A Love As Strong As Tabby

  Who Scarf

Katrina and Dave's scarf is fit for a traveller

of time and space.

  Suzie Liles
  Suzie Liles's elegant huck scarves use plain
weave as a ground cloth.  

There’s an old fairy tale about a king who asked his beloved daughter how much she loved him. To this question she replied that she loved him as much as salt on her food, which did not please the king at all because obviously salt is insignificant and cheap. So while he fussed and fumed, as kings often do in these types of stories, the daughter arranged for no salt to be used in his food at an upcoming feast. When the king wanted to know why everything tasted so terrible, she explained that his food lacked salt. In that moment the king finally understood how important salt really is, and how much his daughter really loved him.

I think if you were to have a weaving version of this story the daughter might say to her father, “I love you as much as plain weave.” Plain weave is the often neglected workhorse of weaving. Sure you could technically weave without plain weave in the same way you could cook without salt, but you really wouldn’t be able to do very much.  

Overshot would be off limits, as would most laces where plain weave is used as a ground cloth. A lot of color-and-weave structures are based around plain weave so those would be gone as well. Most bandweaving, rep weaves, and even deflected doubleweave would all not exist in a world without plain weave. Just as food is fairly bland without salt, weaving is pretty bland without plain weave.

This is why we chose “Plain with a Plus” as the theme for our November/December 2014 issue. We wanted to celebrate the structure that makes so many other structures possible. In this issue you’ll find overshot, laces, rep, warp-faced inkle weaving, and so much more. There are also plenty of purely plain weave projects that use color and texture to create visually stunning pieces of cloth with just two shafts. 

(As an extra bonus, if you’re a complete and utter geek like me you’ll especially love Katrina King and Dave Lawrence’s Doctor Who-inspired scarf, based on the one warn by the first Doctor William Hartnell in the very first episode of Doctor Who, and seen in the made for TV movie about the show, An Adventure in Space and Time. Woven from ever-so-soft wool/silk and Tencel, this is a scarf fit for a traveler of both time and space.)

I’d like to invite you all to join our plain-weave party with the November/December 2014 issue of Handwoven because let’s face it: weaving is so much better with plain weave.

Happy Weaving!


Christina Garton

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