The Rain in Spain Convertible Cowl

This project is part of a special collaboration between Casey Ryder from Portfiber, distributor of Cashmere People Cashgora yarns, Bristol Ivy, knitwear designer extraordinaire, and us!

This seemed like a match made in heaven: individual threads and stories from around the world coming together in one piece. Boulder, CO, our Schacht headquarters, is the “sister city” of Tajikistan, where the yarn used in this project was spun by women in a community there. Portland, ME, is where Casey and Bristol live, both of whom I met for the first time in 2017 at TNNA, where we all hit it off right away. After meeting these two incredible people, I felt like Portland and Boulder could have been sister cities. While I was weaving this project on my Cricket Loom, made by my co-workers in Boulder, with fair-trade yarn spun by Gulchechra in Tajikistan, it was also living in my 15″ Cricket bag, handwoven by women in Guatemala as part of the fair trade organization Mayan Hands.

My inspiration for this piece came from rain, and I knew I wanted to create a motif that ran along the warp. I thumbed through my copy of Woven Scarves, by Jane Patrick and Stephanie Flynn Sokolov, and saw the “Eyelet Scarf”. This scarf used Spanish lace to create the eyelets, and I knew this technique would be perfect for the look I wanted.

Finished Size: Approx. 60″ long and 8.5″ wide including fringe

Weave Structure: Plain weave and Spanish lace.

Equipment: 15″ Cricket Loom, 10-dent reed, 15″ slim stick shuttle, 3-in-1 Magic Stick.

Yarn: 1 skein of Cashgora Fingering Weight approx. 370 yards (340 meters) in the Rime colorway.

Number of Warp Ends: 100

Warp Length: 1.8 yards

Width in the reed: 10″

EPI: 10

Warping: I warped my Cricket Loom using the direct peg warping method.

PPI: 10

Weaving:

Allow 10″ in your tie on for a 10″ fringe. Weave a couple of rows and hemstitch. Starting from the left, I wove 11 picks of plain weave.

Spanish lace:

Steps for weaving Spanish lace – paraphrased from The Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick (page 65)

Spanish lace is a way to create stable holes in your weaving. To exaggerate the hole size, we pulled the weft tightly along the hole. Spanish lace is easier than it looks. It is made by just weaving back and forth in one section and then traveling to the next section and weaving back and forth as before and then repeating as desired. You’ll find a small hand beater helpful to beat in the sections.

Step 1: open the shed and insert the shuttle over a few warp threads.

Step 2: Take the shuttle out of the shed and change sheds.

Step 3: Insert the shuttle and weave back to the selvedge or edge of your section.

Step 4: Repeat the above and desired. The more repeats, the larger the hole.

Step 5: On the last pass of the section, without changing the shed, continue on to the next section and repeat.

For this scarf, I wove 11 row sections. I randomly chose the placement of my lace sections, taking care not to place two holes directly near each other. For more, see pages 64-65 of The Weaver’s Idea Book.

I finished with a final section of plain weave, hemstitched and cut the piece off my loom leaving 10″ for fringe.

Finishing:

I braided the fringe using 3 groups of 2 threads. In order to accommodate all the warp ends, I had to add two threads to two of the braids to make all the braids equal.

I then wet-finished the piece in warm water with a no rinse wool wash. Agitating slightly to full. I then hung to dry. A steam pressing could also open up the fibers more. Be sure to use a pressing cloth to protect the cashmere.

This piece can be worn as a scarf or as a cowl by tying the braided fringe together.

In the coming days, Bristol will be releasing her knit pattern using the same yarn and color as I did. If you’d like to become a stockist for Cashgora yarn, please contact Casey. If you are attending TNNA this summer in Cleveland, see these pieces in person at the Schacht Booth #1042, and the Portfiber Booth #1216.

 

Product Spotlight

The 3-in-1 Magic Stick is one of my new favorite tools. With the amount of small tapestry weaving and other hand-manipulated techniques I have been exploring, this tool has proven invaluable. I particularly like using it as a shedding device, and then as a beater. The large eye serves two purposes for me, I use it for chunky yarns and ropes in my textural wall hangings, and I also use it to hang it up on my wall when I’m not using it. I lovingly call it the spork of weaving tools.

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