One useful application of pin loom weaving is that you can test a new yarn for weave-ability in just minutes. It will not replace proper sampling for a project, but it is a quick way to find out what a yarn looks and feels like when it is woven, and it provides an instant piece of cloth for blocking.
Take for example this collection of scrumptiousness, which was part of my haul from this year’s Yellow Rose Fiber Fiesta where I “discovered” Winterstrom Ranch, a full service mill, with an intriguing variety of yarns in different blends, weights, and colors.
My conclusion is that all yarns weave up and block beautifully. The yarns have only little stretch, perfect for weaving. The yarns are smooth and not stiff. I wove a hexagon each and sewed them together into a flower shape prior to blocking, just for fun. I blocked in cold water with a little bit Eucalan, for about 20 minutes. All fibers gently fulled, minimal shrinking, all color fast.
The theme of the CHT conference 2021 is “A Fiber Runs Through It”. It reminds of the river walk that meanders through San Antonio, TX, but it also inspires to think of fibers and how they “run” through our weaving.
This post shows a quick project that was inspired by the theme: A little lavender puff with small pieces of fiber randomly running through it.
The project uses fibers that will be available from vendors at the CHT Marketplace!
The puff front is woven of a Windmill Crest Farms custom blend alpaca yarn Trilogy ( 75% Alpaca, 15% Bamboo, and 5% Silk waste) in strawberry pink. The back is woven of Morning Glory/Titan (80% Alpaca, 20% Bamboo), a marled yarn in natural colors that weaves up into a cloth with a vivid effect. Both yarns are fingering weight that weave up beautifully on the Original TURTLE Loom™ in fine-sett.
The “fiber that runs through it” is organic Texas cottonsliver from Conserving Threads, who offers a wide variety of natural fibers.
Weave the lavender puff hexagons: – Following the loom instructions, weave one hexagon in Morning Glory/Titan for the back. – Start weaving the front hexagon in Trilogy until you switch to weaving back and forth. – Prepare 4-5 sliver pieces (see below) and weave them in randomly:
Prepare the sliver pieces: – Pull an end of sliver off the rope, about 3″ long. – Split that end into 2-3 pieces. – Gently twist each piece, so that it doesn’t fall apart when handled.
Use a crochet hook to gently pull a piece through the shed from the previous row. Continue weaving, pack well.
Each front will look unique! When finished, lift the hexagon off the loom.
Sew the puff: – Turn the front hexagon. The “right” side will be the side without ends. This will lock in the sliver pieces and prevent fraying. – Put front and back hexagons on top of each other – wrong sides facing – and use the tails to sew along five sides (use simple whip stitch). – No need to turn.
Stuff the puff: – Use a small amount of stuffing (we used polyfil, but you could even use some of the leftover cotton sliver). – Add about a teaspoon of dried lavender flowers to the center of the stuffing and fold close. – Insert the stuffing into the puff and close the remaining sides.
Give a lavender puff to a friend. Put one under your pillow. Gently squish the puff to release more lavender aroma. Enjoy!
I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to take these pictures for years …
When we first moved to Texas more than a decade ago, I was inspired by seeing the Indian Summer Blanket wild flowers in this little field. A real blanket like this would be awesome … “I want to make this!”
It took many trials and errors to find a way to express the shape of the blooms, and in the end, hexagons were the answer. I sampled many yarns, because I wanted the colors to be as close as possible to the “real thing”. I found Scheepjes Catona, a cool summer cotton, that seemed perfect for the purpose. It comes in over 100 colors, including shades that were close.
Finally, this spring, the Indian Summer Blanket flowers are blooming again, and Texas weather is at it’s best. The blanket that looks and feels like a field of Indian Summer Blanket flowers … in the field that provided the inspiration.
Never give up on ideas that inspire you. Dreams come true.