Weaving for a little vest

Yesterday I had a wonderful visit with Dutch indy dyer Spinspul. We talked about weaving on a rigid heddle and we put a warp on my loom. It’s a two coloured warp, from two sock yarns.

Last night I made some colour swatches on it and this morning I got to see them in daylight:

(Welcome to a real life, where stuff gets piled onto tables and when you need the table piles get stacked in a corner of the room. That’s a pile of fabrics next to my rolls of pattern papers.
Wonderful tulips!)

My loom is a Glimakra Susanna, a Swedish brand. It’s a rigid heddle loom and nice and sturdy.

The colour swatches are to investigate how you can shift a colour by using a different coloured warp, or even combining two threads in the weft:

There’s a lot more fun to be found in playing with these kind of swatches. I could alternate colours in the weft or in the warp and shift the overall colour thusly. Or combine two tonal colours for one and the other. Sprinkling in some lines of bouclé. Weave stripes, weave plaids. (I’m not going to do those because stripes and plaids ask special consideration when putting them in a garment.)

Here I’m looking if the darkest yarn will play with the lightest warp:
 It does 🙂

Here I rapidly learn about weaving with un-equal thicknesses. The dark yarn is slightly thinner than the sock yarn that’s used for the warp. This means I could beat it closer together than I’ve done now. Now I’ve made neat “squares” from every warp and weft meeting. If I beat it stronger I’d make oblongs (more weft than warp threads per square cm) and this would emphasize the darker colour.
So much to play with in weaving!

I’m keeping in mind what I want the cloth for. It’s for a vest. Yes, “that vest”:

 pic by Marcy Tilton

Cut up each panel in more little panels. But still: won’t benefit from too drapey a fabric such as a sockyarn x a smooth lace weight.
There’s only so much reinforcing you can do by using small panels and lots of seams and topstitching (and interlining).

So I’ve chosen a handspun for the weft, not a commercial yarn:

The handspun has an interesting texture to give to the fabric. I really like it, I already see the vest in my minds eye. It’s quite a character! But not too “homespun, homemade”:

The handspun is Cormo Silk Mix.

On the mauve base:

On the speckled white base:

With cat-help:

This type of loom, the Glimakra Susanna, has a sharp toothed gear for a brake and it extends beyond the frame. I like to work standing at the table and the gear has made scratches into the wood:

Here’s how you are supposed to use this loom: with the front not on the table. Swedes on the net show you’re supposed to keep it in your lap.

(mr. Marvelknits had a weird gerbil cheek thing going on, as he was happily eating a slice of bread with full cream butter and strawberry jam, so I blurred him.)(Should have put googly eyes on him!)(And I got a new bike because my old one fot stolen but I need a second lock for it before I risk parking it outside, so it lives in the room for now.)


105 cm x 60 cm. Not yet wetted so not really finished according to any weaver worth her salt. I ran out of Cormo handspun so I finished up with some of the mid-dark Blue Texelaar I spun that turned out to have so many colour variations that I lost the joy of prepping:

It’s a weird piece of cloth, with all the different colours which are siblings so will probably work together in a garment. It’s not very big. It’s going to be a bit of a puzzle making this into a vest. I’ll make a mock up first. But it will take a few weeks, there are some other projects that need to be finished first.
Amongst them is my next weaving project: a shawl in Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend in the colour Europa/Abalone:

 pic by Manos del Uruguay

(colour doens’t show true, it’s less green and more grey purple)

This is my inspiration, a shawl woven by a fellow raveler, in exactly this same colour. I’m sorry, you can only see the project if you are on Ravelry.

I plan to put on a new warp on my loom tomorrow. But I also want to finish sewing a grey blouse. And finish drafting the pattern for my pattern drafting class. Maybe cut the fabric for its shirt? Oh, and I need to vacuum (cats are shedding!). Brush the cat (do that first, vacuum afterwards). Do some laundry. Find the pattern for my bottom up cuffs because I finished two other wrist parts of cuffs and they need their tops started.

Tomorrow better have lots of hours, I have plans!


3 thoughts on “Weaving for a little vest

    • yes I think so… there’s quite a bit of construction going on, to prevent the woven bits from sagging. Fit will be an issue. Sewing neatly too (for me). Securing the edges (I don’t use a serger or a zig zag stitch even). And I struggle with adding appropriate wearing ease in all my garments.
      And I’ll have to do a lot of piecing now that I’ve woven four different colours in a rather small piece of cloth. I won’t start it until I feel more confident.

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