I was thrilled When I had the chance to work with Kristin Lehrer from Voolenvine Yarns on a project! I have been following Kristin for some time through her video podcast on YouTube. I have admired the beauty of her hand-dyed yarns in each episode. She specializes in variegated colors, each a different recipe. Working with variegated yarns can be a challenge as one might encounter unexpected patterning, such as pooling of colors. However, when used in weaving, the effects of variegated yarns can produce stunning results where the yarn does all the work. In general, I find the color effects of variegated yarns vary from skein to skein, and depend largely on the length of the color repeats and the amount of color contrast. Kristin’s colorways always astound me, rich colors, subtle colors, all of them inspired.
I fell in love with “Enjoy the Silence” due to the high contrast between the dark purples and pale cream, accented with flecks of intense colors throughout. I used two skeins of Alpaca Halo base, a 60/20/20 Superwash Merino, Superfine Alpaca, and Nylon blend.
Since variegated yarns tend to have a lot to say just on their own, I didn’t think it was necessary to add other weave structure patterning. Therefore, I chose a simple variation on a plain weave for my wrap.
Yarn for warp and weft: 2 – 437 yard skeins of variegated fingering weight yarn – total 874 yards with some yarn left over. I used Alpaca Halo base in Enjoy the Silence from Voolenvine Yarns
Warping: I used the direct warping method with the peg approximately 7 feet away from the back apron bar, use the following threading pattern across 15″. Warping note: following the chart below, working right to left, thread 1 pass per slot 8 times (you will have two threads per slot), then thread 2 passes per slot (for a total of 4 threads per slot). After you wind the warp onto the back beam, you will then thread the holes. Again, following the chart below, you will take one thread out of the slot and thread it in the adjacent hole (repeat 8 times). Then, you will take 2 threads out of the slot and thread them in the adjacent hole (repeat 4 times), and so on. In this way you’ll have some areas that have single ends in the slots and holes and other areas where there are two ends in the slots and holes for a differential density.
Wind one stick shuttle with a single strand of yarn, then another shuttle with two strands of yarn. Weave in the same pattern as the warp, in a balanced plain weave. Carry your yarns up the side of your weaving, catching the loose yarn with your working yarn. Weave the length of your warp until you can’t weave any further.
This creates a pattern I call a “density plaid” because instead of differing colors in a square grid, it uses different densities of yarn. This technique can also be called crammed and spaced.
The shorter repeats of color in this yarn create a beautiful mottled effect, almost tweed like. Yarns with longer color repeats weave up into more distinct patterns looking very much like plaids.
Finishing: Tie overhand knots in groups of 8 warp threads. Soak and lightly full in hot water. Trim the fringe to 2″.
Finished size: 13″ wide X 5.5′ long (including 2 inches of fringe on each end)
This project is meant to be a small wrap, or an oversized scarf. Here are a few ways to style your Density Plaid Wrap!