Weaving with the stash

I’ve made some ‘ahem’ interesting yarn purchases. Sometimes in person, sometimes over the internet. They may sit in my stash for a long time before I figure out what to do with them, or even decide that it’s time to weave a sample and see if I like it. That’s what these scarves were all about.

I had a big cone (a few pounds) of a blend of rayon, cotton, and flax in a neutral thick-thin yarn. I also had about a pound each of various colors of a cotton-linen blend. So I thought I’d warp up with that big cone and try some of the cotton-linen for weft.

I was a little apprehensive about the finished scarves; although it wasn’t at all obvious on the cone, once I started handling it, something in that big cone — I’m guessing the flax — was quite scratchy. I thought it might soften up in the wet finishing process. I also figured I had little to lose, since the all the yarn was inexpensive, and besides, it wasn’t doing me any good sitting around.

So I prepared a warp for 3 scarves in a very simple rosepath threading, and planned to use a rosepath treadling, too.

First I wove the scarf in the middle with a twisted yarn of tan & black for a nice neutral. Then I wove the scarf on the left with a twisted yarn of cranberry & black.
handwoven scarves, diamonds

Then I decided I’d go back to the neutral weft, but change the treadling for a slightly different look.
rosepath2 draft

What’s that you’re saying? The scarf on the right looks nothing like that draft? Hmmm – I started the treadling and I had super-long floats. That’s not what I designed! I unwove and started again, figuring I’d lost count somewhere critical. Same long floats. I unwove again and went back to my computer draft. It all looked good there. I went back to the loom and wove a third time – same long floats!!!

I had no clue what the problem was, but decided it wasn’t worth any more futzing around, so I just went for a straight 1-2-3-4 treadling – quick & easy. I was a few inches into weaving the scarf when something struck me as odd about the way my harnesses were moving. What was that I was seeing? I stepped on each treadle in order very slowly, and then started laughing out loud.

My 4th treadle, which should have been tied to heddles 1 & 4, was instead tied to 1 & 3. When I realized that, I was surprised that the diamonds worked out well. Interestingly, it was only then that I noticed that the back, which should have been identical to the front, wasn’t.

handwoven scarf diamonds, front & back

C’est la vie!

I wet finished these three scarves to see if they were scratchy. I decided they were mostly tame, so wound a warp for another three in a different threading pattern. You can bet I double-checked the tie up before I started weaving!
blocks & zigs weaving draft

I wove the first with that same cranberry-black twist, the second with a green-yellow twist, and then returned to the cranberry-black. I thought I’d weave the third with a different treadling, but after I did the first few patterns I decided I’d return to the original treadling, repeating the variation at the other end.
handwoven scarves, blocks

The front & back of these scarves emphasize different colors.
handwoven scarves, blocks & zigs, front & back
We’ll see if my customers like these stash-busting handwoven scarves.

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