Before and After pics

Take a look at this HUGE pile of yarn.  This is the ‘before’ picture.

Huge pile of yarn

And now.

Fabulous yarn displayed

I might not be all fancy-schmancy but I have all you need to beautifully display lots and lots of your fabulous yarn.

Skein Thang

What else do you need – besides more than one?

Find your solution here:  Skein Thang


Mug Rug Freebie pattern

Hello, fellow fiber fanatics!  I thought I’d just go ahead and put your newest freebie pattern – Mug Rugs – right here in the body of the post, especially since it’s so super simple.  No extra clicking – how cool is that.


Mug Rugs

Mug Rugs

Mug Rugs

Rigid heddle or standard loom
Plain weave
8 dent reed/8 epi
5” wide in reed
Total warp ends: 40
Warp length: 2 yards
Total warp yardage: 80 yards
Total weft yardage:  variable

Mug rugs or coasters are fun and easy to make – AND you can use up your scrap yarn!   We’ll be using a strong, fairly thin cotton warp, and thick weft (chunky/super chunky).

The heavier your weft yarn, the thicker your mug rug.  I’ve taken 2 or 3 thinner yarns and loosely twisted them together for the weft, too.  Your imagination can run wild with this pattern.

So’s here the simple pattern for you:

Warp:  cotton rug yarn (equivalent to about a 5/2 pearl cotton in thickness), or other strong cotton yarn of the same weight, white or natural.
Warp length: 2 yards (this should give you about 6 -8 mug rugs).  For more, make a longer warp
Number of warp ends: 40
Woven length:  total 6.25” – 6.5” each – with 1 ½ inches in between.

Here’s your threading pattern if you’re using a standard loom: 1,2 across for 40 ends.  Remember, this is plain weave.

Now for your weft:

For the beginning and ending ¼” you’ll be using the same yarn you used as your warp.

Then for the main section you’ll use your chunky/super chunky yarn.  Depending on the thickness of your yarn and how long you make each mug rug, you’ll need about 6 yards for each, give or take.

Now for the fun part – weaving!

You’ll be using the same warp yarn for the beginning and end of each mug rug.

  1. So, using your warp yarn, weave ¼” (for me this is 7 picks), then cut your yarn, leaving about two inches.  Wrap it around the outside end, and lay it next to your last pick.  Close the shed.  I do an odd number of picks because then my beginning and ending yarn tails are on opposite sides of my mug rug.  Don’t forget to leave a nice tail at the beginning and hemstitch.
  2. Then take your thick weft and weave about 5 ½”, then cut the end, leaving about two inches.  Wrap it around the outside end, and lay it next to your last pick.  Close the shed.
  3. Now, taking your thin warp yarn again, weave ¼” (7 picks), then hemstitch.

You’ll need to snug in the weft nice and tight for the beginning and ending especially, and you’ll notice it will be very weft faced – this is what you want.

After finishing the first mug rug, put a 1 ½” spacer (I used folded up paper) in the shed.  Change sheds and begin weaving your next mug rug.

Once you’ve used up all of your available warp, slide out your paper spacers, and carefully cut your mug rugs apart and off the loom.

Have fun using different wefts!

I hand wash mine and toss them, along with a towel, in a dryer for a few minutes, then lay them flat to finish drying.

NOTE:  you can easily convert this to hot pads/trivets by making it wider in the reed and weaving them longer.

ANOTHER NOTE:  These make nice housewarming gifts or gift bag goodies if you’re in a guild that puts them together every year.

AND ANOTHER NOTE:  I have some spinning friends who have used wool roving for their thick weft too.  Experiment!

Assorted Mug Rugs

Assorted Mug Rugs

Looking for more free patterns?  Here you go!

Hemstitching made easy – really!

Hemstitching made easy

Hemstitching made easy

Hemstitching is something I do on each and every project on my loom.  I learned it many years ago from a diagram in a weaving book.  I know some people don’t like it, or don’t always use it.  That’s fine.  But for me, I have this compulsive need to control certain things, so I need to know my threads are going to stay put.

You can hemstitch from left to right or right to left across the width of your fabric.  I’m left-handed, so I usually go from right to left, holding the tapestry needle in my left hand.  So keep in mind – if you’re right handed, you may want to try doing yours in the opposite direction from the pictures included in this instructional post, meaning leave your yarn tail on the left.

The main – and I mean main – thing I always tell my students is this:  you need to maintain the same circling direction at all times – up, around, under, up.   You’re circling your group of threads with a COMPLETE circle, not partial.  This is critical.

Oh, one more thing – just an FYI – I weave at least an inch before I do my hemstitching.  Gives me a nice base to work from.  I also remove one of my paper warp spreaders to give me more room.

Ok, so let’s get started, shall we?

  1.  Leave a tail on the right hand side of your fabric between 3 and 4 times the width of your warp.  Go longer rather than shorter – you’ll thank me.
  2. Thread the yarn on a large eyed tapestry needle
  3. Working from the right and moving left, go up and around your group of threads, and back under.  You should end up on the outside again (you’ve made a complete circle around your group).
  4. Bring it back over the top of that same group and poke the needle, from underneath, through the third row from the bottom and pull it up and through.
  5. Again, working from right to left, go diagonally across the top of the next group of threads, under, and back up.
  6. Go across the encircled group, poke the needle from underneath, through the third row from the bottom and pull it through.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to the end.
  8. At the end of your row, take your needle across the last encircled group, and poke the needle up from underneath a couple of threads from the edge in row three.
  9. Needle-weave across about 1/3 of the width, or approximately 3 inches to secure the end.

See, simple!

As I hemstitch, and depending on how slippery the yarn is, I will use my free hand to hold the yarn a little taut because I want my groups to be nicely defined.  Otherwise, they can end up looking a little too loose and sloppy.  But that’s a matter of preference to a large degree.

One thing I’ve learned over the years:  If you make your groupings too thick (meaning too many warp ends together), you won’t be happy with the end result because they don’t tend to hang quite right.  For most warps, I do my hemstitching in groups of between 4 and 6.  If the yarn is very fine, I may go with 8.  I’ve done as few as 2 together for fairly thick yarn.

BONUS – since I usually twist my fringe, I pick my groupings (meaning sometimes I’ll vary the number in the group across the width) to correspond to how many and which ends I’ll be twisting together.

New project vs Creative Muse



Raise your hand if you can identify with this –

I’ve been dealing with some unwanted family drama lately.  Just when I thought, good, I can put that behind me – at least for a time – here it comes and smacks me in the face again.  What’s up with that? I have other things to do with my time and energy.

Emotional disturbances in our creative fields can mess things up, can’t they?

I have a fairly nice yarn stash (I’ll bet you do too!).  Lately, every single time I’ve gone to my stash, looking for inspiration for a new project, it tells me in no uncertain terms I don’t have enough of this skein or the right color of that one.

I have made a vow to myself.  I’m not going to buy any new yarn.  I won’t.  I will be steadfast in this decision.  No is no is no.

I will design my next baby based on exactly what I have right now.  Period.

So, I’ll bet you can guess exactly what happened:  I begin to design something wonderful, discover I don’t have what I need, discard that idea, walk away, come back another time – lather, rinse, repeat.  Over and over again.

I repeated this process, oh, at least a dozen times.

BUT – I finally came up with a new project!  Success at last!   I have enough yarn of each kind I need.


My pattern is all written out, the warp is measured, and it’s in process on the loom as I write.

We’ve all had times when our creative muse seems to tease us, not allowing us to coalesce our vision and finalize our calculations.  Making us wait impatiently like the way spring seems to every year.

Warm.  Cold.  Warm.  Cold.  Finally warm for good.  The crocus finally blooms and the tulips form buds.

We’ve also all had times when family does the same frustrating thing.  Patience is necessary.  Walking away may be necessary.  And waiting for the right time to arrive – on its own – is necessary.

I’m trusting that with distancing myself for a time it will permit God to do some heart work behind the scenes.  I don’t want to get in His way.

I saw this quote recently:

When God is silent
He is not still
He does His best work
In the dark.

Time to get back to my loom – my new project is calling!  What new project do you have in process?

Get twisted – fringe that is


Twisted fringe

Twisted fringe

For my weaving classes, in one of our first few lessons we cover making twisted fringe.  Now, twisting fringe is by far a super simple thing to do, so don’t get too excited here today, my fiber fanatical friends.

However, I thought it would be helpful to pass on a few things I’ve learned over the years.  So here goes.

I twist fringe on yarns that tend to unravel easily.

I twist fringe on yarns that tend to twist themselves around each other naturally – that way I get to control who twists where.  (yeah, I know – that OCD thing)

I twist fringe because I really love the way it feels when I run my fingers through it.  (I’m very tactile)

I twist fringe on most of my creations because I flat out love the way it gives it, to me, a finished look.

Most of the time, I group my yarns together when I’m hemstitching on the loom.  That way, it’s easier to visually find them and I love consistency (again, my OCD).

So, when I’m hemstitching, I usually group the yarn together by fours or sixes – or twos or more, depending on the thickness of my warp yarn and what the total number of warp threads are divisible by.  My standard is by sixes, so that’s what I’ll use for my purposes here.

Making twisted fringe is done in three easy steps.

  1. Twisting two groups separately in one  direction
  2. Laying the two twisted groups next to each other and helping them twist in the opposite direction around each other
  3. Knot the ends

Like I said, super simple.  Let me be a bit more specific:

  • In a group of six (from my hemstitching), I’ll separate them into two groups of three.  Picking up the first group of three and holding them together, I twist them more tightly IN THE SAME DIRECTION THEY’RE ALREADY TWISTED/PLIED. 
  • While holding the twisted yarn tightly between my fingers so it doesn’t un-twist itself, I pick up the second group of three and do the same with them.
  • Then I place both twisted groups next to one other and help them twist around each other in the opposite direction.
  • Lastly, I tie a knot in the end.


Now one thing I keep in mind when determining how many yarn ends to twist together is how thick my warp yarn is already, and what look I want.  You can also do singles together if your warp yarn is already thick, just remember for the initial twist to TWIST IT IN THE SAME DIRECTION IT’S ALREADY TWISTED/PLIED.  Otherwise, you’ll just be untwisting your yarn, which definitely won’t give you the result you’re seeking.

And one last thing – you will lose up to 1 inch in length when you twist your fringe, so be sure to include that in your calculations.

So there you go – get wild and have fun.  You can even make some thicker than others, or some twisted and some not across the width.  Just use your imagination and enjoy!

Monday freebie pattern – Color Gamp

Color Gamp

Color Gamp

I’ll bet you’re wondering just what a color gamp is, aren’t you?  I know it’s not a very sexy word, but it is an excellent tool for weavers.

Color gamps are essentially a palette showing the interaction of colors as they cross in the warp and weft. 

Sometimes you may think you know what your project will look like when you choose a certain weft color to go with your warp, but that’s not always the case.  I know, believe me – I’ve learned from experience!   And that’s why color gamps are so handy.

You can use as many colors (variations of the primary and secondary colors for example) as you want – the key is to use the same colors, along with the same fiber and weight in the weft to get an accurate depiction of what happens when you cross them.

Because my students were learning to weave on small table-top rigid heddle looms, the pattern I’m offering today is very simple, but again it’s a wonderful tool.  Feel free to expand on it and just have a good time.

Using plain weave tends to work best for this project because of the closeness of the interlacements, but you can adapt this for any weave structure your little heart desires.

You can also google ‘color gamp’ and get some more cool ideas!

So, here you go: Color Gamp

Yardage Calculation 101

Through the reed and heddles

Through the reed and heddles

When I was teaching my weaving classes, we had one session that covered how to calculate your yardage, so I thought we’d do a post about Yardage Calculation 101.

For me, calculating how much yardage I’m going to need for a particular project has been a matter – to an extent – of trial and error.  I’ve learned to keep very detailed and accurate records of each project so I can duplicate it much more easily next time.  The elasticity and shrinkage of your fiber has a huge impact on your calculations.

So, let’s go ahead and get started, shall we?

We’re going to calculate our warp length for a scarf made out of a superwash wool/wool blend.

Here’s our specifics:

Finished dimensions (meaning AFTER washing/drying) – 6” wide x 72” long.
Fringe – twisted – 6” long
e.p.i. (ends per inch) – 16
p.p.i. (picks per inch) – 14

When calculating warp length, I work backwards.  You have to take into consideration the type of fiber you’re using, how much it will shrink, and how elastic it is.

Today, we’re using a superwash wool/wool blend that has a shrinkage factor of 10%, and very little elasticity.

If I want my scarf to end up about 72” long, I know I’ll need to actually weave it longer.

Here’s how I calculate it:
72” + 10% (7.2”) = 79.2”.  I would round this up to 80” because when you subtract 10% from 80 you get 72.

For the fringe – if I want the finished length 6” – twisted – then I know I’ll need to start with about 7.5”.  It will shrink up, and you’ll also lose up to 1” when you twist it.

Now for the width:  If I want it to end up about 6” wide these are the factors I need to consider –  draw-in and shrinkage.  First, for draw-in  – depending on how you weave, and what fiber you’re using, this will vary.  For me, with a superwash wool/wool blend, I’ll be looking at about 1” of draw-in (about ½ inch on each selvedge), plus about another 10% of shrinkage.

6” + 1” + .75” = 7.75”.   Depending on your pattern, you will adjust this accordingly.

Then, we need to determine how much loom waste we’ll have.  This also varies between weaver and size of loom.  For my table loom, I need about 6” on the front and 12” on the back.  For my larger floor loom I need more on the back.

So, when we put it all together, this is what we have, starting at the front beam (these are all inches).

Warp length:
6 + 7.5 + 80 + 7.5 + 12 = 113/36 = 3.14 yards

So, each yarn end will need to be approximately 3.14 yards long.

Now, we need to calculate how many.

We already determined we need to start with 7.75” wide and the sett for the yarn we’re using is 16 epi.

Here’s your calculation:  7.75 x 16 = 124 ends (again, depending on your pattern, you may need to adjust this to fit your pattern repeat)

Total  warp yardage needed:  3.14 yards long x 124 ends = 390 yards warp (rounded up)


*NOTE:  when you’re measuring on your warping board, keep in mind that the more elastic the yarn is and the more you stretch it out across the pegs, the more draw up you’ll have – you may need to either increase the yardage a little, or stretch it less firmly.

Keep in mind this is a very simple way to figure how much warp yarn you’re going to need.  If you’re using multiple colors – like stripes – you’ll need to figure each color separately.

If in doubt – make the warp a little longer and have some fun playing with what’s left over.

Also – a word to the wise – calculate, then calculate it again, then calculate it one more time.  As in working with wood – once you’ve made your cut, you’re committed. 

Happy Weaving!

Another Monday (ok, Tuesday) freebie pattern!

Designer Table Runner

Designer Table Runner

Just got back last night from a long Thanksgiving visit – well, the trip was long, but the visit was way too short.  Lots of emotions.  But don’t we all have our own bittersweet situations with those we love?

I’m learning more about how to live fully in the moment.  Seeing the people I’m with and around through God’s eyes and not my own frustrations or preconceived ideas.  I enjoy how freeing it is – it releases me to love better.

I used to fear vulnerability and avoided it like the proverbial plague.  Because when you’re open to love, then you may get hurt and I’ve never enjoyed pain – emotional or otherwise.  But I’m learning.

I’m learning that the more willing you are to be vulnerable, the less it hurts.  It’s strange, but true.

So, I guess I’m saying that to say this:  live and love fully – go ahead and be vulnerable.  When I’m gone I don’t want my family to say, wow, she had a really nice yarn stash!  I want them to say, wow, she knew how to love.

There’s your sermon for the day, my friends, and now here’s the free pattern:


I thought you rigid heddle weavers might enjoy my Designer Table Runner pattern.  This one includes a fun pick-up technique.

You can obviously make the runner as long as you want and use the pick-up technique in as many places as you’d like, so have some fun with this.  As you’ll notice on the pattern, I made the warp a little extra long so I could play around with it just a bit.

You’ll also see that on one side of your table runner the floats are parallel with the warp, and on the reverse side the floats are parallel with the weft.  So you could adapt this pattern and use two different colors – one in the warp and the other in the weft and then you could see how the change in color affects each side of your fabric.

I had some fun designing this one and I hope you have some fun with it too.

Here it is:  Designer Table Runner

It’s Monday Specials Day again – check it out!

handwoven scarves

handwoven scarves

I wanted to help everyone out this Christmas season in two ways:

First – offer my handwoven original scarves at super low affordable prices to make it that much easier for you this year as you shop on a tight budget, and

Second – make it easy for you to follow through on your promise to buy from small businesses.

There! Am I wonderful or what?

Seriously, though, I have drastically reduced all of my inventory for quick sale.  Why, you may wonder?  Well, in order to come up with new designs without feeling guilty, I need to get rid of my inventory so I can then let my creative muse work its magic at will.

Keep this in mind too – I only have one of each in my inventory, so you really should click the link(s) below, pick out the original handwoven scarf design that suits your taste best (or maybe it’s for a special someone?) and buy it now.

I have a nice variety for you to choose from, too.

Starting with my original Signature Scarves – each is about 6” wide and about 75” long (varies depending on pattern repeat and shrinkage), and I have both wonderfully soft merino wool/and wool blends, as well as cottons with silks and rayons and bamboo, and who knows what else?

Next are my newer Moebius by Victoria Scarves – where you have a continuous circle with a twist that you can wrap at least once are also about 6” wide.

Then there’s my very own Skinny Scarf Collection – these are narrow scarves with great pops of color and pattern for fun.  These are great for adding some character and color to a plain blouse or jacket. They are each about 3” wide and about 75” long.  These are fun because you can wrap them in lots of ways for different looks.

Lastly is my Illusion Scarf Collection – massive amounts of fringe and color and texture on a narrow canvas of about 3” wide.  There are so many ways to wear this one that I’ve put together a how-to video (starring my granddaughter Lissie)  to show you all about it.  If you want something truly unique and eye-catching, you want at least one of these.  And at these sale prices watch out because they won’t last long, I’m thinking.  These were very popular among my friends in Arizona especially.

Oh, and just one very last thing – these super duper low prices are good ONLY through Christmas.  So, stop hesitating and go check them out!

Wait for it…

I originally wrote this post about 2 years ago when I still lived in Arizona and I was waiting for the next thing.  Since that time that ‘next thing’ has happened and I’ve started a new story – a story that you’ll be hearing more about over the coming weeks and months.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this post as I’m sure you can completely identify with my feelings.  Because, haven’t we all ‘been there, done that’ at least once in our lives?

Luscious fiber

Luscious fiber

I have an overflowing basket of wonderful fiber just waiting to be spun into glorious yarn.  Wool and silk and angora.  Natural color and hand-dyed.

Just waiting.

I only have one bobbin on this really nice spinning wheel that was recently given to me by a kind-hearted lady.  I need more bobbins, though, so I can spin more and make at least a 2-ply yarn.

So I’m waiting. 

About six weeks ago I asked one of my favorite yarn stores if they could order them for me and they said, sure, we’d love to.  I called after a few weeks, and they said, oops, hadn’t done it yet, but they’d take care of it and call me when they were in.

No call.

I went online, found the bobbins, and ordered them myself.  I got a call from the online store saying they were backordered.


So I’m still waiting.

I’ve been struggling this past year or so with this same feeling of waiting.  I want to do and be something other than what I am doing and being, and the waiting is not easy.

It’s really not easy at all.

I’m in a job that I’ve learned how to do well, but it’s not who I am or what I want to be known for.  I keep telling myself to be patient but I confess I have too many days when I’m not only impatient, I’m also petulant.

I’ve had most of this fiber for a number of years packed away, and because of a change in circumstances, I’ve recently recovered it.  The fiber is still just as nice as it was when I first bought it.  It hasn’t expired and it’s not ruined – it’s just the same.

Ready to be used.

I need to stay ready.  Just like you can feel the change in the seasons in the air, I can feel the change in my spirit.  As Summer releases to Fall, the days swing, pendulum-like, from warm to cool, from sun to rain, and back again until the right time comes and Fall is definitely and fully here.

The pendulum is swinging and some days I feel a bit dizzy.

The bobbins should be here in about another week or so.

Fall should be fully here very soon.

My God-designed destiny should be here soon too.

Where are you in your life journey?  What new story are you entering into?