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Releasing stash during a pandemic

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

— by Val

In the depths of social isolation and daily bad news, a bright spot for me was participating in a Stash Busting Weave Along led by Tien Chiu and Janet Dawson

Over 4 weeks of guidance, more than 3000 participants across North America and beyond experimented with our stash threads. My personal goal was to use colours out of my usual range, including different thread sizes and fibres. And of course, to free some stash that has been languishing in my bins waiting to be woven into something beautiful.

Tien, a specialist in colour in hand weaving, provided a fun digital tool to determine how stash colours worked together in the draft chosen for the weave along. Colour is an endless learning experience and there were lots of tips and information.

Janet, an experienced weaving instructor, had much to offer to improve how I do things. You are never too old to learn new tricks.

After testing strength, stretch, washability & abrasion resistance, doing calculations for required amounts then checking colour groups and values of the colours, I chose a warp of cotton, cottolin and silk in sizes from 2/20 silk to 3/2 cotton. Colours were neutrals, gold and orange.

Sampling for sett and colour was critical for this project as was washing the sample.

My final choice was bright red cotton weft, which gave the lustrous gold cotton and orange silk a chance to shine. For a little continuity in the fringe, I added a red thread to each twisted group. This was woven on our guild Jane loom in an 8 harness rosepath structure.

This was a fun project and I’m very happy with the resulting scarf.


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