Sampling for My Handwoven Project


Madelyn, editor of Handwoven, has asked me to create a log cabin project for the January issue. Since I love to design pillows, I decided that I would use thick and thin yarns in contrasting colors in a log cabin design for a large pillow.

The reason I want to share this with you is to again reiterate the importance of sampling: I had some Brown Sheep yarns left over from another project that I used to first test to see if my idea would work. I tried out different warp and weft color combinations, stripe widths, and yarns on my Flip Loom. I then finished the swatch in the way I plan to finish the final product. From this I learned that the yarns worked for what I wanted to do, Now, I need to decide on the colors and the exact warp plan. While sometimes I might do another sample to test the colors, in this case, I feel confident in my plan that I don’t need to test the actual color combinations that I’ll use for my finished project.

When I sample, I always put on enough yarn to weave a second sample at a different sett, should my first sett not pan out. Instead of re-warping, I just re-sley in a different reed/heddle. In this case, because I didn’t have to weave another sample, I had plenty of yarn left to try out my idea for a woven trim. Here, I’ve shown my first two tries…you’ll have to wait until January to see the finished project. I think you’ll be surprised (hopefully pleasantly so) with the final design.

Schacht Spindle

Schacht Spindle Company, Inc. was founded during the back-to-earth movement of the late 1960's and its accompanying craft resurgence. Their first loom was a simple tapestry loom, a version which they still make today. Over nearly 50 years, Schacht has developed a broad range of high quality hand weaving and hand spinning tools, including their popular Cricket Loom and Ladybug Spinning wheel. Schacht’s mission is to create beautiful and well-designed products that enhance customers’ weaving and spinning experience through innovative problem solving, creative ideas, skilled woodworking and craftsmanship, and friendly, knowledgeable customer service. Schacht’s family owned business is located in Boulder, Colorado.