This weekend I took a class through the Saint Louis Weavers’ Guild with Bonnie Tarses. The topic was Color Horoscope weaving. Bonnie has come up with an amazing method of translating a horoscope chart into a color weaving draft.

She started working with us weeks before the workshop by asking us our birth date and time so she could do our charts and drafts. I didn’t have my birth time, so mine’s based just on date. She sent us the drafts and some helpful instructions for selecting yarn and winding our warps.

I knew I was going to be using my Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle loom, so I was looking for some fairly heavy weight yarn. I also needed something that I could get 12 colors of the color wheel in. I decided that Knitpicks Palette was a good option. I put together my color wheel and ordered the yarn.

Then I wound the warp verrry carefully and very slowly, pretty much one thread at a time!

I wound three chains as I needed to weave the shawl in three panels.

I documented my process for dressing the loom since people might be interested, but that’s coming in a separate post.

Here’s the second warp on the loom with the first off the loom next to it. I ended up loving the look of a burnt orange weft with the colorful warp.

And here’s the rest of the workshop working at their looms:

I finished the weaving on Tuesday afternoon, then did the joining of the panels Tuesday night, and today I twisted the fringe and wet finished it.

And here’s the finished shawl, serving as a kitty tent. I’ll have to get a good outdoor picture and some closeups when Brent’s back in town to be my photographer (and when it’s light outside!)

3 Responses to Color Horoscope Weaving with Bonnie Tarses

  • jackie McNamara says:

    Your scarf is wonderful – the colors are great. I'm attending the Tarses workshop in Nov and want to use my Kromski Harp. Why did you do 3 panels? If I only want to make a scarf(not the shaw)shouldn't I have enough space with a 24" heddle?
    Any points, helpful suggestions?

  • Carrie says:

    Hi Jackie, thanks!

    I did 3 panels at Bonnie's recommendation that it would be easier to disguise the seams and to wind the warp for 3 panels versus 2. It worked very nicely that way, though please, take note of where your houses change and make those your panels instead of doing exactly 120 threads for each panel like I did. That will make more sense when you see your color draft.

    As for having enough space–unless you weave with 2 heddles at 20 or 24 epi (depending on the yarn/heddle combination), you can not weave a color horoscope in one panel on the 24" harp. That's the same loom I have, actually :)

    The color horoscope is always 360 ends, one per degree of a circle. The smallest single reed you can get for the harp is 12 epi. That's what I used, actually. At 12 epi, the width in the reed is going to be 30 inches to fit the 360 ends in. There's just no way around the two panels at that point (barring using 2 heddles for greater epi).

    I had considered using multiple heddles so I could use thinner yarn and fit it all in one panel, but I haven't done that before, and after Bonnie consulted with Syne Mitchell on that point, it was recommended that this isn't a great project to try out as a first multiple heddle project. You have to keep every single thread in the exact order to end up with your horoscope chart, and that can get quite tricky when threading for 2 heddles.

    I'm quite happy with how my shawl ended up. The three panels were very quick to weave, and the joining took just one evening. It's not quite invisible, but it is very unnoticeable after the wet finishing.

    Also, a tip if you do end up going for a 12 epi type yarn–It took less than 1 ball of each of my 12 colors of Knitpicks Palette for my warp. That makes this a very economical project, especially when compared to buying entire cones of weaving yarns to get all 12 colors! It was great because by using Palette, I wasn't limited to one of the 12 color sampler packs in order to save on costs.

    If there's anything else I can help answer, please just comment! I seem to have written practically another whole post here in this reply :)

  • JANET says:

    Hi Carrie – just found your post. I was wondering what kinds of fiber other people in the workshop used?

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