spotted on ravelry

Spotted on Ravelry – 001

As many of you already know ‘Spotted On Ravelry‘ was a popular feature in our skacel Magalog for 5 years. Now that we’ve retired our Magalog, we can continue this on-going segment here on our Blog and with more frequency than twice a year!

The beauty of hosting this online as opposed to printed text is it’s now easier than ever to find the patterns we feature with ‘Bundles’ on Ravelry for quick reference!

“Free The Feet” – 5 Fun Sock Designs

1. Resolutions Sock Trio by The Chilly Dog

This knitting pattern is a little unconventional because it is for a “mismatched” sock trio instead of a matching pair. If you prefer, you could choose your favorite color combo and make two matching socks.

Featured Yarn:

HiKoo® CoBaSi 

This pattern is available for $5.00 USDbuy it now

2. Spring Violet Socks by The Chilly Dog

“This knitting pattern will knock your socks off! These short ankle socks incorporate a traditional Scandinavian knitting technique known as twining, to create an unusual texture using two colors of yarn.”

Featured Yarn:

HiKoo® CoBaSi 

This pattern is available for $5.00 USD buy it now

3. Elliott Polka Dot Socks by James Cox

“The color combinations are a nod to classic preppy designs, and the polka dots are surely reminiscent of Brooks Brothers. All of this is incorporated into a sock that will give the sharp dresser a little touch of interest at the ankle and the knitter an interesting project.”

Featured Yarn:

HiKoo® CoBaSi 

For more information, see: http://jamescoxknits.com

“Sock Science Too offers 2 styles of sock: Summer Sockies begin with a garter stitch ankle (which can be striped) with striping ideas for the heel and foot; Mock Cable Socks are worked in a solid colour. They have a longer leg with a textured pattern that can also continue down the top of the foot.”

Featured Yarn:

HiKoo® CoBaSi 

This pattern is available for $5.00 USD buy it now

5. Jacque’s Flip Flop Socks by The Chilly Dog

“Socks and sandals? Why not? These cute socks, made especially for my friend, Jacque, were designed to wear with your favorite flip flops.

A twist on traditional yoga socks, this sock pattern includes a Shadow Wrapped, short row heel, and is the same whether worked from the leg down or the toe up.”

Featured Yarn:

HiKoo® CoBaSi  & CoBaSi Tonal

This pattern is available for $5.00 USD buy it now

To see all of the patterns featured in this article, click here!

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The Yarn Shop of the Future

The sense of community a local yarn shop can build is powerful. There is something very comfortable about sitting around with fellow knitters and fiber enthusiasts – talking, laughing, creating, helping one another, and having fun.  The fiber-based friendships that form at yarn shops truly cannot be replicated elsewhere.

fiber-art-work-huntsville
Knit nights are fun and very popular at Fiber Artwork in Huntsville, Alabama.



In the world today, technology is progressing at a faster pace than ever before, creating enhanced experiences online.  We now watch how-to videos on our laptops, we shop from bed at midnight on our tablets, and we have apps on our phones that tell us how many stitches to cast on.  While more and more parts of our lives now involve technology, it only makes sense that fiber enthusiasts would engage in more and more fiber experiences and transactions online.

As a result, the number of online yarn suppliers continues to grow, and more and more websites are competing for your business.  The easiest way for most sites to compete is by discounting, not by providing extra services.  This has created a culture where many people feel cheated if they find they paid more in a store than someone else paid online for the same product.

mosaic-yarn-studio-mount-prospect
Taking classes is a great way to learn new skills while supporting your LYS. These students are leaning about color in a class at Mosaic Yarn Studio in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

So should you shop at your local yarn shop or should you shop online?  Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding where to shop.

We want to keep local yarn shops in business!  We don’t want them to disappear like many local book stores have.  The only way to keep the doors of your local yarn shop open is to support them!  This is done not by simply visiting them, but by purchasing yarns, needles, notions, classes, and other products from them.  So if you see a yarn you like in a shop – buy it!  That shop has invested in bringing that yarn into their shop so you can physically see and touch it.  If you want them to continue bringing in new yarns and products, buy locally. Do you regularly attend knit nights at your favorite yarn shop or do you go to your local shop for pattern help and/or color advice?  If you do, then support them so they will be there to support you when you need it.

cowgirl-yarn
Yarn shop employees, like those at Cowgirl Yarns in Laramie, Wyoming, are a great resource when deciding on the perfect yarn and/or color(s) for a project.

At the same time, we want to keep our online options available, as many Americans do not have the luxury of living in close proximity to a fine fiber arts shop.  The internet gives many people the opportunity to purchase the same fabulous yarns, tools and patterns that are available locally to others. Without online shops, a lot of fiber enthusiasts would be left with nothing more than a few options available at a big box crafting chain store.  So if your favorite internet shop sends you an email featuring a great new product that interests you, buy it!  Online shops invest in products as well, and their marketing campaigns take time and money.  They are trying to earn your business, and if they succeed, it is a win for both of you.

While the choice of where you spend your fiber dollars is ultimately up to you, remember to respect the retailer with whom you are doing business.  If we all do this, we will be able to continue making friends at yarn shop knit nights, while still having the opportunity to shop online in bed at midnight.

the-yarn-studio-casey
Most yarn shops welcome knitters to hang out, knit and socialize, as these ladies are at The Yarn Studio in Casey, Illinois.

 

Testimonies from Local Yarn Stores Throughout the Country

“The local yarn shop is a place where knitters, crocheters, and other fiber fanatics can be inspired by their craft and share their talents with others. We love to inspire people to try new things and help them learn new skills.  We love to help people feel welcome and meet other like-minded people in the community.”

Great Yarns – Raleigh, North Carolina

 

“In a state where the population is spread out over mountain ranges and rolling plains, having a special place like Cowgirl Yarn gives fiber people from around the area a place to gather, share ideas, and create gorgeous things together.”

Cowgirl Yarn – Laramie, Wyoming

 

“The LYS is important because it is where local crafters can gather to find the latest fibers, styles, and projects while connecting with other like-minded souls.”

 –Nikki’s Knots – Woodland Park, Colorado

 

“You come in for yarn and leave with friendships.”

Fiber Artwork – Huntsville, Alabama

 

“Local yarn shops are important because they offer real-time help, inspiration, and community.”

Mosaic Yarn Studio – Mount Prospect, Illinois

 

“The Yarn Studio is a place that empowers people to knit with confidence and skill!”

The Yarn Studio – Casey, Illinois

 

Uncategorized

Blocking: A Cautionary Tale

missoni-kenzie05Laundry Day!

Step 1: Sort by color.
Step 2: Wash by color.

Step 3: Never wash red with anything else!


After all, you wouldn’t wash your new indigo jeans with a white shirt…right?

These are all steps we know about washing our clothes, but don’t always remember for our hand-made pieces.

With the popularity of multi-colored patterns, you’ll want to use the same caution when using light and dark (and reds!) in the same piece.

Even popular Wool Washes know their products could pull the color out of your yarn, causing bleeding on your freshly bound off masterpiece.
We took screen shots from two popular Wool Wash websites warning of the potential for bleeding when using their products (click to enlarge):

 

wool-wash-warnings

 

How to avoid heartbreak:


1) If wet blocking, test a small piece that won’t be noticeable before soaking the whole garment. 


2) Immerse your multi-colored project in only cold water with a little salt and vinegar, to help ensure colorfastness.


3) Steam block! This is always a safe option for projects made with light/dark/and(or)red yarns all in one piece. 

Uncategorized

Fridays with Franklin

fwf-logo-v1The Adventure of the Warp with Two Brains: Part Four

For an introduction to what goes on in this column,  click here.

For the first part of this adventure, and to find out who the heck Mary and Sylvia are, click here.

 

You’ve seen the fabrics I created for Mary and for Sylvia, and you’ve seen how they were made. You haven’t yet seen what happened once those fabrics came off the loom.

Spaced Out

This was my first shot at two projects on a single warp, so as part of my project planning, I checked out different ways to deal with the transition from one to the next.

I chose the one that seemed easiest: I cut a piece of typing paper to twice the desired depth of my fringe–a number I’d worked out as part of my warp calculations–and slipped it into the warp when Mary’s fabric was finished.

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When the whole megillah came off the loom, here’s what I was left with between scarf one and scarf two.

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All I had to do was slice that unwoven passage right down the center and blammo, two scarves, plus fringe.

Except I hadn’t left enough space.

The unwoven stretch was exactly, precisely, beautifully twice the desired length of my finished fringe. My finished fringe. Finished after knotting.

Knotting requires extra yarn. Moreover, this fringe was so short that no amount of sweating, swearing, wishing, and hoping would allow even my doll-like fingers to tie it up.

I gave up and went to bed, hoping that perhaps tiny mice might come in the night and take care of it for me. I even left my copy of The Tailor of Gloucester on the work table as a hint.

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And the next morning, as if by magic…

Nothing.

Stupid mice.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Okay, fine. No fringe. If no fringe, then what? Throw it all out and start over? I won’t pretend the thought didn’t cross my mind.

After about an hour of Cookie-Assisted Meditation (CAT), I settled on the idea of making both lengths into what these days are commonly called “infinity scarves”–closed loops of material, usually long enough to be doubled around the neck. If I sewed the ends together, I wouldn’t need fringe.

But I’d still need to secure those cut selvedges, or the fabric would unravel in finishing. That was the first order of business.

In weaving, there’s a popular alternative to knotted fringe called hemstitching. Now, hemstitching tutorials always tell you to that you must do it while the fabric is still on the loom. As my fabric was lying in a forlorn heap on the work table, that ship had sailed.

However, I realized after reading through a bunch of different accounts that hemstitching is closely related to one of the first hand sewing stitches I’d ever learned–blanket stitch, which is a sibling of buttonhole stitch. Both blanket and buttonhole stitch share a common purpose: they keep cut edges from unraveling.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Here’s how blanket stitch works, in two steps. Really, there’s no difference between Step One and Step Two except that the former begins by tacking the sewing thread to the fabric. (Tacking is taking a series of very small stitches all in one place. It’s preferable to a knot–far more secure.)

You’ll notice I worked from left to right, which is the usual direction. If you are left-handed, you will probably want to work from right to left.

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When I was finished–it didn’t even take that long*–I had a reasonably secure selvedge,

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and a quick but careful pass with my rotary cutter reduced the ends to a minimum.

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I did this on both cut edges of both scarves. This gave me fabric stable enough to wet finish (soaked and agitated in hot, soapy water in the sink; rinsed; and pressed flat with an iron through a cloth to dry).

I pressed “Sylvia” gently, from the flat side, on top of two layers of fluffy towels, which helped to avoid flattening the loop pile too much.

Closing the Loop

To sew the long rectangle into a loop, I wanted a seam that would be as strong and as unobtrusive as possible. I also wanted those cut selvedges to be protected from abrasion.

There are a few seams that will do this; I chose the one that seemed the best bet for working by hand* with this fabric: the flat felled seam.

Step One

The first step in our flat felled seam is to align the ends of the scarf as you’ll see below: wrong sides together, with the selvedge of the end closer to you one half-inch below the selvedge of the other end. Pin your ends in place.

Sew yourself a nice, strong seam (I used backstitch) just below the selvedge on top, and press your seam** with an iron.

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Step Two

Fold that back selvedge–the one sticking up–towards you and down so it meets the lower selvedge. Now you’ll have a folded flap 1/4 of an inch high. Press** this fold.

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Step Three

Fold that flap down again (it will now be resting on the surface of the scarf) and use back stitch quite close to the folded edge to sew the flap down. Press** the seam.

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What you end up with is a strong, small and (how delightful) reversible seam that encloses both selvedges completely.

My seams weren’t absolutely perfect, but you know what? I think they look pretty presentable.

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Action Shots

And now, a moment of unadulterated honesty.

I sat looking at the finished pieces

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and thinking that I still, after all this work, didn’t like “Sylvia.” Of course, Sylvia liked “Sylvia,” but I thought it looked…weird. And not fun weird, just weird. That’s not a nice feeling.

Sylvia stopped by in the afternoon on the way to her Esperanto poetry workshop for a fitting. I had her put on “Mary,” first.

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“I’ll take this one, for sure,” she said, stroking it the appreciatively.

“That’s spoken for,” I said. “But this one has your name on it.”

She tried it on, and I’ll be darned…

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That’s what it needed. A person inside it. Looped and draped, the fabric came roaring to life–and frankly, was a little more interesting than “Mary.” A complete reversal of opinion on my part. The scarf I’d hated became the scarf I preferred.

There’s a little lesson in there, I suppose. Knowing your own taste is very good. But allowing yourself to experiment and be surprised is even better.

We start a new adventure–a knitting adventure–in two weeks…

fwf-18-14
The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

*If you’re wondering about options for securing the selvedge with a machine stitch, there are many. Many weavers like a zigzag or short straight stitch. However, I prefer to work by hand when it’s practical; and a lot of you who are reading this don’t have access to a sewing machine. Always keep in mind–what’s done by machine now was done by hand for centuries. The machine may be a marvelous convenience, but the hands are no less useful for all that. Don’t let the lack of a machine stop you from doing anything.

**Perhaps you are wondering if you really, really must press the seams. Not at all. If you would like to end up doing twice the work with twice the trouble for results half as satisfactory, you may skip the pressing.

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

Zitron Trekking (75% New Wool, 25% Nylon; 3.5 oz/100g per 459 yds/420m). Colors: 210 (Buff) and 240 (Red).

Schacht Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom (15 inch) with optional 12-dent reed, by Schacht Spindle Company

11-inch Slim Closed-Bottom Boat Shuttle by Schacht Spindle Company

The Women (1939). For information on sources, visit the official IMDB page .

About Franklin Habit

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His new book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book has just been brought out by Soho Publishing.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, Squam Arts Workshops, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Knitty.com, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.

Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, two looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.

Fridays with Franklin

Fridays with Franklin

fwf-logo-v1The Adventure of the Warp with Two Brains: Part Three

 For an introduction to what goes on in this column,  click here.

For the first part of this adventure, and to find out who the heck Mary and Sylvia are, click here .

 

Of the two scarves, Sylvia’s was the tougher nut to crack. Her taste is miles from mine. Though I love the way she puts herself together, the individual pieces themselves usually leave me, at best, puzzled.

“What is this?” I’ll say, picking up one of what appears to be (maybe?) a collection of vintage teething rings from her dresser.

She, fluffing her hair in the adjacent bathroom, peeks out and says, “Oh, yeah! Aren’t those great? I found them at a plumbing supply place that was going out of business.”

“Are they…for plumbing?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t ask. I’m going to pile them on like a bunch of bangle bracelets.”

So she does, and I silently swear she has really gone too far this time. Then I spend the rest of the evening listening to people scream compliments at her amazingly cool choice of bracelets.

It makes you feel stuffy and hidebound for not thinking to trim your spring hat with a U-bend and a couple of old faucets.

Something for Sylvia

My challenge was to weave something on the Trekking warp that would play well in the sartorial Halloween fun-house that is my friend Sylvia’s wardrobe.

Sylvia Fowler, of course, is the kookiest dresser of all the women in The Women,

fwf-17-01
The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

but not because her clothes are wildly eccentric. They’re not. But they do take risks that set her apart as someone who likes to be noticed. Insists upon being noticed.

In a world full of tall hats, Sylvia’s are the tallest.

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The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

Also the fluffiest, the flounciest, the fruitiest.

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The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

When I imagined Sylvia’s scarf, I figured it had to somehow call attention to itself through texture. But how, exactly?

Testing the Ground

When I sampled for the color-and-weave portion of Sylvia (if you don’t know what color-and-weave is, do see the last installment) something happened that almost never happens.

I liked the first thing I tried.

My starting point, of course, was the “two red, two buff” warp that formed the basis of Mary’s houndstooth. I knew by changing the order of the colors in the weft, I could get a bunch of different fabrics.

Thinking to start simple, I wove a few inches with nothing but buff.

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That was it. You know it when you see it, and I saw it. The little dotty stripes reminded me of one of my favorite Sylvia costumes–the pinstriped dress she wears to the fashion show.

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The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

This fabric, I realized, could serve as a simple foil for some really eye-catching textural effect–much as the relative restraint of Sylvia’s dress allows her to go completely cuckoo with that flouncy headgear and still appear elegant.

Flouncing

What kind of textural effect?

There was a technique I had been wanting to try out, which I’d seen written up in any number of books and Web sites, for a loop pile weave.

There are quite a few ways of getting loop pile. This method was supposed to be easy and relatively quick, but not suitable for fabrics liable to be tugged and pulled a great deal.

I sent Sylvia a text.

ME: DO YOU TUG AND PULL AT YOUR CLOTHES A LOT?

SYL: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

I decided that was a “no.”

Simple Loop Pile Weave

So here’s what you do.

Step 1. Throw a pick with your pile color (in my case, red). Keep it nice and loose, and do not beat it or change the shed.

Step 2. Get yourself a knitting needle, a wooden dowel, a long pencil–something of a cylindrical nature, in other words. The bigger around it is, the bigger your loops will be, and it needs to be a longer than your weaving is wide. I used an eight-inch US 11 (8 mm) addi® FlipStix™ double-pointed needle, which proved ideal.

Reach between the first two raised strands of the warp with your fingers and pull up a loop of your weft pick. Place this loop over the knitting needle (or whatever).

Repeat this step, making a loop for every pair of raised warp threads in the shed. It’ll look something like this.

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Step 3. Without removing the knitting needle (or whatever), beat. You won’t be able to beat completely, of course; just do what you can.

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Step 4. Gently remove the knitting needle (or whatever) and beat again, firmly.

Step 5. Change shed and throw a plain pick (in this scarf, that’s another pick of red).  Beat firmly. Because this type of loop pile isn’t perfectly stable, this plain pick between all looped picks is vital. Without it, your fabric will just sort of fall apart.

Repeat from Step 1 if you want to make another row of loops.

Well…

Off I went, working two inches of color-and-weave (using the buff only, but carrying the unused red yarn up the right selvedge all the while).

Then, four picks in red: a looped pick, a plain pick, another looped pick, another plain pick.

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That was my repeat, ending the scarf with two inches of color-and-weave.

The fabric certainly didn’t look like anything I’d made before.

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It was so different, I didn’t know if I liked it or not. I honestly could not tell.

So I sent a picture of it to Sylvia in a text message.

ME: WOULD YOU WEAR THIS?

SYL: YES. LOVE IT. WHEN CAN I PICK UP.

ME: IT’S STILL ON THE LOOM.

SYL: GET YOUR [REDACTED] IN GEAR. I KNOW WHAT I WANT TO PAIR IT WITH. BY NEXT THURSDAY WOULD BE NICE. KISSES.

fwf-17-victory-bunny

Or…is it?

Because in two weeks, we have to talk about the finishing.

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

Zitron Trekking (75% New Wool, 25% Nylon; 3.5 oz/100g per 459 yds/420m). Colors: 210 (Buff) and 240 (Red).

Schacht Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom (15 inch) with optional 12-dent reed, by Schacht Spindle Company

11-inch Slim Closed-Bottom Boat Shuttle by Schacht Spindle Company

addi® FlipStix™ 8-inch double-pointed knitting needle, size US 11 (8mm)

The Women (1939). For information on sources, visit the official IMDB page.

About Franklin Habit

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His newest work, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book has just been published by Soho Publishing.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, Squam Arts Workshops, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.

He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Knitty.com, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, two looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.

Fridays with Franklin

Fridays with Franklin

fwf-logo-v1The Adventure of the Warp with Two Brains: Part Two

For an introduction to what goes on in this column,  click here

For the first part of this adventure, and to find out who the heck Mary and Sylvia are, click here.

 

Lots of weave structures could be used to produce two different scarves on one warp, but I wanted to play with an effect called color-and-weave.

Simply put, color-and-weave means a pattern that emerges because of a combination of light and dark threads alternating in a particular order in the warp and in the weft. Make sense? No? Don’t worry. We’ll go deeper into that in a bit.

Something for Mary

One of the most famous varieties of color-and-weave happens to be a fabric I’ve always wanted to make, and a fabric eminently suited (no pun intended) for our first recipient, Mary.

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The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

We noted last time that Mary’s style is simple and tailored, frequently influenced by menswear. A classic menswear fabric might make the perfect scarf for her; and in her first scene, one appears. Not on Mary, but on her daughter–the uncreatively named Little Mary.

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The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

Little Mary was played by Virginia Weidler, who had an absolutely inexplicable career as a child actress in the 1930s and 40s. She is the only person in the cast who turns in a more wooden performance than Norma Shearer, which perhaps makes her presence somewhat more explicable.

Little Mary’s riding coat is made of houndstooth…

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The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

…more specifically, of the small variation of houndstooth that is sometimes called puppytooth.

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How to Make Houndstooth: Choosing Colors

When I first tip-toed into weaving, I got very fizzy and bubbly when I found out a legendary pattern like this was, in fact, simple enough to be readily made by a beginner. Here’s how it works.

First, we pick colors. I chose Zitron Trekking in color 240 (Red) and color 210 (Buff) for two reasons.

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Reason One: I really wanted the pattern to pop, which meant I needed my colors to have high value contrast. One needed to be very dark in value, the other very light. To see if the difference was strong enough, I looked at the yarns using the black-and-white setting on my camera. For a bold look, they need to appear distinctly different. The greater the difference, the more legible the pattern.

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Yup. That’ll work.

Reason Two: That luscious red reminded me of reds as they showed up in glorious Technicolor, and even though The Women is in black and white (except for the famous fashion show sequence), the entire plot is set in motion by a shade of nail polish called Jungle Red.

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The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

How to Make Houndstooth: The Warp

To get a balanced weave* with a fingering weight yarn like Trekking, I needed to outfit my Schacht Cricket rigid heddle loom with a 12-dent reed; it allows the strands of the warp to sit closer together than the 8-dent reed that comes with the loom when you buy it.

The warp plan itself? Ridiculously simple: two red strands, two buff strands. Repeat. That’s it.

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Mind you, for two scarves on one warp, my warp had to be very long. And this time, I did my advance calculations like a good boy to figure out how long.

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The length I needed just barely fit into the longest room available to me. Any longer, and I wouldn’t have been able to use the direct warping method – which would have been fine, but that’s another column.

I did a lot of walking that morning.

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It’s probably a good thing I don’t have cats.

How to Make Houndstooth: The Weft

Once your warp is in place, you weave the colors in the same order they appear in the warp: two picks (passes) with the red, two picks with the buff.  Repeat.

The structure of my fabric is plain weave–the warp goes over one thread, under the next–which on my Cricket loom means simply moving the heddle up and down, up and down.

It seems like there ought to be more to it, but there isn’t. *Over and back with the red, over and back with the buff. Repeat from *.

When changing colors at the right selvedge, I kept things neat by always picking up the new color under the old color–rather like carrying yarns up the side of a piece of striped knitting. In the photograph below of an early sample for the scarves (yes, I sampled!) the buff (which is in use) is catching the red (which is not).

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A small detail, but in weaving as in all things, little details can make a big difference.

For this project, I graduated to a pair of Schacht 11-inch slim open-bottom boat shuttles, which worked beautifully with the Cricket. You could absolutely do this weaving with the same stick shuttles I used here, but boat shuttles are smoother and faster. Note that they carry the yarn on bobbins–so if you decide to use them you’ll also need a bobbin winder.

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And look! Look!

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You know those moments in your life when you’re excited to try something new, but you really worry it won’t work, and then it does work? And you can’t believe you did it? This was one of those moments.

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How Long Is Long Enough?

Since I needed to get two scarves out of this warp, for the first time I couldn’t blithely weave to the end and then call it quits. I had to make sure Mary’s scarf was long enough, but not too long.

There are many methods for doing that, but the one I chose was simply to place a stitch marker (I like the safety pin or locking ring types–they’re readily available from good yarn shops) in the right-hand selvedge every six inches. At any time, to figure out how much you’ve woven you count your markers.

fwf-16-15a

Coming Up…

In two weeks, we’ll look at the weaving of Sylvia’s scarf.

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The Women © 1939 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

She doesn’t like waiting, but she’ll just have to deal with it.

*A balanced weave has the same number of threads per inch in the warp and in the weft.

 

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

Zitron Trekking (75% New Wool, 25% Nylon; 3.5 oz/100g per 459 yds/420m). Colors: 210 (Buff) and 240 (Red).

Schacht Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom (15 inch) with optional 12-dent reed, by Schacht Spindle Company

11-inch Slim Open-Bottom Boat Shuttle by Schacht Spindle Company

The Women (1939). For information on sources, visit the official IMDB page. Yes, there was a remake in 2008, but please don’t ever bring that up in front of me again.

About Franklin Habit

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His next book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book will be published by Soho Publishing in June 2016.

He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Knitty.com, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, Squam Arts Workshops, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.

Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, two looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.