Weaving with Wonderful Wool

  Fran Curran's Stash Throw
  Fran Curran's stash-busting throw
is perfect for using up any colorful
wool in your yarn stash. 

I don't know about you, but there's something about winter, especially the relentlessly cold winter found in February, that makes me want to weave with wool. From yummy alpaca and merino for the softest of scarves to thick wools perfect for a cozy throw, there's so much to love about weaving with wool. Don't take my word for it though, here's Liz Moncrief talking about her love of wool and how it helped bring her to weaving. —Christina

Wool is really where my fascination with this craft of weaving started. I was a knitter, always, and purchased my first spinning wheel in 1990. Like most early spinners, I worked almost exclusively with wool, so taking it to the next step and weaving with my hand spun wool was a natural progression. One can only wear (or give away) so many pair of socks, and what are you to do with all of that lovely hand spun? Weave it, and use it up fast!

Now, I hear you saying to yourself, “Yes, but it doesn't really work that way. You accumulate more stash than you use.” It’s true; we all justify more fleece, more yarn, because we “need” it for the next project. If you recognize this dilemma, you’re not alone, and the Best of Handwoven: Weaving with Wool eBook is for you.

If you have all those lovely yarns already in your stash you might consider Fran Curran’s charming Throw from my Stash. This is so well suited to using up yarns on hand, and in every color scheme. Or try Janice Jones’s rya pillow, another great stash buster—I can just imagine the color combinations that might come of this project.

If you're not a spinner, this eBook recommends using several tried and true yarns on the market and their sources for your purchase. Too easy to deny yourself the pleasure.

Laura Fry and Sharon Alderman both do an especially good job of explaining the 'finishing' process, always starting with samples to see what will really happen to your particular yarn. They provide their own expertise in the field, as there are so many methods to finishing cloth, depending on the character of the yarn and the intended use. The articles also contain some excellent “before and after” photos of the final product. Yes, pictures really are worth a thousand words.

Doublewidth Blanket  
Margaret Gayne's Doublewidth
Blanket on Four Shafts will help 
get double the bang for your
loom-width buck.  

Did you know that waffle-weave, known for its heat trapping capabilities, isn’t just for kitchen towels? Or that wool generates its own heat, due to the friction created with expansion and contraction of the wool shaft? Curling up in Terry Collard’s vibrant, waffle-weave Family Blanket is the perfect choice for a chilly day, and Kinetics combined with the ancient art of weaving seem like a good pairing to me.

If you’re not a “recipe”’ weaver but one who prefers finding an idea to tempt you to explore on your own, Nell Znamierowski explains how she develops ideas, in her article "Experiments in Texture," and allows for the draft and/or color to reveal its own possibilities. You may find some real similarities in your weaving process.

Feeling a little loom-width envy? Now, I've always believed that justification is such an important tool in our line of craft and we must use it often to hone our skills, however the next project responds to, and dispels, your perceived need for additional weaving width. Margaret Gayne's Doublewidth Blankets on Four Shafts is featured and her process is the easiest thing in the world. The instructions are clear and concise, and this blanket comes off your loom seamless— visually and literally! Margaret explains how to deal with the dreaded fold, something that frustrates some double-width weavers. No need for that extra-wide loom. Oh dear—have I just robbed you of your argument for a second or third loom?

Texture, color, fabric, and finishing are all covered here. Take these weaving recipes straight to your loom, or experiment using the ideas featured in this new eBook. You can't go wrong as a wool novice or as an old hand, well-seasoned. I know you’ll enjoy the eBook as I did.

—Liz Moncrief

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