The Story of a Scarf

This past winter in my little portion of Northern Colorado was a cold and snowy one. I live right up near the foothills so while the rest of the town might get 6”, it wasn’t uncommon to find a full foot of snow in my yard after a nightime storm. Given that, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when after several large, cold snows my husband Shawn asked me very sweetly if I could make him a warm winter scarf when I had time.  

  Shawn's Scarf
  Christina's husband and his warm
handwoven wool scarf 
  Beverly Jones' scarf
  Beverly Jones' Scarf Designed with the Guy
in Mind from the Jan/Feb 2013 Handwoven 

(I’m ashamed to say that up until late this last March my husband wore a nasty, thin faux-cashmere scarf he found frozen to the ground while skiing years ago. The scarf was ratty and not remotely warm enough for our Colorado winters. Plus when he looped it around his neck in a vain attempt make the scarf warmer, it was woefully short.)

I’d made scarves for friends and family, but for some reason overlooked my poor Shawn and his sad little scarf. I immediately rushed my current project off the loom and got started on Shawn’s scarf. It had to be warm enough to stand up to the cold Colorado winter and soft enough where he could wear it against the skin without it itching. Also, at his request, it had to be long enough where he could loop it around his neck and the tails would come down to the hem of his shirt. Lastly, the colors should go well with all of his jackets if at all possible.

I’m quite sure I could have spent hours or days designing the perfect scarf that would be both warm and practical while giving off an air of masculine elegance. Fortunately for me, this was one project where I knew precisely what I was going to weave. When Shawn asked for his scarf, I immediately thought of Beverly Jones’ “Scarf Designed with the Guy in Mind” from the January/February 2013 Handwoven and how warm and soft it was.

The scarf was almost perfect as written. It was warm baby alpaca, wide enough for a man’s neck, incredibly soft, and in a great color palette. It just needed to be a bit longer which was an easy fix; I just had to do some minor yarn calculations and another repeat of the main design.

It was all so easy, and the scarf was so much fun to weave from start to finish. I loved the way the baby alpaca felt on my fingers as I wrapped it around the pegs of the warping board, threaded the heddles, and wound the bobbins. I loved the simple 1-2-3-4 straight twill treadling and how quickly the yarn turned into cloth. I warped the loom on a Friday, finished weaving the scarf on Saturday, and Shawn was able to wear it on Sunday. He loved it and, thanks to a frustratingly persistent winter, he was able to wear up through early May.

I love all my back issues of Handwoven, whether they are physical copies, digital issues, or CD collections. They are a constant source of inspiration when I’m looking for new project to throw on the loom, color ideas, or new structures to try out. I might make adjustments here and there to suit my taste or to fit whatever yarns I have on hand, but even then most of the work has been done for me by the contributor and our amazing tech editor team. For that reason I treasure all of my back issues of Handwoven, and I look forward to seeing my collection grow in the coming years.




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