Sunday, 25 December 2016

How to Weave Mug Rugs


My love of the simple yet versatile rigid heddle loom just grows and grows. So when I saw a wee facebook post with a picture of some woven coasters I thought 'me too!'.  how could I have forgotten about making these?

So resolutions about completing UFOs in time for Christmas were abandoned.  I teach rigid heddle weaving a lot.  Twice a month or more and all levels.  So there are often bits of leftover warp. They are saved but not often used up.

So mug rugs help on two fronts:
1. By weaving mug rugs with the remaining warp it is not wasted.
2. Any bits that are cut off can be used for the weft, or actual weaving.

So all those loom leftovers (thrums) plus the ends from knitting projects and the bits of yarn people leave on my spinning wheels after spinning courses are incorporated into these coasters.  They tell a story!

How To Make Them
Use a 7.5 dent heddle ( 7.5 slots and holes to the inch/2.5cm.  If using leftover warp from a project that used a different sized heddle, replace the heddle and simply re-thread. I don't get too fussy about this project, it is just a bit of fun.

If the previous warp was wider, more than one rug can be woven at the same time.
Leave a few warps un threaded between each one and just throw them over the back of the loom.  10cm/4" sqaure is a good size for the coasters.  I hemstitched at the beginning and end.   Visist the Create With Fibre Community Facebook group to see my vidoe on hemstitching.

With a narrow project like this, there is no need to bother with shuttles.  Simply wind small amounts round your hand or work with smallish balls of yarn without even doing that.

To change colour, overlap the old with the new in the centre not at the edge as usual.
It took 2 hours to weave and hem stitch 6 coasters.




Sunday, 18 December 2016

A Crocheted Jacket to go with the Skirt



A Crocheted Jacket to go with skirt.
Finally!  Having handspun yarn for a skirt, I was thrilled with the handwoven, simple, above-the-knee skirt.  The yarn was spun from Hebridean fleece carded with all the leftover coloured bits from the workshops I teach.  There was not enough of the yarn left to crochet a jacket to go with it.  So having raked through my stash, I combined that yarn with some grey handspun alpaca and a commercially carded and handspun black Shetland/alpaca mix.  That yarn had been hanging about for a while, so it was a good plan.

Making the Jacket
The jacket was created by crocheted a chain long enough to go round my hips.  Then working UK double crochet (that’s single crochet if you are in the USA) one row of each colour in turn.  At the armholes I split it and crocheted the fronts then the back.  Joined the shoulders and went back to crochet the sleeves in the round , directly onto the garment. 

A tip for crocheted the sleeves of a garment without a pattern.
To make sure I got the two sleeves the same, not only did I write down what I did, but also crocheted the shaped part of one sleeve, then the shaped part of the other before finishing the bottom, straight section.  Just in case I put the project down for a while and forgot what to do.  It is of course possible to compare the two, but easy to end up one stitch out and end up with them different sizes.

Finishing
The jacket was finished by crocheting a wide band up the front in the grey alpaca.  Button holes were made a couple of rows from the finished edge. And then, a row of double crochet and one of crab stitch up the front, around the bottom edge and the sleeves.

Buttons
The buttons were made from some of the left over skirt fabric, and bring the outfit together nicely.  Button blanks 15mm size were bought on Amazon but you can do this round any button with a stem. 

Cut a circle somewhat wider than the button.  If using handwoven fabric, you may want to add an iron on backing to the fabric.  The one I used is a cotton one.  Stitch a running thread round the edge of the circle, then gather the stitching firmly around the stem of the button.   Phots are below so just scroll down a bit if you don't see them.

The Create With Fibre Community - our Facebook group - has lots of tips, chat and sharing.  Why not join us?

AND if you sign up for our newsletter you will get a free copy of Janet's article on sorting and washing fleece.