New ways to use your handspun

New ways to use your handspun

We've invited Christina Garton, associate editor of Handwoven magazine, here to share a little about Handwoven's upcoming issue that focuses on designing on the loom.

Christina's pinwheel napkins.

Christina: Like many weavers, I am always trying to find new ways of doing as much as I can on one warp. The day I discovered it took about the same amount of time to warp enough cotton for ten dishtowels as it did for six was one of the highlights of my weaving life thus far. With just a few minutes of extra winding, I could weave almost double the amount of towels and get more weaving bang for my warping buck.

Of course, the real trick with putting on long warps is not keeping it from tangling while warping; it's trying to keep things interesting. Weaving the same draft for days on end can get boring, so I like to choose drafts and projects for long warps that let me play with tie-up, treadling, weft color, and even sett to create many different designs and even projects all on the same warp.

For example, a few months ago I decided to weave up a set of napkins for a friend's wedding. I wanted all the napkins to complement one another without matching exactly, partially because I thought it would look better, but mostly because I didn't want to stare at the same pattern for a week. I chose one of my favorite drafts: an 8-shaft color-and-weave pinwheel that could be used to weave at least eight different designs simply by changing the tie-up.

Marcella Edmund's Navajo-inspired mat is made entirely of pin-loom squares that are simply joined together.

This project was by far one of the most fun I have ever woven. It was so exciting to see what pattern the next tie-up would produce that it kept me happily weaving as the hours ticked by. I even played a little with color in the sampling and found that when a third color is used as the weft it produces a beautiful triangular design. There was so much to explore; suddenly my warp for eight napkins seemed entirely too short.

I'm also proud to say that these napkins are also my first project to ever appear in an issue of Handwoven, which made them extra special. The May/June 2013 issue in which they are featured has the theme of "Designing at the Loom" and it's filled to the brim with projects and articles all about how you can weave many designs on just one warp. We've got projects for overshot gamp towels, rep-weave coasters, summer and winter scarves, and so much more. There's even a project that lets you weave a shawl and table runner on the same warp simply by changing the sett between projects.

If, like me, you're always looking for new ways to take full advantage of a long warp without getting bored, then this is the issue for you.


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