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Little Black Sheep Studio: The Process

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Have you ever wondered about the intricate process of handwoven scarves? Kate Koconis of Little Black Sheep Studio is here to walk us through her weaving process. 

There is a lot more that goes into making a handwoven scarf than just the actual weaving part. I use primarily just the natural colors of fibers, and don’t do any dyeing. So all the colors you see are naturally occurring in the wool. A lot of weaving is being technically capable of threading and weaving on a loom and understanding the ins and outs of how a loom actually works. The fun creative parts come when I get to pick out colors, and come up with a pattern. The patterns are a huge part of why I love weaving so much. From an idea on paper to watching it come together in a tangible form one line at a time is magical. 

The first step in making a scarf is to create the warp. This is the yarn that will be threaded onto the loom, and act as the base for the weaving. different color variations in this step create vertical stripes in a piece. 

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Next is getting the warp onto the loom. In my opinion it is the trickiest step. I follow a back to front threading process, which means I tie and wrap the warp threads onto the back end of the loom and then thread them forward.

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Once the warp is attached to the loom then I can thread the heddles. This step is important because it is where the pattern is decided. Each heddle is attached to different frames or “shafts”. I have a 4 shaft loom so I have 4 frames to help create my patterns. If you count wrong on this step then that will affect the entire piece.

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Next each thread has to go through the reed. The reed is what keeps each and every thread right where it belongs. It also acts as a beater to push the weft threads together once the actual weaving begins. 

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The last step before weaving is tying the warp to the front of the loom. Now the entire warp is connected to the loom from start to finish. 

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The best part of the whole thing can start next, the weaving! Watching the pattern build one line at a time is absolutely my favorite part.

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Last thing you have to do is cut the piece off the loom and tie the ends. That is how you make a scarf start to finish. 

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To see more of Kate's work visit her
Instagram or Etsy.