Free US shipping on $135+ orders!

Pinstripe Napkins

June 13, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Handwoven Picnic Blanket

Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Picnic Blanket
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Picnic Blanket
                    

Handwoven Picnic Blanket

The Handwoven Picnic Blanket by Chelsay Russell of Little Weavebird is woven with our 8/2 Un-Mercerized Cotton Weaving Yarn in a vibrant, geometric pattern. Its softness and durability (bonus: it's machine washable!) caters to picnics and beach days. 

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers

Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Picnic Blanket
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Picnic Blanket
                     

Materials 

Warp: 2 cones of 8/2 Un-Mercerized Cotton Weaving Yarn in white or natural 

Weft:  4 cones of 8/2 Un-Mercerized Cotton Weaving Yarn (+remaining warp yarn) in a variety of colors 

Kits: Each kit includes the required yarn to weave a picnic blanket that measures approximately ~ 37" W x 40" L

Peony

Begonia

Clematis

Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Picnic Blanket
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Picnic Blanket
                     

Project Notes

Draft provided by Handweaving.net -- a weaving archive containing thousands of historic and modern weaving drafts as well as digitized versions of old textiles documents produced by Ralph Griswold.

Weaving & Finishing 

  • Color A = Forest Green 
  • Color B = White
  • Color C = Ballet Pink
  • Color D = Sage
  • Color E = Yellow Green 

Begin: Wind a warp with Color B using two tubes at once. Wind for a total of 480 warp ends counting two strands as one. (Counted individually there will be 960 strands total). Thread the loom with 2 ends per heddle and 2 ends per dent.

Weft Color Order: With the weft yarn doubled, weave the following sequence (repeating about 4 times) until the blanket measures about 45" L in loom to account for shrinkage. Chelsay recommends beating the weft lightly to best bring out the pattern. 

  • Color A - 21 picks
  • Color B - 3 picks 
  • Color C - 9 picks 
  • Color D - 12 picks 
  • Color A - 3 picks 
  • Color B - 3 picks
  • Color E - 3 picks 
  • Color B - 3 picks
  • Color A - 3 picks 
  • Color D - 12 picks
  • Color C - 9 picks 
  • Color B = 3 picks 
  • Color A - 21 picks 
  • Color B - 3 picks 
  • Color E - 3 picks 
  • Color B - 3 picks 
  • Repeat pattern from the beginning

Finishing: Once you have finished weaving, remove the blanket from the loom and secure edges with overhand knots to create the tassel fringe. Trim fringe to 2.5" on each side. Machine wash cold and tumble dry low. 

Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Picnic Blanket
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Picnic Blanket
                     

About

Little Weavebird utilizes traditional weaving techniques to produce ethically made woven goods with a modern edge. 

I started weaving in the Fall of 2015 on a small lap loom that I bought myself. I was inspired by the small wall hangings that I had seen on Pinterest. After about one year of weaving, I bought my floor loom and never looked back. Weaving quickly became my passion and I love the endless creative possibilities. I majored in Fashion Design and Product Development, so being able to create my own textiles brings me so much joy.  Website | Instagram

Little Weavebird Chelsay Russell
June 06, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Heirloom Lace Table Runner

June 03, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Silk Noil Infinity Cowl

Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     
Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     

Silk Noil Infinity Cowl

The Silk Noil Infinity Cowl by Lois Weaver is woven with our Italian Silk Noil on a rigid heddle loom. The spaced weft complements the soft, rustic texture of the silk noil and acts as a simple solution for button holes. Each edge is finished with buttons so that the cowl can be worn in variety of ways.

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers

Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     
Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     

Materials 

Warp & Weft: 2 skeins of Italian Silk Noil Weaving Yarn in contrasting colors

Notions: 8 x 20MM (~3/4") buttons (not included)*

Kits: Each kit includes the required yarn to weave one cowl that measures approximately 10.5" W x 48" L + 3" fringe on both sides. 

*Buttons are not included with this kit, but you can look for 20MM diameter (~3/4") buttons at your local craft store or on Etsy.

Sunflower

Dogwood

Orchid

Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     
Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom (at least 12" wide*), 10 dent reedboat shuttle & bobbins or stick shuttle, cardboard strip measuring 1/2" W x 12" L
  • Notions: 8 x 20MM diameter (~3/4") buttons (check your local craft store or Etsy)
  • EPI: 10
  • Width at Reed: 11" 
  • Warp Ends: 110 
  • Warp Length: 75" 
  • Draft: Tabby weave with spaced weft 
  • Finished Dimensions: 10.5" W x 48" L + 3" fringe on each side
  • Finishing Details: Hemstitch, buttons 
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash cold, air dry, steam press if needed
  • Note: *If you would like to weave this cowl on a 10" rigid heddle loom, simply downscale the width of the cowl to 9" (90 warp ends). 
Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     
Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     

Weaving & Finishing 

Color A - Sunshine Italian Silk Noil, Color B - Sage Italian Silk Noil 

Warp Color Order: Wind a warp with the following sequence for a total of 110 warp ends. You can also use the direct warping method.

  • 1" Color A (10 ends)
  • 3" Color B (30 ends)
  • 1" Color A (10 ends)
  • 5" Color B (50 ends)
  • 1" Color A (10 ends) 

Before you begin weaving, find a piece of cardboard (you can use the shipping box from your kit purchase!) and cut a strip that measures 1/2" W x 12" L

Weft Color Order: Using Color B, weave the following sequence for approx. 50”. When indicated, insert the cardboard strip in the same shed as the last pick. Continue to weave 1” or more and remove the strip. Measure each 3” section when the loom is not under tension for the most accurate measurement. Begin and end your cowl with hemstitching.

  • Weave 1” 
  • Insert cardboard strip
  • Weave 3” 
  • Insert cardboard strip (repeat 12 times)
  • Weave 1” 

Finishing: When you have finished weaving and hemstitching, hand wash the cowl in cold water with a mild detergent and hang to dry. Once the cowl is dry, steam press and trim the fringe to 3" on both sides. Finish by sewing 4 buttons across each end (right above the fringe) spaced approximately 3 ¼” apart. Style your cowl using the open spaces in the fabric as button holes. Need buttons? Check your local craft store or Etsy for 20MM (~3/4") buttons (you will need 8 total). 

Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                     
Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
              
Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                    
Handwoven Silk Noil Infinity Cowl Free Weaving Pattern
                   

About

Lois Weaver has been weaving professionally in one way or another for 25 years. After quitting her day job at midlife and enrolling in a fiber arts program, weaving called to her and she never looked back. It has taken her from selling her wares in shows and galleries in Virginia to production weaving in Colorado. After moving to New Mexico, she began teaching. This led to designing patterns for her students. She now sells her patterns through her Etsy shop. Her specialty has always been wearables. 

Lois now lives in Pueblo, Colorado.  When she’s not in her studio there, you will find her with her husband and Cocker Spaniel traveling in their recently renovated RV complete with her handwoven textiles looking for fiber events and other adventures. 

Follow Lois on Facebook & Instagram

Lois Weaver Artist
May 23, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Resources for Weavers

Image courtesy of Rachel Snack and The Crafter's Box 

Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers

We get questions all the time from new and new-ish weavers looking for online resources to learn weaving and improve their skills, so today we wanted to compile some of our favorite websites and teachers, as well as share some of the resources we have tucked away on our own website. And of course, if you have access to a local shop or weaver's guild where you can learn in person from other weavers, you should absolutely seek out those opportunities. 

Do you have other website or resources you find helpful? Link them in the comments below so that everyone can see! 

GIST Resources 

  • Weaving Yarn Calculator - Use this to calculate how much warp and weft yarn you need to weave your project.
  • Weave Podcast - Listen to our weekly podcast, which brings together a community of weavers and makers, farmers and mill owners, textile artists and loom manufacturers, to tell the stories of the threads that bind us together. 
  • Guide to Choosing Weaving Yarn - Confused by all of the weaving yarn size terminology? Just trying to figure out what kind of yarn to use for your reed? Find the answers to these and many other questions by downloading our free digital PDF guide. 
  • Guide to Choosing and Using a Rigid Heddle Loom - Ready to dive into rigid heddle weaving and wondering which loom you should choose? Learn the difference between types of looms, how to pick the right size, which accessories you need, and lots more by downloading our free digital PDF guide. 
  • Weaving Projects - A growing collection of weaving patterns created in-house and by our wonderful community of weavers. Projects suitable for rigid heddle looms, tapestry looms, table looms, and floor looms. Every project comes with a free digital PDF download, and yarn kits in multiple colorways. 
  • Weaver's Playbox Facebook Group - Our Facebook group exclusively for rigid heddle weavers, operated in partnership with Liz Gipson of Yarnworker!
  • FAQ - Lots more Weaving How To's are answered in this collection of blog posts. Have a question you want to see answered? Comment below and we'll work on getting a post up! 

Rigid Heddle Weaving 

We <3 new rigid heddle weavers! Rigid heddle weaving is certainly experiencing a resurgence, and we love hearing from new weavers every day who have been bitten by the weaving bug and are eager to get started. Here are a few of our favorite teachers and resources for learning rigid heddle weaving. 

Liz Gipson - www.yarnworker.com

Handweaver, teacher and founder of Yarnworker. Liz also collaborated with us on our Weaver's PlayBox for Rigid Heddle Weavers

Bluprint - www.mybluprint.com

Collection of online classes for artists and makers

The Crafter's Box - www.thecraftersbox.com

  • Rigid Heddle Weaving featuring Rachel Snack (see above) and yarn sourced by GIST - this kit includes everything you need to get started with rigid heddle weaving.

Rigid Heddle Weaving Facebook Group 

An active Facebook group of rigid heddle weavers sharing ideas and tips with each other. 

Tapestry & Frame Loom Weaving

Interested in learning tapestry weaving, or weaving on wall hangings on frame looms? There are so many wonderful resources to help you get started - here are a few of our favorites. 

Rebecca Mezoff - www.rebeccamezoff.com

Artist, tapestry weaver and teacher in Colorado 

Allyson Rousseau - www.allysonrousseau.com 

Fibre artist and designer based out of Montréal, Québec

Christabel Balfour - www.christabelbalfour.com

Artist and tapestry weaver living and working in south east London

Lindsey Campbell - www.hellohydrangea.com

Artist and weaver based in Northern California 

Mirrix Looms - www.mirrixlooms.com 

Tapestry and bead looms designed by artist and tapestry weaver Claudia Chase

Rachel Snack - www.weaverhouseco.com

Artist, conservator and founder of Weaver House Textile Studio 


Table & Floor Loom Weaving 

Learning multi-shaft weaving can sometimes feel the most daunting. How do I get this loom warped? How do I figure out the tie-up? Which patterns are suitable for the number of shafts that I have? How do I deal with these tension issues? For multi-shaft looms in particular, we strongly encourage you to seek out a local teacher or weaving buddy who can show you the ropes and help you get started. It's just so much more fun that way! If that's not available for you, or if you're simply looking for more additional learning, here are some of our favorite online weaving resources below. 

Jane Stafford Textiles  - www.janestaffordtextiles.com

Online weaver's guild with classes, supplies and project kits. Fabulous and comprehensive selection of teaching videos for both new and experienced videos. 

Arianna E. Funk - www.areclothesmodern.com 

Handweaver and teacher based in Stockholm 

Bluprint - www.mybluprint.com

Collection of online classes for artists and makers

Multi-Shaft Weaving Facebook Group 

An active Facebook group of friendly weavers sharing ideas and tips with each other.

The Weaving Workshop/The Common Thread Blog - www.theweavingworkshop.com

The Weaving Workshop is an online community that shares inspiration and motivation around the creative process. On The Common Thread Blog you can read inspiring posts with beautiful imagery from contemporary artists and designers that aim to inspire the community to create their own art and try new materials and processes. 

Image courtesy of Rachel Snack and The Crafter's Box 

May 16, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Weaving Inspiration

Weaving Inspiration

Here is a selection of weaving projects that are inspiring us this week. Want to be featured? Send us an email or tag your weaving photos with #gistyarn on Instagram! 

Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Colorful wall hangings by Lori Seidemann.

Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                    
Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Cozy baby blankets by Barbara Billings of The Stranded Sheep

Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                    
Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Cheerful summer dress by Melissa Hankens

Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Elegant table runner by Bree of Still Life Woven. (Also pictured in the image at the top of this post). 

Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Chevron tea towels by Erin Fahey

Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Weaving Inspiration Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Alpaca scarf by Kaitlin Cottage. (A slightly modified version Morgan Hale's Block Twill Scarf).

Inspired? 

Here are a few of the yarns featured in these beautiful projects. Happy Weaving!

Linen

Alpaca

8/2 Cotton

May 09, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Rep Weave Placemats

Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern

Rep Weave Placemats

We're excited to dive into a new technique on our blog today called rep weave! These placemats designed by Maya Cordeiro of Bristol Looms showcase the vibrant blocks of color you can achieve with this warp-faced weave structure. As the name indicates, a warp-faced weave structure aims to almost entirely show the warp, with very little of the weft peeking through underneath. This is why the epi is sett so high (40 epi) for 8/2 cotton

 In rep weave, the alternating color patterns are created entirely through the warp color order. By alternating between thick and thin wefts, you change the blocks of color that can be shown. We list the color order below, and have laid it out in the draft, for those of you who are visual learners.

Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern
                     
Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern
                     

Materials 

Warp & Weft: 6 cones of 8/2 Un-Mercerized Brassard Cotton Weaving Yarn in a variety of colors.

Kits: Each kit includes the yarn required to make a set of 6 placemats that measure approximately 19 ¾” x 12 ¾” each.

Fiesta

Ember

Hydrangea

Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern
                     
Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern
                     

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: 2 or 4 shaft table or floor loom, 10 dent reedboat shuttle & bobbins (for the thin weft), stick or ski shuttle (for the thick weft)
  • EPI: 40 (count two strands of 8/2 Cotton as one end: 2 ends per heddle, 4 ends per dent)
  • Width at Reed: 12 ¾”
  • Warp Ends: 256
  • Warp Length: 210" 
  • Draft: Vermilion Cliffs Placemats from Rep Weave and Beyond by Joanne Tallarovic, updated and adapted by Maya 
  • Finished Dimensions: Set of 6 placemats, 19 ¾” x 12 ¾” each
  • Finishing Details: Hand or machine sewn triple fold hem
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, hang to dry
Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern
                     
Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern
                    

Weaving & Finishing 

Warp Color Order: Wind each cone of cotton into a center pull ball and warp with both the inner and outer strands counting as one. You will be threading two strands into each heddle. 

  • Alternate Color A + B 12 times (24 ends, but really 48 because the threads are doubled up!)
  • 1 Color A, 1 Color C
  • 18 Color A
  • 1 Color C, 1 Color A
  • Alternate Color D + Color A 20 times
  • 1 Color D, 1 Color C
  • 18 Color D
  • 1 Color C, 1 Color D
  • Alternate Color E + Color D 20 times
  • 1 Color E, 1 Color C
  • 18 Color E
  • 1 Color C, 1 Color E
  • Alternate Color F + Color E 20 times
  • 1 Color F, 1 Color C
  • 18 Color F
  • 1 Color C, 1 Color F
  • Alternate Color B + F 12 times 

Threading:  Maya writes, "Thread the warp alternately on two shafts, each shaft is tied to a separate treadle."

Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern

Weft Color Order:

Thin weft: 8/2 cotton of choice (Maya used 1 strand of navy blue)

Thick weft: 12 strands of 8/2 cotton plied onto a ski or stick shuttle (2 double strands of each color)

  • Weave 24 picks thin weft Color B (1 ¾ inch) for hem
  • To weave each block alternate thick weft, thin weft
  • Start with thick weft, weave 5 thick picks before omitting the thin pick at the block change (see draft if you're confused!). The blocks change 18 times (about 22”) before weaving another 24 pick hem.
  • Use a contrasting yarn/thread as a separator and begin next placemat

Finishing: Maya writes, "After all 6 placemats are woven, (I had a little extra, so I made a small runner) cut them off the loom.  Cut apart and iron the triple folded hem.  Use a matching thread and machine stitch to complete.  

The process of weaving never ceases to amaze me.  I have been weaving for almost 20 years now and I still learn something new with every project.  I love the challenge of working with old looms that always have “quirks”!  It’s exciting to figure out new ways to fix problems and make my production more efficient.  

I found this project to be very satisfying.  It was something I have been interested in learning about for years, but had never given myself the time to figure it out.  If rep weave is something that interests you, I highly suggest Joanne Tallarovic’s book, Rep Weave and Beyond. I can’t wait to do more projects and experiment with more complex patterns."

Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern
                     
Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern
                     
Cotton Rep Weave Placemats Weaving Pattern

About

Maya Cordeiro is the owner of Bristol Looms. She has been designing and weaving her line of home decor and accessories since 2008.  Maya enjoys creating modern textiles, with an emphasis on combining bright colors and traditional designs.  This was the first time she worked with rep weave and enjoyed the challenge of learning something new.


Bristol Looms
May 02, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Skyline Tea Towels

Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels

Skyline Tea Towels 

These playful striped tea towels designed by Anett Hrabovszki are woven with 8/2 Un-Mercerized Cotton Weaving Yarn on a rigid heddle loom. The cotton threads are doubled and woven in plain weave, creating a soft basket weave texture with extra durability. Colorful stripes are woven throughout the cloth making each towel one-of-a-kind. 

Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels
                     
Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels
                     

Materials 

Warp & Weft: 4 cones of 8/2 Un-Mercerized Brassard Cotton Weaving Yarn. Anett used Natural for the warp and a mix of colors for the weft. 

Kits: Each kit includes enough yarn to make a set of 2 towels that measure approximately 20" x 30" each. There will be plenty of extra yarn to weave a second set if you would like. 

Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels

Chicago

Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels

Vancouver

Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels

Sydney

Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom with a 10 dent reed, boat shuttle & bobbins, or stick shuttles
  • EPI: 10 (2 ends per hole and slot, doubled up)
  • Width at Reed: 22"
  • Warp Ends: 440 
  • Warp Length: 84" 
  • Draft: Tabby 
  • Finished Dimensions: A set of 2 towels that measure approximately 20" x 30" each
  • Finishing Details: Hand or machine sewn hem, or hem stitch 
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash and tumble dry low 
Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels

Weaving & Finishing 

Warp Color Order: Wind a warp with the Natural 8/2 Cotton (or color of your choice) for a total of 440 warp ends. Sley the reed with 2 ends per slot and per hole in a 10 dent reed. You can also use the direct warping method.

Anett writes, "When direct warping, pull the threads through each slot and each hole. This will automatically give you the double threads."

For more information on direct warping, watch this video by Ashford Wheels & Looms

Weft Color Order: Weave with the weft yarn doubled in a color order of your choice. (See Anett's suggestions below). If you would like fringe, make sure to leave a few inches of space at the beginning and end of each towel.

Anett writes, "To double the weft, I wind my yarn into a center-pull ball, grab both the inner and outer ends, wind them onto the shuttle and weave as if it was just one strand.

Mix it up with your accent color(s). There are absolutely no restrictions! Go with the flow, weave whatever color or pattern you feel like weaving at the moment. No two towels are the same and the end result is always a (good) surprise! Have fun!"

Here are a few examples:

Color A (same as warp)

Color B & Color C (accent colors)

  • A(x15 picks ) B(x10 picks) A(x10 picks)
  • A(x3) B A(x3) B
  • A B A B
  • A B C A B C
  • C(x2) B(x2)
  • C(x2) A C(x2) A

Finishing: Anett writes, "The towels can be hemmed by hand while on the loom or machine hemmed on a sewing machine after it's been taken off the loom.

If hemming by hand, weave a couple of inches, hem, then continue weaving. When the desired length is woven, hem the other end, place separators - twice the length of desired fringe (I prefer fringes less than 1" so my separators are 2" total). Once separators are in place, repeat steps with second towel.

If hemming on a sewing machine, take towels off the loom (keep separators in place). Sew with matching thread and wide zig-zag stitch about 1/4" from the end. Go over same line twice to ensure a strong hem that will hold up to frequent washing. Do this at both ends and next to separators as well. There may be a couple of weft threads that didn't get caught, those can be pulled out.

Cut towels apart in between separators. Cut the two long ends shorter so they don't tangle much in the wash (doesn't have to be exact at this point).

Wash, dry, iron. Even out fringes - I use a see through quilters ruler and cut my fringes to about 1/2".

Admire your new kitchen towels."

Tips & Tricks: "Expect about 10-15% shrinkage from on the loom dimensions to after washing. This is due to the tension and the nature of the 100% cotton yarn. Modifying the size is easy! Warp wider or narrower, weave longer or shorter to suit your needs. These towels can also be made with 8/4 cotton (single warp/weft) or 8/2 cotton with double warp & single weft."

Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels

About

Hi, my name is Anett, I live in Charleston, SC. I have two small children, an awesome husband and a part time job. Crafting is my time to relax and unwind at the end of the day. You name a craft, I most likely have tried it. I have only been weaving a few months but wish I would've discovered it long ago! I don't normally have big chunks of time to weave and don't have a dedicated studio, so I needed a project that is quick, doesn't require a lot of calculating and can be put away and picked back up without having to rethink the pattern. And so the Skyline towels were born! They turn out pretty, can immediately be put to use and make great gifts.

Beginner Rigid Heddle Skyline Tea Towels
April 25, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Artist Spotlight - Kayla Powers

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Artist Spotlight - Kayla Powers

This week we are featuring the work of Kayla Powers, a weaver, natural dyer and founder of Salt Textile Studios. This gorgeous top was naturally dyed, handwoven and handsewn by Kayla using the Thick and Thin Cotton Slub Weaving Yarn from our shop and locally sourced natural dyes. 

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Naturally Dyed & Handwoven Top  

"Using natural fibers and plants to create cloth feels foundational to the human experience and is a big part of what motivates my work. I am inspired by the utilitarian and ubiquitous nature of woven goods like rugs, blankets, and baskets that are found in so many different forms all over the world. Handwoven clothing felt like a natural extension of my interest in functional weaving so I set out to make a naturally dyed, handwoven, hand sewn top."

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

Process 

"This Cotton Slub Yarn is perfect for the project. It takes the color beautifully and is just slubby enough to have lots of texture and be a little bit forgiving of any imperfections. Using two cones (about 1500 yards each) I wound a 34” warp at 12 epi. I dyed stripes in the warp to create vertical stripes on my top. This is a method I use in many of my weavings and it just takes a little extra planning. Natural colors just feel so much deeper and more complex than anything synthetically dyed and I especially love how it turned out on this yarn. The variation in saturation is so subtle and beautiful!"

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

Marigold - Locally Cultivated

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

Avocado Seed 

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

Madder Root

"I used three of my favorite dye plants for a springy palette: Marigolds, Avocado Seeds, and Madder Root. I love how they work together, complimenting and balancing each other. I dressed my Finlandia countermarch loom using 4 shafts and did a tabby tie-up. Weaving was such a joy and went by so fast.

After cutting the fabric off I gave it a wash in my sink with warm water and then a tumble dry. I always baby my handwoven fabric! It shrunk quite a bit, which I had expected but I wove more than enough just to be on the safe side. My plan was to use a boxy, handwoven top I bought in Guatemala as a guide. I am not confident with a sewing machine so I chose to hand stitch the whole thing. It turned out so sweet and I think really compliments the woven fabric."

"Because I just folded the fabric in half (rather than cutting two separate pieces), there were just the two side seams, the neck line and the bottom to stitch. I used a simple running stitch and what I believe to be a French Seam (fancy!!). I left the sleeves with the selvedge showing because I like the way it’s a little wavy. I am so happy with the result and have been wearing the top since the moment I finished it. As with all handwoven fabric, I’ll hand wash it and hang it up to dry. 

This was certainly a labor of love and I definitely plan to make more in the future!"

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     
Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber
                     

About

Kayla Powers is a weaver and natural dyer living and working in Detroit, Michigan. Her work is focused on local, natural color from plants foraged from around the city.  Preservation of the traditional crafts of weaving and dyeing are at the heart of Kayla’s work. She is inspired by the limitations of a seasonal palette and the utilitarian nature of woven cloth. Kayla began Salt Textile Studios in 2017 as a way to bring other textile artists together. 

To see more of Kayla's work visit the Salt Textile Studios website and Instagram

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

Natural Dye Kits + Cotton Slub Yarn 

Interested in trying natural dyes? Check out these kits put together by Botanical Colors.

Artist Spotlight Series Kayla Powers Gist Yarn and Fiber

A gorgeous thick and thin cotton slub yarn. Suitable for warp and weft, this wonderful textured yarn is great for throws, baby blankets, absorbent towels, waffle weave...the possibilities are endless. Use it on a rigid heddle, table, or floor loom. 

Grown and spun in the USA. 1,500 yards per lb. Comes on a 1 lb. cone. Recommended sett of 10-16 epi. 

Photo by Kayla Powers. 



April 11, 2019 — Emma Rhodes

Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf

Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
                     
Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
                     

Cotton & Linen Spring Scarf 

This textured twill scarf by Melissa Hankens is woven with an inviting blend of linen and cotton. Stripes are woven throughout the cloth with a mix with 2/2 twill and point twill patterns, creating subtle shifts in color and texture. 

Materials 

Warp & Weft: 1 cone of Linen Weaving Yarn in Fog, 1 skein of Italian Cotton/Linen Weaving Yarn in Poppy

Kits: See color suggestions and purchase a kit below. 

Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf

Poppy

Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf

Twilight

Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
                     
Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
                     

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: 4 shaft floor or table loom, 12 dent reed, shuttle & bobbins, fringe twister
  • EPI: 24 
  • Width at Reed: ~14" 
  • Warp Ends: 344
  • Warp Length: 4 yards
  • Draft: 2-2 Twill (see draft below)
  • Finished Dimensions: 12.5" W x 112" L, plus 5" of fringe at each end
  • Finishing Details: Twisted fringe
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash or machine wash cold on delicate cycle, hang to dry, iron as needed
Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
                     
Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
                     

Weaving & Finishing 

Melissa writes, "This project uses my two favorite Gist yarns, the Italian cotton linen weaving yarn, a glorious 50/50 blend of cotton and linen that brings out the best qualities of each, and the 100% linen weaving yarn. There is also a slight change to the threading across the stripe where it changes from 2-2 twill to a point twill, providing a bit of additional visual interest. Finally, the twill changes direction when the three stripes are woven, which I think adds a bit of whimsy. Please note that the draft will guide you through the threading and weaving of the striped sections of the scarf, which in my version is only at one end. The remainder of the scarf is threaded and woven using a straight draw, 1-2-3-4 repeated."

Color A = Fog Linen Weaving Yarn, Color B = Poppy Italian Cotton/Linen Weaving Yarn

Warp Color Order: Warp the following sequence for a total of 344 ends. 

  • 296 ends Color A
  • 40 ends Color B
  • 8 ends Color A 

Melissa writes, "Since you are reversing the direction of your twill to weave the stripes, you will end up with an edge thread along each stripe that doesn’t get woven in. You have a couple of options. You can consider using floating selvedges, or you can go my route. I don’t bother with a floating selvedge. Instead I make sure to manually catch the threads with my shuttle as I’m weaving (two out of the four picks will require this). This slows the process down just a bit when you are weaving the stripes, but eliminates the need for a floating selvedge."

Weft Color Order:

  • 4" Color B
  • 3/4" Color A
  • 1/2" Color B
  • 3/4" Color A
  • 1/2" Color B
  • 3/4" Color A 
  • ~105" Color B

Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf

Melissa writes, "As you will be twisting your fringe to finish this project, I recommend tying your warp threads onto your front apron bar using a bow to secure instead of a second knot and leaving enough of a tail so that you will have at least 8” available to twist. 

Weave about 4” straight draft, 1-2-3-4 repeated. Each stripe reverses the twill and changes from the cotton/linen blend yarn to the 100% linen yarn. A reminder to catch your edge threads here when you reverse your treadling sequence. I used 19 picks for each stripe, with 11 picks of the cotton/linen between each. Once your stripes are woven, you can turn on the Gist Podcast and go back to your original treadling sequence for the remainder of your warp.

I like to use as much of the material as possible, so when I get to the end of my warp and can no longer easily send my boat shuttle through the shed, I switch over to a stick shuttle. Be sure to leave enough unwoven warp so that you have at least 8” of threads available to twist your fringe. After weaving this scarf, I only had 5/8oz of loom waste. Not too shabby!

When twisting linen into fringe, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, keep your bundles fairly small. I used 16 threads per twist – 8 for each half. Second, you want to twist this fringe a lot more than you would with other materials, as it has no elasticity. So over-twist away! Don’t worry if your fringe feels stiff. Once you wash your scarf, it will soften up a lot.

Washing Instructions: While you can machine wash and dry your scarf, I like to hand wash and dry mine. If you air dry your scarf, you can pop it in the dryer on a regular setting for 10 minutes or so to soften it up."

Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
                     
Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
                     

About

Melissa Hankens is a weaver based in Salem, Massachusetts. While she has been weaving professionally for over a decade, her career may have started one fateful Christmas long ago when, at the age of nine, she was gifted her first loom.

Melissa works extensively with natural fibers, primarily hemp, linen, and wool, to create beautiful and functional linens, blankets, and garments. She takes the idea of fewer, better things to heart with the creation of every piece, and loves to bring out the natural beauty of the materials she uses. Each seam is pressed in place and hand sewn, a process she feels gives her pieces heart and also pays homage to the way things used to be made: one at a time, with care, and meant to last. 

When she isn’t weaving (knitting, sewing, dyeing, or making jewelry), Melissa can be found either gardening or restoring her 18th century home with her husband and son. 

Free Pattern to Weave a Cotton and Linen Spring Scarf
April 04, 2019 — Emma Rhodes