M’s and O’s Infinity Hood

I love a good hood. A beautifully styled hood evokes images of simple glamour and Audrey Hepburn. Add a pair of fabulous cat-eye sunglasses and you’re good to go. Deb Essen’s M’s and O’s Infinity Hood from the January/February 2019 issue of Handwoven is the best of all worlds: an elegant hood that will make you feel like a Hollywood starlet when it’s on and won’t have messed up your hair when you take it off. Here’s what Deb had to say about her design:

A hood woven in m's and o's on a 4-shaft loom.

Deb Essen’s M’s and O’s Infinity Hood will keep your head warm without giving you dreaded “hat hair.”

Designer Deb Essen’s Statement

The inspiration for this project was the never-ending winter of 2017–18 and the resulting “hat hair.” It was a cold, snowy winter, and, although I love hats, I don’t love hat hair. I have a lovely infinity scarf that I often wind around my head and neck, but it isn’t wide enough to completely cover the back of my head. I decided a hood with long tails that could wrap around my neck would be just the ticket, but I also wanted the hood to drape around my neck without slowly falling to the floor when inside a building. This led me to connecting the long tails into an infinity hood. After evaluating Jagger Spun Kokadjo sock yarn (a superwash merino/silk blend) for the Yarn Lab article in the Handwoven May/June 2018 issue, I decided to use it for this project because it drapes beautifully and is easy to clean.

That was also my winter of fascination with M’s and O’s. I had never played much with them, and frankly, I regret the delay! This versatile weave combines plain-weave blocks (2 shafts) with rib-weave float blocks (2 shafts) to create pattern. The more shafts you have, the more float blocks you can create. I pulled out my trusty copy of A Handweaver’s Pattern Book and looked for a draft. I settled on “2 Fold Large M’s and O’s” with the laced wefts in the rib sections.

I quickly realized I would need to adjust the draft for the Kokadjo’s sett; otherwise, the rib-weave floats would be too long. The treadling is straightforward and the weaving goes quickly. On the loom, the sett looks very open because the sock yarn stretches, getting much thinner under tension. However, once off the loom, the elastic yarn bounces back and helps accentuate the rounded, plain-weave blocks.

Happy Weaving!

Project at a Glance

PROJECT TYPE: 4-shaft.
STRUCTURE: M’s and O’s.
EQUIPMENT: 4-shaft loom, 14″ weaving width; 11-dent reed; 1 shuttles and 1 bobbin.
YARNS: 14/4 Kokadjo (90% superwash wool/10% silk; 1,960 yd/lb; Jagger Spun).

Featured Image: Close up of Deb Essen’s M’s and O’s Infinity Hood. All photos by George Boe.

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