Rata Joy

This rich, vibrant colour combination was inspired by my daughter who is now a young adult- who is passionate about social issues and dives right into whatever she does in life.

When I offered to weave her a scarf for the cold winter months at university, she immediately said ‘yes please-red please’

I loved weaving these variegated stripes of crimson, red, rust, hot pink, burgundy, teal, gold.

There were four slightly different scarves made from the same warp length. One went to my daughter, so now there are three left – one here, one at the Little Beehive Co-op and the another at the Wow gallery, Nelson. Made from soft natural fibres -merino, alpaca, silk and cotton – plus a little bit of man made yarn for some sparkle.

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Sweet watermelon circle weaving

Here’s a quick little project tutorial so you can weave a super-sweet watermelon decoration.

I’m hanging them on the Christmas Tree this year (Yep, we have a summer Christmas here in lovely New Zealand)

1. Gather your supplies. You will need a Circle weaving loom, small amounts of thread in watermelon red, black, bright green, dark greed and white or very pale pink, some polyester fibre-fill stuffing, tapestry needle and scissors.

2, Set up your circle loom as per instructions and weave a bit of watermelon red. I used a slightly textured cotton viscose knitting yarn that was lying around. I also weave over and under two threads at a time for a little while in the start – this gives a slightly neater and flatter fabric.

3. After a while add one round of black thread but this time go under three threads and over one thread. This will create a few watermelon ‘pips’. Take the black thread to the back of the loom and let it dangle there there as you will need it again soon. Note: if you prefer you can skip steps 3 and four and just embroider a few ‘pips’ with black thread later by hand.

4. Change back to red and weave over and under each thread for another cm or so. Then Repeat steps 3 and four another two or three times. (Weave the black for one round under using an 3 under/1 over pattern and then red over and under for a cm or so.)

5. Weave red until you get very near the edge of the loom. Then weave a few rounds of white, followed by bright green and finally dark green. Finish when you get to the very edge of the loom and you can’t weave any more. Try not to pull too tight as you weave near the edge.

6. Take you weaving off the loom and tuck in any loose ends to the back of the work. Fold in half with the right side facing outwards. Using the dark green thread, begin to sew up a neat seam to join the two halves together. I like to use ‘whip stitch’.

7. Add a little poly-fil stuffing and continue to sew the watermelon closed. Knot securely and weave in your ends.

8 Tadaah! Your summery watermelon is complete. Now you can add a brooch back if you would like to wear it. Or a little loop tie near the top so you can hang it up somewhere. You can also make tiny ones using my smaller loom and then add some felt wool pom-poms and a tassel if you want to get fancy.

Looms are available from my little Etsy or Felt shops. Send me a note with your order if you would like me to put in some watermelon colour yarns in your parcel.

Wishing you a happy weaving day.

Spring Clean

Spring has well and truly sprung here in Nelson. The kowhai trees are in full blossom and there is fresh growth everywhere.

This week I’ve been weaving some wash cloths in bright and fresh green colours. I love making these little cloths – and they make a useful gift.

 

 

 

 

Utilitarian

I was heading towards the end of this indigo blue cotton warp…. but there wasn’t quite enough to weave another scarf…..so I finished it with a set of washcloths.

Soft, simple and useful.

I am sharing my weavers notes here, in case anyone would like to have a go at making something similar. They would make great eco-friendly gifts, especially if teamed up with a nice hand-made soap.

Warp –

  • 3 ply denim cotton.
  • Total of 173 ends (width approx 8.5inches by 1m/1.15yards long – this was the end of a warp).
  • Sett at 20 ends per inch (10’s reed with 2 warp ends per dent).
  • Herringbone threading plan (see diagram below)

Weft –

  • a mixture of 4 ply and 8 ply cotton and linen,
  • woven in a 2/2 Twill (sometimes reversed to weave diamonds)
  • 12-16 picks per inch depending on which weft yarn was used.
  • Each cloth was woven 11-12 inches long on the loom but did shrink a bit when washed.
  • I added a fine plain weave turnover seam at the top and bottom of each washcloth using 2/20’s cotton weft. And a crochet chain tie in one corner to hang them up to dry.

Loom – Four shaft Ashford table loom, with a direct tie up pedal stand. This is the thread up pattern I used.

Denim blue Herringbone washcloths