Starting a new project

9 March 2015

I’m going to make a wide scarf with 8 ends of dark warp and 8 ends of light warp to weave stripes, checks, pinwheels, etc.  I have a supply of Jaggerspun 8/2 wool that I will weave at 12.5epi.

I love the colors of tweeds. Tweeds have complex colors, partially from using heather yarns and most of the Jaggerspun yarns I have are heathers.   I have studied the book, Scottish Estate Tweeds, and what I have learned from looking at the pictures of the cloth is that although the structure of the cloths are simple, plain weave or 2/2 twill, it is their use of color is very sophisticated.  There are check and plaids.  But even a simple check of 4 ends light and four ends dark can be made more complex by using one light color in the warp and another in the weft.


When I  look carefully at this simple 3 thread check, I see that the lighter color in the warp, tan, is replaced by yellow in the weft.   Likewise the navy in the warp is bright blue in the weft and so on.

So to emulate this style  I am looking for two light colors, with nearly the same value and two darks with similar values.  I want it to have a spring mood so not too dark all over.  The challenge here is to get enough contrast between the light and medium colors that you can see the light and dark stripes.

I picked out some colors from my stash and to see if there is enough contrast I wrap them around a stiff cardboard, trying to cover the cardboard completely so its color doesn’t influence my choice.

five colors wrapped

five colors wrapped

I started at the left and wrapped the colors dark, light , dark, light, dark.  At this point I decided to eliminate the light blue and look for a color to go with the yellow. I found the light beige and wrapped it then the other dark color so that I can see both dark colors adjacent to both lights.  This looks like it might work. But before I warp up the loom I want to check to see if the two lights combine and the two darks also combine in the woven cloth.

I have a 4″x6″ pin loom that I can use to test this out quickly.  The pin loom has a fixed sett, and that is fine because I feel confident about the sett I will use.  So I wrap 4 ends dark, 4 end light on the 1st layer, then change the light and dark for the 2nd layer, etc. to weave checks.  Checks have the light, dark and half -tone areas, in fact there will be two different half-tone areas and they need to have a very similar value to make the checks read well.


There are lots of knots at the edges because of many color changes.  Here under tension the cloth looks very open. There are 8 threads per inch in both directions.  The colors look like they are blending together to make mysterious complex colors.  The color theme is yellow and lavender, nice for spring.

Removing the cloth from the loom releases the tension but the cloth is still very open.  This yarn blooms nicely when washed so into the water.


Just off the loom

I washed it in luke warm water, by hand with Orvus paste.


gently washed cloth

The yarn has bloomed , the warp and weft have melded.  The cloth is delicate and supple, which I like.  I measured the washed cloth at 10epi.  Should I weave it this open for a light delicate supple cloth?  No, I think I stick to my original plan of 12.5 epi because I want to put in some 4 end floats  in some places and reducing the number of intersections in the cloth and it might just be too open for that.  If I were going to weave the whole scarf in plain weave I would not hesitate to weave it at 8epi for a lovely, light cloth.


One Response to “Starting a new project”

  1. Cathie B. Says:

    Lovely piece of cloth Karren! I’m delighted to see a yellow( and tan) work so well in equal amounts as other colors. Yellow is , I find, a hard color to control. Your analysis of the tweed cloth is most interesting, I’ll have to pay more attention:)
    You say some 4 thread floats, are you thinking something along the lines of a huck?
    I will enjoy seeing what you come up with!
    Cathie Beckman


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