As soon as I say “always” or “never” — as in, “I always do X” or “I never do Y” I’m reminded of how untrue that is. I got about 18″ of the second rayon chenille scarf woven when all of a sudden it hit me. I wasn’t really weaving tabby. Although I almost always have treadles 5 & 6 on my counterbalance loom tied up to weave tabby, I’d changed them for the custom lace infinity scarf I’d woven. Instead of alternately lifting harnesses 1&3 and then 2&4, they were lifting 1&4 and then 2&3. That means instead of going over one thread at a time, I was going over two. Here’s a graphic of the difference.

tabby - or not

It does have an impact on structure. Since rayon chenille must be woven tightly for long-term stability, going over 2 threads at a time means that the weft threads pack in more closely. As a result, the weft becomes a bit more dominant than when it’s going over 1 thread at a time. I decided I wasn’t going to change it in mid-scarf. I’d finish this scarf and change the tie-up for the last one.

The turquoise weft I used for the second scarf was also incredibly bright. Although I’m usually what I call a bright-colors-girl, I wasn’t crazy about this weft, either.

rayon chenille gems & turquoise handwoven scarf

So after correcting the tie-up I went for a purple weft for the third scarf. In fact, it’s an astro dyed variegation called Purple Thistle. Hunh. I didn’t really like this one, either.

rayon chenille handwoven scarf - gems & purple

I still have to twist the fringe and then wet finish these scarves, but when I dropped them in a pile in preparation for that, I was surprised by what my eyes liked.
handwoven rayon chenille scarves - 3 gems

I am really drawn to that turquoise weft, then the emerald, and the purple least of all. I would have expected purple, turquoise, and emerald in that order.

I don’t think I’ll order this colorway, Gems, from Tammy again. She has so many that I love, why buy one that I’m not so fond of?

I have another special order I’m going to try to get on and off the loom before I have to pack the car on Friday for my next show — a black & white rayon log cabin. I’m going to make the warp for 3 scarves, as usual, and if I need to cut it off after 1 or 2 in order to be ready, I’ll do that.

Your turn: does always or never work for you?

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