Carol was a student in our 2020 Stash Weaving Success class. She’s been weaving since 2007, when she inherited my mother’s loom, and makes it her personal goal to gain new knowledge with each project.
She wove the beautiful scarf below in our Stash Weaving Success class. Here is her story.
Carol wove her scarf from an assortment of cottons plus some mystery yarn during Stash Weaving Success. She says, “I was attempting to use up some red 8/2 cotton, some teal cotton flake, some dark brown 8/2 cotton from my stash, and a beige mystery yarn (an antique store find).”
Early on in the class, we talk about yarn – different fibers, how to identify mystery yarns, and how to check the characteristics (like stretchiness, shrinkage, and strength) that matter most for weaving. Carol tested the mystery yarn and discovered that it was a blend of cotton and some other fiber – which should be compatible with the cotton flake and the 8/2 cotton in a scarf. Based on the size estimates, she decided a sett of 20 was appropriate for each of the yarns in the scarf.
Now it was time to design the piece. The week we spent on color helped her settle on the overall colors – beige, red, teal, dark brown, and black. And then the chapter on stripe design dove into options for stripe arrangements, such as repeating stripes, rhythmic stripes, and random stripes, as well as symmetric and asymmetric design. Carol used the color editor provided in the class to design the scarf based on the draft (one of five draft options we provided!).
Carol decided on a repeating, symmetrical stripe arrangement. This would create a simple yet striking scarf that would flatter the wearer nicely. She also opted to have stripes only in the warp (the class covers stripes in both warp and weft), to keep the design simple.
Because she only had a very little bit of the red, she was a bit anxious about whether she had enough. Based on the class calculators, she estimated that she didn’t have enough for all the accents, so she replaced some of the red with maroon 8/2 cotton from her stash.
Now it was time for the rubber to hit the road. Among many other things, we teach the nuances of sampling on a stash warp in Week Seven, since the whys and hows of sampling on a stash project aren’t quite the same as on a standard project. (How do you sample when you don’t have any extra warp? Or only very limited amounts of weft? Do you even want to sample? There are tricks to answering all those questions, and we cover them in the class.)
Fortunately, Carol had enough warp and weft to weave samples, so she created and wet-finished this sample:
Looking at the sample, she decided that the brown weft she had intended to use (the top part of the sample) wasn’t going to work – it didn’t make the pattern stand out as crisply as she wanted, and mixed with the blue it muddied up the colors. So she switched to the black, which was a darker and more neutral weft (suggested in Week Two), which solved both problems.
She also decided to open the sett up to 18, to increase the drape.
A final touch in the scarf was an experiment with floating selvedges. Janet teaches to use the weft yarn for the floating selvedges in stash projects, rather than the warp yarns, for a neater-looking edge. Carol tried it and was delighted with the results.
Here is the scarf on the loom:
And here’s the finished scarf again:
Carol enjoyed Stash Weaving Success so much last year that she’s already signed up to take the class AGAIN in 2021!
About the course, Carol says:
For me, Janet Dawson has helped me understand the mystery of sett determination and preferences and Tien Chiu has given me the confidence to experiment with color. The new-to-me information I gleaned from the Stash Weaving Success class was plentiful, easily transferable and, of course, FUN!
This blog post is about our course Stash Weaving Success, where Janet Dawson and I teach how to design, warp, and weave with a mishmash of stash yarns.
Janet covers the physical challenges of designing/weaving with mystery yarns, and yarns that may stretch/shrink differently during warping, weaving, and wet-finishing. I help you conquer the challenges of designing with a chaos of odds-n-ends colors that you may or may not like.
Together we help you create beautiful, well-made stash projects you can be proud of, and get that stash out of your closet and onto your loom! Learn more about Stash Weaving Success.