Hey friends! As you may know, I shared some best-of weaving techniques during the holidays and I realized there are a lot of new people on the blog that may have missed my older posts. So I’m going to highlight some great weaving techniques from time to time for those of you who are new and possibly spark ideas for those of you who have been following along for a while now.
Today I’m re-sharing the 3 colored plain weave. This weave makes a really fun visual and is great for beginners too!
The key to making this 3 colored weave is using a worsted weight yarn (or something of a similar thickness) as your weft and warp. This is because you need your warp thread to show through, where as normally we want our warp thread somewhat hidden. Don’t forget, if you use a yarn that is really stretchy for your warp, you will have some shrinkage after you take your weave off the loom. I usually use cotton thread, because cotton doesn’t have as much stretch as wool. If you want to use wool that will work too, just make sure that you don’t pull on the thread as much when warping your loom. Try to get a good balance between just placing the thread around the loom and pulling the thread taut. The more you stretch the wool, the more it will shrink when taken off the loom, so that’s just something to keep in mind. But don’t be put off from warping with wool, I’ve done it before and it came out fine.
Another tip to this technique is that you want to keep your weft threads spaced so that all threads are showing, which basically means don’t pack your threads down tightly like you normally would.
In these pictures my warp threads are a navy blue and my weft threads are denim blue and turquoise. Here are the simple steps:
step 1 | weave a row of plain weave with your first color (mine is the denim). When you get to the end of the row, let your thread just “hang out” while you work with the next color.
step 2 | taking your second color (mine is the turquoise) weave a row of plain weave using the opposite warps. This is just like you would when you normally weave a plain weave, except your using a second thread. Once you get to the end of the row, let the second color hang out and pick up your first color.
On to the slightly tricky part (but not too tricky for you!)
step 3 | my third row will be woven using the denim blue again. The trick to changing the colored rows is how you handle the sides switches. When you are weaving a color that ends under the last warp (like my denim row), just bring it under it’s next row and plain weave as usual. This color will hook around the other color’s row (turquoise) which will hold it in place.
step 4| on this fourth row I’m leaving the denim alone and weaving the turquoise. When you are weaving a color that ends over the last warp (like my turquoise row), loop it once around the end warp and then bring it under two warp threads. Then plain weave as usual.
step 5| continue alternating the colors in this way until you’re finished with your weave.
And to get your ideas going, you can do this 3 colored weave and combine it with other weaving techniques. For this weave, I went really funky with it and added some roving and then some plain weave and rya knots. You can weave on a thick thread just like normal, so don’t feel limited. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes my weaves develop their own personality and this guy really wanted to be very 80’s. It wasn’t my original plan, but I like how it turned out.
Do your weaves also sometimes take over your design and decide “for themselves”? Have you tried a new weaving techniques lately? If so I’d love to hear about it. Or if there is something you’re stuck on let me know and I’ll do my best to help!
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