Wisconsin Cousin

September 22, 2008


Okay, the navy merino scarf warp!   I’m going to show you a scarf per post, in the reverse of the order I wove them.  

This one was for my cousin who just moved to Wisconsin for school.  I know he likes scarves because he wrote a song with a scarf in it, and a scarf was part of his costume when he had a band.  It was such a pleasure making something I knew would be used, for someone whose taste I admire.

Scarf: Wisconsin Cousin

Warp: 28/2 Silk City merino, doubled

Ground weft: same, not doubled

Pattern Weft: Manos del Uruguay 70% merino 30% silk handspun single

Sett: 11 doubled epi in 8 dent reed

ppi: 23

Width in reed: 14 1/8″

Weaving width: 13″

Finished width: I can’t find my note!

Finished length not counting fringe: 55

Fringes: 2 1/4 on loom, tied when off loom with guided half hitches, or “gathering knots”

I call this pattern “Reinventing The Wheel.”  I wanted to weave the biggest overshot zig-zags possible on 8 shafts, with skips of no more than 6 threads (turned out to be 7), but I couldn’t find anything in a book.  So, I graphed out possible pattern picks for different point twill threadings, cut the graph paper in strips, and started rearranging the strips until I came up with something that satisfied me.  It was very slow.

Overshot was the structure that dealt best with a bunch of mutually exclusive aims I had for this project.  I’d bought some expensive Noro Kureyon at a knitting store because I loved the colorway.  (Now I know better than to walk into a knitting store thinking “I’ll just have a look around.”!) I wanted use this reproachful yarn as soon as I could, and I wanted Silk City 28/2 merino for the warp.  I also wanted the lightest, drapiest fabric possible, yet not gauzy.  And I wanted to have as much uninterrupted Noro as possible showing on both faces of the cloth, but I didn’t want a weft-dominant fabric.

Part of my solution was to double the warp in the heddles, which I’ve heard adds a bit of warp-dominant-like flexibility to a scarf or shawl.  I also sampled the tabby weft to get a balance between not too much bulky Noro, and not too much tabby breaking it up.  I tried single and doubled tabby; 1, 2, and 3 picks between each pattern pick.  I ended up using two piks of a single strand tabby between each pattern pick, for a total of about 23 ppi on this particular scarf.  The Manos del Uruguay is thinner than the Noro.

Unfinished cloth:

After cold hand wash:

The Manos del Uruguay still makes me cringe, considering the whole project was designed to expiate a yarn store sin.  When I came to start the last scarf I didn’t have anything left in my stash that would work for pattern weft, so back to the store I went!  Two skeins of Manos cost me $27.50 with tax.  Knitting stores make you crazy.  There’s 2/3 of a skein left, and it’s very nice yarn . . . but I wasn’t totally pleased with colors.  The navy really cooled all those warm blues and browns and golds I’d admired in the skein.

My cousin likes it, though.  He said–surprised–that it was just the sort of thing he would actually seek out to wear.  High praise!


7 Responses to “Wisconsin Cousin”

  1. Jane Says:

    Well how handsome is that?! I can see why your cuz is thrilled. I can also see what you mean about the navy cooling down the other colors, but the overall effect is still very dashing.

    Oy! Knitting stores! They make me want to pick up my long neglected knitting needles — AND inspire fiber envy and must-add-to-stash fiending feelings. Great danger Will Robinson!

    Just finished my quilt square to send off to the Rhodesian Ridgeback national rescue for a fundraiser — so *now* I can go back to weavity, weavity, weaving — and your scarf has inspired me!!

    Weave on, Lady, T., weave on!

  2. Taueret Says:

    just wow. very inspiring. no wonder cuz loves it.

  3. Oh My, what a wonderful, manly-looking scarf! Great pattern — it was worth the time you put into designing it — it really shows off the Manos so well. What a lot of great attributes and qualities you built into the pattern — I’m in awe. I love the before and after finishing pics — can’t wait to start my own folder of those.

  4. Cally Says:

    Just got back home to a cloudy Dundee sky and this scarf is EXACTLY what I needed to see. I am trying to imagine the colours warmer, but I think they look fab just as they are and the structure is the perfect choice. Can’t wait to see the next one…

  5. Suzan Says:

    Gorgeous – I’ll bet the drape is fantastic!

  6. Dorothy Says:

    This is a beautiful scarf, a work of art in my eyes, and I enjoyed reading about how you designed and wove it.

  7. deborahbee Says:

    I love this scarf and seeing it when you first posted it got me out there weaving again. I am thinking Christmas presents. While here I just want to say that I should have stuck with your warping methods. Still we learn by experience . Ive just posted my first efforts which is the reason for saying that it would be beter to follow a Berg man way!!!

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