Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Working With Variegated Yarn in Inkle Weaving

EDIT: Since publishing this post almost a month ago, I have seen photos popping up on Instagram from all over the world!! Please scroll to the bottom to see how others have been using this tip!
This beautiful skein of variegated cotton from Schaefer Yarn was recently given to me. I love the colors so much! I took extra time and wasted a little yarn in order to line up the color changes in my warp, creating a sort of faux ikat look on this guitar strap. 

 The interaction of color at the transition points is so interesting! 
Of course, they don't line up perfectly.  

I started by winding the original loop from the skein into a ball so that it was easier to work with when warping my loom. 

 Since the length of my warp loop did not correspond with the size of the original loop of yarn as it was dyed, it took some playing to get the color changes to line up on the loom. In this video, I show how I did it. 

Here are a couple of other examples of pieces I've woven in the past using this same technique.

And, in these pieces, variegated yarn was used totally at random, not taking care to line up the colors. 

Woven by Marta Tokuyama, Japan

Woven by Marion Verloop, The Netherlands

Woven by Anthony Flynn, Ireland

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Four Colors, Multiple Choices, Many Possible Combinations

In my Etsy shop, www.ASpinnerWeaver.Etsy.com, I sometimes sell my favorite yarn, Omega Sinfonia, in packs containing 4 colors and include a sheet with a dozen possible combinations using those colors. 
Below is one of those sets of 12 patterns which I invite you to use for yourself as they are, or as inspiration to create your own designs. These use 39 threads, and for me, when I use them with the Sinfonia, the woven bands come out to about 1" in width. This width is great for dog collars and leashes, hatbands, key fobs, lanyards, ukulele straps, and lots of other things! For a list of suggested uses for woven bands see this page http://aspinnerweaver.blogspot.com/p/uses-for-woven-band.html

All of the patterns below were created using the "Pattern Editor" the best free online design tool ever to come along for us band weavers. Jeff Bigot, its creator, is always working on it to add more great tools. Thanks, Jeff! Check out Version 2 here: https://www.raktres.net/seizenn/v2/#/

There are many more patterns like these in my book, "In Celebration of Plain Weave: Color & Design Inspiration for Inkle Weavers". You can find it here in print or PDF form: Taproot Video 


Sunday, December 26, 2021

An Invitation to Play With Color


This summer we bought a weaving from our friend, Emily Trujillo, at the Traditional Spanish Market in Santa Fe. She and her mom, Lisa, shared a booth this year. Both of her parents are weavers and she has joined them, becoming the 8th generation weaver in her family. They have a fantastic weaving shop in the village of Chimayo, north of Santa Fe. Recently, they have been doing a bang-up job of selling my straps. They represent quite a few weavers in the shop besides family members and I'm honored to be among them! The area has a rich weaving tradition which you can read about here on their website. You can also find out more about Emily here

The weaving which my husband and I chose is unique and modern in design.  It has such a nice pop of colors right in the center! Recently, I decided that I'd like to weave a strap drawing on this piece for inspiration. How can I use the colors and asymmetry? Hmmm...  I'm still pondering. 

Here are a few of my attempts. There are 77 warps in each of the patterns below. Click to enlarge them if you want to see more detail. I haven't settled on one yet. The first two are plain weave, but the third one has some pickup pairs. 

What would you do? Can you imagine a strap design from this? I thought I'd invite you to give it a try just for fun. If you like, save your pattern and post a link to it in the comments section below. 

Here's the link to the Pattern Editor. https://www.raktres.net/seizenn/v2/#/inkle 

By entering the code: KO1 in the box where it says "Load from a short code", you will be able to start with all of the colors which I used and the same number of threads. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Now Available! Out-of-Print Volume on Lithuanian Sashes Returns!

If you have been following my blog, you will undoubtedly know, that it was this book which led to my discovery of three-color pickup. It has been out of print for decades. Recently, several unopened boxes were discovered in storage, providing a new opportunity to buy a copy of this precious resource from the organization which published it, the Lithuanian Folk Art Institute of Toronto, Canada. 

It is available here: https://ltfai.org/lithuanian-sashes-book/  They will be offering it at a special discount price from Nov 9 to Dec 6.   EDIT: It appears to be sold out as of today, Dec. 6th. 

This is an amazing and exciting book that is valuable both as a look back into history, as well as a new source of inspiration to anyone currently weaving!

While ethnographic references such as this one are most likely to be found in the native language of the country, this one is written in English.

In preparation for the book, the authors examined several thousand ancient sashes. About one thousand of these have been reproduced in the book. Many of them are in full-color illustrations- photos, sketches, and graphic patterns.

The first part, Traditions of Lithuanian Sashes, is a great resource to anyone interested in folk art, weaving, textiles, or Lithuanian culture and tradition. It outlines the history, uses, and cultural significance associated with various kinds of sashes. Regional differences and similarities are mentioned. A detailed map allows the reader to locate villages and regions.

The second part, Traditional Lithuanian Techniques for Making Sashes, illustrates tools, materials, and techniques. The wide variety of techniques is surprising. They include: plain warp-faced weaving, rep weave, pickup, weft-faced, twill, finger weaving, braiding, plaiting, inlaid, overlaid, tablet weaving, overshot, sprang, knitting, and crochet. It is not a detailed and in-depth how-to, but some threading drafts are given for different types of woven bands.

The authors bring to life the culture through stories such as this: “Farmers would bring grain to a mill in colourful, striped sacks which they would immediately recognize upon their return to pick up the flour. Those who did not have such distinctively coloured sacks would tie a colorful patterned sash around their sacks”. They also share verses from folk songs and poetry, some of which are shown as inscriptions woven into bands.

The 6-page glossary is very informative and the index helps the reader to easily find what they are interested in.

My discovery of the three-color pickup was super exciting as I had never seen it used before in warp-faced bands. Several bands are illustrated in photos and described in this way: “Sashes woven with three-coloured motifs were usually woven from handspun wool yarn by the women of the province of Zanavykija. Only three percent of sashes was woven with three-coloured motifs because only the rare weaver had the skill to weave them.” 

Maybe you will discover something new in this book, too! 



Copyright 1983 by Anastazija Tamošaitienė  AntanasTamošaitis,

Published by the Lithuanian Folk Art Institute and available online at: LTFAI.org

Hardback. 316 pages.

To learn more about my book, Three-Color Pickup for Inkle Weavers, Click the link below.