Friendship Factor Scarf – Expressive Weaving

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.

Lisa’s Project:

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.  

Valerie’s Project:

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 

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 (search Valerie Baber Designs)

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!

Weaving some Fall Mug Rugs

With Fall just ending in my neck of the woods as we have already had several dustings of snow I wanted to share one of my recent weaving projects with the essence and colours of the autumn season. These are a set of 4 mug rugs I made with my loom perfect for making mug rugs. I like to make seasonal sets for my family so we can each enjoy the beautiful colours and patterns I have woven.

For this Fall set I chose SweetGeorgia Yarns Party of Five mini skeins in the Harvest colour way to add that special autumn colour to each piece. Each mug rug is done in different stripe combinations to add interest. I love making mug rugs for those I love. It is a very soothing and relaxing way to use your yarn bits and left overs or buy a set of mini skeins and off you go to create your own special mug rugs for those you care about or want to thank.

I hope you are inspired to learn something new today. I starting learning to weave a year ago and I have to say I am so addicted to this new adventure with fibre. I will continue to post more of my designs and weaving journey here so come along for the ride and follow my blog. Who knows where it will take you! Happy fibertastic day!

Valerie Baber Designs Crochet Patterns are available at: Etsy store: www.valeriebaberdesigns.etsy.com or Ravelry www.ravelry.com/designers/valerie-baber