Posts Tagged ‘yarn’


September 19, 2012


The countdown is beginning. The second to last set of scarves is on the loom. One more round of measuring warp, dressing the loom and weaving and the collection of scarves will be complete. I am so looking forward to opening the shop again. I even have a few surprises planned as part of the celebration…

plant dye

June 12, 2012

dye bath - pirtti handwoven

This past weekend I had the privilege to participate in a workshop with Rebecca Burgess, author of Harvesting Color. I am a complete novice when it comes to dyeing. What better way to start than to learn how to dye from plants like coreopsis and oak galls? She taught us about the effect the modern textile industry has on our planet (not good) and how we can make our clothes sustainable and ethical. It was mind-blowing and a lot to take in.

dye samples - pirtti handwoven

My dream is to eventually source my yarn locally and have it dyed naturally. Easier said than done, as there are a lot of important details to be worked out. It is not easy to find weaving yarns that are truly from the U.S., but I believe it is possible and something I would like to work towards. I am very excited to learn about Fibershed and where it will lead me in both resources and inspiration.


May 21, 2012

collapse weave - pirtti handwoven

Weaving involves a lot of calculations. So many, that it often seems like there are more calculations than there is actual weaving. Even after you calculate, it’s still one big experiment that could turn out fantastic, or crash and burn. One such type of weaving experiment is collapse weave.

Collapse weave is essentially weaving with fibers with different levels and/or directions of twist. Once the woven piece meets water, the yarns with more twist shrink, causing the other yarns to pucker.

collapse weave - before and after

This past weekend I attended the Conference of Northern California Handweavers with my primary focus being to take Peggy Osterkamp’s class on collapse weave. It was a great session to learn all the calculations and tips and tricks. It was amazing to flip through all of Peggy’s samples* (like the one above) and see so many beautiful projects using this technique. It has opened my brain to so many ideas…

habu yarn - pirtti handwoven

And of course resulted in a rather abundant yarn harvest! I can not wait to test out this technique and see what comes of the ideas floating in my head.

*Peggy Osterkamp is my weaving hero. The guru that I seek when I’m stumped or have a question, or when I have an idea that I want to talk through. Someday soon I hope to dedicate a proper blog post about her work and why I seek her influence in mine. In the meantime, have a look at her gallery here.

studio time

May 2, 2012

cones - pirtti handwoven

I love it when a plan comes together.

friday loom shot

July 16, 2010

I love the color of this scarf. A color called “Grey Teal” is right up my dusty color alley. There is just one problem. This scarf has a halo which is bad news on the comfort front.  Mohair and alpaca have the yarn-loving world divided. Some find mohair to be the softest of all yarn. It is ethereal and light and oh so pretty. And then there are others (like me) who can’t even have the slightest percentage of it. I have a pair of socks made with 15% mohair and they are 15% itchy.

Alpaca does not typically seem to have a reputation of being itchy. If anything, it seems to be the wonder fiber. It’s light, warmer than wool and very soft. I have knit with some alpaca that was just deliciously cushy. I recently took a poll of some friends and they were split down the middle.  Alpaca has far less of a halo than mohair, but once a person is sensitive to hairy yarn, they are always sensitive. So even if a yarn is soft, those few hairs that poke out of the yarn can make a person itch, especially when wrapped around the neck.

This may change some of my plans for scarves I want to make.

So tell me, do you think alpaca is soft or does it make you twitch?

Hello darlings.

June 6, 2010

Coming home to find more yarn waiting for me? Love. This alpaca and silk blend is going on my loom asap.

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