Deflected Doubleweave and Facing Fears

When helping to put together the Madelyn van der Hoogt Master Weaver Collection eBook I fell in love with a scarf. Specifically, the black and white deflected-doubleweave scarf featured on the cover. The deflected doubleweave in the silk created a pattern like I’d not seen before in weaving—and certainly not in a draft that only required eight shafts.

By all accounts from folks around the office, the scarves were even better in person than they appeared on the printed page: shiny, soft, and all-around wonderful. I knew I had to weave one up for myself, and so I printed out a copy of the eBook, purchased the necessary yarns, and immediately panicked.

  Deflected Doubleweave Sample
  Sampling before weaving my scarf let me play with
treadling so I could discover new fun patterns.  

First, I had never before worked with silk. I knew that silk, in theory, was a nice, strong fiber and fairly easy to work with. It still scared me that I would somehow completely muck everything up and in the process destroy my beautiful silk. Secondly, I had also never woven deflected doubleweave and so I was doubly (sorry) afraid that I would ruin this scarf.

My solution was to sample first before weaving, but not with my silk. I warped my loom according to the project’s threading with some 8/2 cotton in contrasting colors. I started weaving according to the draft's treadling and then had some fun. After reading “Deflected Doubleweave Deciphered,” also from Madelyn’s Master Weaver Collection eBook, I understood the structure enough to try out my own treadlings.

I discovered that deflected doubleweave is SO MUCH FUN. I loved playing around and seeing what shapes I could create on the either side of the cloth. Deflected doublweave can create some truly amazing designs, and then when you wet-finish, the threads shift and right angles become curves and crosses transform into flowers. In the end I found that as much as I loved Madelyn’s scarf, I really loved some of the designs I discovered.

Deflected Doubleweave Scarf  
The deflected-doubleweave scarf. So much
fun to weave, and so much fun to wear. 

And so I warped my loom with the lovely silk (and it’s true: silk is a nice, strong fiber and fairly easy to work with) and began weaving my version of Madelyn’s scarf. I made a couple of treadling errors, but part of the beauty of deflected doubleweave is that any treadling error is almost immediately noticeable so you don’t have to worry about weaving for inches before you notice anything is amiss. All in all, it was a wonderful scarf to weave—the hardest part was forcing myself to sit down and twizzle all the fringe instead of just quickly tying it into haphazard knots and running off to dance around in my new scarf as soon as possible.

Twizzle I did, and I’m very happy I took the time to finish my scarf right because it really is a truly fabulous scarf. I love the way it looks, the way it feels, and all the compliments I get when I wear it out. (Which is pretty much all the time—I think my husband is going to stage a scarf intervention for me come summer if I don’t take the thing off.)

It’s also inspired me to start planning more projects in silk and deflected doubleweave. In fact, while wearing my scarf around St. Patrick’s day, I couldn’t help thinking how much the little black flowers really looked more like clovers, and how much fun would it be to weave a deflected doubleweave scarf in Kelly green and off white, covered in little green shamrocks? Loads of fun, I think.

Christina Garton 

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