Variable Dent Challenge – Summer Cowl

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Summer Cowl – Designed and Woven by Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin Krudwig in the Summer Cowl

When I was a child, summer was my favorite season. White t-shirts, blue jeans and grass stains on both meant I had a “productive” day. For this variable dent reed cowl, I wanted to capture that summer feeling in an accessory I could wear throughout the year.

I wove this piece with cotton yarn and left large spaces in the fabric for a cowl that is airy and lightweight, even though the yarns are somewhat heavy.

Supplies for the Summer Cowl (not pictured: 3/2 cotton)

Supplies: 15″ Cricket, 15″ Variable Dent Reed, 2 stick shuttles

Yarn: 3/2 cotton in blue (200 yards), worsted weight cotton in white (200yds)  (I used Lily’s Sugar and Cream), sport weight green rayon chenille (50yds).

Reed Setup: 8D, 5D, 8D, 5D, 8D

Warp: 2 yard warp – 18 ends of 3/2 cotton, 12 ends of 3 strands (I tripled the yarn and used as if it were one end) of white cotton,18 ends of 3/2 cotton, 12 ends of 3 strands (tripled, used as one) of white cotton, 18 ends of 3/2 cotton.

Weaving: Weave 8 picks of single stranded (not tripled) white cotton, 10 picks of green chenille, 8 picks white cotton, 10 picks of green chenille.

Twisting the warp: To twist sections, loosen one knob on the variable dent reed, and then remove the other knob to free up the dents so you can move them. Rotate the 5-dent sections clockwise or counter-clockwise making sure you catch the “slot” threads on the side of  the section. Re-situate the reed sections in the reed holder and replace the knobs.

The process of twisting the sections diminishes the size of the shed, so use caution when passing your weft yarn through.

Do another repeat the stripe sequence and turn the sections the opposite way you turned them before to prevent twist from building up behind the reed.

Keep repeating this pattern until you reach the end of your warp. I got 6 sections of woven fabric punctuated by 5 twist sections.

Twist on the front beam

Apron bar picking up slack in blue threads

Since the twisting of the reed sections shortens the white warp threads, I used a wooden apron bar behind my loom as a double back beam to pick up the slack in the blue threads. If this doesn’t provide enough tension, you can weight the stick.

After I took the fabric off the loom, I knotted the fringe, folded the fabric into a tube, and then hand-sewed the fabric edges together.

Fold length along dotted lines to form tube.

Join folds and stitch selvedges  together to form tube.

This was a joy to weave and is even more fun to wear! Weave your own and share it with us on our social media!

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin is the Content Manager at Schacht, and loves creating weaving and spinning content for the Schacht blog. His other spinning and weaving work can be seen in Handwoven, Spin-Off and the SIP Easy Weaving With Little Looms. You may find him on Instagram as @benjamin_krudwig