Thursday, January 21, 2016

Weaving scarves for the CNCH Yarn-Storm

The Reno Fiber Guild has an outreach project in which little warped cardboard looms are supplied for kids of all ages to try their hand at handweaving.  See the blog post here.  Because supplies were getting low and the guild was making more kits for an event in early summer, I asked for donations of bits and pieces of knitting yarns to be used as wefts in the little kits that we hand out.  I was overwhelmed by the generous bags of yarn that came my way - much more than could be used on these little cardboard loom weavings.

Someone in the guild refreshed my memory about the Yarn-Storm event that will be held at CNCH in Modesto this April and suggested that some of the donated yarns would be perfect to make scarves.  Yarns were brought to the Sage Weavers meeting and people took enough for a project, but still my box of yarn was full to overflowing.  So, I put a 10 yard cotton/rayon warp  on my Wolf Pup and looked up some drafts in my archives and also on  I settled on several drafts that looked interesting.   Some used alternating thick and thin, which turned out to be perfect for using up little balls of thinner wool along with some of the heavier knitting yarns.  I didn't concern myself with mixing cellulose and protein fibers.  If they were the right grist - I mixed them and I let my color imagination soar.  This turned out to be some of the most entertaining weaving I have done in a long time.

These two scarves were woven with the same draft. In weaving this draft, there are two picks of fine and one pick of heavy indicated by the double picks in the treadling.  Note that the back of the scarf is much different than the front - but the draft does show off the fancy yarn well.  In the purple and orange scarf, I used a ball of variegated chenille from the late Dee Jones' stash.  She will be going to CNCH again this year, if only in spirit.

I started weaving this scarf with a sparkly kntting yarn weft, but realized that it was going to be scratchy.  So, I switched to some heavy wool/cotton yarns I had for the middle of the scarf, then finished up with the scratchy yarn again at the ends.  Note that in this draft you use fine weft in the four pick sequence and a heavy weft on the fifth pick. Like the last two scarves, this scarf is also more dramatic on one side than the other.


This is my Tule Fog scarf.  Very subdued and muted.  My stash contained singles wool yarns from a knitted sweater kit my mother used many years ago and the skinny wefts were a mix of greens from an ancient weaving project. I've used this draft many times and with many yarns over the past years.  I found the original draft in Weavers' magazine - issue 12 on the back cover where it was used for a baby blanket.

This scarf was probably my most inspired creation.   Bobbins always have leftover thread on them after a project is done.  I can't bear to throw good yarn away, so it gets wound into little balls or left on the bobbin for headers, etc.  I gathered many of these leftovers  (mostly cotton and rayon) and rolled a bigger ball, knotting the threads together in an overhand knot as I went.  I left the ends about an inch long.  Then, I wound my bobbins with the knotted yarn and wove with abandon.  When I came to a knot, I made sure to pull the ends out so they showed on the surface of the scarf.  Once the scarf was wet finished, I had another inspiration - use up some of my button stash!  With a crochet hook, I drew the threads through the button holes and knotted them together.

I love to weave, so I'm mostly having fun when I'm at the loom.  But this project was especially rewarding.  I used up little bits and pieces of stash, contributed to the CNCH event and learned a lot about color interactions and using thick and thin threads in these interesting little weave structures.