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As you probably know, Pantone releases color trends for different seasons. I loved the two color trends for 2019 so much that I decided to make some warp packs inspired by them!


I really love putting together these warp flight packs, because they allow you to play around with warp colors without being committed to a large amount of warp thread.

If you haven’t heard of my warp flight packs before, they are a pack of four different warp thread colors that are measured to approximately 100 yards each.  Which means in total you get approximately 400 yards of warp thread in one pack.  To give you an idea of how much 100 yards is…

On my lap loom, I have 8 x 12 inch weaving area, I can warp this loom with each color about 9 times with some leftover thread. So on this loom, I could make 9 weaves with the Peach warp thread, then make 9 weaves with the Clementine orange warp thread, etc. You get the idea. It’s a nice pack that gives some ability to play around and experiment with your weavings, especially if you’ve never used colored warp threads before and you’re not sure how they will look in your weaves.

Now onto these Pantone inspired color packs.  The first pack was based on the “Cravings” colors. These reflect foods with very warm color tones. Think colors of red raspberries, eggplants, plums, coffee, chocolates, etc.  To reflect these warm food colors I put together a warp pack featuring raspberry red, eggplant purple, coffee brown, and a candy pink.

The second inspiration pack is based on the Pantone “Classico” colors.  These colors are elegant and bold.  Think emerald green, ivory white, deep black, and soft grey.  I love this pack because it is so classic in it’s neutral shades, but with a splash of regal emerald green.

You can find out more about these color trends in this link.

These packs are available in the shop along with a lot of other fun warp flight packs.


Happy Weaving!

Kate

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I really like making these free weave pattern “weave alongs” as I call them. I think they are a great way to learn weaving techniques and also end up with a beautiful weave at the end. I’m especially excited about this off-center circular weave, because it gives the weave a really organic feel.


In this pattern, I’m going to give you a general explanation of the stitches, since looms are different and we may have different number of warp threads you won’t need to follow along with an exact warp thread count. Just follow along with the basic idea of the stitches and if you’re weave doesn’t come out exactly like mine then that’s not a problem, because this weave design is very flexible and will look all the better with your own unique touch.

In today’s post is the second part to our off-center circle weave along (find part one here).

step 1|| in the last post we had just finished our round of soumak stitches. Continuing with your yarn (I am using a twisted cotton string), weave the plain (over/under) stitch around ¾ of your circle. Note that I’m weaving towards the more open side of the loom, where the warp thread center is further from the loom center. This is so that my weaving starts filling up that bigger space first.

step 2|| next weave back a row of the plain stitch ending it just before you get to where you started the first row. I ended mine with three warp threads left .

step 3|| weave back the other way, again stopping the row before you meet the previous row’s end. This time I ended my row with five warp threads left.

step 4|| make one more return row, that is again shorter then the previous row. My row ended with nine warp threads left. Tuck the yarn tail behind the loom and trim it to about 3 inches so that we can tuck it in later. The point to making these varying woven rows is that it will give your weave an organic shape and also help hid gaps between yarns.

step 5|| now I’m bringing in a wool yarn that is similar in color to my twisted cotton string (the yarns I used are listed in the shop this section at the bottom of the post). I find that when the colors are similar, but the texture is different it gives the weave more interest. It adds a new level of visual interest.

Starting the wool yarn at the end of row three and four, leave a 3 inch tail behind the weave and then weave in an over/under plain weave around the circle.

step 6|| I wove a plain weave around the circle just shy of twice. I then continued to plain weave, but less tightly then before and using my tapestry needle I lifted the yarn up a little above each warp thread. This gave some texture and depth to my woven rows and better shows off the fluff of the wool yarn.

step 7|| in this fluffy row, I did not weave around the circle a full round. Instead I stopped at the side of the top and then wove a fluffy row back down the opposite way. Again weaving loosely and fluffing each pass over the warp threads.

step 8|| I continued this fluffy row until I was about ¾ around the circle. Then wove a return tight row to “lock” in my fluffy row. Ending this new row with 4 warp threads left. I then trimmed my yarn tail to 3 inches and tucked it behind the weave.

step 9|| next I brought in a third yarn, this time a rust colored cotton yarn. To start the yarn I brought the thread under my weave and through the loop of my wool yarn (opposite side from where my wool yarn just ended) from the previous row. I pulled the rust colored yarn through the loop until I had 3 inches of yarn tail behind my weave. I then started weaving my rust colored yarn in the plain weave on the shorter side of the warp center.

By bringing my rust colored yarn through the wool loop, I’m making sure that I do not have a gap between the different threads when my weave is finished.

step 10|| I wove from the one fluffy wool row turn to the other fluffy wool row turn and then wove my rust colored yarn back again. I wove a third pass, but again stopped the row well before I reached the end of the previous row. I trimmed the yarn tail to 3 inches and tucked it behind the weave to deal with later in our finishing.

The rust row is very small compared to our neutral rows, but I think it will be nice little pop of color in our over all weave.

I’m really excited to keep working on this weave with you. If you want to read more about circular weaving, I have a few different posts here.

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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In the last post, I showed how to warp your loom so that you have an off-center middle. Don’t you just love the look of an off-center weave?! I feel like it gives the weave some personality and makes it more unique.


I’m very excited about making an off-center weave, and of course I’m going to share with you all my steps so that you can weave along too! Here’s what I did to get our weave started:

step 1|| using the basic technique, weave over/under the warp threads. I wove three times around the center point.

Note: The center point is a tight space to weave between because the warp threads are so close together. To weave in this area, I like to weave the thread over a few warp threads and then using my tapestry needle, I push the thread down towards the center. I push it in between each warp thread until the weft thread is in close to the center. A thin thread is easier to weave in the tight space, but as you can see I’m weaving using my twisted cotton string, which is a thicker thread and this packing technique still works well.

step 2|| using your tapestry needle, make another pass around your center circle to push the weft threads in towards the center point so that the weft looks circular too. If you have a lot of “slack” in your thread, pull on your weft thread tail to reduce the amount of weft thread between the warp threads. This will help the weft threads lay nicely in your weave.

The peach warp threads showing over my neutral weft looks nice, but I’m going to add a solid weft row that will also bring dimension to our weave. To do this we’re going to soumak weave (more details on how to soumak weave here).

step 3|| soumak weave around each warp thread:

  • taking your weft thread bring it over the next two warp threads.
  • bring the weft thread down and around warp thread #2 so that your weft thread is starting on warp thread #2.
  • next bring the weft thread over warp #2 and #3.
  • at warp #3 bring the weft thread down and around. Your weft thread will start at warp #3.
  • continue in this pattern of passing the weft thread over two warp threads, looping it around the second warp thread and then back up until you complete a soumak row around your center point.

This is a good starting point for our weave. We’ll continue the weave along in the next post, see you there!

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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I received an awesome question from a reader wanting to know how to make a circular weave that has an off-centered middle. I agree with her that the off-centered middle of circular weaves looks so awesome, so of course I wanted to share with all of you how to do this too!


I think I’m mostly excited about this post because I’ve been admiring the off-centered weaves myself and this question led me to giving it a try. If you’re looking for directions on how to warp a centered circular weave, you can find that here.

Let’s jump right into it…

step 1|| tie your warp thread to the loom frame, as you normally would.step 2|| in my first image, I’m showing you with the blue string where I would normally bring my warp thread straight across the loom to make a centered circular weave. Since we’re making an off-centered circular weave, I’m bringing my warp thread off to one side of straight across.

step 3|| just like you normally would, bring the warp thread around the top tab to the right, then back down to the tab on the left side of where you started.

step 4|| you’ll continue to keep warping so that the top threads move over to the right and the bottom threads move over to the left in a clockwise direction. This causes a cross over of your warp threads to make a middle of your weave. But the difference with the off-centered weave is that for your bottom warping you’ll want to warp around each tab and at the top of the weave you’ll want to warp across every other tab. This is because the center of the circle is tighter with the warp threads closer together and we moved our center towards the bottom of the circular loom, making the bottom of the loom tighter when warping.

step 5|| continue warping each of the bottom tabs towards the left and every other top tab towards the right until you have an even number of open (or un-warped) tabs on each side. In my picture I have 10 open tabs and closed warped tabs on my bottom and every other warped tabs on my top.

step 6|| once an even number of open tabs is reached, finish your warping by doing every other tab for the rest of the loom. This completes your circle.

step 7|| now you’ll have a bunch of warp threads that cross over making a center, we’ll group them and tie off your middle. Find the spot where the first warp threads cross under the last warp threads and bring your warp string through that gap and around, pulling it tight. This gathers the warp threads together. You can wrap the warp thread around another grouping also if you like.

step 8|| turn your loom over and in the back of the warping, pass your warp string under the thread that looped around the middle, then tie it off in a single knot at the back of the center. Trim the warp thread, leaving a end that is long enough to tuck in the back of your weave later on.

Just like that you have a circular weave with an off-centered middle! I’m very excited about this, because these types of weaves look so interesting. In the next post I’ll share some tips on how to weave so that the larger side fills up without making your weave look odd, because you know we can’t just weave around and around like we normally would.

If you make an off-centered weave and you have Instagram, please tag me, I would love to see your weaves!

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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Not only am I excited to be sharing another weaver interview with all of you, but I’m even more excited that the interview is with the extremely talented Elise Vazelakis!

Elise’s weavings are large, gorgeous, and so interesting. She creates a lot of movement in her weaves simply through spacing. I love that she plays around with weaving gaps in her work and uses the weft threads to pull some warps tighter while others are loose. It’s really visually interesting. Let’s dive in and get to know more about Elise and her art…

Photo credit: Kimberly Adamis

How did you first come across weaving?

My fiber art practice solidified when I was living and working in the Middle East. My husband was transferred to Dubai in 2009 and we lived there for 4 years with 3 of my 4 children. I began a social art practice consisting of weavings that I created in Dubai focusing on the immigrant labor force. The body of work featured tapestries I wove integrating their colorful headwear called gamchas and their portraits. “The Gamcha Project” was featured in a solo exhibition at Showcase Gallery in the Al Serkal District of Dubai along with other installations. For more information on the Gamcha Project please visit: http://elisevazelakis.com/#/gamcha/

Photo credit: Kimberly Adamis

What time of day do you feel most creative?

It really varies, but anytime I unplug from all electronics and go within. I seem to get a stream of creative ideas when I am meditating.

Do you have a creative ritual?

Yes, I do! Definitely coffee, then walk the dogs, meditate, do a page of free writing, then off to the studio until I have to walk the dogs again, household duties, or make dinner.

Are you a messy creative or an organized creative?

Organized Chaos!

Photo credit: Kimberly Adamis

What is your process for coming up with new ideas? Do you start with materials or an idea first?

It really depends. I get ideas from reading artist biographies, drawing in my sketch book, out in nature or meditating…. or just when I am weaving. It really varies.

Do you have a preferred material that you like to use?

Absolutely! I love copper wire. I love the feel and color of copper. I also believe that it has medicinal qualities to it.

Photo credit: Kimberly Adamis

How is making things important in your life? What does being a maker mean to you?

Making things drive my existence. It sound crazy but it gives meaning to my life and really gives my life purpose. Making things began with sewing my own clothing with my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine. I feel I have gone back to my roots working with a foot operated weaving loom. Although I have explored all types of art practices (painting, sculpting, stone carving) working with fiber brings me back to my childhood and it feels the most authentic. There is an unexplainable comfort I obtain when I weave and sew that I just cant obtain doing anything else in my life.

Photo credit: Kimberly Adamis

What does being a maker mean to you?

It drives my existence and gives me a reason to get out of bed everyday. I just love making things and always have. The repetitive movements of weaving keep me in the present moment and I love the peacefulness when I am making my art.

Photo credit: Kimberly Adamis

What is your most favorite creation and why?

I don’t have one. My favorite is the act of creation. Once it is created I just move on to the next project or artistic endeavor. My favorite is always the one I am working on at the present moment.

What advice do you have for those wanting to find their own style?

Just keep at it daily. Read books on all different artists. Go to as many museum shows and galleries as possible. All artists from the beginning of time were informed by other artists. As my knowledge of the art world increases so does my style. But by far the most important advise I can give regarding finding your own style is to go within and be authentic. Do what makes you happy, not what you think others may like or what you think might sell.

Photo credit: Kimberly Adamis

|| Five mini questions to get to know you a little better ||

Are you a eat in or take out person?

Definitely eat in! I love to cook. Don’t get me wrong though, I do love eating out, but for the most part I cook.

What is your favorite color and why?

I am so informed by what artist I am studying at the moment. Right now, I am studying Jasper Johns, because he has a retrospective at The Broad Museum in Los Angeles. I am on my second book about him and have been to the exhibition twice. His favorite color is Grey. So right now my favorite is color is Grey! I love that grey can be so many colors at once but still just grey …neutral. With that said I don’t use my favorite color in my weavings…..maybe i should!

Are you a book or movie person? And what is a good one you’d recommend?

BOTH, I CAN’T PICK ONE OVER THE OTHER! I love reading biographies on artists. my latest favorites are:

  • Portrait of an Artist Georgia O’keeffe by Laurie Lisle
  • Renoir, An Intimate Biography by Barbara Ehrlich White
  • Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama
  • Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell by Deborah Solomon
  • Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

But, I love film also. Every year I make it my goal to see EVERY Oscar nominated movie and documentary. “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405” won an Oscar for short documentary at this year’s Academy Awards. Mindy Alper, who the documentary features, works in the studio under the guidance of Tom Wudl (where I also work weekly) and so it was amazing that a documentary about her life and art was recognized.

Do you prefer relaxing beach vacations or on the move sight-seeing vacations?

That’s easy, definitely sight seeing. My favorite trips are ones that are ethnically and culturally diverse. My all time favorite place to visit is India. I was lucky enough to travel there three times and would love to go back. I also love places with historical and archaeological environments such as the Athen’s Acropolis, Cairo’s pyramids and Jordan’s lost city of Petra. I could go on and on….I love to travel, see new places, meet new people and immerse myself into new environments.

Photo credit: Joe Mcdougall

You can find Elise Vazelakis:

Thanks for sharing Elise!

It really resonated with me that Elise got started on her creative journey using her Grandmother’s sewing machine, because my Grandmother’s love of creating with fibers also had a major influence on me.  I love to think about how this art form has been passed down through generations and is used across many cultures.  I’m also really excited about that book list that Elise shared, so many interesting artists to read about!

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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I’ve been dyeing some more of my twisted cotton string. I’m really enjoying the process and seeing what colors I can make. I’m also sharing my dye “recipes” for those who want to try dyeing their own string too.


All my dyeing, in this post is done using kool-aid powder. You can find my first set of recipes here. Unlike the first round of dyeing, I did not use any rubber-bands on the string and instead just let the string absorb the color as evenly as possible. I still get a few color variations through-out the string, but not as much as when I rubber-band off some sections. So that step is up to you and how much you want color variations in your string.

Here are the basic steps that I follow when dyeing my cotton string:

  • Make a vinegar/water mixture. I mixed 6 cups of water and 2 cups of vinegar then placed my string in the liquid to soak until it was damp through-out.
  • Remove your damp string & boil the vinegar/water mixture.
  • Pour your Kool-aid powder into a baking dish and dissolve the powder by pouring the boiled mixture over it. Mix the powder with a spoon until completely dissolved then add your damp string.
  • Sprinkle more Kool-aid powder on top and let the string soak for a few hours.
  • Remove the string, drain the mixture then hang the string to dry with the baking dish under it to catch the liquid that will drip.
  • Let the string dry over night then rinse the next day until excess color is gone.
  • Dry the string completely on the dry rack.

Lavender (with spots of blue)

My first attempt at lavender came out to more of an old rose type purple-pink. Since then I have modified my color mixture and have achieved a lovely pastel lavender with spots of pastel blue. It’s really pretty. To achieve this lavender color, I simply dissolved one packet of purple kool-aid powder in boiling water/vinegar, added the cotton string to the mixture and then sprinkled a second packet of purple kool-aid on top of the string. The string held the purple color well with just a few spots where blue came through from the dye. I was very happy with the outcome.

Blue & Lavender

This was my favorite color combo so far. It is an interesting blue colored string with variations of purple through-out. It kind of reminds me of mermaid colors or something else fun like that. To make this color dissolve two packets of blue Kool-aid in the boiled water/vinegar and add the string into the mixture. Next sprinkle a packet of purple Kool-aid across the top of the string. You’ll noticed that the purple only covers the top half of the string and that’s ok, because only part of your string will absorb the purple color and the other part of the string will absorb the blue, creating that color variations that we want.

Raspberry Red

This dye bath comes out as a deep pastel color that is really interesting and easy to make. To get this red raspberry color, dissolve two packets of red Kool-aid in the boiled water/vinegar and add the string into the mixture. Then sprinkle a third packet of red Kool-aid across the top of the string. A lovely raspberry color with slight color variations will appear after your string is dried and rinsed.

Cyan Blue

This blue is bright for a pastel color. I like how fresh it looks on the cotton string. To make this color is really simple. Simply dissolve two packets of blue Kool-aid powder in the boiled water/vinegar and add the cotton string into the mixture, making sure all the string is submerged in the dye bath.

I would love to hear about your experience with dyeing string in this way. I’m looking forward to trying out some more colors and combinations. I’m also sharing my dyed strings in the shop!

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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After sharing how to warp a circular loom, I wanted to share a free weaving pattern with you all! (oh and if you don’t have a circular loom, I have instructions on how to warp an embroidery hoop here!)


Since we will may be using different sized looms, I will tell you how I made my weave but make any needed adjustments for your own weave as needed. For example, if I group six strings, but you’re weaving on less warp threads you may want to group only four or three.

The supplies I used are a black cotton warp thread (that is sold in the shop) and a worsted weight white cotton yarn. See the Shop this Post below for more details. This will be a long post, so let’s jump right in:

step 1| using your white yarn, plain weave (over 1, under 1) six rows around the inside of the circle.

step 2| take your yarn thread and cross over the front of a grouping of warp threads. I brought my thread over the front of 6 warp strings.

step 3| from around the front of the warp threads, pull the yarn around the back and across the front again. Pulling the string tight so it makes a grouping of the warp threads.

step 4| while holding the thread tight with one hand, use your tapestry needle to pull the thread through the back of the weave under the plain stitch row.

step 5| pull tight to secure the thread.

step 6| now continue with the next grouping of warp threads, looping the yarn around and securing through the plain weave row. Repeating until you have grouped all warp threads.

step 7| plain weave six rows. You’ll notice that with your warp threads grouped, the black warp threads make an interesting pattern in your white weft threads.

step 8| in this row we’re going to loop around the warp threads that were further apart due to our first grouping. So in my weave I’m going to loop my white weft thread around starting at the two warp threads on the right side of the gap and going across to the two warp threads on the left side of the gap. Again, while holding the thread tight with one hand, use your tapestry needle to pull the thread through the back of the weave under the plain stitch row. Then pulled tight to secure the thread.

Step 9| after closing the gap with a loop around, I then plain wove between my next four warp threads and did another loop around my next four warp threads at the gap. Continue in this pattern around the row.

step 10| next we’re going to add some accent rows. To do this I cut a long piece of string from my black warp thread spool. I cut it long enough to go around my circle weave five times. This was a little more length then I needed, but it’s better to have a little too much string then not enough.

step 11| I held my black string next to my white weft thread, leaving an extra 2 inches of the black string in the back of my weave, to tuck in later. With the black and white weft threads held together, plain weave three rows.
step 12| In the next row we’ll create our original groupings again. To do this I looped around the same six warp threads as in the first grouping. Then while holding the thread tight with one hand, I used my tapestry needle to pull the thread through the back of the weave under the plain stitch row. Then pulled tight to secure the thread.

step 13| after that row, I separated my black weft string from the white weft string, secured the black string in the back of my weave and trimmed the end.

step 14| using just the white weft thread, I wove three rows of plain weave.

step 15| then, still using the white thread I wove five rows of the twill weave (over 2 under 1). Since the twill weave goes over more warp threads then it goes under, more of the warp threads are hidden by the weft and the woven rows take on a different texture.

step 16| at the end of those five twill weave rows, I secured my white thread in the back of my weave and trimmed the end.

step 17| taking another piece of black thread from the spool, weave one row of plain weave around the last row of white weft thread. This is a really thin row of the black thread, but it gives an interesting pop of definition to the white thread.

step 18| To finish the weave, we’re going to put a boarder around our weave by twining two pieces of the white yarn. To make this boarder, cut two long threads of the white yarn. I cut my threads so that I would have 9.5 inches of hanging thread in both the start and the finish of the yarn, then it took 19 inches to go around my weave. So in total I had two strings that were 38 inches long each. You may have to modify your string lengths depending on the size of your weave.

step 19| taking the two long threads, I tied them together in a knot leaving a 9.5 inch tail. This knot is temporary, so don’t tie it too tight. It will be used as an anchor for twining the threads.

Note: my picture of my anchor knot shows a much shorter tail, but I adjusted it later after I realized I wanted a longer thread to hang down…and of course I forgot to take a picture of the longer thread tail (duh!).

step 20| bring one thread under the first warp thread (we’ll call this thread #1) and the other over the first warp thread (we’ll call it thread #2). You can see how the knot we tied is anchoring the threads around the warp, so that as we do our twining we don’t completely pull our threads out (which I’ve done before, it’s not fun).

step 21| next twist the two threads around each other (the twist will be in between the warp threads), then bring thread #1 over the next warp thread and thread #2 under the next warp thread. Twisting the threads before you move onto the next warp thread is what helps secure them, it also makes the twining effect. If you want more details on twining, check out this post here.

step 22| continue to twist the threads around your warp threads until you reach the warp thread where you started. Next untie your anchor knot and re-tie the beginning threads as a double knot in the front of your warp threads. Then tie a double knot in..

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Guess what? I have added some acrylic circular looms to my shop! You wouldn’t believe how excited about this I am. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that I love to make circular weaves.


Circular weaves are different enough to be a bit of a challenge. I love to take a weaving technique that I’ve used many times with “normal” weaving and apply it to a circular weave and see how the technique looks different or needs to be adjusted to fit the circular warp threads.

So since I’ll have a few circular looms in my shop, I definitely need to share how to warp these looms and get them ready for some fun weaving.

step 1| I tie my warp thread to the loom with a double knot around the loom frame.

step 2| pull the warp thread straight across the loom to the notch on the other side of the frame.

step 3| bring the warp thread behind the notch and then pull around the front. I pulled from the left side of the notch around to the right side.

step 4| pull the warp thread straight across the loom again. You will be passing over the middle and bringing your warp thread to the side notch of where you started. I warp in a clockwise pattern. So the warp threads are crossing over the middle and the “top” warp is moving towards the right, while the “bottom” warp is moving towards the left like clock hands move across the clock.

step 5| repeat this pattern of going around the notches until you have reached the last notch. At this point your warp threads are creating a “U” shape in the middle and there is no empty cross notch to pull the warp thread to.

Step 6| You’ll notice there is an area where your newest warped threads are above your warp threads where you started on the loom. Make a gap between this top layer and the bottom layer. You’ll pass your warp thread through this gap and pull.

Flip your loom over, then bring your warp thread to the middle and pass it in-between, behind, between warp threads again, and back up. Basically you just looped around the middle warp threads once, which helps pull the threads into alignment, but you will notice that some of the threads are making odd gaps still.

step 7| cross the warp thread over the middle again by looping in-between the perpendicular warp threads, again going behind, between again, and back up. If you were to look at the front of the loom you have created a cross or x over the middle of the warp threads and your threads are creating even triangles.

step 8| with the loom’s backside facing you again, take your tapestry needle and begin to pull your warp thread end through the loop you created by crossing over the front. Before pulling the warp tail all the way through circle it back to it’s own loop and pull tight. Next secure the warp thread by tying it in a knot on the back of the warp thread. Trim the thread so that you have a little bit to tuck into the weave back later.

The warp threads are now secure on your loom and you’re ready to weave!!

Let me know about your experience with circular weaving. Have you had any issues when circular weaving? Do you enjoy it as much as I do? I love hearing from you guys.

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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I’ve did a little more dyeing of my cotton string and I love how it turned out. I made some really cute spring colors (yep I have Spring on the brain!).  So today I’m going to share my “recipes” to get these colors.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same results, but it’s fun to experiment with and this will get those who want to try it started. Oh and also I should note, if you try these with a wool or other protein-based fiber the colors will be picked up much darker! This is for dyeing cotton which really rinses out when dyeing with Kool-aid.


Before I start explaining how I made these colors, let’s start with my dyeing process. Here are some basic steps, but you can find more details in my cotton dyeing post:

  • Rubber-band some pieces of your cotton string, this helps slow how the color is absorbed into your string and makes for interesting color transitions. If you want your string to be all one color, then skip this step.
  • Make a vinegar/water mixture. I mixed 6 cups of water and 2 cups of vinegar then placed my string in the liquid to soak until it was damp through-out.
  • Remove your damp string & boil the vinegar/water mixture.
  • Pour your Kool-aid powder into a baking dish and dissolve the powder by pouring the boiled mixture over it. Mix the powder with a spoon until completely dissolved then add your damp string.
  • Sprinkle more Kool-aid powder on top and let the string soak for a few hours.
  • Remove the string, drain the mixture then hang the string to dry with the baking dish under it to catch the liquid that will drip.
  • Let the string dry over night then rinse the next day until excess color is gone.
  • Dry the string completely on the dry rack.

One of the colors I really wanted to dye was a lavender. I got kind of close, but it turned out more of a old rose pink. I’m not disappointed. To get this color, I dissolved three packets of purple Kool-aid in the boiled vinegar/water. After I placed my string in the mixture, I then sprinkled one more packet of purple Kool-aid on top. You can that there are some blue spots in the string, this is where I had the rubber-bands placed. I thought it was interesting that the rubber-band made the string grab the color as blue while the rest of the string came out more of a purple-pink.

Another color I dyed was a peachy-pink. My goal with this string was to get a peach color and I think I got pretty close. For this color I dissolved three packets of peach Kool-aid, put my string in and then sprinkled red Kool-aid across the top. In this string, the spots where I had the rubber-band came out yellowish. Some parts look peachy-pink and a few parts came out very peachy. I like how the color changed in this string.

The very first colored string I made came out as a light denim blue with pops of green. To make this color I dissolved three packets of blue Kool-aid, added the string and then sprinkled some green powder on top of one part and some yellow powder on top of another part. As I talked about in the last post, the yellow didn’t seem to show up directly in the string, but I think it did tint the color a bit. This dye also came out with a lot of nice color changes.

My fourth try at dyeing cotton string came out much more blended. I used the same process of rubber-banding the string and sprinkling color on top, but the colors blending through-out the string. It came out to a pretty spring green. To make this color I dissolved three packets of green Kool-aid, added the string and then sprinkled blue powder on top. I thought the blue would pick up more in the string, but it didn’t seem to, although it might have resulted in a stronger green color then I would have gotten if I had just used the green Kool-aid? I would have to experiment more to really know. Either way this green turned out really pretty.

Have you dyed any cotton string in a similar way? Did you get surprising results? I would love to know if anyone tries a “recipe”, please let me know how it turns out if you do give it a try.

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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I previously posted about dip dyeing some cotton string. I used Kool-aid to dye the string and if you remember the outcome was much different then when I had dyed wool with Kool-aid. Thanks to experienced fiber dyers they explained that Kool-aid is an acid dye, which works on protein based fibers (wool and such) but not on plant based fibers (my cotton).


I’m so happy when others share their knowledge and experience, it helps me learn a lot quicker!

And with that said, I know dyeing cotton with Kool-aid doesn’t hold color well, but it makes such a pretty pastel…so I dyed some more. I just get a kick out of seeing the colors fade out and am actually surprised by the end results.

Before experimenting with dyeing, I rubber-banded some spots in my string skein. I did this to make some areas where the string didn’t take up the dye as directly as other places in the string. I then soaked my string in a mixture of 6 cups of water and 2 cups of vinegar. I left it in there until I felt that the string was wet enough. I then poured the liquid mixture into a pot and brought it to a boil, which I used with the Kool-aid to dye the string.

One of my cotton Kool-aid dyeing experiences, I used three packs of blue Kool-aid and mixed it in my boiling hot water/vinegar. I put my cotton string in the mixture and then sprinkled a packet of green Kool-aid over part of the string and a packet of yellow Kool-aid over a different part.

This picture of the mixture is pretty blurry due to the steam coming off the hot water. But as you can see the dyeing colors don’t look too pretty.

I let the string sit in this mixture for a while and then additional green and yellow colors dissolved into the hot water a bit as time went on. After maybe an hour, I drained the dye water and hung my string (with the rubber bands still on) on a clothes drying rack with the empty dyeing dish under it to catch any drips of liquid (which there is a good amount of). I let the string dry like this over night. Drying the string in this way really spreads the dye through-out, causing the colors to blend.

In the morning the string was still damp and I took it to the sink to rinse. I rinsed it by running some water over it and then putting it the dyeing dish again with more water. I let it soak in the water for a while. More color came out of the string and filled the dish. I drained the dish then removed the rubber bands and rinsed the string again and hung it from the drying rack for a second time. This time on the rack I separated the strings a bit more so they would actually dry. Through out the day I moved the strings so that each part would have a chance to dry better. I had tied my cotton string with some yarn in two spots to keep the string in an circle so that it wouldn’t tangle while I was dyeing and moving the string around. As the string was drying I un-tied and then re-tied these two yarns in different spots so that all the areas of the string could be spaced out to dry well.

By the end of the day my string was well dried and had a great pastel color, and way different then what the dye bath looked like. It turned out to be a pastel blue with some spots of a pastel green. I didn’t see too much yellow in the string, which I’m not too surprised. I’m sure the blue took over where ever the yellow had been, but it probably tinted the blue a little and made the color slightly more interesting.

After this, I also tried dyeing with some peach, red, and yellow Kool-aid in a similar process and ended up with a really pretty dyed string. Dyeing cotton with Kool-aid is not recommended, but I did find it fun to see what would happen to my colors as they mostly washed out. I’ll have to add dyeing cotton the proper way to my list of things to try.

Happy Weaving!

Kate

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