Friday, February 3, 2017

Experiments in weaving and blanket sections

Hard to write happy little blogposts these days; the anxiety and consequent activism always with me, but I won't bore you with all the actions and petitions, and encouraging, and signing and that. Just assume it's happening.  Local actions, too, turning friends on to helping the food pantry, that kind of thing.

However, some good stuff in art is also happening.  Some sections for my WarmUp America blanket offerings, well, they're activism, too, come to think of it.  

But anyway here are the first few, together with the cardboard template I cut to make sizing simpler.  And I'm knitting diagonally for the same reason.  

A friend stopped over, saw the sections, and threatens to bring over a large stash from her house once she's tidied up enough to get at it, because I can Use It Up!  I'm guessing that the blanket sections need to be machine washable, so I'm using my handspun for other projects, and donated stash for the sections.

Also I've been looking at some cool ideas for shaped weaving.  

Here's a little experiment with triangular freeform weaving on my potholder loom, small enough to mess about with and try out. I'm using my handspun for this. It's not true tri weaving (for that you need nails or notches on three sides) but it is a single warp yarn which becomes the weft too. That's the interesting part.  

And of course, since there are no notches on the hypotenuse, the weaving has to be freeform, not a solid triangle.  You work differently with a real tri loom, one of which I will probably make. 

With this one, you have a lot of threads packed into the corner but spread out across the hypotenuse, and I'm using the concept to push them about and try out different ways of seeing them. I will probably go in with a different thread, too, and work in the spaces.  This could be fun.  This picture is just the first arrangement, done more thread pushing since then.  More to weave to finish this triangle.  And it's just a motif idea that might work into other projects.  And I will loop each end over the next as a finishing method when it comes off the loom.

You can get or make real tri looms as big as 7 feet, but I doubt if I'll go that big..I will make at least one, though, once I get organized into correctly spacing the notches on the hypotenuse -- have to be the same number of notches or nails as on the other sides. Usually you go for the same spacing between notches or nails, which will be the same number if you're working a square or rectangular shape. Here it can't be the same spacing, in order to have the same number.

If there are short sides, it not being an equilateral triangle, it's not a very obvious bit of math. Fun to try, though. And it's a very different approach to weaving, since you continually feed off a ball of yarn, no bobbins or butterflies to fuss with.

I've also been seeing ideas for looms cut into the shape of pieces of garments, like pattern blocks, only notched ready to weave. I really fancy weaving myself a vest, using my handspun. Lined with silk or linen, could be very nice. But that's for another day.  Only challenge is cutting the cardboard pieces to the correct size. The actual notching and weaving not so complex.

So that's where art is at the moment. Exhibiting in April and May through July, not fiberarts, other pieces.  Artist in Residence stint in April. Quite a bit happening.


  1. not seen squares knitted diagonally before I expect they will keep their shape better you will get plenty of blankets if people donate their spare wool

  2. Consider attaching a stick across the hypotenuse and go around that to stabilize your triangle weaving. You could weave two at once and pull out the stick to remove them from the loom.


  3. Diane, thank you for that suggestion. Definitely noted! possibly a stick with nails driven in at intervals to match the number on the short sides. This is really great, thanks.

    Margaret, just today another person saw these squares and promptly offered to bring in a large amount of white yarn for my use..we'll see! I may use it to weave with, and maybe dye it depending on what sort of yarn it is. Endless capers...


  4. speaking of dyeing, I just found out why I got that lovely green from my red cabbage, rather than the pink I expected. Turns out red cabbage is ph sensitive, so if the mordant I used ws alkali, it would give that green side of the spectrum, if acid, eg vinegar, the pink side. So now we know! It's like changing the blossom color of hydrangea.


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