October has arrived in all her multicoloured glory. This has long been my favourite month of the year, not just because of my birthday, but because this is when Autumn comes in full force. I love the colours of Fall and the lovely warm foods – soups and pies warm the soul as much as the body. October also brings the recognition that the Holidays are almost upon us, and as a crafter that always gets me started thinking about gifts. If I was a little more organized I might start my gift knitting earlier in the year, but most years that just doesn’t happen.
I recently finished the “Texture” issue of Ply Magazine (If you are a spinner or want to become a spinner you need to read Ply. It’s fantastic!). Each issue focuses on a technique or wool breed or a spinning style and includes instructions on spinning specific yarns for patterns that are also included in the magazine. This is perfect for all of us spinners who finish spinning a yarn and then wonder what to do with it. The very last project in the Texture issue was for an intriguing slouchy no-sew Saori cap. It took me a few read-throughs to really understand what needed to be done, but once I understood I realized that this would be an excellent stash buster!
I chose harmonious bits and bobs of colours from my stash – blues, teals, and greys – in a variety of weights (fingering to worsted) and randomly warped the full width of my 15″ Cricket loom, sleyed the reed, and tied on. Since Saori is about weaving what you want and how you want, I didn’t adjust my warp tension before beginning weaving. Whenever I accidentally skipped a warp thread or 5 I didn’t go back to fix it – I just kept going. Weaving in this way was so freeing and joyful, and I soon had enough fabric to go around my head. I cut the fabric off the loom, making sure that I had about a foot or so of extra warp length on each end. Now I was ready to start the adventurous part – the making up!
I am a very visual person – I do best when I can read words and study diagrams. The Ply instructions had written instructions, but no diagrams, so I’ve drawn a few for you in case you want to make a similar cap.
- Step 1: pull the first and last weft threads tight to gather the width of the fabric on both ends of the hat. This is a good time to try your hat on to make sure the fabric is the right width. Ideally the fabric will be 1/2″-1″ larger than your head circumference (Reminder: woven cloth doesn’t stretch like knitting does!). If your fabric is larger you can pull on some of the warp threads to gather the fabric to the correct length.
- Step 2: Pull the last 3 warp threads tight on one long side of your fabric. You are scrunching this side of the fabric up to be the crown of your hat.
- Step 3: tie both ends of your 3 long warp threads together. Tie or braid your many weft ends together in a way that pleases you and secures your hat.
- Step 4: Wear with panache.
I made my hat from start to finish in an afternoon. I don’t like to leave anything to chance, so I tied my weft ends together in bundles, French Braided them down the hat, and then finished them off as a humongous tassel. I happened to be at the yarn store when I finished the hat, so I gave my cut weft ends to a friend to use as stuffing. This means that my project had almost no waste, which pleases me greatly. I found that there was a decent sized hole where I had done the warp gathers, so I tacked it down over the top of the braid, which also neatened that bit up and helped the hat to lay just that bit more nicely.
I imagine making a whack of these in different colours with different finishing treatments would be an entertaining project, and perfect for gifts.
11 thoughts on “An Afternoon Cap”
It looks fab on you!
I love that you made it on your cricket. It is just too sweet.
Thank you. This was such a fun, quick project!
I want to adapt this project for my rigid heddle loom, which should be easy enough. However, I have a question concerning Step 3 above; you state “Tie or braid your many weft ends together in a way that pleases you and secures your hat.” and again, ” I don’t like to leave anything to chance, so I tied my weft ends together in bundles, French Braided them down the hat, and then finished them off as a humongous tassel. ” Does this mean that your weft is not continuous, as in more traditional weaving, but rather after each shot, you leave long tails and cut off the yarn, then do the same with your next shot? And what do you do with all the warp ends? I would like to make one of these for a cousin who is beginning chemo treatments and give her something handmade to cover her head as she loses her hair. Thanks for any insights you can share to help me get this project under way. God bless you.
Wow, I meant Warp ends instead of Weft.
I didn’t even notice that! 🙂
Sorry about that! I hope your hat turns out well and that your friend enjoys using it!
Thanks for clearing that up for me, and thanks for the good wishes for the way the hat turns out..I’ll take pictures to share.
I want to say thank you so much for this as there is virtually no information about making these and no one likes to share! I downloaded the issue of Ply you mentioned and as like you, I am a more visual person, so your diagrams were helpful. There is a free PDF from Art Weavers Studio Australia, but the images are not really clear there either, but between all of you, I managed. Thanks again! That hat looks lovely on you!
Glad this was helpful for you, Arlene!