On the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group we’re hosting a weave-along of a different kind. We’re following a commercial pattern invented by one of the group members. Be sure to visit Deborah Bagley’s Yarnovations for the Halloween Pin Loom Projects set. We’re making the scarecrow from that set. Isn’t he a cutie?
We need to make several plain weave (PW) squares for the project, but they don’t absolutely have to be plain weave. I figured as long as I’m making squares, and don’t have to make too many, instead of PW, I’d practice some skills and revisit some of my earlier blog posts. I decided on 2/2 Twill for the scarecrow’s jeans, which means using the Two-Layer Warp method (2LW). And I decided to use my Loomette to make the houndstooth pattern for his shirt.
However, first things first: head and hat.
For his head I’m using a two-color PW. L1&2: Caron Simply Soft “Autumn Maize”; L3&4: Lion Heartland “Acadia.”A real scarecrow’s face is probably made from an old burlap feed bag. I don’t have one of those and I want his face lighter in color than burlap, so I gave him a mixed tone for his “skin.”
(Somewhere in this post I’ve told you it’s not necessary to work in the ends, but in Part 2 I’ll tell you it’s a good idea to do so for the head. You’ll want loose ends on all four sides to facilitate gathering the scarecrow’s head.)
I wanted to make what looked like a straw hat but didn’t want to replicate the face color. I wanted contrast and texture, so I made the squares for his hat with Lion Brand Vanna White “Barley.” It didn’t have quite enough texture though, so I added some.
- Warp L1 then sprinkle dead grass liberally over the surface.
- Warp L2 and add more grass.
- Warp L3, measure weft, then weave.
You may want to weave outside with a light-colored surface beneath your loom. It will not be tidy.
When you’re finished, take the square off the loom and brush both sides to remove loose vegetable matter. It’s messy, but we must suffer for our art! I hope it will make a nice hat.
Now, on to the extremities–starting with the denimy twill jeans.
I’m so glad I revisited the earlier blog posts–the tips I included then are so valuable now. For instance, thicker yarns make stiffer weaves. This is obvious, of course, but it’s nice to have it pointed out in the morass of other things I’m concurrently considering. I chose a thicker yarn for the jeans and two thinner yarns for the houndstooth shirt squares. So glad I didn’t choose thick yarns for the shirt pieces because thinner yarn will be easier for me to manipulate when I have to turn cuffs and sew little sleeves.
I wove the first denim square using Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice “Denim Mist.” I was a little concerned that the blue would be too busy. It might yet be, but at this point I like it.
Since I had so much left over yarn (I warped loosely in 3LW and had started weaving before I remembered my plan to practice 2/2 twill. I had cut the yarn after 5+ wraps–planning ahead for the sewing–so there was lots of extra yarn when I rewarped using 2LW–which should be warped much more tightly than 3LW)–I decided to add a 32nd row of plain weave to finish off the twill. In the past, I didn’t think a PW row was necessary, but I thought I’d try it out. I started the row O1, U2, then O1, U1 across. It turned out great when I took it off the loom.
I haven’t woven in the ends since they will all be tucked inside. The exception is the scarecrow’s sleeves (on further reflection I think I’ll do those in two-color PW instead of houndstooth) which have a cuff. I may need to work in those ends. We shall see.
END OF PART ONE.
PART TWO COMING SOON . . . See me make a scarecrow shirt with these pretty yarns:
I can hardly wait till you post your scarecrow. I love the book of patterns she developed. Thanks for showing me how you will do your pinloom scarecrow
You’re welcome! I’m just getting started. Making the squares is the easy part for me. Assembling may be tougher!
Wow, these are fabulous squares. I look forward to part 2.
It’s coming . . . Having fun making the pieces for his shirt.
You’re blowing my mind again. So can’t wait to see your scarecrow!
It seems to be my nature to make things much harder than they need to be. 😀