Summer camp with a detour

I sat down this morning to write about my new toy. I purchased a Schacht Zoom Loom to play with.

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I’ve got tons of yarn leftover from socks and thought it would be fun to use it with this loom.

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Getting the hang of it

I’ve got a little corner in my new studio with a view of the pond and the trees that surround it. I’ve been spending a bit of time there the last few mornings, weaving squares and listening to the birds call. I feel a bit like a kid at summer camp. Doing crafts and making something that may or may not be useful when I get it home.

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A finished square ready to pop off the loom
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Fun with color in a 4″ square 

I have no expectations of these squares. No project in mind that they’ll become. I’m just playing. Spending a little quiet time in the morning before I get started with my day.


I took all my photos before sitting down to write, launched my photo browser and nothing was there! 30 or more minutes later I’d checked settings on phone and laptop, consulted tech support forums and stomped around the kitchen muttering under my breath. [Note to self, the latter doesn’t really fix any problems.] Still, no photos.

So on the advice of my expert technical consultant I restarted the computer. A few minutes later the new photos (and a whole lot more I didn’t realize were missing) started trickling in. My blog post is saved. My sanity is saved. I can stop being mad at my devices. I love technology, except when I don’t. It’s pretty amazing what we can do with these powerful computers we carry around in our back pockets. And when it doesn’t work right I just feel helpless and dependent.

Now it is time to put the computer aside and do some work. I’m weaving scarves. On a loom made of wood and metal. Moving parts that I understand how to use and to fix when they get cranky. No computer assist, no wires. Just feet on the treadles, hands on the beater and my imagination to dream up something to make.

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Tencel scarf in luxurious shades of rust, yellow and maroon

When I’m not stomping around the house muttering at technology I make lovely scarves and socks. I play with color and let my imagination run wild. Looking for something low-tech to brighten your day? Check out my Etsy shop and see what speaks to you.

 

What if: Color Exploration

I started with this alpaca silk yarn, hand-dyed by Ellen’s Half Pint Farm which contains purple and two shades of blue.

Hand dyed alpaca/silk yarn
Hand dyed alpaca/silk yarn

In the first scarf I used the alpaca silk as an accent against aquamarine tencel. The alpaca silk is so subtle in this scarf that you can barely see it unless you are up close to it.

Hand dyed alpaca/silk and tencel scarf
Hand dyed alpaca/silk and tencel scarf

Next I did the same accent pattern, but used baby blue tencel for the background yarn. The alpaca silk really stands out in this scarf.

Scarf detail front & back
Scarf detail front & back

This last scarf uses the alpaca silk for the full warp (the vertical strands) and navy tencel for the weft (the horizontal strands.) I love how different the two sides look in this scarf. On one you can really see the navy floating across. On the other the navy yarn is much less visible.

Hand dyed alpaca/silk and tencel scarf
Hand dyed alpaca/silk and tencel scarf

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720, but who’s counting?

I’m making a baby blanket. I’m pushing the limits and using the full 36″ width of my loom. It will be a small blanket because the cotton will shrink up some when I wash it and 36″ wide is a bit on the small side to start with. But that’s OK, I’m sure it will get some use regardless.

To do a good-sized blanket I either need a wider loom (for which I also need a bigger studio), or I need to do double weave and weave two layers at once with a fold down one side. I’ve only tried double weave once, a sample in a weaving class. The smart thing would be to try another sample before attempting a full-sized piece. We’ll see how smart I am 🙂

This will be a log cabin blanket. The colors are light pink and plum. If I did everything right, it will have a border on all 4 sides with a large plain section in the center. It’s 720 ends (strands), each 3 yards long. The strands are threaded two at a time in the reed:

Sleyed reed for log cabin

And one at a time in the heddles:

Threading heddles for log cabin

This is one of those projects that takes a long time to set up and relatively little time to weave. I’ve already spent hours on the threading. Hopefully there will be a finished photo to show soon.

About Heron Pond Designs

Heron Pond Designs sells hand woven scarves, shawls and towels as well as knit socks made on an antique circular sock machine. I also offer custom knitting, finishing and design services to the Upper Valley and beyond. From selecting materials and pattern to delivery of your finished garment, I work with you to ensure complete satisfaction with your order. All woven and knit items are hand made by me, Jennifer Kortfelt, in my Vermont studio.

Currently offering:

  • Hand woven or knit scarves and shawls
  • Hand woven dish towels
  • Socks and pedicure socks
  • Custom knitting and finishing services
  • Sample knitting and test knitting
Logo created by Ryen Alyssa Leach
Logo created by Ryen Alyssa Leach