Omega Wrap Turned Scarf

Two summers ago (wow, time really does fly!), we went to Colorado to visit family. As my then boyfriend-now husband had never visited Colorado before, we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a picturesque day and there was a herd of elk by the side of the road. It was truly incredible.

Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado /

We stopped for lunch and a bit of shopping in Estes Park, which happens to be one of my most favorite towns - the scenery is magnificent and the air smells unbelievably clean. We wandered into a yarn shop called the Stitchin' Den that is three floors of unbelievable yarns most of which I had never seen before. It was a delightful experience as the people who worked in the shop were very friendly. 

Omega Wrap /

I purchased the pattern for an Omega Wrap by Chris Bylsma Designs. I used one skein of Madeline Tosh Vintage worsted weight yarn in alizarin and one skein of ribbon yarn that varied the ribbons throughout the skein.  Overall, the pattern is great, but I did not account for the fact that I am fairly well endowed and the mobius twist does not sit right across my chest.  

Omega Wrap /

To modify it, I wear it as a scarf.  I also did not like the "edge roll" in the finishing and would omit it if I used this pattern again. I do love the interplay between the standard wool yarn and the different types of ribbon.  

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Textiles at the Honolulu Museum of Art

While we were in Hawaii for a family reunion last month, we visited the Honolulu Museum of Art. My dad started studying Asian painting earlier this year and was excited to see the museum. Of course, I was immediately drawn to the textiles room.  Below is an overview of the handwoven items from mostly Polynesian countries. 

Handwoven Dress Mats from the Marshall Islands /

Traditional dress mats from the Marshall Islands. These were typically woven by women and made from pandanus fiber, dyed hibiscus fibers and local vines. I love the detail on the borders, which are woven into the fabric.

Man's Dance Costume from Fanning Island /

A man's dance mat from Fanning Island. 

Sleeping Mat /

A sleeping mat from Borneo that was woven straight up and down rather than on the diagonal. Made from rattan palm. 

Floor Mat from Fiji /

A mat from Fiji made with pandanus leaves. The leaves are boiled, the spines are removed, then the leaves are pounded with sticks and dried in the sun. The dark color is created by a special black mud. Several women can weave the mat at the same time. 

Samoa hand weaving /

These mats were given as wedding and funeral gifts in Samoa.  The detail on the end, including the red decoration is exquisite. 

While off the main tourist path for a first trip to Hawaii, if you are interested in weaving, the Honolulu Museum of Art is very interesting. You can see the rest of the collection by visiting the museum. 

Overshot Table Runner

My first full weaving project is complete! It is a snail trail and cats paw overshot pattern from the Davidson weaving book. The warp is 10/2 white perle cotton and the weft is 3/2 red perle cotton. I really like the pattern, but I had the sett at 22 epi and it should be more, so I am going to try it at 24 epi. 

snails trail and cats paw overshot woven table runner /

Another funny thing is that the photo next to the pattern in the Davidson book is different from how the pattern turns out. The snail trail is six lines in the book, but five in the pattern.  I like it both ways. 

Overshot snail trail and cats paw handwoven /

I am going to try it again wider and with a closer sett.  I really like the red and white combination, but may try other colors. 

Swedish Rosepath Sampler

Here are some pictures of my recent Swedish Rosepath sampler. It was the first time I used a threading sequence other than 1, 2, 3, 4 and it was fun to use a structure other than plain weave. I also had to learn tabby, which is a technique to keep weft in place when the same shaft is raised multiple times in a row.

Rosepath handweaving sampler /

Spring must be inspiring me because I am really into pink and green color combinations these days. You may recall that the tapestry and rug technique sampler I made last month was also pink and green. 

Swedish Rosepath handweaving /

The warp in this Rosepath sampler is 10/2 perle cotton from Lunatic Fringe. The weft has sections of 10/2 perle cotton, 3/2 perle cotton, Harrisville Shetland and Cascade 220 knitting yarn. 

Swedish Rosepath weaving sample /

I ordered two colors of 10/2 wool to make a scarf in Rosepath. I really like how some sections of this will be great to use as borders and others are great as a full pattern.  


My New Favorite Scarf

I am in LOVE with this scarf! I usually get tired of a project while I am making it and end up giving it to someone else, but not this one. This is my dream scarf. I can't stop wearing it. 

easy beautiful scarf /

The yarn is a bit pricey, but the silk mohair blend is totally worth it. Artyarns Rhapsody Glitter Light is wonderful to work with  and the pattern is Churchmouse Classics Mohair Bias Loop. It s easy to follow and once you get started, you can plug right through to the end. 

easy beautiful knit scarf /

Here's a closeup of the lovely colorway. I am excited to make this scarf again soon. 

Stripes on the Needles

Working on something striped today. Modifying a pattern. I will share the results when I see how it turns out (and by that, I mean decide how to finish the top), but I really like the complimentary colors in the stripes so far!

Striped knitting /

I am also dreaming of our honeymoon in Maui. We just booked our next trip to Oahu for a family reunion and we are planning to spend a few days in Maui again as well.  I can't wait to shake off the winter vibes and put on a bathing suit. 

Maui vacation /

After that we are going to plan a fall vacation to a location neither of us have ever visited before. What are your favorite destinations? We are open to suggestions!

Learning Tapestry and Rug Weaving Techniques

Here is the result of the past week I spent learning tapestry and rug weaving techniques. It still needs "finishing" at the top and bottom, but I wanted to share it with you. Rug weaving is slow going. I am now even more impressed with beautifully handwoven rugs.

tapestry and rug weaving techniques /

It was fun to learn these techniques on the four harness loom.  The fringe takes a long time to do, but it is super easy and relaxing. I cannot imagine making a whole rug out of fringe.  

weaving fringe tapestry /

My favorite part is this section even though there were a lot of really cool parts. I used carpet warp for the warp and Cascade 220 for the weft. Using worsted knitting yarn was a bit more stretchy than ideal, but it turned out great in the end. 

carpet weave /

If you haven't tried rug and tapestry weaving yet, I highly recommend it! 

Seed Stitch Cowl Scarf

Last May when I went to Philadelphia for my bridal shower, I was lucky enough to have friends offer for me to stay at their house.  I made a seed stitch cowl scarf as a hostess gift and my friend had a friend who loved it and asked me to make one for her as well. The color ways of each dye lot are a bit different, but I love how these turn out as each is unique in the way the colors combine to form shapes. 

Seed stitch cowl scarf /

Here is what I did: using 3 skeins of Cascade Superwash 128 in Multis (this colorway is Blues, but the original scarf I made as the hostess gift was in Teals and it was also lovely) and a size US 13 needle (I used 24 inch length and it was perfect), cast on 127 stitches. Join, being careful not to twist, and then work in seed stitch (knit 1, purl 1) until you have just enough yarn left to bind off. Bind off in pattern. Weave in ends. Voila! You have a plush, soft, trendy scarf. 

Moss stitch merino wool cowl scarf /

This is SO easy even for beginning knitters. The finished scarf measures just over 15 inches wide and approximately 50 inches around. Cascade Superwash is Merino wool, so it feels luxurious and the scarf is a bit chunky so it will definitely keep you warm.

Valentine's Day Needle Felted Hearts

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Warp or Weft and I want to thank the regular readers and all who visit this site. I am having so much fun documenting the things that I make and sharing them with all of you. I have so many projects in the works right now and I can't wait to share those with you and see where the year goes creatively.

Felted Hearts DIY Valentine's Day Project /

In honor of Valentine's Day, I made these adorable needle felted hearts. They were simple and fun to make. All I used were heart shaped cookie cutters, felting needles, a needle felting foam block to protect the table and fiber. It was so simple and fun. To make each heart, place the cookie cutter on the foam block, put a good amount of fiber into the cookie cutter (more than you think you would need), and then poke the fiber all over until it starts to solidify into a form. Be careful when poking the needle through the felt because it hurts and may draw blood if you stick it into your finger (I accidentally did it and it was not fun). Flip over the cookie cutter with fiber inside  and continue felting (flip as many times as you need until the fiber no longer sticks to the block). Remove the felted object from the cookie cutter and stick the pin in around the edges until they are smooth. Voila! You have a simple felted object. 

DIY Valentine's Day Felted Heart /

If you are interested in a great needle felting class in Seattle, I highly recommend Bad Woman Yarn in the Wallingford Center. The instruction was great and you can't beat the price. You may need to contact the store to see when the next felting class is scheduled.  

Another Valentine's project: Woven paper glitter heart

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Skein Winder and Umbrella

I am so happy to share one of my all time favorite gifts: a skein winder and  wooden umbrella! I looked into purchasing one last year, but was not sure if it was worth the money. The yarn shop I go to most often usually winds skeins into balls for me. After watching me wind a few skeins into a ball by hand, my husband surprised me with the winder and umbrella at Christmas. Here it is in action:

yarn skein umbrella in action /

I have to say that if you knit or crochet a lot, it is definitely worth it to purchase a skein winder...or ask for one as a gift. This skein winder and umbrella are both made by Stanwood Needlecraft, but there are plenty of other options. The system is incredibly easy to set up and use.  

beautifully wound skein of yarn /

All you have to do is make sure you put the entire skein around the umbrella, carefully cut the ties on the skein, put one end through the loops as well as top of the ball winder, and then turn the handle at a steady rate. It's super fun and satisfying to have well wound balls of yarn.

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Brown Bear Knit Toy

Over the holidays, my friend visited from Philadelphia and wanted to knit a bear for her nephew, so I offered to help her. To make it easier to teach her and because stuffed animals are adorable, I decided to make one, too. I had not fully knit a stuffed animal before, but I took a phenomenal class on toy knitting from Susan B. Anderson in 2013 that was really informative, so we got out the needles and went to work. 

Brown Bear Knit Toy /

My bear was knit with Cascade Eco Duo, which is incredibly soft as it is made from 70% undyed baby alpaca and 30% undyed merino wool. It turned out pretty cute (apparently I need to practice face embroidery for the future though). If you are looking for a similar bear pattern, check out Susan's book "Itty-Bitty Toys: How to Knit Animals, Dolls and Other Play Things for Kids".  I would not hesitate to buy the book if you give gifts to kids. There are tons of really cute animals and giving a hand knit stuffed animal that the child will keep for years beats spending a ton of time on a blanket or sweater that they will quickly out grow - in my opinion. Susan also has a great video about anchoring and embroidering eyes.  

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2/2 Extended Point Twill

Happy New Year! It was a bit of a rough December with our cat having surgery early in the month and me coming down with the worst cold I've had in at least two and a half years later in the month. The only good thing about being stuck at home was that I got to work on a bunch of projects, including weaving. 

2/2 Extended Point Twill /

This is my first attempt at 2/2 extended point twill. It was easier to weave than I thought it would be and it turned out lovely. I am starting weaving lessons Thursday. I am really looking forward to learning more. Here's to a great 2015!