Tag Archives: Universe

Free Pattern Friday – North Window Stole

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Today, the North Window Stole in Universe.

It’s a simple formula:  sparkly yarn+ crochet = gorgeous.

The three row body repeat creates a striking fabric in our 10th anniversary yarn Universe (246yds/50g), a blend of cotton, linen, and glitter wrapped in a polyamide thread for greater durability.

Ooh… aah…

Worked on a size C-2 (2.75mm) hook, this design features a pineapple edging with picots, adding  to the elegance of the stole.

Delicate and divine.

We hope you enjoy this gorgeous crochet lace piece.

Happy crafting!

Weaving Wednesday – Sparkle Windows

Last time on Weaving Wednesday, I talked about warping for my lace stole in Universe.  Once I got over relearning how to warp my floor loom, it was smooth sailing!

Here are the specs on this project:

  • Yarn: Universe, color 10-07 Woolen
  • Reed: 10 dent
  • Total ends: 241
  • Width on loom: 24″ (desired finished width is 20″)
  • Warp Length: 100″ (desired finished length is 60″)

(Update: There is now a written version of this pattern available here)

My warp is 40″ longer than my desired length. I know that there will be a good 10% take-up in finishing. Plus I left plenty of extra length at each end for fringe.

Since I knew I was going to be doing some different lace patterns, I actually kept good notes on just what I wove in my beginning header so I could repeat it on the other end – go me!

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After tying on to the front rod, the weaving fun began. I started out as I usually do, with a few picks of waste yarn to even out my warp, followed by some hem stitching.

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I knew I wanted to do some kind of a lace sampler for this project. I decided to do a “header” at the beginning of the project, a matching header at the other end, and an all-over pattern for the main body of the stole.

I began with a type of “finger controlled” lace at the beginning called Brooks. “Finger controlled” means that I am literally moving the warp threads with my fingers and passing the yarn between it, rather than using the shafts to raise and lower warp threads.

The first type of Brooks I did is worked on an open shed, meaning I pressed down on one of my treadles that holds half the warp threads. This caused half the warp to raise.

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I found Brooks lace quite simple to do – easier than I had imagined. I passed the shuttle containing the warp yarn around a section of the raised warp threads (6), along the entire width of the piece.

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I adjusted each of the wrapped sections so they were at about the same height and then worked 3 rows of plain weave. They look like little bows – so pretty.

After this first pass of Brooks, I decided to do another row, but offset from the first row.

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And then another row offset again.

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As pretty as this was, I was getting a little bored and was ready to move on. That’s half the beauty of a sampler!

And look, so it’s so sparkly!

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Next, I tried Brooks lace, but worked on a close shed. That means when I wrapped my weft yarn around the warp, I went around all threads across the width of the piece. I did two repeats of this with 3 passes of plain weave in between. I was less impressed with the appearance of this on the loom, but decided to keep it in the piece in hopes that I’d like it better after finishing (and I did!)

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Next, it was time to move on to my main lace pattern: Atwater Bronson. This type of lace produces little blocks. I warped my loom for the most basic of Atwater Bronson – a single repeating block of lace. There are many incarnations of this lace. And it is quite possible to reproduce this on a rigid heddle with use of a pick-up stick.

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While the Brooks lace is considered a finger controlled lace pattern, Atwater Bronson is a type of “loom controlled” pattern. That’s because the loom is doing all the work of raising and lowering the warp threads. Well, at least my feet are doing the work of pushing the treadles to make this happen!

I really enjoyed the weaving part of this. I’m sure much of this was the ease of weaving on a floor loom, and the wonderful rhythm of the beater bar, treadles, and boat shuttle. But it was also easy to memorize and just overall very pleasant.

Here it is after a few repeats. Not too exciting!

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After more repeats, I could definitely see the pattern forming. But again, not that visually stimulating. I had to keep reminding myself that the magic would really happen off the loom and after washing.

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From an angle, you can kind of see the blocks in the pattern.

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When the back bar with the end of my warp tied to it almost reached the back beam, I knew it was time to weave my other header. I reversed what I did for the beginning header and cut it off the loom.

Because my yarn, Universe is several elements – cotton, linen, and metallic – all wrapped with a sliver of nylon, I knew I didn’t want to leave loose fringe. If I had, that nylon would have come unwrapped and the elements would have splayed out. Which, now that I think of it, might have looked cool. But it wouldn’t have worn well. So I busted out my handy fringe twister and made twisted fringe. This allowed me to knot the ends, securing the yarn without fear of it unraveling.

After doing the fringe, I was excited to dunk my stole in a bath to see what happened. And what happened was a much more intense transformation than I anticipated. Both the Brooks lace and the Atwater Bronson lace opened up a lot. The Atwater Bronson looks like little windows that the Brooks iterates above and below. I couldn’t be happier with how this turned out!

On Molly:

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When it’s laid flat, I can really see those little “windows” formed by the Atwater Bronson.

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And somehow this turned out larger than I imagined it would. Finished measurements without fringe are 23″ x 66″. Which is fine with me – that’s a great size for a stole!

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Join me next time for my biggest weaving project yet – matching woven motorcycle jackets made from Deluxe DK Tweed Superwash!

 

 

 

Weaving Wednesday – Getting my Sparkle On

Ever since we added Universe to celebrate our 10th anniversary last year, I’ve wanted to weave with it. A mix of linen, cotton, metallic, wrapped together with nylon, I swear there’s a bit of magic in every strand. The combination of plant fibers and sparkle mesmerizes me.

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It’s beautiful in knitted items, such as the Planetary Shawl:

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Or the delightful Universe of Snowflakes:

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But I knew Universe would make beautiful weaving, too. I decided this was the project I would finally warp up my poor, neglected floor loom. My Fanny Leclerc has been sitting as a backdrop for my rigid heddle weaving these last few years, as though I’m mocking her abilities as a workhorse weaver. She’s a sturdy 4-shaft loom procured a number of years back at a reasonable price via my local Craigslist.

But first things first. It’s been years since I wove on Fanny, and I needed a refresher on warping. Luckily, I had my trusty copy at hand of “Learning to Weave” by Deborah Chandler.

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I bought this book when I first acquired ol’ Fanny, and it has proven to be an indispensable  resource. Deborah has so many little tips “woven” throughout this book, along with super helpful illustrations. Though the book covers warping a floor loom front-to-back or back-to-front, I’ve only ever done the back-to-front method.

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Rigid heddle looms are wonderful and can typically be direct-warped. This is not the case with a floor loom. So off to my warping board I went to begin the process.

This part of my warp shows the ultra-important figure 8 cross at the end. This will help me keep all my strands aligned when I take the bundle over to the loom.

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I like to look head-on at the cross periodically as I’m winding my yarn to make sure things are going accordingly. As you can see below, I made a mistake that had to be taken out:

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Get a load of that shimmer!

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It’s crucial to tie the cross end in 5 places to keep it intact during the warping process.

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That board with the nails in it that’s clamped to the back beam – that’s called a “raddle.” It’s just another tool that helps to separate the warp every inch-worth of warp threads.

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After attaching the warp to the back rod, it’s time to thread the heddles. With rigid heddle weaving, the heddles are all part of a rigid piece of plastic (usually). With my floor loom, all the heddles are individual little pieces of metal.

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So shimmery!

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The main lace pattern that I’m going to be weaving is a repeat of 6 (more on this later). So I have to thread the shafts in this order: 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 2. After each group of 6, I tie the 6 ends together in a little bundle to help keep them separate, and also so they don’t accidentally slip out of the back side of the heddles.

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Once my warp was attached to Fanny, it was time to get ready to weave! I love to use boat shuttles with my floor loom, especially when my weaving width is wider than 12″ or so. With a flick of the wrist, the shuttle glides effortlessly over the warp threads. Though I don’t mind a stick shuttle and can eventually get a nice rhythm going, a boat shuttle just feels easier.

My boat shuttle takes small bobbins that the weft yarn must be wound onto. I could do it by hand, but it goes super-fast if I use the bobbin winder on my sewing machine. So that’s what I do!

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Join me next time when I get down to business and start weaving!

(Update: there is a written version of this pattern on our website here.)

 

Check out our knockers!

Greetings from Stitches Texas!  We’re having a blast in booth 517, talking to crafters and, okay, maybe doing a little shopping of our own.

However, we want to share something else with you.  While we’re at Stitches Texas, we’re showing our knockers to the world!

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We speak, of course, of knitted knockers, which we made to support knittedknockers.org.  It’s a great organization dedicated to providing knitted prostheses to women who have lost a breast to cancer.  For this contest, each vote is one dollar, with proceeds benefitting the organization.  It’s a creative way to help people in need.

We entered two pairs in the contest.

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First, Sparkle Nation!  Designed by Amy Gunderson, these use our 10th anniversary yarn, Universe.  There’s a “best branding” category, so we made sure to brand these knockers.

Not that kind of branding.
Not that kind of branding.

Sparkle Boobs!

Amy put a little “UY” at the base.  We love these fancy sparkly numbers.  Frankly, we’d put our knockers up against anybody else’s any day of the week.

But those aren’t the only pair we’ve got on display!

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Designer Tori Gurbisz is new to our team, but has instantly fit right in with the Universal family.  She designed a pair in Bamboo Pop, complete with frilly Whisper Lace lingerie.

Ooh La La!

Tori used her pair to make the point that every woman deserves to feel beautiful.  The ribboned lace is symbolic of that.

If you’re at Stitches Texas and feel like judging peoples’ knockers, go by the wall and see what’s front and center.  Our knockers could always use support, but however you vote, it’s all for a good cause. There are some truly bodacious entries and more than a handful really stand out and demand attention.

If you’re interested in helping, visit http://www.knittedknockers.org for patterns and more.

Happy knitting!

Free Pattern Friday – Starry Road Scarf

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Universe Starry Road Shawl loose blog

Today, the Starry Road Scarf in Universe.

Breathtaking, isn’t it? Universe (246yds/50g) is the yarn we created specifically for our tenth anniversary, and it’s unlike anything else out there.  A cotton/linen blend held with a metallic strand, wrapped in polyamide for greater strength, it’s perfect for lacy shawls and scarves like the Starry Road Scarf.

Continue reading Free Pattern Friday – Starry Road Scarf

Free Pattern Friday – Whimsical Wrap

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Whimsical Shawl 1 blogToday, the Whimsical Wrap in Universe.

Can you tell we love Universe (50g/246yds)? It’s our tenth anniversary offering, and we’ve been having great fun with it.  In addition to today’s offering, we’ve recently released a collection of ornaments.  If you haven’t seen our Universe of Snowflakes e-book yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out – the collection is available as an e-book or as individual patterns.

Whimsical Shawl detail blogUniverse excels at lace, and the Whimsical Wrap is proof.  This center of this rectangular wrap is knit sideways from one end to the other. Then stitches are picked up from the perimeter of the center. The edging is worked as a knit-on edging. The last edging stitch is knit together with a stitch from the shawl body to attach.

The pattern is both written and charted.

We hope you’re able to bring something delicate and sparkling in your life this weekend, whether it’s glittering lace or a sky full of stars.

Happy knitting!

 

 

Free Pattern Friday – Bias Stripe Scarf

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Universe Diagonal Scarf 1 blog

Today, the Bias Stripe Scarf in Flax and Universe.

We’re moving into party season, and we’re delighted to have a new yarn in stock that’s just perfect for the occasion.  We designed Universe (246yds/50g) to celebrate Universal’s 10th anniversary, and we’re having a ball making new projects with it.

Universe Diagonal Scarf detail blogUniverse’s colors coordinate  with another popular yarn, Fibra Natura Flax (137yds/50g).  Both are used together in this project.  The matte bands of Flax linen are interspersed with the metallic glitter in Universe for a striking effect.  Since the yarns match so well, it’s easy to carry the colors up the sides between sections without having an obvious color streak at the edge of your scarf.  One ball of Universe and one hank of Flax – the only ends to weave in are at the beginning and end of your project.

Universe 10-04 and Flax 09 blogPersonally, I’m looking at another color combo, Universe 10-04 and Flax 09.  The robin’s egg blue with a hint of aqua appeals to me, and I think it will look very striking with the black and metallic.

We have more projects in Universe to share with you in the coming weeks, including something very wintry.  Hint: no two are alike.

Happy knitting!

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