March 5, 2013 § 4 Comments
So after a long time, I finally pulled my Cricket out from the basement and successfully wove a scarf on it. Our long standoff has come to an end, and a beautiful British wool scarf is complete. I have no idea why I thought making a plaid pattern was a good idea, but I’m pleased that my foolhardiness did work out in my favor, at least this one time.
I used almost two full skeins of DK weight BFL yarn, both dyed in Wales. The green wool was dyed by Squeaky Elliot on Etsy, and the orange Bonnie DK yarn was dyed by Posh Yarn. They’re quite possibly the same base; the Squeaky Elliot BFL felt a little thinner when weaving, but once I soaked the scarf and let everything sort of bloom fully, I can’t really see a difference. In any case it’s so soft, as one would expect from BFL. Plus it is perfect for the Knit Brit 2013 personal challenge thread on Ravelry, where you can also check out a lot of other wonderful projects using British wool. Currently I have a bulky cardi on the needles using Rowan Purelife British Breeds Chunky, which I’ll share there eventually when it’s finished.
To make the plaid pattern, here’s how I warped the loom:
16 orange (8 slots), 6 green (3 slots), 16 orange, 6 green, 16 orange
90.5” of warp
Then when it was time to weave, I weighed out the remaining yarn for the weft and decided on a 7:3 ratio of green to orange.
Orange yarn remaining for weft: 43 grams (31.6%)
Green yarn remaining for weft: 93 grams (68.4%)
14 green 6 orange
Orange yarn remaining after scarf is complete: 21 grams
Green yarn remaining after scarf is complete: 40 grams
After finishing the scarf (soaking it for a half hour in Soak wool wash and then rinsing clear, and letting it air dry), the dimensions were 75” long, plus 4.5” of fringe at each end, and 6.5” wide. It turns out that our dining table, fully extended, is the perfect warping length for scarves for people of my height. Yay!
The total scarf weight is 136 grams.
The next scarf was warped later that evening, also to 90.5″ long, and since I was feeling brave, I used some sock yarn I’d bought with the intention of weaving, FatCatKnits 2ply superwash merino from her Etsy shop….er, way back in 2010. I bought the loom in early 2012, so you can see that I’ve been plotting this scarf for a while now!
Since the first scarf I attempted ever on my Cricket was made with sock yarn, for this project focusing on not messing up the warp and paying close attention to edges was all the challenge I needed. So far it’s looking good; it too may end up a little crooked just like the BFL scarf, but when worn I doubt anyone would notice. My edges are maybe not as nice as the worsted ones but it is thinner yarn. However, I noticed that after a good soak, the BFL scarf’s edges looked a lot better too, so despite not being an expert weaver at all, that’s my top weaving tip so far: soaking woven items is a good idea.
The fabric is much thinner than the DK scarf so I’ll probably be able to get a little more wear out of it, through spring, than the BFL scarf.
Even though the Cricket is an investment, I’m glad I saved up to purchase it since it’s so much more satisfying to weave scarves than to knit them (at least in my opinion), especially since I’m kind of obsessed with the way variegated yarns look when woven.
So, if you’re in the market for a portable, fun loom, I highly recommend the Cricket. It comes with an 8 dent reed, which I think is perfect for DK to worsted-weight weaving, and I also recommend investing in a 12 dent reed for sport and fingering (4 ply/sock) weight scarves. The next reed I would recommend, though I don’t own it, is the 15 dent reed, which would be great for weaving light-fingering yarns and heavy laceweight, so it might be my next weaving investment. I purchased my loom at my absolute favorite LYS in the whole world, Woven Art, and my friend Meg helped me pick it and the second reed out!