Friendship is a wonderful adventure full of interesting and unique moments that are treasured for a lifetime. The Friendship Factor adventure is continuing with a great friend of mine Lisa (pen and hook). Lisa is the one who inspired me to try weaving and I have to say I am so very thankful. I had no idea I could enjoy working with yarn even more than I had been with crochet and previously knitting. Weaving has been such a joy to learn. I am truly enjoying my weaving adventure as it seems learning new things about weaving is never ending. I love learning new ways to use yarn colour in my designs and look forward to more weaving adventures with Lisa.
For this Friendship Factor Adventure Lisa and I took a course from Handwoven Magazine called Expressive Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom (longthreadmedia.com). We highly recommend this course as a must on your to do list for weaving. The course was really well done and the teacher was very informative and easy to follow. I will warn you be ready to free yourself from the box as this course on Expressive Weaving is very artistic in the teaching and uses many different techniques throughout the course. The skills learned from this course can definitely enhance your weaving techniques and style.
For our expressive weaving project, trees came to mind so I borrowed my theme from Psalm 1 and made a wall hanging.
“Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper…” (Psalm 1: 1-3, NRSV).
I also thought of the Tree of Life, which in many world religions symbolizes personal strength and growth. The symbolism means many things, but I love the idea of a tree representing personal strength and growth. Trees are a lot like humans. They have networks and communicate with each other. They react when other trees within their networks are chopped down or suffer from disease. For me, these similarities show a common Creator.
It was fun making a tapestry on a rigid heddle loom and a challenge to remember which shed I was in since I was working in different areas before advancing the fabric. The best part was forming loops to make a very lush tree. Wouldn’t it be fun to try this method to make a pillow? Adding the little clouds from snips of an art yarn in my stash was a delight because it worked so well. It was freeing to go through my yarn with the intent of crafting a picture rather than a scarf or other item and envisioning the fibers in a different way. The hardest part was attaching the tapestry to a curved stick that I found in my yard – one that I was holding onto for just the right project.
It was freeing to go through my yarn with the intent of crafting a picture rather than a scarf or other item and envisioning the fibers in a different way. The yarn I used came from what I had in my stash. Most of it was wool, with the exception on one nylon yarn that became part of the river bank. The blue sky was a mix of wool and acrylic. I used four handspun yarns. The deep brown fertile soil under the tree was leftovers from a Churro wool skein that I had spun for the Shave ‘Em 2 Save ‘Em project. The green grass and the clouds were handspun yarns for which I had traded. The ripples in the water were made with my own core spun yarn using pre-dyed wool locks.
You don’t have to use art yarn or feel like you should be a spinner to complete a project like this. Esther Rodgers has plenty of ideas to make regular yarn look fabulous. All that is required is a little imagination and a willingness to work outside the box. This was a great project. I’m sure that I will use the information I learned from the video more than once.
My favourite place to visit and spend time at is the beach in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I dream of living there again one day. I spent 2 wonderful years there in my younger days and lived near the water and beach in Toronto, Ontario, Canada area for 17 years. Being by the ocean or lake on the beach hearing the waves gently crash on the shore, the wonderful smells of the ocean, sparkling sand in your feet, beautiful drift wood on the beach, pebbles, shells and the occasional sea glass along the waters edge are where I feel most at peace. I love just sitting by the water enjoying the moments of pure calm and being reenergized at the same time. I chose to weave these special moments into my scarf to remind myself of peaceful moments and special times together with my family and friends using some of the techniques I learned with the online course Expressive Weaving.
The Water’s Edge Scarf is woven with Malabrigo Arroys (DK/sport weight) merino wool yarn (malabrigoyarn.com) on the base of the scarf in the Sand Bank colour which was the perfect colour selection for sand even in the name. I used a wonderful gold colour with sequins from Art Yarns (Artyarns) to add stripes of sparkling sand to the scarf alternating with a beautiful mohair yarn from Rowan that adds more texture like sand does on the shore. The gold and sequin yarn is a beautiful silk yarn that I chose to crochet across the scarf a technique I learned in the Expressive Weaving course and had to add to my design to bring my love of crochet together with my new weaving adventures. Another technique I learned was adding fringe to the edges of the scarf by leaving a bit of yarn on each side of the weft row you are doing. You can either cut the fringe so it is single strands of yarn or keep it looped as I did in most cases for a wonderful added feature to the scarf. I used another beautiful yarn from SweetGeorgia Yarns called CashSilk Lace (SweetGeorgia Yarns) for the fringe sections of the sand on the sides. The CashSilk Lace yarn is wonderfully soft and has a different texture than the other yarns I used for the sand. For the sand I wanted to use a variety of yarns to give the effect of the rippling sand along the shore. One of my favourite parts of the Water’s Edge scarf is the handspun yarn I added throughout the design. This beautiful yarn was a custom order by myself years ago from a wonderful spinner in Seattle, Washington, USA which is perfectly fitted for this scarf since she lives near the beach not far from Vancouver, Canada where my scarf is inspired from. I wanted her to spin some yarn that had a beach essence and she definitely achieved it with the beautiful browns to mimic the logs that are often seen along the beach on the west coast of Canada and the USA. The green/gray hand spun is reminiscent of wonderful moments on the beach picking sea glass, pebbles and shells with my kids, sometimes for hours. The yarn perfect achieves the sea glass essence. I used a looping technique also learned the Expressive Weaving course for the sea glass and drift wood and logs along the beach.
The Water’s Edge Scarf was such a joy to weave using various technique I recently learned. My favourite technique would have to be the crochet as it blended my favourite way to use fibre with my newest adventure weaving. The scarf is full of texture and beautiful exquisite yarns I had saved for years waiting for the perfect project to enhance and make something I love. Being by the ocean, lake or other body of water is my favourite place to be. I have truly enjoyed this Expressive Weaving course with Lisa as both have inspired me to step out of the box and see what wonderful moments and things are there to be enjoyed. I absolutely love the wall hanging Lisa made and the inspiration and meaning behind the design. Her attention to detail and colours were perfectly chosen with the loopy leaves on the tree, fluffy clouds, blades of grass and the colours on the horizon. Enjoying moments together with family and friends makes these moments and memories even better.
We hope you enjoy a look at our Friendship Factor journey in weaving. Hope to see you soon on our next adventure. I am looking forward to the next Friendship Factor Project and see where it takes us on our weaving adventure.
Various crochet pattern, yarn and ready to wear scarves, shawls, hand warmers and more by Valerie Baber Designs are available on my Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com
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Have a fibertastic day!