Here is my finished Quechequemitl! I was up at 5:30am adding on the fringe as I couldn’t sleep! I am so pleased with how it turned out. This project was not without issues. I had missed a warp and had to hand weave the missing space in. I had floats that I needed to correct, and, I made the pieces too long! So, I had to cut them. All in all, this was a huge learning curve and I realised that most things can be fixed. I even found a video on YouTube on how to connect the sides in a different way from blind stitching, after the fact. Also, I found another photo of how to make a similar piece without having to cut! In any event, at least I know how to do that now thanks to the Weaving Chat group on FB, who were really helpful. I just need to wash and press it. I have more of this yarn in different colorways, so I will be making more of these little ponchos and trying out the different ways to weave them.
The size of your Quechequemitl will be mainly determined by the width of your piece. I have a 16 inch Ashford SampleIt rigid heddle loom. The finished woven piece is approximately 14 inches wide. It shouldn’t shrink much, if any, as I used an acrylic yarn with 20% wool. I used this pattern as a guide. However, I don’t think the instructions are entirely clear. My mistake, if that is what you want to call it, is that I tried to make the length longer, but that didn’t really work as the neck opening was too large. When I pinned it together, I worked out that I should have woven it 27″ as stated in the instructions and that is why I ended up cutting it instead of making it like the item below. The formula is that you can get a decent neck opening by the size of the width and twice that in length. Hence my mistake when another lady made one, it turned out that her piece was 20 inches wide x 1 meter or 40 inches long and it looked great. If you want a longer piece and your loom is not wide, you would need to sew it like this below. I can’t remember where I found the photo below, but it came from the same website I am linked to above, but unfortunately I found it after I made the cuts.
This is a completely different style altogether, but if you don’t want something short like the Quechequemitl and your loom is small, like mine, then you can go for something like this or a Ruana. What I like about the Quechequemitl is that it is small and light enough to cover your shoulders and still keep your arms free. When making a garment like this, there are many options. I decided to add a fringe on the long sides as I thought it would look pretty and cohesive. It also hides my slightly irregular edges. Something I need to work on.
Last weekend I spun up all of my Alpaca batts.
The top row of yarn is spun from Alpaca tops. I had a large amount of of tops and decided to challenge myself to see how difficult it was to spin as I have heard that it is difficult. I didn’t find it difficult at all and I loved spinning with it. No real drafting is required beforehand. I now have a thick/thin soft and silky yarn. The yarn in the middle of the bottom row was spun from the batt on the bottom left. I rolled it up tighter and spun it from a very large rolag. With the black, white, and grey batts on the right, I split them up as I wanted some yarn with more white in it for contrast. I ended up with grey and black yarn and white with bits of black and grey. For the brown batts, I spun up 1.5 batts each to get the two skeins. I basically pulled them apart in strips. The yarn is all very soft, but the brown is not as soft as the others. I know they are Alpaca as I tried felting with it, but it could be my spinning, I don’t know. I am spinning thin, but twisty singles, which I am ok with. I will need to see how well it weaves. I have done a snap test, and I would be happy to use any of these as warp. I am waiting on some reeds with larger holes for my loom so I can use thicker yarns for warp. I am really looking forward to weaving with this alpaca. I just need to work out what I am going to make!
Just as an experiment, I decided to spin up some yarn I bought from World of Wool. I had purchased a couple of skeins of their Big Bang Super Chunky single ply yarn.
When I used the green colorway, it kind of got a bit lost in the felting as there really isn’t much of a twist in this. I don’t find it soft enough to use as pencil roving on a felted scarf which is what the yarn was originally intended. I thought I would try spinning it with some thread to give it more structure and this is what I got. I used two different shades of purple thread. I finished it off as normal after spinning. I will probable use some of it in some weaving. So that is what I have been up to so far. I have had a week off this week, so it has been nice to catch up with crafts, the house and dogs and myself! Until next time!