Some people think that freestyle or freeform weaving is done without a plan. That is not true. Even Saori style weaving is planned. Have a look at Saori weaving photos and you will see what I mean. You still need to choose your colors and yarn, unless you wear a blindfold and just pick willy-nilly.
I have just completed a scarf for my daughter’s birthday. She got it a little late as I just came back from holiday, and before that I had to spin a whole lot of green. Green is one of her favorite colors. So, for starters, I had to think about the colors I would use. I didn’t have all the right green, and therefore needed to order some. I then carded the fibers with other bling fibers (more thought) and spun the yarn. I spun yarn until my hands ached and then I stopped, and then I spun some more.
This is what I used in the scarf.
Full disclosure, the first shuttle on the bottom left is a commercial cotton blend for my neutral that I used a very small amount of. You can see I no longer use cardboard shuttles or wooden spoons as the hubs made me some shuttles and I also ordered loads on eBay. I don’t think one can have too many shuttles.
I used all hand spun for warp on an Ashford varident reed using 5 and 2.5 dent heddles. I used the whole width of the reed which is less than the 16 inches of my loom.
I also needed to think about which yarns I would start and finish weaving with as I needed a smooth yarn to do the hemstitch. I chose one the same as one of the warps and a similar one at the end. The only color I didn’t use in the weft is the blue/green as I used it all for warp, otherwise I used all the warp colors and others in the first photo.
Here is the finished scarf. I had warped it the night before and finished it the following day.
The weave was quite loose and open when I took it off of the loom as would be expected because gaps of the larger heddles. However, after a little soak in some hair conditioner (the yarn had already been washed and set), a spin in the washing machine, and 10 minutes on low in the tumble dryer, everything came together. The scarf is very soft and fluffy. I trimmed the tassels to the length of the shortest side and left them as they don’t need twisting.
Once I started weaving, I just chose a dark color followed by a lighter color and so on. I didn’t measure my sections and just carried on that way until the end. This is the freestyle part of weaving.
I love how the locks pop out from the warp and the weft.
The thrums also gave some nice texture too.
My daughter will have received this by the time this post comes to light and I am hoping she likes it as she generally likes plain things. In any event, she knows what I have been weaving and the style and said I could make her a scarf. This is why I don’t do commissions. Update: my daughter said she loves the scarf and wishes it was colder so she could wear it! So success.
So, if someone makes you something that looks totally random, trust me, a lot of thought and effort has gone into the making of it, and a lot of love too!