Weaving Rainbows


I've been sitting on a healthy stash of hand spun wool for a few months now, so it was time to dress the loom with a sturdy cotton warp to match. I typically work with yarns around 24 epi in my warp, but for a more balanced weave I went with a 12 epi cotton carpet warp. Why cotton instead of wool with an all wool weft? This may be leftover suspicion from my student days, but I don't always trust wool in a warp. Wool is very toothy and easily felts itself, and I've seen too many projects fall victim to broken threads and sheds that won't easily open because the wool is sticking together too much. Because I like to avoid conflict, I find that a cotton warp provides a strong foundation to let my hand spun yarn really take center stage in a weaving.

Much of the yarn used on this project was spun with the intention to weave. It was a first step in thinking more critically about my spinning process, thinking about composition and color variation right from the get-go. Interesting yarn makes for interesting woven compositions, with or without elements of tapestry or fancy cloth structures.


Whereas I'm particularly fond of plain weave when working with my hand spun yarn, I had a student recently use a vertical herringbone and I found myself wanting to do the same.


It's a structure that translates to a subtle texture when viewed from a distance, but is more of an optical delight up close.


I was left with enough warp for this pillow project. I'd been itching to weave a pillow cover with handwoven material, and I think it came out wonderfully. Backed with a super soft Robert Kaufman flannel, it's pretty from all angles.