Saturday, 26 November 2016

A Venture into Pattern Writing

Recently I floated an idea on the Facebook group "Rigid Heddle Adventure".  I asked if there would be a market for more of my Rigid Heddle technique tutorials/project patterns.  I got a lot of positive feedback and the answer seemed to be a resounding "YES".  One of the suggestions I got was to put up an example of my pattern writing so that people would have a sense of what they were paying for.  I thought that quite reasonable, but then I needed a fairly simple idea to work with.

At about the same time I started getting to know Lori and Matt from Noble Fibre Mill, a new custom processing Mill in Almonte, Ontario.  Matt's parents run Belfast Mini Mills, his dad designs and builds the equipment and his mum runs their mill and trains new users.  Matt and Lori are just building up their mill, so far they can produce rovings, felt, and a really neat corespun yarn.  They are working towards adding the real spinning equipment, hopefully sooner rather than later.  It was a comment from Lori at the OVWSG Exhibition and Sale that "people think this yarn is really neat, but they aren't sure what to do with it" that prompted me to say "I have tons of ideas, give me some scraps and I'll play with it and make you some samples".  Matt brought me a pretty big ball the next day and I started playing on the remaining black tencel warp from taking the Tom Knisely Sakiori and Zanishi workshop.

I resleyed in a single 10dpi heddle so that the 2/8 Tencel was doubled in each slot and hole.  I tried a whole bunch of things, but my favourite was this:
I call it "Scribbling", it looks really cool, but it's really easy to do.

I warped the loom again, this time with Ashford Tekapo 8 ply.  I chose it because I had it my stash, the colour worked with the corespun, and it's a style of yarn that I think Matt will eventually be able to produce.

This is what I came up with:  a wide loop scarf, plain weave with "Scribbling", and a tidy flat fell seam to join it.  I used a 5 dpi heddle, but you could use every other slot/hole in a 10 dpi heddle.  Scribbling needs 1 pickup stick which you place once then use throughout as needed.

 I didn't have a model handy.  Hobbes offered to help, but then declined to actually wear it.  Too bad, the colour rather suits him.

The scarf finished at about 10-1/2" wide with a 54" circumference.  It's long enough to go twice around the neck.

I have written up the pattern and it is now available on its own page here on the blog, just click on Scribble Scarf for the Rigid Heddle at the top of the page.

Please let me know what you think of the pattern.  Feedback is most welcome.  I want to write patterns that teach new techniques that can then be applied to whatever project you wish.  I have some more Tekapo warp on the loom and I'm trying something else with the corespun.  If it works (the air is a little blue around here at the moment...) I'll write that pattern get it tested and put it in the Etsy shop.  Then, the RH Adventure group wants the pattern for 4 shaft waffle on the RH.  Tea Towels in 2/8 cotton here we come.  My goal is to have a solid pattern by my birthday at the end of January.  We shall see.