I remember the first time I got my hands on a copy of The Art of Weaving by Else Regensteiner. I had no idea what I was dealing with or who Else Regensteiner was in the world of weaving, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the book. In fact, I now own both a first edition as well as the more modern rerelease. In her Stained-Glass Scarf from the November/December 2018 Handwoven, Karen Isenhower uses a weaving by Else Regensteiner as her initial inspiration for this wonderfully fun Swedish lace scarf. Here’s what Karen has to say about her design:
Designer Karen Isenhower’s Statement
A fascinating Swedish lace tablecloth appears in Else Regensteiner’s book The Art of Weaving. Designed by the author, it uses varied thicknesses of weft threads to add artistic innovation to the woven cloth. My aim was to capture that innovative style by reinterpreting the tablecloth into something new—a lace-weave cotton scarf. The photo of the tablecloth in the book is in black and white, so I took the author’s bold use of color from other parts of the book as permission and incentive to make a splash with vibrant colors.
Sapphire blue gradations in the warp provide a backdrop for the main attraction: bright bands of crimson-to-coral gradations in the weft at both ends of the scarf. I applied the concept of varied weft thicknesses in these bands of rich color. The interaction of the vibrant colors with the varied weft in the Swedish lace “windows” gives the impression of sunlit stained glass.
This soft cotton scarf is generously wide, giving the Swedish lace pattern maximum visibility. Besides wearing this accessory as a scarf, you could also drape it across your shoulders as an informal wrap.
Studying an accomplished handweaver’s innovations is a great starting point for design inspiration. After all, exploring and inventing designs is one of the greatest satisfactions of weaving.
Project at a Glance
PROJECT TYPE: 4-shaft.
STRUCTURE: Swedish lace.
EQUIPMENT: 4-shaft loom, 16″ weaving width; 12-dent reed; 2–4 boat shuttles; 1 double-bobbin shuttle (optional); 5 bobbins.
YARNS: 8/2 unmercerized cotton (3,224 yd/lb; Bockens, Vävstuga); 16/2 unmercerized cotton (6,429 yd/lb; Bockens, Vävstuga).
Featured Image: Karen Isenhower’s Stained-Glass Scarf is the perfect project to brighten up your loom.