SAVE 10% – PARTY OF FIVE mini skeins yarn in stock!

Available on my Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com

BACK IN STOCK! Party of Five mini skeins yarn by Sweetgeorgia yarns in soft merino wool mini skein set of gradient colours and neutrals. Each Party of Five mini skein is a 3 ply sock yarn weight merino wool with a touch of nylon for durability. Each Tough Love Sock fingering weight set contains five 105-yard mini-skeins for a total of 525 yards. Tough Love Sock yarn: Spun from 80% superwash and super soft merino and 20% nylon, this 3-ply yarn. Suggested gauge US 0-1 (2-2.25mm) | 8 sts/1″. The mini skeins are perfect for knitting, crochet, weaving and other crafts adding a gradient colour way or a special touch of colour. Other colours are available on my Etsy store.

Great for many crochet and knitting patterns in my listings. If you need other colours not shown let me know and I can order the colour set for you. Various Valerie Baber Designs crochet patterns are available on my Etsy store that work perfectly with these mini skein sets.

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at: 

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber and Lovecrafts: LoveCrafts

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items. 

Have a fibertastic day!

Friendship Factor Adventure #3 – Terrific Tartan Scarf

The friendship factor adventure continues with a terrific Golden Plum Tartan scarf by Paula Veleta shown below. This beautiful scarf design is perfect for any wardrobe and a wonderful pattern to weave. Lisa and I spent some time discussing what we wanted to try next and we both felt weaving plaid or tartan was the next journey we wanted to explore. I love the Golden Plum Tartan pattern that Lisa found on WEBS you can link to the pattern here: Valley Yarns #99 Golden Plum Tartan PDF at WEBS | Yarn.com There is also a yarn kit you can purchase with the colours in the photo to make your yarn choice easy. The traditional tartan pattern was mixed up with a beautiful technique to make a lovely single strand stripe in the pattern instead of a thicker stripe normally seen. This give a modern touch to the design that we really enjoyed trying out. I hope they don’t mind me posting a photo of the pattern below as I promote how great this pattern really is.

Our thoughts and journey of the pattern:

Valerie:

Currently I am in love with plaid and tartan designs! I couldn’t wait to try the Golden Plum Tartan pattern. In order to use yarn from my stash I chose a fingerling weight yarn instead of the DK weight it was patterned in. This works as I wanted a slightly narrower scarf to wear. At the end of the scarf I added another set of the pattern to make it the length I wanted to achieve and compensate for the difference in yarn weights. It worked out great.

Being a designer I can’t help but change things from the inspiration of the original design. I love to experiment and see what can happen when I change this or that. Of course there were a few changes based on a couple of mistakes I made. I warped it backwards! Yes I really did. LOL. Usually I warp (rigid heddle loom) my shorter length scarves on my kitchen island, but this time I warped it in my studio forgetting that I warp on the right side of my loom in my kitchen and on the left side in my studio. Of course it doesn’t matter which side you warp it on with plain weaving, but when working a pattern like this you must warp it on the right side of your loom since the pattern is working from the right. Otherwise your tartan pattern turns out on the opposite side as you may have noticed in the photos. Because of this I also made another small mistake, you likely can’t see it. My advice is make sure you warp from the right side of your loom, unless you want it the other way.

For the yarn I used Tough Love Sock yarn from SweetGeorgia Yarns www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com I used a pink, burgundy, Ivory and a pale purple. The purple didn’t show up as well as I thought it would, but I love the subtle effect it gives. I would use a darker colour for this section as this is where the unique warping is done and on my scarf that effect is too light to see from a distance.

The Golden Plum Tartan scarf was a well written pattern and a wonderful weaving experience. The colour combinations that you could achieve with this designs would be great for both men and woman. Definitely a keeper on my list of “I need to make this one again”. Weaving with Lisa is always a great time while we choose our next project, choosing yarns, and weaving the item. We encourage each other to look outside the box and try new things that we didn’t think we could. Sharing each others goals and interesting weaving techniques we find on the online as we work together to achieve our weaving goals and grow our friendship.

Lisa:

For my tartan scarf, I chose browns and purples with green accent. The brown yarns and the purple yarn are Knit Picks City Tweed, a mixture of merino wool, alpaca and Donegal tweed. The green yarn is a silk and wool blend that I found in a yarn shop in Jackson, Wyoming on a trip to Yellowstone. All of the yarns were nice to use and the wool from Knit Picks bloomed nicely after a bath. The yarn is DK weight so this scarf will be warmer than our previous scarves. 

At first, I wanted to make the scarf to match my heavy jacket, but I did not have burgundy yarn in my stash so purple was my second choice. Browns are always a winner with me, but the dark brown I chose was a little close in value to the purple, so together the colors make more of a subtle difference rather than the stark change that one would expect in a plaid. The look suits me, however, since I don’t wear a lot of “loud” clothing. 

The pattern, which came from WEBS, was easy to understand and had a warping sequence that neither Valerie nor I had seen before – threading holes with a different color than the corresponding slot. This created thin stripes in the warp. Once warping was completed, it only took less than a week of evenings to weave this scarf, so it would make a nice last-minute gift to weave for someone if you are in a hurry. Just allow yourself time to wash your scarf and to twist the tassels.  

Weaving is the perfect metaphor for friendship! Different fibers and colors come together to make a pleasing design, just like different people in all shapes and sizes with different personalities come together to make the world a more beautiful place. The interaction of the warp and weft make an enduring strong cloth that provides warmth and protection against the cruel elements. A friendship with good attributes and character provides a place for friends to interact in an unconditionally accepting environment that serves as a buffer against life’s cruelties. 

Although we live far apart, I think Valerie and I have a woven cloth kind of friendship. I am having a great time learning from her in this process as we exchange ideas, discuss patterns and talk. Valerie is an awesome crochet designer and this trait naturally spills over into her weaving. She’s not afraid to do her own thing and that gives me courage to experiment more. I still continue to be amazed by how we can meet people through the Internet that we would not have known otherwise. Who would have thought that when I started selling crochet on Etsy in 2011 that I would be weaving with a crochet designer from Canada in 2021?  

Start your own Friendship Factor Adventure today with your friends, family and others you care about. Your adventure could be weaving, knitting, crocheting, sewing, painting, scrapbooking or anything you have a desired to learn. You never know where it will take you. As Lisa said is is hard to believe it has been so many years when we first met on Etsy helping to promote each others work. Now we are great friends who are helping each other along the weaving and crocheting path. Thanks Lisa for another enjoyable Friendship Factor Adventure. Looking forward to our next adventure with Expressive Weaving where we take a big step out of the box and try our hands at various unique techniques.

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at: 

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items. 

Have a fibertastic day!

Friendship Factor Scarf – Twisting the Night Away!

The Friendship Factor Scarf #2 – “Twisting the Night Away” is a continuing journey of weaving across the miles with a wonderful friend of mine, Lisa. We enjoyed weaving together so much (though we both live in different Countries) we decided to continue the Friendship Factor adventure. You can view the first Friendship Factor scarf here: Weaving a Friendship together – Friendship Factor Scarf #1 – Valerie Baber Designs

To begin the Friendship Factor “Twisting the Night Away” scarf Lisa and I found a pattern in our Little Looms Holiday 2020 issue Little Looms Holiday 2020 – Long Thread Media called Sangria Sunset by Judy Pagels. This unique pattern caught our attention with the interesting fringe all around one edge of the scarf. Leaving fringe on one side of the scarf while weaving is a great way to add multiple stripes without weaving in all those ends. Instead you use a floating selvedge technique to wrap the stripe yarns around while weaving the scarf. This is how the fringe formed during weaving. There is flexibility on how much fringe you would like by changing how many stripes you want to make on the design. Once you have finished the scarf you twist the fringe to finish.

Friendship is a precious thing we can treasure throughout our lives. Spend some time weaving your friendships together with special moments of time or literally weaving together. Join the adventure weaving, painting, crocheting, knitting, other crafts and artistic mediums with your friends, family or others you know. We can be inspired by the people around us everyday. Use that inspiration and help one another to achieve new goals.

Our weaving journeys of the Twisting the Night Away scarf are below: (I love this title Lisa came up with as you spend a good amount of time twisting your fringe making it the perfect title for this scarf)

Lisa:

Sangria Scarf with lots of fringe and stripes.

For my scarf, I chose yarn from my stash. My yarns were Merino and Superwash wool from Knit Picks. Not all of these yarns are available today, but Knit Picks has nice substitutes. For the dominant color red, I used Shadow, which was a fingering yarn at the time of purchase. For my coral tassels I used Shadow Lace and for the variegated colors I used Vermont Chroma Lace. Since Chroma Lace has long colorways, I used one color until I wanted a change. Then I cut that color off my shuttle and moved to the next color. It’s may be hard to see but the stripes are yellow, orange, pink, green and gray.
I chose these colors for something different. Normally, my first choice is any shade of blue with purple coming in second and brown third. It can be difficult for me to use other colors when I am making something for myself but I am pleased with the results.

Using lightweight yarns for a scarf was a new adventure and one that I will repeat many times, I am sure. The lightweight wool is soft, warm, and very light. This makes a lovely hand. When weaving, using the floating selvedge kept my fringes neat and mostly the same length. It also helped keep the fringes tidy after pulling the scarf off the loom – I just pulled the string through when it was time to twist a group of tassels. Having the tassels exactly the same length isn’t necessary in this scarf since it drapes over you a couple of times. In fact, it’s more fun to have unexpected elements, like varying lengths in tassels, in the finished cloth.

There are a lot of interesting options in making this scarf. You could choose not to sew the ends together like Valerie did for more wrapping options. Using more colors in the warp for a plaid effect is another possibility. Another fun and useful option, would be to form a secret pocket if you sew the ends together. Next time, I may use a variegated yarn for the tassels and then perhaps space the tassels a little further apart. There are more than 200 tassels on this scarf so when you finish it, count on “twisting the night away” for a few evenings.

Overall, it was a great project and a pleasure to weave. I love working on something that gives me more ideas while I’m making it. Instagram: Lisa Gossman-Steeves (@lisagossmansteeves)

Valerie:

Lisa and I both did the scarf differently as you can see by the photos. I wanted to try a few ideas out to see what would happen when I changed the width and weight of yarn on the fringed scarf. On the second scarf without all of the fringe I only added it to the two ends of the scarf and used yarn that made a plaid/tartan effect without all the work. Being a designer I can’t help but see other things I can do with a design or pattern. You will often see me change things from what the pattern suggests. I love to see what happens when I do this. Sometimes it is a success and sometimes it is not. The joy is in trying even if it doesn’t turn out.

Sangria scarf with fringe and gradient yarn.

On the Fringe scarf I made it wider with a sock weight yarn on both the warp and the weft though the pattern asks for lace yarn on the weft. We have cold winters here and I wanted to make the scarf wider and warmer. There are lots of stripes and fringe including at each end. The fringe at the ends of the scarf is omitted on the pattern. I decided not to use the floating selvedge for this scarf to see if I needed it. I think the floating selvedge would keep things neater and more organized, but you can weave it without if you choose. I used a combination of a sock blank available at Sweetgeorgia Yarns called Andromeda that goes from a magenta pink, purple to blue as the main colour on the weft with added stripes of blues and purples. The overall effect of the sock blank gives the scarf a wonderful gradient look.

Sangria Scarf with plaid effect and minimal fringe scarf.

The second scarf without all the fringe is not as wide and more like the pattern width. On this scarf I used various yarns to make the plaid effect with hand painted yarns in a sock weight yarn from www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com called Tough Love Sock yarn. I use this yarn a lot as the quality is excellent and the colour ways are amazing. For the plaid effect I used the hand painted Grouse colour way on the warp and on the weft I used Evening, Black Plum, Ultraviolet Purple, Grouse, Mermaid and some bits from my stash alternating these colours in stripes of various sizes throughout the scarf. The combination of these yarns make this wonderful plaid effect without all of the work. The plaid effect scarf is not sewn together as the pattern shows. On this scarf I wanted to have the option of wearing it differently and in various ways.

I love seeing what Lisa did with the scarf which is more like the original pattern. It is so interesting to see to see how using different yarns can really change the look of a scarf. The pattern calls for a lace weight yarn on the weft like Lisa used which gives a beautiful elegant drape to the scarf. The more fringe or stripes you add the more “twisting the night away” you will need.

I found the pattern wonderful to weave! This design is beautiful and a great addition to any wardrobe. You can design to suit your tastes by changing a few things like Lisa and I did. The great thing about this pattern is you get to decide how much fringe you want. Imagine the scarf with unique hand spun stripes and fringe or a glittery yarn for a sparkle essence when you need one. This pattern is well written and a wonderful pattern to make. I am sure I will be making it again soon.

We hope you are inspired to try your hand at weaving and perhaps spending time together or abroad weaving with others you know. We have begun our third Friendship Factor Scarf and look forward to another adventure in weaving our friendship together! Happy Weaving!

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at: 

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items. 

Have a fibertastic day!

Playing with plaid – weaving a scarf for my husband

Playing with Plaid while I was weaving a scarf for my husband. A personal request from my husband who wanted a scarf in his favourite colour from Sweetgeorgia Yarns Chili Chocolate (this colour is no longer available but there is a similar one). I decided to do a plaid version as if feel it is a nice design for a man but instead of weaving the plaid throughout the scarf I chose to only weave it at the bottoms and leave the middle with a more subtle strip pattern due to the warping. The colours in the stripes are a brown and a beige to give a more neutral effect to the design. The base colour yarn is a hand painted yarn and adds lots of splashes of subtle colour changes throughout the design. I am currently weaving another “plaid” style pattern where the yarn does most of the work because of how it is dyed. I will show pictures of this scarf at a later date.

Weaving with a plaid design is very enjoyable as it is interesting and keeps you focused while weaving. My next goal is to try a much bigger scarf that has a deconstructed plaid essence. The pattern I found was in my Handwoven (handwovenmagazine.com). That weaving adventure is for another day!

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at: 

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items. 

Have a fibertastic day!

Mountain Inspired Mug Rugs

Mountain mug rugs are inspired by the beautiful colours of the mountains, trees, and lakes and rivers. This set was made for a family who loves hiking in the mountains surrounded by beautiful foliage and trees of green. They spend time fishing in the rivers and lakes as they enjoy the view around them of the beautiful blue waters. Memories of the wonderful moments are woven into the colours of the Mountain Mug Rugs.

For this set I used a wonderful colour way from Sweetgeorgia Yarns www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com called Grouse. This colour is actually inspired by Grouse Mountain in the Vancouver area and was the perfect choice for the greens, browns and has a touch of blue too. For the lakes I used various colours of blues I had in my stash. A bit of gray is add in one for the mountains and on the hem stitch.

The pattern is simply 2 picks of one colour and 2 picks of the other colour. The length is about 5” long and the width is about 5”.

Mug Rugs are a wonderful way to personalize a gift for those you care about. They are also a great way to try a new pattern, stitch or colour way since they are small. I am off to try weaving something else on my next Mug Rug.

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at: 

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items. 

Have a fibertastic day!

Weaving a Friendship together – Friendship Factor Scarf #1

Weaving a friendship together is the first weaving adventure that Lisa, great friend of mine, decided we wanted to start. Since we both live in different countries we could enjoy virtual time together weaving and enjoy picking out a pattern, yarn and colours. Since I live in Canada and Lisa lives in the USA it makes it difficult to get together and enjoy our making our crafts. Lisa is actually the one who inspired me to try weaving (thank you Lisa! it’s just what I needed for my next fibre adventure). I started with a Frame Loom and worked up to a Rigid Heddle Loom. I am totally hooked on weaving and dream of larger 4 or 8 shaft looms in my studio to create on. I have known Lisa for years, but we have never met. We share a love for crochet and now weaving. Our friendship has evolved along with our artistic adventures to new and exciting directions. You never know where life will take you or who you will meet along the way. Lisa and I will be making various projects together so follow along as we jump into a weaving adventure that virtually brings us together from different countries.

The first scarf is the Friendship Factor scarf. We both went through our weaving magazines and patterns and settled on this lovely one available on Handwoven Magazine’s Little Looms edition, Easy Weaving With Little Looms Summer 2020 – Long Thread Media We chose the Plumage Scarf to weave as our first Friendship Factor scarf. The photo below is from Handwoven Magazine (handwovenmagazine.com) and I hope they don’t mind that I used it as I promote this wonderful weaving pattern. If you are looking for inspiration for your weaving project Handwoven Magazine is a wonderful place to start. Beautiful photo’s and patterns as well as history of weaving, artist, yarns and more are in each volume. You can even buy it online so you can look at it on your phone and computer. I love looking through the older issues and seeing how weaving has evolved over the years. This pattern uses Brooks Bouquet as the main pattern. I really like weaving this pattern it is an interesting design yet easy to do. I previous made a different scarf with the Brooks Bouquet in gray that had a lacey effect, but with this scarf the pattern is spaced differently giving a more texturized look.

This weaving adventure with Lisa was a wonderful journey that I was able to enjoy with a great friend. We took time looking for patterns at each end and both ended up really liking this one. I love that we both used different yarns and colours to achieve the scarf we wanted. Here are our thoughts about the pattern:

Valerie: On my version I chose to make it shorter as I wanted a Fall scarf to wear when out for a walk that was smaller in size. I also wanted to try it with two different colours on the warp and love that it added a stripe effect to the design. I used a darker hand painted yarn with softer colour on the warp and a natural/ivory colour on the weft. Using the ivory/natural on the weft had a subtle effect when I washed the scarf leaving the two other colours to stand out even more. I can’t wait to enjoy wearing this one. I will always think of our great friendship and the enjoyment we had making it every time I wear it.

Lisa: For my version, I chose to use two variegated skeins like the pattern called for because I was curious to see how they would blend together. Plus, I thought it would be a fun addition to my winter wardrobe. To choose my yarn, I looked for colors that look good together and looked for a common color to unite the skeins. In this case it was a mint and a light blue that were close in value. I liked this because it was not the prominent color in either skein, it was what I call the “pop color,” or the color that stands out on a yarn skein. This scarf was a lot of fun to make because I had no idea how the colors would come together – it’s kind of that throw paint on the wall and see what happens effect. Lisa Gossman-Steeves (@lisagossmansteeves)

I really like how Lisa’s turned out with all the beautiful array of colours mingled together. It has inspired me to add this scarf to my make it again list but this time longer and perhaps a thicker yarn like the one Lisa did. Our scarves started with the same pattern yet turned out as unique designs. The Friendship Factor Scarf is an example of how two people can take the same idea and make it completely different. That’s what friendship is about. Two or more people with individualities coming together and creating amazing and unique moments, items and friendships. Try a weaving project or other craft project with your friends. See where that adventure takes you and the beautiful way it weaves your friendship together.

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at: 

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items. 

Have a fibertastic day!

Brooks Bouquet scarf

This lovely lace scarf was hand woven with a beautiful Brooks Bouquet lace pattern. For this one I used two different gray sock weight yarns. One had a beautiful sparkle in it that adds a subtle glitter surprise to the scarf. I enjoy weaving Brooks Bouquet and would like to weave it again soon.

Yarn used was Tough Love Sock yarn on the warp and Cash Luxe Spark on the weft both in the silver colour way. You can purchase this yarn at www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at: 

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items. 

Have a fibertastic day!

Hand Woven Scarf with Large Subtle Stripes

Finished weaving a new scarf while taking a online weaving class from School of Sweetgeorgia http://www.schoolofsweetgeorgia.com This is one of the scarves I recently finished. School of Sweetgeorgia was something I had been wanting to join for a while. They have online classes on knitting, weaving, spinning, tapestry weaving and more. Tutorials, patterns, and a forum you can join to chat with others. Even though I had been weaving for about a year and mostly learning from YouTube videos I felt I needed to fine tune my skills. I learned so much from the video online classes at School of Sweetgeorgia including very important basics I was missing. Learning about all the tools and options for weaving including the type of looms was eye opening. I use a Rigid Heddle Loom by Ashford for weaving and have 2 sizes. If you are looking to improve your weaving skills or learn from scratch I highly recommend School of Sweetgeorgia.

This scarf was made various sock weight yarns on the warp in different coloured stripes and on the weft I used a Merino Silk lace yarn by Sweetgeorgia Yarns. I love the delicate feel of the fibre with the warp in a heavier weight than the weft. The colour palette underneath the weft gives a more subtle effect. Working on a sock blank scarf next in beautiful greens and blues, also from School of Sweetgeorgia. Down the road I hope to try out the Tapestry Weaving courses and the Colour Theory courses.

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at:

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items.

Have a fibertastic day!

Plaid mini placemats for Christmas

Christmas time is near and I have begun weaving a series of items to decorate our home with Christmas cheer. I love this time of year when you begin decorating the house making it a nice cozy home for Christmas. You can view my first Christmas inspired weaving adventure on a previous blog post about Christmas Colours inspired mug rugs. With Christmas around the corner I have been yearning to weave with plaid. I am not sure why but they seem to belong together. While searching for a plaid pattern to use online I found this great chart that I thought would be the perfect size for a mini placemat to cozy up a hot bowl of soup.

While searching online for a how to weave plaid I came across this free plaid chart and thought it would be a great place to start. I realize it was the perfect pattern and size for a mini placemats. Since it was already charted it made it easy to make. I have been making a few new items to decorate our home and the colours I have chosen are various grays, ivory, red and green.

The yarn I used was a 4/8 cotton on the warp. On the weft I doubled up the cotton strands. My warp is single stranded and on the weft I also used 4/8 cotton that is double stranded. This is my second project with cotton yarns and I wanted to experiment with yarn a bit and see what would happen if I doubled it on the weft.

Using my Rigid Heddle Loom I warped it as shown in the chart about 60″ in length which made approximately 5 placemats. I like how it turned out with the 2 stranded yarn on the weft. It is a bit thicker and perfect for a placemat. I used a 12.5 dent reed for this placemat.

I followed the chart for warping and working the weft for the mini placemats and the sized they became perfect for a mini placemat for a hot bowl of soup or lunch plate etc.

Various crochet patterns by Valerie Baber Designs are available at: 

Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber

Follow me on my Instagram, Twitter and here on my Blog for the newest patterns, free patterns, weaving adventure, crochet journey and other fiber related items. 

Have a fibertastic day!