Knitting and weaving: a symbiotic relationship

I am just waking up to the mutually enabling relationship between knitting and weaving.

I have been generating lots of scrap yarn in the past month – odds and ends left over from various projects. I set aside the bigger scraps for future knitting, but have been scratching my head over what to do with the littler scraps.

It only recently occurred to me to take them to my frame lap loom. While my most recent woven mat was a patterned weave, I became curious about improvisational tapestry weaving. Looking at different works, I enjoyed how the fibres created paint-like dollops, dabs, and strokes.

I also find something musical about the motion of lap-loom weaving – watching colourful forms appear with each row is like strumming a strange, colour-capturing instrument whose notes are tenderly suspended in the warp. It’s that tender suspension that makes weaving magical to me. While I think of knitting as fabric made from rhythmic loops, I think of weaving as making cloth from melodies of colour – like ‘playing the loom.’ Both are delightful.

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In the spirit of curiosity, I warped my frame loom last Wednesday. It’s made from an old picture frame (note the chipping varnish).  The Weaving Loom offers a basic tutorial on how to warp a frame loom (and also how to make one with very basic materials). Warping is quite straightforward, even relaxing. The pieces of blue washi tape are surprisingly good at forming a thin ridge that keeps the warp threads in place. When tensioned, the threads do stay put.

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Left: Warping the night away.  Right: All warped up. I should have put down one more warp strand. They seem uneven. The strap on the left is my very first weave. I keep it on the loom as a reminder and dwelling place for the weaving muse.

I took to the loom the next day, Thursday, with my miscellaneous odds and ends. I decided just to start weaving, with no pattern in mind. I was feeling triangles that day, and started with a single form, in cotton yarn.

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I decided to add another one, in a wool-acrylic blend, taken from a knitting project I’m looking forward to completing soon. Working with this soft and fluffy pink yarn felt like weaving with cotton candy.

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Sending the needle through the shed, or the space created by separating alternating warp threads. I used a plastic ruler as a shed stick.
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Smoothing down the weft with a fork.

2 triangles led to a third, and more, incorporating the scrap yarn from my recent beanie project.

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By the dying light of dinner time, I decided to call it a day.

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Have I fallen down a fibre-craft rabbit hole, a reinforcing knitting-weaving cycle? It seems so. But, I’m happy to have found a home for all the wayward scraps. Plus, an extra dose of fibre is good for you.  🙂

I will revisit this project again soon; it will go and grow with the knitting. Happy weekend.

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15 thoughts on “Knitting and weaving: a symbiotic relationship

  1. Thanks! It’s a fun handheld project (though not as portable as knitting!). I’m new to the tapestry style – there’s something mysterious about it. The fork is a convenient make-shift beater. 🙂

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  2. Did you know Emy and A and I used to spend HOURS weaving yarn on forks to make “fork flowers”? I wonder if there are any still lying around at Peggy’s… if not, I’m sure the younger girls know how to make them now too. Your tapestry is beautiful. Glad I found your blog. xo

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    1. Jess! Lovely to read you! I have never heard of fork flowers, but I am definitely curious. They sound fun! Yes, this blog has been my creative home for the past while. Thanks for commenting and stopping by! Looking forward to more quilting news from you XO.

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  3. Oh, my goodness! What an inspiration you are! I’ve just discovered your blog, and all I want to do now is spend the rest of the morning catching up on all of your posts!

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    1. Thank so much for stopping by! Likewise! I’ve been enjoying Knit Potion tremendously, and look forward to reading more updates. Can’t wait to see more of the Fair Isle hat you’ve started. Happy Knitting! 🙂

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  4. I’d really like to try this at some point. You make it look so easy, but I’m sure it takes some effort to get it looking so neat. I’m determined to brush up on my knitting skills too before this years out…we’ll see how that goes 😉

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  5. Thank you! Weaving it’s lots of fun, and I don’t do it nearly enough as I’d like. 🙂 It has a similar relaxing quality to crocheting/knitting, I find. Looking forward to more craft updates!

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