For our December yarn company collaboration, we worked with Blue Sky Alpacas for a very special and luxurious scarf woven on our 15″ Cricket Loom. Since Blue Sky Alpacas offers both yarns and fiber, I decided to use both in a project. For this fashionable cowl, I took my inspiration from a traditional knitting technique called thrumming. This is often used in the making of mittens where thrums or lengths of wool are inserted into the knitting to create tufts of wool inside the mitten. This creates a lofty and warm fabric.
Here’s what you’ll need for the project:
15″ Cricket Loom
8-dent rigid heddle reed
15″ stick shuttle
Optional: 15″ pick-up stick
2 skeins of Melange in the Peppercorn Colorway – 220 yards total
1 skein of Metalico in the Platinum Colorway – 147 yards total
1 bag of Handspin fiber
Note: You won’t use the whole bag for this project, so you can save it for future projects.
Width in Reed: 12″
Warp Length: 7 feet (2.3 yards)
Total warp ends: 96
Warping: Use the direct warping method.
Weaving: Hemstitch at the beginning and end. Using Metalico, weave 8 picks. Then, beginning about 1″ in from the side, choose two warp threads and create a ghiordes knot with a small chunk of fiber about 1/4″ thick and 6″ long. Here is a great tutorial on ghiordes knots; it starts about halfway down the page. Evenly space the knots across the warp 4 more times.
Weave 8 more picks of Metalico, and place fiber tufts in the spaces between where the last tufts were placed. You can see this pattern best in the picture of the back side of the fabric. Note the offset polka dots. I found it helpful to take small sticky notes and mark where my tufts would go, however, as you weave it becomes more apparent in the finished fabric as to where the tufts go.
Repeat this process along the length of your warp.
As you advance your fabric around your fabric beam, it may help to put a warp separator paper in to help mitigate tension issues caused by the bumps of fiber.
Finishing: Fold the fabric in half tuft-side out, then take a group of 8 warp threads from each end of the fabric, bundle and tie them together in an overhand knot. Repeat this all the way across.
Soak and gently agitate the finished cowl in hot water. Be careful not to agitate too much, as the tufts are slightly delicate at this stage. Note: you want to full the fiber, not felt it. Lay flat to dry.
There are many styling options with this project, here are just a few!
About Blue Sky Alpacas
Founded in 1997, Blue Sky Alpacas is located near Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company started with a small herd of alpacas and has evolved into an industry leader in design, that sources the finest fibers to create a multitude of luxury yarns that are sold to fiber speciality retail locations worldwide.