Floats and Stripes

scarf warp

I’m direct warping my Cricket rigid heddle loom for a new scarf class at Silk Road Textiles with shimmery, summery yarns of Bee Sweet Bamboo (the pink) and a cotton/viscose blend called Tandem by Tahki Yarns (the variegated). I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

The warp is a little tricky to make since we are doubling some ends and have some odd numbers.  We’ll also I be weaving it up with the Tandem as weft and using a pick up stick for some warp floats along the way to accent the pink bamboo.   Look for it in May or early June!  I’ll let you know when the date is finalized.

Wool = Love

clog slippersI have found the best way to my let my kids know how much I love them, is to let them know I thought about them in some way.  For my daughter it usually involves chocolate. I buy my daughter a really dark chocolate bar when I am at Trader Joe’s or the frozen chocolate croissants that we defrost and let raise overnight and bake for breakfast together.  My oldest son likes when I can get  a nice dress shirt or tie on clearance.  Their favorite supper or dessert  is always a hit. The second oldest son likes leftovers from Sunday supper that I package into lunches for him for a couple of days after he goes back to his college apartment.  My eleven year old is especially easy, spaghetti with meat sauce is his favorite meal and you would have though I hung the moon when I found a box of white chocolate covered caramels.  One thing they have in common is that they ALL love warm feet, and they know that I think about them when I make them something.  I can’t knit fast enough to keep up with their craving of wool socks in the winter, so I supplement with some store bought ones and those are their favorite stocking stuffers.  A couple of years ago I made them each a pair of felted wool slippers and they all wear them (husband included), all the time.  So far they are holding up pretty well for the third season.  My youngest has just started to get big holes in the first layer of the sole as you can see in the picture, but since he has outgrown them, I have to knit a new pair anyway.  His requested colors this time are silver and gold.  I have gotten the first one knit and will make the other one this week.  Then I need to shrink them down (no his feet haven’t grown that much) in hot water in my washing machine .  They fit just right when I am finished.

If you need a quick Christmas gift, they are the perfect thing. They knit up fast and everyone I know who has made them swears how much they are loved.  Even though the pattern is very well written it can be a bit tricky the first time you knit it, especially if you are unfamiliar with reading a multi-sized pattern, decreases, short rows and picking up stitches.  I have a class coming up at Silk Road Textiles beginning November 17.  If you can cast on, knit, purl and bind off comfortably, you can lean to make these and have them be the big hit under the Christmas tree too.

Everyone in the Pool!

Faux Ikat ScarfSometimes you see a beautiful skein of hand-dyed sock yarn that you just have to have, and it knits up looking like rainbow pony barfed on it.  The colors pool into blobs instead of blending nicely in the sock.  But in weaving, having the colors pool in a scarf creates an effect similar to that of a warp dyed for ikat without all the mess of dying it yourself.  With a rigid heddle loom like the Cricket looms I teach with, you can direct warp that skein of yarn in less then an hour and have a scarf with a few hours of weaving.  I made this colorful scarf with a 50 gram skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn and some red 8/2 tencel (laceweight).  It’s just plain weave, but far from a plain scarf.

I made this as part of the Rigid Heddle Study Group that I lead at The Weaver’s Guild of Greater Cincinnati.  Next month we are going to continue our study of hand-dyed knitting yarns and help each other with this technique.  This scarf itself is destined for our guild sale on November 8, 9 and 10 as a donation to the sale from the Rigid Heddle Study Group.  If you are interested in weaving, starting with a rigid heddle loom is a good way to begin.  You can get started with small amounts of  knitting yarns, a relatively small investment in a little loom that is portable and a minimal amount of equipment.  Although they are simple looms, you can create quite complex looking textiles that anyone would be happy to have.  If you are interested in learning to weave, check out my classes at Silk Road Textiles or look for some to be posted on the WGGC website that will begin after the first of the year. If you want this scarf, go to the guild sale, hire me to teach you how to weave it, or I can take a commission if the price is right.

Weaving for Knitters


I had a great class this morning at Silk Road Textiles teaching Rigid Heddle Weaving.  It is another terrific way to use luscious knitting yarns and you can quickly make a scarf or other item.    Here are two students threading the heddles on the Cricket loom you get to use as part of the class fee.  They will take the looms home overnight to weave some more, and come back tomorrow to take the scarf of the loom and learn about finishing.  It’s a great way to get a taste of weaving and using a Rigid Heddle loom before buying one.

March Classes

simple hatI have two classes beginning this week at Silk Road Textiles.  I am teaching a simple hat class beginning on Friday from 12-2 and a Sweater Knitting Workshop beginning on Sunday from 1-3.  Both classes will work for newish knitters and teach knitting in the round.   You must be comfortable both  knitting and purling for either one, but that is the only requirement.  The hat requires a 16 inch circular needle and a set of double pointed needles, both in size 8, and worsted weight yarn.  You have a couple choices for top down sweater patterns available at the shop and the yarn and needles required will depend on which pattern you choose.  I will be available 45 minutes prior to class time for the sweater to help choose the pattern, yarn and needles.  Call the shop at 513-541-3700 to register.