Twining with a little help from my friends

Twining with a little help from my friends

Happy New Year!!

November and December were incredibly busy but I am glad to say things have calmed down a lot in the last 3 weeks. The Christmas markets have closed and I have nearly finished writing the first draft of the much requested tutorial on how to make vessels with feet and lids. The lidded vessel pictured below is the main example I will demonstrate how to make in the new tutorial (with a few others for alternative methods to make lids etc):

A purple and orange felted vessel with a flared foot and a lid with a handle

I just need to write one more section, then edit and proof-read it. I hope to make it available in my Etsy shop in a couple of weeks.

Other than this purple vessel I have only managed to complete one piece of work between the markets, fairs and writing the new tutorial….

Back in September I was core spinning with the intention of using the yarn to experiment with adding twining to ceramic pots, you can read the post about that here.

This is the ceramic pot I made, after drilling out the holes I unintentionally filled with glaze. Drilling the holes has made the edges a little untidy but at least I can now get my yarn through them 🙂

blue and green ceramic bowl with holes around its top edge

I used paper yarn for the warp by threading equal sized lengths through each hole. I really like working with this material for the warp, it is stiffer than wool yarns and you can open it out to decorative effect.

Ceramic bowl with lengths of paper yarn threaded through the holes

Once all of the holes contained a strip of paper yarn, I cut 2 metres (6 feet) of a pretty boucle yarn to use as my weft. I folded it in half with one side longer than the other, this is so that when the yarn runs out while you are twining it only runs out on one side making it easier to add a new length of yarn.

Before looping the yarn over the first warp strip, I twisted the bottom of each pair of paper yarns to help hold them in position for the first few laps with the weft yarn. For the next pot I will try tying a knot in each pair of warp strips to secure them as the twist tended to come undone while I was twining, I really needed an extra pair of hands to hold everything in place while laying down the first layer of yarn.

Floki was only too happy to “assist”….

Ragdoll kitten looking at camera
“What do you mean, that’s not really helping?”
Ragdoll kitten rolling on his back while pulling and chewing on the yarn
“Your tension is way off, let me help…”

Even with Floki’s assistance the boucle yarn proved to be too fine for the space between the holes in the pot. I could have used 3 or 4 threads to bulk it up but it had proved so fiddly trying to hold the warp strips in place while twining the first layer I couldn’t face the prospect of trying to do that with 8 strands in the weft so I had a rummage in my stash and found some chunky grey yarn to use instead.

Same pot but with 5 layers of chunky grey yarn woven between the blue warp uprights

At this point I introduced some of my hand spun yarns, starting with the grey core-spun yarn from September (they are the grey bulges you can see at the top of the woven section) and then a yarn with colourful pink and blue beehives.

Woven part has doubled in size and now has bulges of yarn at the top in pink, blue and grey

Happy with the height and shape of the weaving, I tied each pair of warp strips to secure the top of the weaving and opened up the paper yarn before trimming the ends.

Ceramic vase base with grey weaving above and topped with strips of blue paper protruding from the top of the yarn

It reminds me of a blue cornflower.

Same vase as above but photographed from the other side

How has the start of 2023 been for you?

13 thoughts on “Twining with a little help from my friends

  1. What a fun vessel. I think I know how you did it I will have to have a try myself.
    I like the form of the twinning on the pot, especially the way you opened up the paper at the top. I am not sure about the yarns but that probably just me. For doing the twinning and keeping the yarn under control, maybe use one of the small flat shuttle we use for inkle looms. It might make it easier to wind them in and out of the paper warp.

    1. That’s a good idea Ann, I have some reels in a kuihimo set, 2 of those might make it a little easier.

  2. Wonderful that you got the lidded vessel tutorial worked out. Is there hope for a vessel online class?

    Your weaving project looked really tricky but the result is fantastic. Must have been all the help from your assistant 😉

    1. Thanks Ruth, Floki will be stoked at your praise for his efforts 🙂

      TBH I have been so focussed on getting the tutorial finished I haven’t considered adding it to the online class suite. My first thought is that this one is a standalone tutorial whereas all my other classes are sets where the technical difficulty increases each week.
      I will have a think about it.

  3. Many happy returns Teri.
    Your new tutorial looks really exciting – I wish you every success with it.

    The result of your twinning is fabulous and will sit beautifully in even the most minimalist environment. My minds eye us seeing it on a plinth in a gallery.


    1. Thanks Helene, you are too kind, this little pot really was a test piece to see if twining was possible, glad to say it was 🙂 It is sitting on a shelf with the first ever twined pot I made at a workshop many years ago.

  4. Floki is obviously your “right hand man”, and what beautiful blue eyes.

    You mentioned that you didn’t have enough hands to hold the pot and the warp and the weft (understandable). How about wrapping a piece of the non-slip matting some of us use in wet felting (or to stop things slipping about on a tray, or a mat on the floor) and then holding the wrapped pot between your knees so that you have both hands a bit free-er? Alternatively you could possibly support the wefts with wire whilst you are twining, and then slide the wire out again before tying off the ends. That might help.

    I too wasn’t really sure about the yarns while you were twining, but I agree that the finished pot is amazing. Presumably you’ve thought about doing it with a felt pot too – possibly one with feet? Hopefully you will add the pot with lid and feet tutorial to the Studio classes?


    1. Thanks Ann, I was holding the pot between my knees but found the twists in the warp strands kept working their way loose so I was trying to hold 2 pairs of warp strands in one hand while twisting the weft strands around each other and one of the 4 warp strands I was holding…. all very fiddly! A wire for the first round might work though, will have to give that a try – thank you!

  5. Very cute, Teri! I particularly like the addition of your hand spun yarn into the project. However, the biggest cuteness award has to go to Floki, who was indeed the best of helpers 😀

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