Faux-Ikat Fabric

With my loom now set up in the playroom, I’m finding myself getting lots of weaving done. My new computer is the fastest in the house, so it’s also the best for playing computer games. We often play PC games as a family in the living room; this has migrated to the playroom. The seating is problematic in this arrangement, but it’s perfect for me. I sit at my loom and listen while Jared plays Psychonauts 2 and the girls watch and tell him how to play.

Last year, the one thing I managed to weave off is this Ikat-style scarf, made from a hand-painted sock yarn that I warped so that the colors line up. I loved how it turned out.

The second thing I put on was a similar warp, but this time I had wound the warp in two sections, so there would be split areas where the warp lined up differently. I split those sections further when I put the warp on the loom.

My aim with these warps – as with all of the warps I have wound and ready to weave up this year – is to use up stash yarn and learn new things. I don’t mind if I don’t get anything “useful” at the end. But the final fabric of these two scarves is so lovely that I really want them to become something. They are open and drapey, and seem to me to want to become t-shirts. But neither is enough fabric to make any kind of shirt for myself.

They need to be ironed and have threads trimmed, but I don’t see any reason to do that if they’re just going to be fabric sitting in storage for a bit. I’ll tidy them up when it’s time to sew them.

So I analyzed the two pieces to see how they would fit as sections of a t-shirt. This is, I think, the best arrangement for the blue-and-green piece, which is long and narrow.

By contrast, the grey, white, and brown piece is shorter and wider. I think it would fit best diagonally. The calculations for that one were a bit more complicated, but I think I managed.

I ordered a cone of ordinary white sock yarn from YarnCanada.ca, and I plan to weave up some coordinating plain white fabric to make panels that will complete t-shirts. I do not know, honestly, if this plan will work, and even if it does, will it make garments I will want to wear? I do not know. I’m just sort of following my instincts to see what happens.

These warps started as big goals, but sat for long enough that a new attitude of play is what is getting me to finish them. And it’s an ongoing stance of play and experimentation that is leading me to try to actually turn them into something.

Both were woven at about 16 EPI, threaded through two 8-dent heddles held together.

One thought on “Faux-Ikat Fabric

  1. Very pretty. I had the random idea the other day, just thinking about yarn things (as one does) of taking two of those big 1000m gradient cakes like these and weaving them so that the gradient would run through the whole thing on both the horizontal and diagonal. So if I’m picturing it right you’d get pools of the solid beginning and ending colours at both ends, and then they’d kind of glide toward each other diagonally through the rest of the fabric. I mean, it’s kind of moot given that I don’t weave… but interesting to think about! Am I picturing it correctly?


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