Woven scarves

March 5, 2013 § 5 Comments

bfl scarf 1

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.

bfl scarf 2

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%)

Striping pattern:

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.

bfl scarf 3

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.

black magic 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!

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§ 5 Responses to Woven scarves

  • curtthesheep says:

    I am told that Jamieson and Smith`s Real Shetland Heritage wool yarn weaves really well too! I am biased, I confess, but I should be proud of what we make or we shouldn`t make it at all!. It will be available on cone in 11 shades very shortly. We also make BFL combed top.
    Congratulations to everyone using British wool, wherever you get it from; just make sure it is British though – most supposedly 100% shetland wool yarns are knock-offs using NZ or other origin wools.

    • kristina says:

      Oh I love J&S yarns – I’ve been madly trying to knit down some of what I have before I place my next big order, which will certainly include the Heritage line. I’ll definitely try weaving with both the Heritage and the Shetland Supreme (well, weft-only with the latter). The cone information is very helpful, I hadn’t heard about that yet in the Ravelry group, so I’ll keep an eye out for them.

      Perhaps the NZ wool is just Shetland-breed sheep? I have some of Shetland wool grown in the US but it clearly states it is from Shetland sheep from the US, so there’s no consumer confusion. I prefer the Shetland wool from the UK, it seems to have a better hand to it.

      • curtthesheep says:

        Tha`ts great news and I do hope you will show us what you make – we will be happy to Tweet it and blog it etc.
        The NZ shetland type wool has nothing to do with the Shetland sheep breed whatsoever! Your Shetland farmers who have genuine Shetland sheep are doing a wonderful job and they help promote the breed an dthe story – it is part of the heritage of the Shetland Islands that the native sheep have found followers around the world and I think what your US suppliers are doing is wonderful. I hope they will visit Shetland some day and they will be made most welcome…returning to their roots!
        Happy weaving and do look out for the new yarns…..already spun, awaiting dyeing….
        Best wishes
        Martin

  • Meg says:

    Gorgeous! I am so glad you are having fun with your cricket!

  • Nia Lorre says:

    Reblogged this on Nia Lorre and commented:
    I am about to pull my Kromski Harp out of hiding and this is very inspirational.

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