The Rainbow Connection Shawl Kit
The first time I saw a picture of the Rainbow Connection Shawl in Little Looms 2017, I was a goner. Sara Bixler combined a slow color-change yarn with a steely gray yarn in a consistent pick-up pattern, creating a gorgeous shawl with a checkerboard effect. And she did it on a rigid-heddle loom. Usually we think multi-shaft patterns just aren’t accessible to rigid-heddle weavers, but in this case it goes the other way around. Here was a pattern that some multi-shaft loom weavers might also like to weave, but the pick-up pattern wouldn’t be easy on their looms. In fact, it would be so difficult it would probably dissuade most weavers from trying it.
Then I remembered the pick-up section in Jane Patrick’s The Weaver’s Idea Book. For every pick-up pattern for the rigid-heddle loom, Jane included a 3- or 4-shaft draft to achieve the same effect on a shaft loom. After a little bit of research and some playing around with weaving software, I created a 4-shaft draft that mimicked exactly the pick-up pattern of Sara’s shawl. When you compare multi-shaft looms and rigid-heddle looms, it seems there is often a trade-off between warping quickly and weaving quickly, and that comparison holds true here also. Warping this shawl will be quicker for the rigid-heddle weavers, but weaving it will be quicker for the shaft-loom weavers using the treadling I developed.
The Rainbow Connection Shawl Kit contains all the yarn you need to weave the shawl on either a rigid-heddle or a multi-shaft loom. In addition, you will receive a copy of Little Looms 2017 with the pattern for the rigid-heddle loom, plus a download of the pattern and draft for a 4-harness loom. No matter which type of loom you weave on, you will enjoy weaving this beautiful shawl with its wonderful patterning and color shading.
Featured Image: Rainbow at the beach with couple Photo credit: Yasuhito Shigaki / EyeEm; Getty Images