weaving with the family

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Weaving with the family around the kitchen table is so much fun. Everyone joins in and we all get to chat and weave while lunch is cooking. The Ashford rigid heddle looms are so portable and easy to use.

First catch your sheep….

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Greetings

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Welcome to the Creative Weaving Blog.
We look forward to sharing with you our love of weaving and especially the joys of using the rigid heddle loom to make unique and exciting fabrics for clothing.

Follow us on our journey of design and construction using the vast array of yarns and fibres now available. Get a taste for colour and texture inspired by nature and the universe. Well, lets get weaving…..  CLICK on the Picture to find out more

Cotton Tunic for Autumn

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Now the days are cooler it is good to be wearing an extra layer and this simple tunic, made from cotton and viscose yarns feels just right.  Woven on the 20″ (50cm) rigid heddle loom using a 7.5 dpi (30/!0 cm ) reed the warp is made up of cotton, viscose and ribbon yarns threaded on to the loom in a random stripe.

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The weft is a cotton ribbon tape which is lovely to use as it weaves up really quickly and produces a soft but robust fabric which holds its shape and is nice to wear.  We have used one of Sarah’s Get Weaving patterns #GWDR007 to create the tunic pieces.  These patterns have been especially designed to fit onto narrow widths of handwoven fabric.

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Once the fabric was cut out we used the Woven Iron-on Interfacing on all the cut edges before overlocking the raw edge. This guarantees that the fabric will not fall apart at any time!  The seams were topstitched for a flat finish.  As the fabric was so flexible there is no lining used in this version making it a perfect top for jeans and tee shirts.  This and many other sewing patterns designed for fabrics woven on the rigid heddle loom are available from etsy.com/uk/shop/GetWeaving

Woolfest review for 2018

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Woolfest, hooray!  Day two and we remembered to ask our fellow stall holder, the lovely Sew Sister to take our picture on the stand before the doors opened.  It was great to meet so many enthusiastic rigid heddle weavers and to see what you had made.

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I am always amazed that from the humble beginnings of a cattle market, still wet from the mornings livestock sale this vibrant and colourful show of all things woolly emerges. We had a brilliant spot this year and armed with cable ties and calico soon had the stand ready for action.

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Really popular this year were the Get Weaving sewing patterns which are designed by Sarah especially for the narrow widths woven on the rigid heddle looms.  We also had our three weaving books which show the many different weaves and colour combinations that you can achieve with just plain weave using the rigid heddle loom with it’s many different reeds.  There is a good selection to buy now from a 15dpi down to a 2dpi which is great fun and lets you weave with all sorts of art yarns.

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We bring a good selection of garments all made from handwoven fabrics as examples of the Get Weaving patterns so that people can try them on. Sometimes we even sell the odd item! The green pinafore dress (pattern DR009) has been a great success this year and I can’t wait to weave a linen version for the summer.

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This is Sarah’s weaving on the Ashford 20″ (50cm) using the 15dpi reed and mercerised cotton from the Ashford range of cotton yarns.  The weft is a wool and silk handspun singles spun on her Louet Victoria.  It is going to make a wonderful piece of fabric just right for the pinafore dress.  Spinning the weft to weave with a commercial warp is a great way to begin weaving with the rigid heddle looms and one of our favourite ways to make exciting fabrics for clothing.  As always, Happy weaving.

 

New for Woolfest 2018

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Here is my new dress ready for our two days at Woolfest in Cumbria this coming weekend held on Friday June 22nd and Saturday June 23rd 2018. 

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The fabric was woven on a 20″ (50cm) rigid heddle loom with a 7.5dpi (30/10cm) reed. The warp was 2 picks of mohair and 2 picks of linen.  The weft was a handspun singles, acid dyed with pink, red and peach.  The fabric was hand washed and line dried on a windy day which always gives the fabric lots life and texture.

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One of the great things about this pattern is the raglan sleeve which can be made up in either a contrasting fabric or the same fabric as the dress.  These sleeves give a very comfy fit and the dress can be worn either on its own or with a T shirt underneath.  The bias strip around the neck edge is also a feature as it is sewn on back to front so that the raw edge is on the outside.  I always like to add a few buttons but they are optional!

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This is the original version woven on the rigid heddle loom and made from handwoven cotton and corn fibre.  The sleeves and hem are made from commercial denim.  This dress was featured in our book Get Weaving and is also available as a pattern #DR005.  We will have this and many other patterns for sale on our Stand J234 at Woolfest so do please come and find us and share your weaving adventures . We love to hear all about your ideas and of course we will be happy to help with any problems if we can. We will also be demonstrating during those two days, both the Quick Threading and Cutting out your Handwoven Fabric.

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Some of you will recognise the dress from this copy (issue 27) of The Ashford Wheel magazine where it was fully featured on pages 38 and 39.  That was a particularly good edition as there was a lot of weaving featuring the rigid heddle looms.  We cannot praise these looms enough and it is wonderful to see them growing in popularity and to see so many of you having such fun making beautiful fabrics.

As always, Happy Weaving !

 

 

Wool Shows 2018

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Here we are on our stand GET WEAVING at this years WONDERWOOL held on the  Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales.  We had a really great time and it was so good to meet so many happy rigid heddle weavers and to hear all about your ideas.

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For 2018 we have made many new handwoven garments as examples of what you can make on these marvellous rigid heddle looms.  To go with the garments Sarah has designed a collection of patterns to be used with handwoven fabrics, especially those narrow lengths made on the smaller looms.  Every pattern has a sample garment for people to look at and feel so they can see how the pattern will look when it is made up. We do not sell the clothes but we do sell the patterns and our weaving books at these events.

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Our next outing will be at WOOLFEST in Cumbria on June 22nd and 23rd so do come and find us there.  We would love to see what you have made.  We will be demonstrating on both days so please come and ask if you have any questions or need any help. Hopefully it will be a bit warmer than it was in April and we will not need our beautiful gloves, courtesy of the Ceredigion Guild stand!

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It is always brilliant to meet up with old friends at these events especially when they are wearing their own hand spun, hand dyed, handwoven outfit made from her very own sheeps wool!  How good is that!

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This is my shopping from Wonderwool  and I hope you will see it on the loom, being woven up when you come to see us at WOOLFEST  in June.     Happy weaving.

New Dress for Wales 2018

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This brilliant pinafore dress is such fun to wear and so easy to make using one of Sarah’s patterns #GW DR009 which are especially designed to fit onto narrow widths of hand woven fabric.

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The fabric was woven on a 16″ (40cm) rigid heddle loom using a 7.5dpi (30/10cm) reed. The warp was a mixture of wools, linens and viscose yarns and the weft was all hand spun wool and silk.

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The weft is a plied yarn made from one bobbin of wool and one of silk. This is a lovely light weight mixture and weaves up really well giving a soft and airy fabric just right for a Spring outfit.

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Two buttons attach the straps to the front body but are simply ornamental as the whole dress slips easily over the head. The wonderful Herdwick sheep broach is made by Jackie Cardy of Feltworks.

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Two pockets are added to the front skirt and come in two different designs.

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We will be at WONDERWOOL in Wales this weekend with this design and many other exciting new garments for you to see and try on.  We will have the patterns too so do come and say Hello and show us what you have made on your rigid heddle loom.  You will find us on stand T3 GET WEAVING and we will be there on both Saturday and Sunday weaving and talking or is it talking and weaving!   Lets do it and have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silk and Cotton Top

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This very simple but elegant silk and cotton top was woven on a 24″ (60cm) wide rigid heddle loom using a 10dpi (40/10cm) reed.

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The warp is a mixture of tussah silk yarn, a cotton and silk yarn and a totally recycled yarn (the one with the flecks of colour) from Rowan found at Woolfest last year.  The weft was a white silk, cotton and viscose yarn.   Although the weaving looks quite open, after washing the threads meld together to make a beautiful material with lots of drape.

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Using a wider rigid heddle loom has allowed me to use the full width of the woven fabric to place my pattern on, so no centre seam required as is the norm if using a narrow width loom.  I still cut my pattern pieces out individually on a single layer of fabric to make sure everything fits on.  After cutting out I use the Iron on Woven Interfacing on all the cut edges before overlocking or zig-zagging.

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The neck is finished with a natural length of linen bias binding and slips over the head comfortably.

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The sleeve edge takes advantage of the selvedge so no hem required.  An addition of shell beads adds to the luxurious feel to this simple top.

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This versatile pattern from Get Weaving #T008 has the addition of a band running around the bottom hem, using a strip from the handwoven fabric after the other pattern pieces had been cut out, giving this top a modern touch.  This and many more new patterns will be on our stand GET WEAVING at Wonderwool in Wales this April.  DO come and see us if you are about. We love to see what you all make and share ideas.  Happy Weaving

Blue Stocking Dress for Spring

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Here is another version of the wonderful pattern from Get Weaving # DR006, made this time from a linen and wool fabric woven on the 20″ (50cm) rigid heddle loom.

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The weft is a singles yarn, spun from small rolags in a variety of soft colours, in no set order to give short lengths of blended yarn.

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The warp is all linen, threaded on a 10dpi (40/10cm) reed, 4 threads of each colour threaded across the full width of the reed.  Although a 20″ (50cm) loom the finished fabric after washing will be closer to 18″ (46cm) in width and several inches shorter in the length so always allow for take up and shrinkage when calculating your warp mileage.

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A linen warp and a woollen weft is traditionally known as a Linsey-Wolsey fabric and was popular in the 1700’s when there was a shortage of wool in the country due to it all being exported abroad. Linen was freely available from Ireland so this fabric became a popular substitute.  It is heavier than flannel and has a lovely drape and feel.  The singles weft beds down well amongst the stiffer, linen threads which have a tendency to remain aloof and unforgiving.

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Using this brilliant pattern with its six panels, especially designed by Sarah for narrow widths I can cut out each piece individually and then using the Iron on Woven Interfacing secure all the cut edges before either over- locking or using the zigzag on the sewing machine. From then onwards it is normal construction for any garment.

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Cleverly the pockets are inserted between the two side and front panels making them easy to put in and very secure.  Buttons are a decorative feature for both the tabs and the pockets as the dress is roomy enough to slip comfortably over your head. This is such a useful pattern, great with tights and boots or equally a shorter version with jeans.  Go to Sarah’s facebook page to find out more about her many sewing patterns.

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