Weaver, writer, and all-around curious person

Knit 1; Weave 1: Waves and Sand

Main Image

by Brenda Dayne and Syne Mitchell

This project started with the yarn. I was intrigued that Silk City's Bambu yarn came in two weights, one thin enough for weaving, the other thick enough for hand-knitters.

Brenda Dayne generously agreed to work with me on the project. Together we designed a summer ensemble of tank-top and sarong.

Brenda's choice of stitch pattern (inspired by Cookie A.'s Pomatomus sock pattern) combined with stockinette set the theme of the piece: ocean waves breaking upon the beach.

I had been wanting to design my own weave drafts ever since I interviewed Bonnie Inouye (for an upcoming WeaveCast) and watched her effortlessly draw a new weave draft in a few minutes using weaving software. Could I design a draft that echoed the theme Brenda had set?

Using weaving software, I created a draft with gently undulating waves at one end that broke into a series of ripples at the other. To my mind, the ripples mirror the way waves fragment when they hit sand.

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This was my first attempt at expressing myself through the structure of the cloth. And I'm hooked. There is something magical about starting with an abstract concept and translating that idea into the medium of cloth.

 

Color in Knitting verses Weaving

The next thing we had to come to terms with was color. Brenda swatched and discovered that the Bambu 7 yarn, when knit double-stranded, made a beautiful and drapey fabric. This gave us the option of using two closely-related colors to get a irridescent effect in the knit top. My original plan was to use the exact same colors in a twill or shadow-weave to get a similar effect in the woven fabric.

 

The problem I ran into is that weaving blends colors more thoroughly than knitting because the thread interlacements are smaller than in knit stitches. It's analogous to a digital image; in weaving, the pixels are smaller.

The way this plays out in cloth is that two colors of yarn that give irridescence in a knit fabric, blur into a single flat color in woven cloth. Similarly, two colors with enough of a value difference to show up in the weaving look blotchy and Crayola in the knit fabric. Consider the two knit swatches below.

Knitted Swatches

The Turquoise and Azurite are farther apart in value (ie: dark/light) than the Turquoise and Apache Blue. In the sample with the Azurite, the color pools into blotches. In the sample with Apache Blue, the color shift is subtle, and reads as irridescence.

Now let's look at those same colors in a woven fabric.

Woven Swatches

See how the twill lines are more prominent in the Turquoise and Azurite combination on the left? In the sample using Apache Blue, the twill line fades into the background. (See also the photo of the sarong below.)

If I chose the same colors as the knit fabric, I would create a flat and boring woven textile. If I chose different colors, I would create a fabric in a color that didn't match the top. How to get around this?

I was inspired by the color-blending of Bonnie Tarses; I wound a warp that shaded from the color used in the knitted fabric to the color that showed off the woven pattern best, with a thread-by-thread combination between.

It took a lot of sampling and playing around with color to get to that point, but I'm pleased with the way the final fabric turned out. The shadings of blue remind me of the different colors of ocean water as you go down in depth.

Weave 1: Sarong

I planned this as a sarong, but as you can see in the image at the top of this article, it also works as a light-weight summer shawl.

 

sarongEquipment

A loom with eight or more shafts, capable of weaving fabric thirty–four inches wide.

 

Sett

24 ends per inch

(woven at 20-24 picks per inch)

 

Dimensions

34 inches wide in the reed

31.5 inches wide by 44.5 inches long off the loom

30.5 inches wide by 42 inches long after wet-finishing

Note: This sarong was designed to fit a slender woman who is five feet tall. If you (like me) do not fit this description, you could warp and weave the sarong longer and have it be knee-length (the warp wrapping around your hips.) Or you could weave several panels and stitch them together (the warp flowing lengthwise.) This latter also works if your loom is less than thirty-four inches wide.

 

Yarns

Bambu 7 (2100 ypp) and Bambu 12 (6300 ypp) from Cotton Clouds.

Warp: Bambu 7—1250 yards each of Apache Blue and Azurite. (This left about a yard on the loom for waste and sampling.)

Weft: Bambu 12—1020 yards of Turquoise.

Note: I would have preferred to use Bambu 12 in both warp and weft, but Bambu 12 comes in fewer colors than Bambu 7 and the warp colors were not available.

 

Winding the Warp

Wind a warp three yards long, in the following pattern: 68 threads of Apache Blue, 68 threads alternating between Apache Blue and Azurite (you can wind them together if you separate the threads with a finger or warping paddle) and 68 threads of Azurite. Repeat this pattern four times for a total of 816 threads.

 

 

Weave Structure

Non-repeating Advancing Twill

Note: The drawdown image below shows only part of the threading and treadling. Since this is a non-repeating advancing twill; the threading is quite long. For the complete drawdown, please download the WIF file.

Download the weave draft in WIF formatWeave Draft

Note: When I originally composed the weave draft, I used a straight-draw threading and a non-repeating treadling. Because I was going to weave this on a non-computerized loom, I turned the draft so that the threading was non-repeating and the treadling a straight-draw (in other words 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). My thinking was that it was better to "pay my dues" up front with the threading and have an easy time of the weaving, than to struggle with manually weaving a complicated treadling.

If you will be weaving on a computerized loom, or would prefer the waves to travel horizontally across the warp, you can turn the draft back to a straight-draw threading, as shown below.

Note: The drawdown image below shows only part of the threading and treadling. Since this is a non-repeating advancing twill; the threading is quite long. For the complete drawdown, please download the WIF file.

 

Download the turned weave draft in WIF formatTurned Draft

You can also play with different treadlings to get several beautiful variations of the Waves and Sand fabric. My favorite of these will go out as a WeaveZine Email Update in July.

 

Finishing

fringeTrim the warp ends to six inches long and twist into fringe by plying together two sets of four threads. Tie an overhand knot in the end of the fringe. This results in a fringe approximately four inches long.

 

Hand wash the fabric in warm water with gentle agitation.

I did not press this fabric after washing. A subtle shrinkage differential between the Bambu 7 and 12 added a textural crinkle and shading to the twill pattern.

 

Knit 1: Tank Top

A summer-weight top knit in the round to the underarm.

top

Equipment

  • Needles—4.5mm circular (US size 7)
  • Stitch markers
  • Darning needle
  • Twenty coil-less safety pins

 

Size

S, (M, L, XL)

 

Finished measurement at bust: S—30 inches, M—34 inches, L—38 inches, XL—42 inches

The model is wearing size S.

Note: This top is designed to be worn with negative ease, and the drapeble fabric is quite stretchy. For example, the small size can stretch to fit a woman with a 40–inch bust. If you are between sizes or prefer a snug fit, you may want to go down a size or two.

 

Gauge

22 sts / 28 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch (5.5 sts and 7 rows per inch)

 

21 sts = 4 inches in lace pattern

Yarn

Bambu 7, worked double-stranded, holding together one strand of Turquoise and one strand of Apache Blue.

Small: 440 yards (3.25 ounces) of each color.

Medium: 550 yards (4 ounces) of each color.

Large: 790 yards (6 ounces) of each color.

Extra-Large: 870 yards (6.6 ounces) of each color.

Note: This yarn is quite slippery, and joined ends can easily come undone. For best results join in only at the sides. When joining the shoulder seams, leave an extra long tail to weave in.

Stitch Guide

Purl Ridge:
Round 1: P
Round 2: K

Edge Stitch Rows: I used Annie Modesett’s Double-Knit Edging. It is worked after the underarm bind off, on the right and wrong side rows of the bodice. This simple stitch pattern creates a very tidy knitted edge. The stitch pattern is worked back and forth over 3 sts at the beginning and end of every row. The underarm decreases at lower edge of the bodice are worked in the edge-stitch pattern.

RS Row: Sl1, S1wyf, k1, work to 3 sts before end, K1, Sl1wyf, K1.
WS Row: Sl1, K1, S1wyf, work to 3 sts before end, Slwyf, K2.

To work S1wyf, bring working yarn to front, slip stitch, return the yarn to back, work next stitch per pattern instructions.

Decrease Edge Stitch Rows:  Essentially the same edge stitch as above, incorporating underarm decreases on RS rows.

RS Row: Sl1, S1wyf, SSK, work to 4 sts before end, K2tog, Sl1wyf, K1.
WS Row: Sl1, K1, S1wyf, work to 3 sts before end, Slwyf, K2.

Japanese Short Rows: This method of short row shaping is essential when working with the Bambu yarn as it does not require wrapped stitches, and thus results in a smooth and undistorted fabric. Each short row has a turning point where the knitting is turned without completing the row.

In this pattern, the short-row shaping forms the neckline slope on the inside of the shoulder stitches. You will use the knit-side instructions for the right shoulder (when looking down at the garment) and the purl-side instructions for the left shoulder.

On the knit side: work to the turning point, turn the work, slip the next stitch purl wise. Attach a coil-less pin around the working yarn (not through it) and purl to complete the row. This creates a gaps which will be closed on the final row.

To close gaps on the knit side, knit until you reach the gap. On the WS of the fabric you will see your row of pins attached to loops behind the right needle. From the knit side, pull the pin and lift the attached loop onto the left needle.  The loop should be correctly mounted with its right leg in front. Knit the loop together with the next stitch. Remove the pin

On the purl side: Purl to the turning point, turn the work, slip the next stitch purl wise. Attach the pin around the working yarn (not through it) and knit to complete the row.

To close gaps on the purl side, purl until you reach the gap. On the RS the pin will be attached to a loop under the right needle. Slip the first stitch on the left needle purl wise onto the right needle. Pull the pin and lift the loop up onto the left needle, correctly mounted with its right leg in front. Slip the first stitch on the right needle back to the left needle (reversing the order of the stitch and the loop). Purl the next stitch together with the loop. Remove the pin.

For further information, including step-by-step pictures, see the Tutorial on Japanese Short Rows in the nonaKnits blog.

Lace Stitch Chart
The pattern is worked only on odd-numbered rows. Even-numbered rows are worked in stockinette stitch.

Lace Pattern Chart

(Knitter's Symbols font used with permission of Knitter’s Magazine—Copyright © 1998 XRX, Inc.)

 

BODY

The following schematic gives the measurements (in inches) of the finished top for the S (M, L, XL) sizes. The blue lines and measurements apply to the front only, green to the back only, and black to both the front and back.

 

Tank-Top Schematic

With one strand each of Apache Blue and Turquoise, CO 144 (168, 192, 216). Join into round placing markers at every 36 (42, 48, 54) stitches to mark sides and centers. (Beginning of round marks right side “seam”.)

Work Purl Ridge rounds 2x.

Begin Stitch Pattern Chart as follows:
Size S – Beginning with st 7, work chart 1x, then rep rows 1 – 21.

Size M – Beginning with st 1, work chart 1x, then rep rows 1 – 21.

Size L – Beginning with st 7, work chart 2x.

Size XL – Beginning with st 1, work chart 2x.

Work Purl Ridge rounds 2x.

Work Increase rounds as follows:
Size S  - K3 (M1, K6) Rep 23 times, M1, K3 (168 sts total)

Size M – K3 (M1, K7) Rep 23 times, M1, K4 (192 sts total)

Size L – K4 (M1, K8) Rep 23 times, M1, K4 (216 sts total)

Size XL – K4 (M1, K9) Rep 23 times, M1, K5 (240 sts total)

 

BODICE

Knit even in stockinette stitch for 3 (3.5, 4, 4.5) inches

 

Under arm shaping: Knit from right “seam” marker (beginning of round) across front of garment, to within 6 sts of left “seam” marker, BO 12 sts, removing side marker in the process. Knit across back of garment to withing 6 sts or rights side marker, BO 12 sts, removing side marker in the process. Center front and center back markers remain. Place back stitches on holder, or extra pair of circs. Work front of garment back and forth across 72 (84, 96, 108) sts.

Front: Work Decrease Edge Rows 3 (4, 5, 6) x for 66 (76, 86, 96) sts total. Continue knitting even, working Edge Stitch Rows for 3(3.5, 4, 4.5) inches, ending WS.

Right Side Shoulder Shaping: Using Japanese Short Row technique, and working  Edge Stitch pattern as set, K to within 12 (13, 14, 15) sts of center front marker, sl1p, slip safety pin over working yarn, k1, turn. Purl to end, working edge stitch pattern as set.

RS: K to within 3 sts of gap, slip safety pin over working yarn and leave at back of work, K1, turn.

WS: Purl to end, working Edge Stitch pattern as set.

Work these two rows a total of 9 (11, 13, 15) x.

Knit Side Pick-up Row: Sl1, Sl1wyf, K1, slip these three sts to coil-less safety pin. *(K to gap, lift safety pin and the strand it is attached around, and place strand on left needle. Knit this strand together with the next st. Remove pin.) Repeat from * until all gaps have been closed. K across front leaving center marker in place, ending with edge stitch pattern as set. Turn.

Wrong Side Shoulder Shaping: Working Edge Stitch pattern as set, P to within 12 (13, 14, 15) sts of center marker, slip the next st purl wise, slip safety pin over working yarn, p1, turn. Knit to end, working edge stitch pattern as set.

WS Row: P to within 3 sts of gap, slip safety pin over working yarn, P1, turn.

RS Row: Knit to end, working Edge Stitch pattern as set.

Work these two rows a total of 9 (11, 13, 15) x.

Purl side pick up row: Sl1, K1, S1wyf. Slip these three sts to coil-less safety pin. *(P to first gap, slip the first stitch on the left needle purl wise onto the right needle, lift safety pin and the strand it is attached around and place strand on left needle. Slip the first stitch on the right needle back to the left needle, reversing the order of the stitch and the loop. Knit the next stitch together with the loop. Remove the pin.) Repeat from * until all gaps have been closed. Knit across all stitches. Place front stitches on holder or extra circ. Clip yarn leaving 6 inch tail.

 

BACK

Work Armhole decreases and bodice back as for front.
66 (76, 86, 96) sts total. Continue bodice as for front, maintaining edge stitches as set for 4 (4.5, 5, 5.5) inches.

 

Right Side Shoulder Shaping: Using Japanese Short Row technique, and working  Edge Stitch pattern as set, K to within 14 (15, 16, 17) sts of center front marker, sl1p, slip safety pin over working yarn, K1, turn. Purl to end, working edge stitch pattern as set.

RS: K to within 3 sts of gap, slip safety pin over working yarn and leave at back of work, K1, turn.

RS Row: Knit to end, working Edge Stitch pattern as set.

Work these two rows a total of 8 (10, 12, 14) x.

Knit Side Pick-up Row: Sl1, Sl1wyf, K1, slip these three sts to coil-less safety pin. *(K to gap, lift safety pin and the strand it is attached around, and place strand on left needle. Knit this strand together with the next st. Remove pin.) Repeat from * until all gaps have been closed. K across front leaving center marker in place, ending with edge stitch pattern as set. Turn.

Wrong Side Shoulder Shaping: Working Edge Stitch pattern as set, P to within 14 (15, 16, 17) sts of center marker, slip the next st purl wise, slip safety pin over working yarn, turn. Knit to end, working Edge Stitch pattern as set.

WS Row: P to within 3 sts of gap, slip safety pin over working yarn, P1, turn.

RS Row: Knit to end, working Edge Stitch pattern as set.

Work these two rows a total of 8 (10, 12, 14) x.

Purl Side Pick-up Row: Sl1, K1, S1wyf. Slip these three sts to coil-less safety pin. *(P to first gap, slip the first stitch on the left needle purl wise onto the right needle, lift safety pin and the strand it is attached around and place strand on left needle. Slip the first stitch on the right needle back to the left needle, reversing the order of the stitch and the loop. Knit the next stitch together with the loop. Remove the pin.) Repeat from * until all gaps have been closed. Knit across all stitches. Place front stitches on holder or extra circ. Clip yarn leaving 6 inch tail.

Join front to back at shoulders by knitting all stitches, except for edge sts placed on holders. Next round, beginning at right shoulder BO all sts purl wise. Clip yarn leaving 6-inch tail.

FINISHING
Carefully remove right shoulder markers and place edge sts on 2 dpns. Graft these stiches at shoulder. Repeat for left shoulder. Weave ends.

Wash in tepid water. Block to desired measurements and allow to dry.

 

Brenda Dayne Brenda Dayne is the host of the enormously popular knitting podcast, Cast-On. She blogs about her life and work at Fling.

 

 

 

 

Syne MitchellSyne Mitchell used to live in Key West, where she stayed up late writing BASIC programs on a Commodore 64. On those occasions that she braved the sun, she found undersea life fascinating, especially feather-duster worms and parrot fish. She blogs about her current life (staying up late writing PHP scripts) at WeaveGeek.