Fleecy scarf on a peg loom

26 Jan

A while ago Miss P wrote a post about why it’s worth buying good yarn. Well this weekend I indulged in a new craft which meant me using the softest ethically raised goat’s fleece from local supplier Newmoor Barn based in the stunning Tamar Valley and I have to say – it was totally fantastic!

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Sorry I can’t link photos – this photo is from the Newmoor Barn website linked above. You can see their blog here

I was visiting a craft exhibition in Exeter called Craft for Crafters and it was a great day out. My crafting buddy, Emma, and I decided we would try and do a couple of workshops and this post is about the afternoon workshop, in fact the last of the show, run by a company named Westcountry Creative – it was called ‘scarf on a peg loom’.

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I have never done ANYTHING like this before and I have to say I was pretty sceptical as to whether I would enjoy the process. In summary it was fabulous fun! The teaching was great – I’m sorry I can’t remember the name of the instructor – and she made it very achievable for everyone. The main focus of the session was to be creative and enjoy immersing ourselves in the wonderful natural materials. I mean, the woman hand rears the Angorra goats – you don’t get much more authentic than that! Although the fleece has been washed and dyed it still has an earthy rustic quality which is just marvellous to experience. With the instructor nattering away about her love of her goats in the background you really feel a connection to the natural fibre.

If that weren’t impressive enough the whole thing – materials, tuition, everything cost a measly £6 – less than the retail cost of the fleece on their stand and website. My only criticism would be the length of the workshop – one hour wasn’t enough time and I had to rush to get it finished even though we stayed an extra twenty minutes. In fairness to the instructor she said she would stay longer but the show was finishing so we felt the need to hurry.

So here is an overview of the process we went through to make the scarf:

To start with we had a three peg loom – you’ll need to either buy one or they could probably be made pretty easily at home if you have a propensity to handyness.

We then decided the length of our scarf and cut three lengths of wool double that length and threaded them through the ‘pegs’ on our loom. Then we tied the ends of the wool together (of the six threads knot 2 to 3 and 4 to 5 then tie 1 just below the 2/3 knot and 6 Just below the 4/5 knot). This wool matrix would form the structure of our scarf.

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Then it got really fun! I got to choose two skeins of the delicious fleece which, quite frankly, was the hardest thing about it!

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I chose a glorious turquoise and a more natural silvery grey. In addition to this she had some little goat ‘locks’ which were so genunely rustic they still had straw on them! Sorry, ignore the red colorway in this photo – I took the photo then changed my mind!

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Once you’ve chosen your colours you tie the first bit of the fleece on then begin weaving and twisting around the pegs, pushing down each time. You join the fleeces by ‘feathering’ the ends then twisting together. Sorry to go on, but the texture of this stuff is simply awesome and shredding it in to usable streaks was a treat each and every time. I tried a little extra by twisting a pink variegated yarn through the dark fleece every now and again as well as the goat locks of spoke of earlier.

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Once your pegs are ‘full’ you simply pull up the first peg, push the weave on to the yarn matrix and put it back in the hole. You do that for all three, then start again – so easy!

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Before you know it, a scarf if forming! Just keep going!

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Here is Emma’s scarf coming together too:

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(Notice her nails match her scarf!)

Once you’re done – I used two full skeins of 50g fleece – you redistribute the weave evenly along the lenth of your wool skeleton until you are happy with it.

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Finally, you simply tie up the wool ends in the same way you did at the start – et voila! Finished scarf!

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(Yes, I’m wearing that homemade top again! I do have other clothes I promise!)

This was a really fun technique to learn and we had a great time at the workshop. I don’t know whether I would want to own my own peg loom and make lots of these as they feel more like special one off items. It may be that if I did one of the full day workshops I would see more uses for the craft and be happy to get more in to it. I would definitely do the workshop again though if I had the chance and would recommend the craft to others.

And to finish here is my cat look enquiringly at this new goaty beast amongst my other craft fair purchases!

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Have you ever used a peg loom? Have you done any crafts with these delicious natural fleece products? Do you know any other uses for this craft? I’d love to hear from you!

I’ve linked up with:

sew can do linky party
market yourself monday

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