Bamboo Log Cabin

A few years ago when I first saw a scarf handwoven in a log cabin pattern, it blew me away. It was completely beyond me how this pattern could possibly be done. I spoke with the weaver, who insisted it was really easy. Huh.

I could see that it was a tabby weave, but how could you possibly achieve the stained glass look she’d done? I didn’t even attempt it until now.
handwoven scarf - log cabin

I’m happier with the scarf than I am with the picture. I can’t tell you how many shots I took to get one that was even this good. The colors just don’t show up well, now matter how many adjustments I make on the camera itself or what I try to fix it in Photoshop. So you’ll just have to take my word for it that all the parts that aren’t black are variegated blue & purple.

Actually, they’re the handpainted blue violet yarn that I had already woven four scarves from.  So there’s blue, purple, and green in it. I didn’t want the kind of color dichotomy that many log cabin weaves have, with a very dark color and a very light color – that’s a bit too much for my eyes. With the blue-purple-green combo offset with the black, it is sort of stained-glass-like.

That blue violet yarn is a bamboo cotton blend, the black is 100% bamboo, resulting in a handwoven scarf that’s 85% bamboo and 15% cotton. So even though it’s a tabby weave, it’s very soft and flexible with all that bamboo in it.

I have to say, even now having woven a log cabin scarf, it remains rather like magic to me how the pattern comes out of two alternating colors. I don’t know who figured out this color and weave effect, but it’s genius. I can’t wait to try more – different colors, modifications of the pattern, different fibers. For instance, I haven’t seen log cabin in rayon chenille, and think it’d look good. And I wonder what it would look like if you doubled each of the colors, making each color band wider. Or what if you did it all in one color – what would the weaving effect be like then? Would you see it at all?

Your turn: have you woven log cabin? What worked & what didn’t?

7 comments to Bamboo Log Cabin

  • Your scarf looks very pretty with the varigated yarn and black. Log cabin with rayon chenille looks very pretty. I do a lot of rayon chenille scarves, but have only done one log cabin with that fiber. My granddaughter loved it. Wish I could post a picture for you to see.

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Jenny! I, too, make a lot a rayon chenille scarves, but haven’t done a log cabin yet. I’m mostly working on spring/summer-weight weaving now, but when I get back to rayon chenille, I’m going to do some log cabin, for sure.

      Have you done any log cabin variations – for example, used 2 black, 2 color, 2 black, 2 color…. instead of 1 of each?

  • Peg’s right, blog readers, this photo doesn’t do the log cabin scarf justice. I saw it in person and it took my breath away!!

  • Vicki

    Wow, that is beautiful! I am just starting to learn how to weave, and found your blog while searching for info on log cabin weaves. I am bookmarking your site.

  • I am weaving a rayon chenille scarf and was told how to make it soft when I’m done … but I forgot! What procedure do you follow? It sure isn’t soft right now!

    • Peg Cherre

      Juli –

      Rayon chenille, like every piece of fabric that comes off a loom, must be wet finished. This involves hand washing in a mild soap (I use Woolite, but there are others) with some amount of agitation. That agitation and the water help to settle all the fibers into place, and end up making things softer and more pliable. Just to be extra certain, I rinse all mine with a tiny bit of fabric softener in the water, but I don’t think that’s essential. Let me know if you have other questions!

  • […] 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 […]

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