Chapter 1: Plain Weave
Go to Work
Chapter 2: Designing with Yarn
Ladies Who Lunch
Midnight in Paris
Stainless Steel Scarf
Stash Buster Scarf
Chapter 3: Exploring Pattern
Chapter 4: Altered Surfaces
Spaced and Felted Scarf
Peter Pan Collar
Felt Resist Bananagram Scarf
Recycled Sweater Scarf
Direct Peg Warping
Measuring a Warp on a Warping Board
Winding a Shuttle
How Much Yarn Do I Have?
Sources for Yarn
One of the best parts of being involved in weaving is the community of weavers. If you are new to weaving, then you may be just starting to meet other weavers. You’ll find them to be generous, smart, creative, and passionate. It is a joy to work collaboratively with other weavers, and this is one of the reasons Stephanie Flynn Sokolov and I wanted to make this book together.
Stephanie and I met when she came to Schacht Spindle Company. I thought she was coming for an interview; she thought she was coming for a tour. The result: I hired Stephanie on the spot to be part of our sales team. We had a wonderful couple of years together, but then family and other priorities found Stephanie pursuing other interests. We kept in touch through other projects and, when I decided that a scarf book was what new enthusiastic weavers wanted, I immediately sought out Stephanie.
It’s been an energizing partnership. Stephanie brings a keen design aesthetic, helped along no doubt by her training at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I have years of experience as writer, editor, and weaver. Our shared passion and the thrill of seeing ideas come to fruition have made creating this book together joyous.
Our goal for this book is to illustrate the broad range of possibilities weavers can attain with a simple rigid heddle loom. We chose to use the Cricket Loom from Schacht, with either a 10″ (25.5 cm) or 15″(38 cm) weaving width (full disclosure: I’m married to Schacht founder Barry Schacht and work alongside him as well … but still, it’s a great little loom). This limited us to projects no wider than 15″(38 cm) and to warp setts of between 5 and 12 ends per inch (epi).
Although these parameters have affected our choices, we think you’ll be blown away with the incredible fabrics that such simple tools can create. The scarves in this collection prove that you can make amazing stuff on a simple loom.
We assume that you are a beginner or an advanced beginner weaver who has warped your loom several times and has woven a few projects. Although we designed all of these projects for the rigid heddle loom, we know that these projects will appeal to seasoned shaft loom weavers as well, and we have provided drafts where appropriate. As references, we’ve provided warping instructions for direct peg warping and measuring yarn on a warping board, a glossary of terms, and how to figure out how much yarn you have.
Because yarns are always changing and may or may not be available when you’re ready to weave one of the projects, we’ve included detailed yarn information with each project, which will go a long way in helping you make substitutions with confidence.
The basic structure of most of the scarves in this book is plain weave. It’s the simplest of weaves and the one most readily woven on a rigid heddle loom. In plain weave, every other warp thread (or end) is lifted—one up, one down, and so on. On the next pass of the weft, everything that was up is down and everything that was down is up. That is, every warp end that is raised on one pass is lowered on the next. These two passes are alternated to form an over, under, over, under interlacement of the warp and weft. However, even though the structure is simple, we like to say that there’s nothing plain about plain weave. The scarves in this chapter are a case in point.
In a balanced weave, there are the same number of warp ends as there are weft picks in 1″ (2.5 cm) of woven cloth. The visual impact of warp and weft is about equal because each appears in the fabric in more or less the same amount. Keep in mind that you want your scarf to have a lot of drape. If you pack in the weft too tightly, you’re likely to create a stiff fabric that won’t provide the supple, drapey hand you want. For almost every scarf in this collection, we used balanced weaves to produce fabrics that wrap and drape beautifully.
When you weave a balanced weave with a single color in the warp and a single color in the weft, you’ll want to consider how the colors mix visually. Let’s say you cross a red warp with a blue weft in a balanced weave structure so that you’ll have the same amount of each color.
When you view the fabric at a distance, your eye will mix the colors to produce purple. This visual effect will be influenced by the size and color of the yarns, as well as the viewing distance. In weaving, the warp and weft will always influence each other, and you’ll want to consider this influence when designing. You’ll learn a lot if you weave a sample.
Weaving naturally lends itself to stripes. It’s easy to thread stripes in the warp and such lengthwise stripes are quite attractive on the wearer. Warpwise stripes are a simple way to create pattern in weaving. All of the work is done in the warping process, and you need just one.