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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is it a scarf or...

...a table runner? Well, you decide. It was intended as a scarf, but as I look at pictures of it, my latest project could almost be a table runner in southwestern style. It is vaguely reminiscent of a serape to me, or am I just odd. (Don't answer that!)

In my last post I wrote about the construction of this, let's call it a scarf, which was woven on my Ashford rigid heddle Knitter's Loom. The warp is a deep blue 5/2 perle cotton, a free yarn from the Weaver's Guild stash, and the weft is a white and blue synthetic chenille of unknown fiber content, which was received through Freecycle. After receiving feedback that I should add some stripes, I decided to go ahead and insert six rows of a multicolored, nylon ribbon yarn every seven inches. This resulted in six widely-spaced, narrow bands of rainbow-like color punctuating the denim blue which formed the bulk of the piece.

The finished length is 53" (without fringe) and it is 8 1/2" wide; the twisted fringe is 3" long. If I had actually planned this project, I would have made it longer and more narrow, but such is life at the loom.

Hand-twisted fringe. It took me a little time to get the hang of making warp ends into fringe and it was time-consuming, especially since the warp was a fine 5/2 cotton yarn. The process was made easier by taping the scarf to a gridded sewing table cutting board for consistent measurement of fringe ends, and by using a beader's knotting tweezers to get the knot at just the right location each time.

I am somewhat disappointed with the drape of this piece. You would think the blue chenille weft would have made it soft and flowing, but that was not so. I think the cotton warp made it a little stiff. But did I mention that the warp yarn was FREE? Yes, sometimes projects are determined by the materials at hand and we just need to accept the results without judgment. Yet another life lesson learned through crafting!

So what's next in my fiber adventures? Well, I still need to weave those twill dish towels that are idling on my floor loom, and I have a bag of that pink and yellow wool-mohair roving to be spun. After that, perhaps I might try weaving a scarf on the Ashford using my latest handspun yarn if it is strong enough for the warp. If I ply it, I think it will do. And tomorrow is our local weaving guild's annual meeting with a potluck lunch, a fashion show, and - oh, oh - a silent auction with all kinds of fiber-related tools and yarn goodies. I know I shouldn't, but I'll bring my checkbook anyway. One never knows when a bargain might appear and call my name. I suppose I could put my hands over my ears so I wouldn't hear the siren call of crafting supplies, but then how would I hold my potluck lunch plates? ;-)

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