.

I’ll defer any specific yarn questions until after October 1st to give me time to finish up the next Yarnworker class, Weaving 301: Pick-Up.

Here is the who, what, when, and where info to date:


This weave-along is designed for an advanced beginner. I assume that you have already woven a few projects, can warp your loom without assistance, have a basic understanding of weaving terminology, and are ready for a challenge.


I’ll provide a generic scarf pattern free of charge that you can adapt depending on your technique of choice.


Rigid-heddle loom with at least a 10” weaving width, 2 stick shuttles. The pattern will have information for 8-, 10-, and 12-dent reeds. Optional: 10-inch pick-up stick, warping board or pegs for pooled warping; a swift is also helpful, but you can work form a center-pull ball.


This is an opportunity for stash diving. During registration week, I’ll offer up some tips for how to select yarns and sett. Most likely, you will have yarns appropriate for this weave-along in your stash. If not, I’m allowing an extra week to gather your materials before we start warping.

A big thanks to SweetGeorgia Yarns for providing the yarns I’ll use during the weave-along.

All variegated yarns will be used in the warp. We are going to talk about color value quite a bit, I wrote a blog post about color value that you may find handy while gathering your materials. Don’t get too hung up on color though. This weave-along will leave a lot of room for play!

These are generic descriptions of the types of yarns I’ll be using, although the pattern is quite adaptable to many yarn sizes. As a general principle, I’m setting the yarn a little bit closer than a balanced plain weave sett and weaving with a finer yarn than the warp to create a slightly warp emphasis fabric.

As noted above, I’ll defer any specific yarn questions until after October 1.

Pick-Up Lace

Warp: 225 yds variegated, smooth, multi-plied (2 or more), variegated light worsted or DK weight, about 1,000 – 1,200 yd/lb.

Weft:  180 yds solid or semisolid, fingering weight, about 1,800 – 2,400 yds/lb, of a similar color one of the colors in your warp of any yarn construction.


Warp: 225  yds handpainted yarn with large color repeats of 8’’-12’’ that is smooth, multi-plied (2 or more) worsted or DK weight, about 1,000 – 1,200 yds/lb.

Weft: 180 yds solid or semisolid, lace weight, about 2,500 – 3,200 yds/lb, of a similar color to at least one of the colors in your your warp of any yarn construction.


Warp: 115 yds variegated, 1115 yds solid, smooth, multi-plied (2 or more), fingering weight, about 1,800 – 2,400 yds/lb. Solid should have high value contrast to variegated.

Weft: 180 yds solid or semisolid, fingering weight, about 1,800 – 2,400 yds/lb, choose a solid that has a similar color to one of the yarns in the variegated yarn. For instance if your multicolored yarn has a lot of purple you may want to choose a similar solid purple weft.

Golden Nuggets

These projects will allow you to tackle some new yarn choosing skills and to discover some new warping techniques that highlight variegated yarns.

Note: The Yarnworker Patrons and I have spent the summer beefing up our warping skills with a patron weave-along to Weaving 202 on indirect warping. Although it isn’t necessary to know indirect warping for two of these techniques, I will be using it to tackle planned pooling. The class is now available in the Yarnworker School.

Other resources you may find handy are A Weaver’s Guide to Yarn and Purl & Loop’s Sett Checker.


Registration gets underway October 16.  Hop on the Yarnworker mailing list to be emailed the link directly when it is ready. Patrons will always get notifications first.


October 16: Registration link available, welcome information, tips on selecting yarns.

October 30: Warp

November 6: Weave

November 13: Finishing

November 20: Show and Tell!


I host the weave-alongs for free at the Yarnworker School of Weaving, a community-funded, virtual classroom for rigid-heddle weavers. For more information about the Yarnworker Weave-Alongs and School, check out this FAQ.

A big shout out to all the Patrons who keep these weave-alongs going.

Heddles Up!


Liz Gipson Widgets
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