Shifted Warp Fibonacci Shawl

Wrap warp in a circle on the board

Warp in a circle

There’s a way to make variegated yarn look like there is more going on just by making the sections of color line up and then by shifting them slightly.  Yarn wound on a warping board in the usual fashion makes the colors fall in random order. But if the same yarn is wound in a circle, you can manipulate those colors to fall together.

I like to use the Fibonacci number sequence whenever I set up stripes in a project. So these stripes are 2, 21 or 34 threads wide.colored yarn in Fibonacci stripes

In order to give a little more movement and interest to the piece, the multi-colored stripes are shifted by 5 inches.  The weft is two different yarns.  One is a rayon chenille and the other a 5/2 perle cotton of the same color. The yarns alternate in plain weave using two shuttles. These two yarns together give the shawl a “hand” that is soft and luxurious (the feel of rayon chenille) and still lets the colors of the warp show through.

Lots of color excitement on the loom.

Lots of color excitement on the loom.

Shawl with colors in stripesThe end result is a shawl with a lot of movement in the color.  Nothing boring here.




Posted in Cotton, Dyeing cotton, Fibonacci, Instructional, weaving, Yarns. Tags: , , , , , , . Comments Off on Shifted Warp Fibonacci Shawl

Shredding Blue Jeans

Why shred your blue jeans??  So you can weave them into a placemat, of course!

Loom in garage (1)This is my loom in the garage.  Blue jean strips give off a lot of lint/dust when you weave them and it’s hard to vacuum out of carpet.  Therefore it’s easier to weave them in the garage.  Notice the mask hanging on the loom?  I wear that when I’m weaving the mats.

Weaving in the garage is not all bad.  Below is the view I have while I’m sitting at the loom in the garage.

Loom in garage (5)

Just past the lawn is the South Fork of the Kaweah River.  It makes a lovely sound.  Sometimes I’m treated to a passing neighbor.  There’s a bobcat who cruises through occasionally and one day she was followed by her kitten!  Just 2 days ago, a cute little fox trotted by with a dead gopher dangling from her mouth. Yay!

Rich cutting blue jeans (2)

This is my “lovely assistant” (hey, if  a magician can have a “lovely assistant”, why can’t I?)  My husband, Rich is using a rag cutter to make quarter-inch strips which I will use as weft in the placemats and sometimes in mug rugs as well. By the way, he’s the one who built my beautiful studio…a good guy to have around!

Sharon Alderman Workshop

Log CabinI’m ready for the Color & Weave Effects workshop with Sharon Alderman this weekend.  We will be exploring Shadow Weave in the form of Log Cabin.  It was a challenge to thread 4 different patterns using 2 colors but I think I’ve got it now.  Can you see the 4 different patterns?  This way of threading alternating colors makes the end result look much more complicated than it is.  For you weavers: it’s just plain weave.  In our workshop, we will learn how to work designs out on paper from the draft to the cloth diagram and weave several of the designs.  Should be fun!

Warp after workshop

Here’s how it looked after the workshop.  We repeated the color order of the weft to match the color order in the warp.  My favorite is the zig zag in the pattern second from the left.


Warp after Sharon Alderman workshop (1)



Here’s another view.  We wove 3 inches of each variation of the color order.

Now I just have to figure out how I want to use this information in an actual project.  Stay tuned.

Placemats Upon Request

On two different occasions I’ve been asked to weave placemats using beige, olive green and mauve as the main colors. Do you know how many shades of those three colors there are?!  Darn…as hard as I try, I can’t look inside someone’s head to see the colors they envision.  So, in both cases, I insisted on something tangible from the customer as a sample of what they meant by beige, olive green and mauve.

Fabric strips cut & ready to weave. Fabric in same colors as pillow.

Assembling the fabrics to match the sample pillow

Here’s what is involved in making the placemats: I start by gathering fabrics that contain the colors I am looking for. Then I cut the fabric into 1 ” strips on the bias.  Next, I look through my yarn stash to find yarns (5/2 Perle cotton) to coordinate with the fabrics I have chosen.

Placemats on loom with pillow as sample colors

Placemats on loom with pillow as sample colors

I like to use the Fibonacci numbers to set up the stripes in the warp (lengthwise threads on the loom).  Then, using what is commonly known as the “rag weaving technique”, I weave the fabric strips (the weft) into the warp.  The beginning and end of each mat is finished by hand with a hem stitch while still on the loom.  These “rag mats” are great for insulating your plate from the cold table, especially if you eat at a granite or quartz counter.

Finished mats with customer's pillow

Finished mats with customer’s pillow

Below are pictures of the more recent example of a consignment using beige, olive green and mauve (with the addition of navy blue) to make placemats.  See how different they turned out?

Finished mats

Finished mats

Placemat with fabric supplied by customer as color sample

Placemat with fabric supplied by customer as color sample

In both cases my customer was pleased with the results. If the customer is happy, I’m happy!