weaving

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I started weaving in 2017 and I have an 8 shaft 70cm Louet Jane table loom (bought from Weftblown) and am an exploring learner. My weaving can also be found on my Ravelry project page


Rare Breed wall hanging

In January Dundee's Fun A Day project runs, encouraging people to do/make/create something fun a day and document it in some way. This year I wove, on a pin loom, squares using the wool from the 25 breeds of British sheep listed as rare by the Rare Breed Survival Trust 2019/20. Some were readily available from stores like Blacker Yarns, some from small producers, some hand spun, some machine spun, some I ended up sourcing the raw fleece from individual shepherds. It was delightful to work with so many different breeds and see, feel, and smell, the difference between them. 

For display purposes I then wove, on my Louet Jane, a backcloth with a warp of North Ronaldsay and weft of the same rare breeds. The individual breeds and their sources can be found in an adjacent text box. The total length of the project is 2.5 m. 

Finished July 2020
18th October 2020

Breeds (in order of rarity, rarest first, as per RBST watchlist 2019/20) and links to suppliers I used. 

  1. Boreray: Blacker Yarns
  2. Leicester Longwool: Garthenor
  3. Lincoln Longwool: Jennie Howes skybluepink-designs (hand spun)
  4. North Ronaldsay: The Woolshed, Evie and North Ronaldsay Mill
  5. Whitefaced Woodland: Bluebell Yarns
  6. Welsh Mountain Pedigree: Patchwork Sheep (raw)
  7. Balwen: Black Bat 
  8. Border Leicester: Doulton Border Leicesters 
  9. Castlemilk Moorit: Blacker Yarns
  10. Cotswold: Totally Cotswold Knitwear
  11. Derbyshire Gritstone: Brasson Gritstones 
  12. Devon & Cornwall Longwool: Spindle & Skein (hand spun) 
  13. Hill Radnor: Blacker Yarns
  14. Manx Loaghtan: Ardalanish Mill
  15. Portland: Armscote Manor
  16. Soay: Severn Gorge Countryside Trust
  17. Teeswater: Bluebell Yarns
  18. Wensleydale: Wensleydale Longwool
  19. Devon Closewool: Blacker Yarns
  20. Dorset Down: TJ Frog
  21. Dorset Down: TJ Frog
  22. Greyface Dartmoor: Marie Redding Arts (raw)
  23. Llanwenog: Garthenor
  24. Norfolk Horn: Blacker Yarns
  25. Oxford Down: Blacker Yarns


Remembrance Blanket

This was a blanket woven as a gift in remembrance of the son of friends, lost last year. When I heard of his death I wanted to make them something to wrap themselves in which would speak of their son. For privacy there are details I am omitting. The son loved the outdoors, especially the highlands and islands. He also loved animals and had a small flock of sheep. I wove with a warp of Harris tweed wool which I had been gifted direct from Tarbert and a weft of hebridean and cheviot wool dyed in colours of the western isles, particularly Berneray,  produced by The Birlinn Yarn Co. I also added some gorse yellow from Jamieson and Smith. The warp was threaded in a selection of twill patterns and the weft was picked randomly in patterns which would change the overall pattern and texture, at the same time as using different colours of the dyed and natural wool. The final outcome of the weaving was a long cloth which was cut into three pieces, one for each sibling, each similar but different, the same warp threads but different combinations of colours and textures, as siblings are. I sewed the three sections together by hand with visible stitching to symbolise the siblings held together and then hand knitted an í-cord edging in the reef blue to represent the family bound together. The knitting was also a reference to the bible verse, 'you knit me together in my mother's womb'. 

This was a love offering, finished in March 2020. 

18th October 2020


Skye Range
These cowls are made using natural dark hebridean wool from Croft 29 on Skye as the warp and naturally dyed Shetland and Blue Faced Leicester by Shilasdair Yarns, who are based a short distance away from Croft 29 on Skye. The beautiful natural shades are shown off against the dark hebridean with an undulating twill. The ends of these beautiful cowls are sewn together and hand stitched with a vintage silk binding. The silk used was gifted to me years ago by my mother-in-law when she bought some when the last of the Macclesfield silk mills closed down. The dyes used by Shilasdair Yarns were cutch, alder, meadowsweet, tansy (sourced on Skye), madder and indigo (on its own and with the yellow dyes). 

There is a very limited stock of these cowls (or snoods). Please visit the items for sale page for details of remaining stock. 


Dec 2019


Rose Gold Wrap
A gift for a daughter.
The Border Mill were selling cones of their alpaca and rose fibre blend at Perth Festival of Yarn and and I decided to buy a cone and two complimentary colours in order to make a Christmas present. I chose a birdseye 2/2 twill over 6 threads and calculated the weave to maximise the yarn I had. It is a soft, slippery yarn which made a loose weave at 13 epi but fulled beautifully to create a very special, soft, drapey cloth. It has a soft sheen and a luxurious feel and the colours suit the rose gold fan recipient very well. 


27th Dec 2019


North Ronaldsay tunic
Using the fabric I wove on the shetland warp with the North Ronaldsay hand dyed weft (see Natural Colours Warp and Play below) I made a tunic using all but a bookmark's worth of the fabric and denim from old jeans I had been keeping for sewing projects. 

The pattern is based on the Merchant and Mills Camber dress with similar modifications that I made on the Uist Wool dress. I do love the effect of the coloured wool over the two natural shades of the shetland warp. 


Celestial Wrap
I really enjoy using Lindsay of The Border Tart's indigo based hand dyed yarns and this one had been planned for a while! The warp is her 'Mars' yarn (natural shade) which is merino, silk and yak (60/20/20 %) and the weft is her 'Celestial' lace weight yarn which is merino, silk and stellina (75/20/5 %). I used 5 colours, all indigo based, purples, blue and green and used 2 at a time (double boat shuttle) which allowed me to blend the colours in transition, giving me 9 colour bands. The weave is a 4 shaft undulating twill. I took this off the loom at 2m x 62cm and it finished down at 1.86m x 49.5cm. It is soft and weighty at the same time. I originally thought this was going to be a fabric for a garment, but there is no way I am cutting into this! The linen tunic is by A Woodland Gathering.


2nd Feb 2019


Uist wool weave dress

I used a 6 m warp of Jamiesons of Shetland weaving wool in moorit and mooskit to make a few pieces of cloth (see below). The first piece of cloth I made was with Uist Wool's Canach, a merino wool (from a flock in Aberdeenshire) spun at the mill in Uist, in 4 natural shades (osna, corca, sanas and breac). I wove this as a plain weave with random stripes of the Canach, using almost all of the 4 skeins. This gave me a piece of cloth 1.87m by 27cm. I modified the Camber Set pattern by Merchant & Mills and used some light linen from Scottish Linen in Kirkcaldy to make this dress. Modifying the pattern to give me a front yoke as well as the back one allowed me too use every bit of my woven fabric without losing any to shaping. I love the large pockets. The woven fabric is interlined with an old linen shirt of my husbands (which had been sitting in my fabric box for some time) so that it does not sag with wearing (especially at the seat!).

2nd Feb 2019


Natural colours warp and play
I used a 6 m warp of Jamiesons of Shetland weaving wool in moorit and mooskit. The first piece of cloth I made was with Uist Wool' s Canach, a merino wool (from a flock in Aberdeenshire, spun at the mill in Uist, in 4 natural shades (osna, corca, sanas and breac). I wove this as a plain weave with random stripes of the Canach. I ended up with almost 2m of cloth which will be used for a tunic/dress. The nubs in this spin of merino are beautiful. Next I used some Jamieson and Smith heritage yarn in natural white and black using a twill pattern to make what will be a wrap. Then I used some North Ronaldsay wool which had been dyed by The Little Orkney Dye Shed in a rainbow of pinks, blues and greens. And finally I used a little of my friend's Ryeland wool to make a square with the last of the warp. 


Waterfall Cardigan

This is a combination of weaving and hand knitting which I have been dreaming of since I started weaving 18 months ago. It was the wool which was the source of the inspiration for this particular item: I started with lace weight shetland wool which I had bought from Hawkshaw Sheep at Perth Festival of Yarn in September 2018. I loved Sue's stall and her beautiful wool from her own flock. This particular yarn was a beautiful silver colour and oh so soft! Later on I found that Lindsay of Bordertart had indigo dyed some skeins of this same wool and there were two left on her website! The combination of the silver and soft blue said water to me. I had to carefully plan the weave as I only had two skeins of the blue and I wanted to use all of it to best advantage. The selvedge of the weave would form the upper and lower edge of the body. I set up the weave so that the lower border was blue on grey in an undulating twill. The rest of the fabric was blue on blue with a broken twill to balance the undulating twill. The front edges of the jacket are all grey with a raw edge finish (machine sewn to hold it firm). The obvious choice for the sleeves was the shetland lace pattern 'Da print o da wave'. The fabric which this lace weight wool made is so soft and has amazing drape. I finished the raw edges of the side and armhole seems with home made bias binding for a Hong Kong finish. 


Twinned Circle Blankets 
When my friend had boy and girl twins I knew I wanted to weave them something special. I had tried a circle weave sample before and had the notion that by just using the two colours I could make a blanket for each out of one warp. The fibre choice is not my usual but it makes the blankets more easily washable (a must for anything for a baby) and it was hand dyed by Leona of RustyFerret here in Dundee. So I have two blankets from one warp, reversible, one pink spots on purple background (purple spots on pink on reverse) and one blue spots on purple background (purple on blue on the reverse). 


Piperton Ryeland Blanket

A work colleague and friend has 2 (previously 3) Ryeland sheep and last year 3 years worth of fleeces went off to the Natural Fibre Company to be spun into knitting and weaving yarn. I was given 2 cones for weaving and 12 balls for knitting. The jumper I knitted for the friend and her daughter can be seen on the knitting page but I always had dreams of weaving a blanket for her. With my loom only being 70cm wide and the yarn too thick to allow a double weave I planned to make the blanket in three sections which would be sewn together once finished. I used a square huck pattern on a plain weave as I wanted the wool to be the star of the show. My friend loves the blanket and especially loves the 'life' in the wool - little flecks of white from Harriet who sadly died last year, bits of straw and even the very occasional strand of horse hair since the sheep very much enjoy standing by her two horses while they eat!


Waterfall weave
This was inspired by the indigo dyed skeins I bought from The Border Tart. The wool is Shetland lace weight by Hawkshaw Sheep and is such a beautiful cloudy colour itself but when I saw two skeins hand dyed by Lindsay Roberts I knew I had to weave them together. I wanted a water feel to the cloth which will become a waterfall cardigan with lace sleeves hand knitted in the undyed lace weight (see misc page). I was limited by there being only two blue skeins and had to design around that limitation and ended up designing a cloth with a a band of warp in the natural and the rest in the blue. The band of undulating twill of blue weft on natural warp will form the lower edge of the cardigan. I did not want the formality of a 2/2 twill for the blue width and yet a plain weave would not work alongside the undulating twill and so decided on a broken twill which actually plays the variations in the dye beautifully. I see ripples on water in the undulating twill and the cloth has fulled beautifully to make a soft, drapey fabric. A swatch of the lace pattern I will use for the sleeve can be seen below. 


Stormy bed runner

A weave using Jamiesons of Shetland shades of Storm, Fog and Thistledown. Hand stitched, blanket stitch hem.   


Seafoam Wrap

A sea inspired wrap for a girl who loves the sea. The warp was a sea green cashmere blend and the weft a slubbed cotton. Both were purchased from a local recycling craft centre (http://scrapantics.co.uk) for a song. The pattern was a 6 shaft draft I made up (though I am sure someone else will have done this before!)


Sumburgh Head cloth

My first solo weave was rather ambitious - a double cloth tweed in Shetland wool using Jamieson and Smith wool based on the summer colours of the flowers and grasses at Sumburgh Head, Shetland.
The cloth was made to be the lining of a custom coat made by Kerrie Aldo using the Dundee made waxed cotton (Halley Stevensons Ltd). 

More on the story of this coat can be found at Kerrie's blog spot

The jumper pattern is Loki sweater by Hilary Grant from her Knitting from the North book.


A KLM Orange Pride inspired tie or two for my husband, who likes planes and orange and blue.


shonamasonmakes@gmail.com