Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday Weaving, Jillian's Poncho

I started a weaving project a few days ago to make a poncho for my granddaughter Jillian. I wanted to use my Ashford Sample-it Loom, known as an ASIL, which weaves about 8" wide max. To use this loom I needed to weave the fabric in two panels, so the warp needed to be five yards long. A bit of creativity was needed to find a spot in our MH to put the peg for direct warping.  I clamped the cross piece from a stand to a tiny counter at one end of the lounge (FYI, a living room in a coach is called a lounge) and attached the warping peg to the cross piece.
Then I positioned the ASIL clamped to my bench/stand all across the room, backed up against the driver's seat. I had exactly five yards between them.  If I hadn't had enough space I would have had to place another peg in the room where the path of the warp could jog and give me the length I needed.

Weaving went well, and I kept weaving until the warp was done. My roll of cloth on the cloth beam became so large that I had to advance the warp very frequently, but it fit with room to spare. Good to know that I could fit so much on this little loom!
I used a random sequence of stripes using a variegated yarn and a solid, carrying the yarn not being woven up one side.

And here is Jillian's poncho! I made the neck opening large enough for a toddler's head by folding down a collar front and back. I really like the way it added detail. I also added faux fringe where there was none, because it balanced the design nicely. My friend, Meg, from the South Jersey Guild of Spinners and Handweavers had inspired me a long time ago to make a poncho; it took a while to actually make one (and a weave along from Jill Sanders' Saori group on Ravelry for the push) but it finally got made!

Details on construction: the fabric started as 6.5" wide and 3.5 yards long when removed from the loom. I cut the piece in half, zigzagging the raw edges with my sewing machine, and hand whipstitched the panels together to make a piece 13" wide. I twisted fringe on one end, then cut two panels 18" long. I machine stitched the butt end of one panel to the side of another, then did the same to the cut end of the other. It's hard to explain but here is a picture.

I added fringe all around because I liked the effect. It's going to be big on Jillian, but she'll grow into it!

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