Witch's Brew Dares

Post your HalloWeave Dare here! This is the first step to a successful Halloweave!


Posted on Sat, 09/10/2011 - 13:17

I dare myself finally weave with my hand dyed, home spun Maggie's Farm Yarns. I have had this yarn for 5 years, I love and want to use it! Thanks to HalloWeave and my Witch's Brew Team member's I'm finally going to do it!

Posted on Sat, 09/10/2011 - 17:33

I'm a hand spinner and I have plenty of yarn, but for some reason I seldom use it. I'm always looking for the perfect project and want to be sure it's going to work out okay so I don't waste it. - So Erica, what will you make with your handspun? Will you use it for the warp and weft? I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet. 


Posted on Sat, 09/10/2011 - 21:54

I haven't decided yet either. I wanted to weave a shawl, but I don't think I have enough to use as the warp. I think I ha e a black wool that I can use for the warp so I can use this for the weft. First I need to double check my calculations to see what is possible!

Posted on Mon, 09/12/2011 - 13:58

I'm in!  Currently in the middle of a complex hand-dyed project and trying to push myself to quit fiddling with samples and weave the darn thing!

Posted on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 06:40

That is one of the dangers of sampling! I love playing with diffent wefts, etc. I also love being able to see how the project is going to turn out before I invest all the time of weaving the whole thing. So I have realized in the last year how valuable sampling is, but have caught myself playing too much on a few occassions!
Good luck to you,

Posted on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 00:22

Okay, so my plan is to do a Shifu project with hand-spun/twisted kozo paper yarn and a hand-painted silk warp. None of that really scares me (I teach weaving, dyeing, warp painting, etc.). What scares me is . . . color. I'm a subdued type of person, and it shows in the colors I use. Not much variety and not much intensity. But I have been inspired by your rainbow jacket, Tien (forget the cover of Rolling Stone--it's much cooler now to be on the cover of Handwoven). So I'm daring myself to use lots and lots of color in this project. Maybe even (shiver, shudder) red and orange. I'd better send this message quickly before I chicken out!

Posted on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 05:39

I'm really looking forward to seeing what gets 'brewed' in this group!

...I'm curious about Shifu (weaving?), I've never heard of it before.


Posted on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 06:55

Great dares so far everyone! I'm looking forward to seeing what we all do. I hope to post a picture of the yarn for my dare soon! Looming, I'd love to see the colors your planning! I'm sure they are fantastic!

Posted on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 14:21

Hi, Beth--

Shifu is a type of weaving that uses paper yarn as weft. The warp can be paper yarn, too, but is more likely to be silk or hemp. Shifu is most often associated with Japan, where amazing garments and other items are created using this weaving process. The paper is made from mulberry or similar plant sources, so it is stronger than the paper we typically use in the U.S.

Posted on Thu, 09/15/2011 - 15:16

Thanks for explaining Shifu, Looming. If the paper yarn is flexible enough to use in cloth for garments, I must try weaving with some one day.


Posted on Fri, 09/16/2011 - 18:31

I have spun some wool on an older saxony spinning wheel, and I seem to get more twist in the thread than I would like, and have been reluctant to try to weave with it, and my thickness is not consistant on this hand spun wool. But I am willing to give it a try, but thinking of using it for the weft only. Suggestions for the warp, what other fiber will work well with hand spun wool? I do have some 2 ply wool I could use for a scraf with the hand spun wool. Open for suggestions on fiber or a project. Will be weaving project on a 22" 4 shaft loom.

Posted on Sat, 09/17/2011 - 13:49

Here is a photo of the dyed pirns and of the sample I'm weaving up from them:

I knitted, dyed, and unraveled a knitted blank to get the color changes.  I'm hoping it will turn out like the previous sample:

Right now there's not as much color variation as I'd like, but will see how it unfolds.  I'm about 2/3 of the way through the weaving, so I should know pretty soon!

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 07:37

Using it as the weft sounds like a good idea. I would count how many epi on average, then pair it with a warp that is close.
I can't look right now, but I remember Synne Mitchell interviewing someone on WeaveCast about working with high twist yarns. It might be worth listening to that and see if you think it might work as warp as well, or at least to get ideas for later. Anyone remember the WeaveCast I'm thinking of?

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 07:38

What fabulous colours! I love your palette and idea! Good luck, I can't wait to see it unfold.
Has anyone else begun to prepare their warps?

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 20:12

I would like to jump in and give this a try. I'm not certain how my yarn would work for the warp. I'm not really consistent yet and at times I get overly thin. Most of what I have is chain plyed though, maybe that would give it enough strength. I'm not sure how daring I can be. Perhaps just a scarf to start on. It will actually be the very first thing I've ever actually made with handspun. 

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:10

After trying three setts, I've found one that seems to show off the dyed silk warp but also gives the kozo/washi paper yarn a significant visual role. Still playing around with colors, as you can see in this sample warp. I haven't decided yet if I want to dye the paper weft.

Posted on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 21:29

Looks glorious!  Did you paint the warp on the loom?

And I think the colors are lovely...but then I am a real color magpie!

I have just finished overdyeing my woven sample in three different test patterns...will post tonight, after the rinsed-out samples are dry!

Posted on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 08:39

Hi Looming

What a lovely warp! I'd also like to know if you painted it on the loom...and also what kind of dye you used?

Thanks, Beth

Posted on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 12:42

Here's my samples!

(Click for larger versions of the photos)

In the top photo, the left-hand sample was too bold a pattern for my tastes.  The right-hand sample was a botched attempt at a subtle leaf pattern stenciled in dye.  But the middle sample is Just Right - a lovely striated pattern (subtle!) with the leaves appearing/disappearing as the fabric moves.  I rumpled it up and took the bottom photo to show the effect.

I'm going to do one more trial run, to try a different approach that would be much faster (and possibly just as good) and then I'll launch into the actual garment weaving!

Posted on Tue, 09/20/2011 - 14:33

Tien, the effect you achieved in your third sample is amazing. I love the way it seems to shimmer and capture the light.

Yes, I'm "painting" my silk warp on the loom in sections as I go using Colorhue dyes. They set instantly, and the silk dries quickly, so it is possible to layer one color over another for shading. I paint a section, have a cup of tea, and then the warp is dry and ready to be woven. Usually, I dye warps off the loom or before winding on, but the design needs to be a bit more precise for this project because I am trying to create a sort of overall picture. I'm thinking that some post-weaving surface design might be fun to play with, too.

Posted on Fri, 09/30/2011 - 11:15

I've been letting my brew steep for a while. I am planning (hoping) I can eek out a shawl from my hand spun and dyed wool. This was not handspun by me, but was pruchased from the spinner herself. As it is handspun it was rightfully quite dear to buy and therefore I only have one large skein. I still need to double check the sett. I hope to have enough to warp it at 21" wide and 75" long. I decided on these dimensions after seeing Zinniz's Handspun Poppy Shawl.
I will still need to play a bit with the yarn to see how well the variegated pattern will work at this length, but I am hoping for those dimensions.