Weaving How to: Vertical Stripes

The more I weave the more similarities I find between ceramics and fiber art. Ceramics is a close second to my love for the loom - but I feel like I'm learning to mold a tapestry into place just as easily as sculpting clay. 

There are some weaving patterns that eluded me at first. I think we all know which ones I am talking about... the vertical stripe. 

You can't get a solid vertical stripe with a straight border and have it be connected to the weave. If you interlace the stitches the solid border disappears and you end up with a totally different look. (View a fuzzy border example here.

If you can sleep at night knowing you cheated on your weave a little bit, I will show how to achieve the perfect vertical stripe ...and have all of your friends say

'whaaaaat? how did you do that?'


image via

Urban Outfitters

I created this long, skinny design for someone very special in mind: my sister. The amazing curtain above was some major inspiration! I loved the stripes, triangles and graphic black + white color scheme. As I was sketching I kept coming back to flanking my design with two bold vertical stripes and then I would stop myself and think 'don't be crazy, you can't do that'... and then I did.

You can see the problem of creating a vertical stripe above. If you want a solid border, your stripe will end up isolating a chunk of your warp strings. Without a way to connect the stripes, your weave will separate and hang loose - it looks really sloppy if you don't do it intentionally!

The answer:

1. Finish your weave with the impossible vertical stripe design you dreamed up.

2. Grab a 2 ply piece of yarn and your needle. Working from the back of the weave (so that your stitches don't show) thread the needle through three rows on one side of the gap, and then three rows on the other side of the gap.

3. Continue closing the gap by pulling the needle tight so that the stitches are invisible and knot the end.

4. Do the same technique on the other side of the stripe.

When you turn the weave over, the stitches will be completely invisible and the impossible stripe will be attached to your weave! Like magic!

After finishing this guy, I wrapped him up quickly and hopped on a plane before I could take a good picture of him hanging up. All of the photos you see here show the back of the weave... so you'll just have to take my word that the front looks good. Love you Audra!