Scarf Numero Tres- chocolate and vanilla

This one started out a little rocky, I will admit. I wanted to try a new technique, new to me at least. This was the idea: I string the loom up with the warp yarn of my choosing and then proceed to weave with thread (yes, tiny, itty bitty thread) as the weft. *Remember- the warp is the long yarn and the weft is the short yarn that goes back and forth to create the cloth- it took me almost 2 years pre-fiber artist to straighten that out in my head*. So I use the thread as the weft and the resultant cloth is a very, very lightweight, luxurious cloth with wonderful drape. There is no bulk to this bad boy! So I strung up my loom and started tossing the thread through and back through for a couple of inches. Then I realized that I need a different reed in order to make this technique work. *The reed is the white plastic contraption with wood on top and bottom through which all the yarns are threaded. This fancy little device allows for the weaving to happen, and is used to pack the weft to the cloth.* The reed I use holds 10 yarn ends per inch, I need to use a reed with 12 ends per inch so the warp yarns will be closer together in the resulting cloth. Whew. I bet you didn’t think you were going to get a lesson in weaving technicalities today. Okay, enough with this…enjoy the photos!

So here are the beginning thoughts on what my final scarf would be made of- brown yarn, white yarn and electric blue thread. I loaded the reed with the yarns using my handy-dandy metal hook item (see far right bottom corner). This hook has a story: I found it in an oiled wooden box with about 15 others in an old, defunct fiber mill in New Bedford, MA. I imagine it was used to thread the huge floor looms they used to create thousands of yards of fabric back in the hey-day of fiber production in that interesting town. No, I wasn’t trespassing, the owner of the mill let the sculpture graduate students go poking about to find what they may! I can only imagine who held that fun hook everyday, what fabrics it made, how old it is. Oh the stories it could tell!

But, as you know, the thread idea didn’t work out this time, so I cut out the threads and started weaving with a wonderfully soft white yarn as the weft. Although the sun was still shining when I started weaving, I finished after supper, letting my loom take a few rests here and there. Next I cut the scarf off the loom, twisted and tied the ends, “fulled” it in a sink full of water with a drop of soap, rinsed it, dried it and talked the writer (that hubby of mine) into taking a couple of pictures in the sun. Here it is: chocolate and vanilla for a winter day!

**Unless otherwise noted, I use 100% alpaca yarn in my scarves. The yarn comes from sassy alpacas raised on an alpaca ranch in Colorado, a ranch where I spent nearly 10 months caring for and learning about alpacas and fiber arts. This particular scarf is made from yarn donated by Willie (brown) and a group of 5 white alpacas (white). Alpaca yarn is natural, sustainable, and easy on the environment. Did I mention that it’s soft?!**

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