A Free eBook for Twenty-First Century Weavers

How to Weave a Scarf from Weaving Today: Six Handwoven Scarves

I've said many times that weaving is unique in its appeal to two widely divergent personality types: techy people who love structure and pattern and touch-feely people who love color and texture.  

Liz Gipson's Mora wool basketweave scarf Spacer 5x5 pixels 

Liz Gipson's lacy Mora wool
scarf uses basketweave to
create an elegant accessory
with a beautiful drape 

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 In looking back, I think the 1990s were the decade of Structure and Pattern, the first ten years of this century the decade of Color and Texture.

In the 1990s, the biggest explosion in resources for weavers came in the form of books, magazines, multishaft looms, computer weaving programs—all the tools that build knowledge about what threads can be made to do with a loom: i.e., Structure and Pattern. We Structure/Pattern weavers were in heaven, always looking for (and finding) the next great weave structure to try out. In general, we wove with cotton and wool, more rarely with silk and linen.

Spacer 5x5 pixels  Joan Sheridan's sock-yarn scarf

Joan Sheridan’s colorful 
Serendipity Scarf shows 
that sock yarn is no 
longer just for socks

Then came the twenty-first century.

Instead of looking for the next new weave structure (we sort of ran out of those), we were bombarded with new yarns: Tencel, bamboo, alpaca, cashmere, buffalo, angora; space-dyed yarns, eyelash yarns, ribbon yarns—even sock yarn wasn’t just for socks anymore. Suddenly, instead of hoping they’d make a dobby loom with 40 shafts instead of the 32 I had, I got to know my inner Color/Texture person and my 4-shaft loom. 

My favorite experience now is seeing what happens when different fibers are wet-finished. Whereas my former favorite weaving project was coverlets, now it’s scarves. A scarf is narrow. It doesn’t take a whole lot of yarn or a long time to weave. With scarves you full, you don’t even have to twist the fringe! You can hang scarves around the house when they aren’t on you, and they make great gifts. 

Madelyn van der Hoogt's felted Marino scarf

Madelyn’s wet-felted
merino scarf is a 
fabulously easy-to-make
fashion piece


If you haven’t experienced the joys of weaving scarves, try the six handwoven scarf projects in this free eBook. All of them can be woven on a 4-shaft loom, three of them on a rigid-heddle loom. They include waffle weave (on a rigid heddle with simple pick-up), basket weave, collapse weave, and more. Originally published as Scarves of the Month, these six are now combined in a handy free download. Weaving a scarf is about as close to instant gratification as a weaver can get.


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