The Fortuna Major Scarf and the Beautiful Brooks Bouquet
One of the earliest things I learned about weaving is that the practice, as a whole, has a truly wonderful vocabulary. We warp the loom, sley the reed, and mess about with heddles and treadles. We can weave summer and winter in the spring or autumn, if we’d like, and fill our weaving with Danish medallions. Perhaps the most poetic of the weaving terms is the Brooks bouquet. It sounds so elegant and dainty and always makes me think of a big bouquet of daisies sitting on top of a loom’s castle (another fun bit of vocabulary).
Brooks bouquet is of course, in reality, a clever hand-manipulation technique wherein the weaver uses the weft to wrap around bundles of warp threads to create little bouquets of yarn. So there’s where the bouquet comes in, but what about the Brooks? Well, that refers to Marguerite G. Brooks who literally wrote the book (well, booklet) on the matter: Variations of the Brooks Bouquet. (She also patented a number of clever fiber tools including one for making yarn loops for crocheted rugs and another for a ribbon loom.) While Brooks did not actually invent this particular technique, she did popularize it with her pamphlet and so it bears her name.
The technique itself is a very simple technique that looks anything but. Take the Fortuna Major scarf from the 2017 issue of Easy Weaving with Little Looms. Weaver Stephanie Flynn Sokolov was very clever when designing this particular scarf. While most of the scarf is a lovely slate color, she used a delightful variegated yarn called Santorini to add in lines of color strategically throughout the warp. She then used those colorful ends to guide her Brooks Bouquet.
Instead of little bouquet like bundles the result looks almost like bubbles. The resulting scarf is beautiful with just the right amount of whimsy. Best of all, it’s delightful and simple to weave—it could easily be completed in a few hours, warping and all. What’s not to love!
Best of all, for a limited time the scarf is available as a weaving kit. In the Fortuna Major Scarf Kit you’ll receive all the yarn you need to weave the scarf—all you need is a loom and a shuttle!