Pattern Spotlight: It’s Fall Ya’ll Poncho Cowl by Lois Weaver

or as a dramatic cowl as seen on the first photo.

My name is Lois Weaver and I love weaving. The past several years, I have shifted from weaving fabric on large floor looms and designing garments to sell, to encouraging knitters and crocheters to learn to weave using small looms. And little looms are perfect for using yarn you can find at your local yarn store.

I now design and publish patterns for garments that can be easily woven on these small looms and are a perfect next step for new weavers who are bored with weaving simple scarves and rectangles and ready for more of a challenge.

When I first met the Anzula team at last year’s, TNNA, I was delighted to see that they also included woven samples in their booth. And I knew I wanted to create something with their wonderful yarn.

The yarn I chose was the Cricket yarn, a blend of 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon in a DK weight. This yarn is perfect for weaving; not too stretchy, with lots of strength for tensioning on the loom and the woven fabric is oh so soft!

I love the Dark Matter yarn with it’s splashes of color in golds, browns, greens and rust that reminded me of fall and fall is my favorite season. I used it for the warp

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron warp

To coordinate with the Dark Matter, I chose the Saffron colorway to weave across in the weft. I mixed it up a bit, by adding an asymmetric stripe with the Saffron in the warp and wove a weft stripe with the Dark Matter.

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron

Since variety is always a priority, I designed this piece to be worn several ways;

as a traditional poncho,

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron

thrown off to the side or even off the shoulder,

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron

or as a dramatic cowl!

its fall yall poncho cowl lois weaver anzula cricket dark matter saffron

It’s the perfect little piece for fall; not too heavy but warm on the shoulders when that autumn nip is in the air. So now that “It’s Fall, Ya’ll”, it’s the perfect time for a weaving project with this great yarn!

You can find the It’s Fall, Ya’ll pattern in my Etsy Shop.

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Weaving: The Crickets Meet

We spend a lot of time knitting and crocheting at Anzula, but we love to take little breaks to mix in a bit of spinning and weaving for good measure. The wonderful people at Schacht Spindle Co. are always on board when we decide to stretch our fibery wings. 

Today, we are going to share a little company history and a link to a beautiful weaving pattern by Stephanie Flynn-Sokolov:

A Brief History of Schacht Spindle Co.

Schacht Spindle Company, maker of the award-winning Cricket Loom, started in the late 60’s during the craft resurgence when Barry Schacht and his brother Dan, along with girlfriends, sought out a spinning teacher who then asked them to make some hand spindles. After they delivered the spindles which they’d fashioned from doorknobs, it was suggested they make a loom. “What’s a loom?” they asked. With borrowed tools, they made a simple loom and bit-by-bit realized that they were passionate about the crafts of weaving and spinning, as well as making great tools from wood. Soon, they were in business.

Schacht Cricket Loom with stand.

Schacht Cricket Loom with stand.

Meanwhile in Iceland, Jane Patrick was an exchange student where she first saw a loom and knew she’d be a weaver. She and Barry met at the weaving shop in Boulder, married, and after a stint as a weaving magazine editor, Jane joined Barry at Schacht. Together they work towards excellence in the belief that there is always room for improvement.

Jane Patrick and Barry Schacht make a great team!

Jane Patrick and Barry Schacht make a great team!

Schacht is known for its unique, well-made products that are a joy to use. With weavers and spinners firmly in mind, they start with an idea, develop it with an interdisciplinary team to create, package, and market products that embody their vision—all under one roof. To learn more about Schacht’s full line of weaving and spinning equipment, visit their website  Sign up for a monthly newsletter that features a project, Schacht news, and spinning and weaving tips; follow their blog, and like them on Facebook.

If you don’t know how to weave, but would like to learn, The Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick is a great resource. Better yet, ask about weaving classes at your local yarn shop. Check the Schacht Spindle website for a list of dealers.

The Multiplication Pillow

When we found out about Anzula Cricket yarn, we knew we had to do a project with it on the Cricket loom.

Cricket Loom working the Multiplication pattern in Anzula Cricket

Cricket Loom working the Multiplication pattern in Anzula Cricket

The Crickets teamed up and at long last, the Multiplication Pillow was created; a mathmagical project that is sure to pique the interest of your favorite math nerd! Look for it at a trunk show in your area. Check out our newsletter for the pattern and more. 

Multiplication Pillow woven in Anzula Cricket on a Cricket Loom

What fibery arts are you interested in? Is there something new you'd like to try? Tell us in the comments below. 

Unboxing the Schacht Cricket Loom

It's no secret that we're Schacht fans. Charlie was interested in trying out one of their spinning wheels at TNNA and she brought me along to their booth, remembering my idle interest in weaving. I tried the Cricket loom and fell in love instantly, but I thought of the limited space in my house as well as the lengthy knitting queue I have, so I reluctantly pulled myself away from the booth. Fast forward several months. Denise from Schacht was visiting family in Fresno and she stopped by to visit us. I was floored when she brought along a loom! It was so thoughtful; I was so excited!

I was also a little nervous. It's one thing to do a couple of passes while an expert weaver is standing behind you; it's quite another to warp and weave a project from start to finish on your own. Weaving has its own elaborate language that I am going to have to learn. And that was before I really thought about... I'm going to have to put this thing together.

cricket loom in box.jpg

My skills with assembly are so-so. I wouldn't say I'm completely inept at it, but the door on my nightstand doesn't open, and assembling a piece of flat-pack furniture with my husband once really took our marriage bond to the limit. So I looked at the loom, unopened, for a couple of weeks before deciding to jump in. 

With some trepidation, I popped the box open. I think I was still hoping that Schacht had developed space-bending technology to make the inside of the box big enough for the assembled loom, TARDIS-style.

I had so many ideas for woven projects, though, I had to press on and start assembling the loom.

First I set out all of the pieces to make sure I had them all. They easily fit on a card table, as you can see in the photo. The only item not included in the box that you will need is a Phillips-head screwdriver. I have also read others' suggestions to use a power tool to screw the loom together, but I managed just fine with my standard screwdriver. 

I took a deep breath, read through the instructions, and started assembling. I was amazed at how quickly it came together. All of the pieces fit really well together - none of the holes were drilled crookedly, or anything like that. All of my worries were for nothing.

The only step that gave me a little pause was how to attach the apron cords. Thankfully I was able to find help on YouTube and was able to very quickly get back to assembly.

I was able to assemble the loom, warp it, and start weaving my first project in a single evening. Two more sessions of weaving later, and I had completed my first scarf. 

My reasons for not getting a Cricket earlier proved unfounded. The Cricket takes up very little room - I was able to make a place for it on a (deep) shelf. And although it might not do much to shorten my knitting queue, it will definitely be quickly reducing both my stash and my gift queue! 

I'm looking forward to sharing more of my weaving adventure with you. Are you a weaver? Visit our Ravelry group to share your projects and thoughts about weaving with Anzula!