Fences Fall Down

November 6, 2008

This is the second scarf from the navy merino warp.  I was going to name it something like “Subtle” or “Manly” and give it to my cousin–until I started weaving it.  Then I realized the purple cloth I was making would look really bad on my cousin, who is a tawny redhead.  There is no man so manly that he must wear an unbecoming scarf, says I.

Adding stripes in the ground started out as a yarn-saving scheme, but I love planning stripes.  I really got into it.  And I was fascinated by the way the burgundy ground-weft made a misch masch with the navy warp up close, and yet when I backed away, they interacted to make exactly the same purple as the pattern weft.  I kept getting up and standing back from my loom in different lights just to re-amaze myself with this trick.


Scarf: Fences Fall Down

Warp: 28/2 Silk City merino, doubled, in navy blue

Ground weft: same in navy blue and burgundy, not doubled

Pattern Weft: one complete skein Cascade Yarns “Cascade 220″ worsted-weight knitting yarn in a heathery purple, courtesy yardsaling relative

Sett: 11 doubled epi in 8 dent reed

ppi: 23

Width in reed: 14 1/8″

Woven width: 12 3/4″

Woven length excluding fringe: 62 5/8

Finished width: 11 1/2″

Finished length excluding fringe: 59 1/2”

Fringes: 2 1/4 on loom, tied when off loom with guided half hitches.



I took the photo nearly a month ago, before the monsoons arrived.  There are no more skies like this.  My hollyhocks have finally bowed their heads in defeat.  (Actually I love grey skies so I can’t complain.  Except, um, about the torrents.)  I got the hollyhock starts from my mom’s place last fall because I wanted to plant something hardy along the collapsing backyard fence.  Hollyhocks will survive fence demolition and being trampled on by fence builders.  Also, if the fence is torn out and never replaced, the flowers will make their own little hedge for the enjoyment and privacy of future tenants.

Which brings me to the name of my scarf.  Our landlord is a self-conscious eccentric, and frankly (in ways unrelated to his eccentricity) rather frightening.  Duplex-neighbor Thistledown told me this story:  None of the other fences on the property are in much better shape than the one in the back, which is only standing because a metal T-post has been driven into the ground to hold it up.  One day, when Thistledown was working outside, the man who owns the apartment complex next door called her over.  He wanted to know when our landlord was going to fix the fence on the property line.  Thistledown passed this on to our raw-vegan-musician-nudist landlord the next time she spoke to him on the phone.  He paused a beat, and pronounced:

“Fences fall down.”

Oh, the blissfully inescapable logic!

Thistledown just moved.  Our landlord kicked her out of the duplex.  The way he did this was messy, somewhat shifty, and horrible timing for Thistledown–a single working mom who has just gone back to college.  He wanted to live in her unit.  And now there he is, with his new girlfriend.  And now here am I, wondering how the fence will fall.

I only play at naming, but this time I find I am a little more serious.  At first I felt the name had tainted my scarf with landlord-ick.  Then, gradually, I began to feel it had turned into a charm.  I could do worse than borrow some of my landlord’s blissful logic, in the face of his inescapable self.

If I were a sorceress I would give it to him and see what kind of magic it worked.  I am afraid it would not be the nice kind.


9 Responses to “Fences Fall Down”

  1. Cally Says:

    You mean you’re not a sorceress? Are you sure?

  2. Taueret Says:

    it’s lovely, and not at all landlord-icky.

  3. Leigh Says:

    I love the stripes, the zigzags, the color, and the texture! (But I wouldn’t love your landlord)

  4. Oooh, beautiful scarf, and powerful magic.

  5. Barb Fessler Says:

    I know I wouldn’t want to be living next to a man like that much less rent from him.
    I sure do like your scarf!!!

  6. Suzan Says:

    Lovely, lovely pattern. And how intuitive of you to realize that purple with red hair is quite noticeable – to a histrionic degree!

  7. deborahbee Says:

    I always look forward to your post. so often because you have provided me with invaluable Bergman info, so its wonderful to now be inspired by a scarf. I have hollyhocks outside the front door but they are now sadly dead and gone!We have been glued to the US election results.Exciting result

  8. trapunto Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, all.

    “Histrionic degree”–I love it!

    Yes, it was exciting, Deborah. I am such a shy, tender creature (or seared and misanthropic; take your pick!) that I usually think of myself as a-political. But I did get caught up this time. Der Mann and I followed the results on the computer and ran outside when the across-the-street neighbors started setting off hoarded fireworks. It was like that all over the neighborhood. The next morning was like New Year’s day, except for the weird cheerfulness a lot of people had to go with their hangovers.

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