Shadow Weave Rayon Scarf

I’ve been wanting to try a shadow weave for some time. They always attract me in pictures. (In a shadow weave, you alternate two colors of threads in both warp and weft.)

So when I had some down time yesterday, I spent WAY more time than I thought reasonable to plan this shadow weave draft in a light and bright blue fine gauge rayon.
shadow weave draft

I really like the way it looks. So first thing in the morning I prepared the warp, dressed the loom, and threaded heddles and reed. I wound two bobbins, one with light blue and one with the medium blue. I was excited to get started.

Well, my anticipation was ill placed, my excitement squashed in about 5 minutes flat.

First of all, it takes far more than twice as long to weave with two shuttles. Throw one shuttle, set it down. Pick up the other shuttle, throw it, set it down. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. And with every throw of every shuttle make sure your ends have one and only one twist in them. Sound tedious? It is. For me at least, it’s almost impossible to get into a weaving rhythm. I don’t remember having this same problem when I did the log cabin weaves. I’m guessing that part of it was the fact that the rayon is so much finer than the bamboo I used for the log cabin, but still, the rhythm shouldn’t have been much different.

Then there’s the fact that it is impossible to see the pattern from the top.
shadow weave from the top

If you look at it at an angle, it’s quite easy to see the pattern of interlocking diamonds.
shadow weave from the side

Obviously, I can’t lean completely to one side while I’m weaving. Nor can I throw a shuttle, lean to the left, sit up straight, throw a shuttle, lean, sit up, throw a shuttle, lean, sit up.

However, if I can’t see the pattern while I’m weaving, the odds are that I’ll make a mistake that will be really obvious when it’s too late to fix it.

I can see the pattern while I’m sitting up straight and weaving as long as I have the light shining away from the loom. It needs to be fairly dark. Making it possible to see the pattern is good, but it has to be dark enough that I can’t see the threads themselves. So if I accidently miss a thread with the shuttle, I can’t know till after I’ve thrown the shuttle and beat it in.

I’m really glad I made this warp for only two scarves! And still, I assure you that after the first scarf, I won’t make the second a shadow weave.

I went back to my software to see what the design would look like if I used a contrasting single color for the weft.
shadow weave with green weft
It’s not my favorite thing, but I think I’ll like it fine, and it’ll be MUCH quicker to weave.

Live and learn. I do wish I spent a bit less time learning what NOT to do. 🙂
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