Weave a Scarf in an Afternoon and Impress Everyone
One of the many joys of weaving is the ability to impress your non-weaving friends and family with quick-and-easy projects. One of the easiest ways to have everyone ooh and aah at your skill and talent is to weave up a rigid-heddle scarf in a variety of fancy-pants yarns. A scarf woven in simple, plain weave or hopsack lets the yarns do most of the aesthetic heavy lifting, so you can casually say, “Oh, this? I wove it yesterday afternoon,” as your friends marvel at your talent.
To weave such a scarf, you need to know how to balance the colors and textures of your yarn and to figure out how to make them all play nice. I like to think of a good rigid-heddle scarf like a caprese salad. Sweet umami tomato counters the rich mozzarella, both of which are accentuated by some earthy basil. Maybe you simply add a bit of olive oil to tie it all together or you go for some extra-bright tartness with a balsamic drizzle. BAM! Simple ingredients quickly thrown together that are suddenly more than the sum of their parts.
Designing and weaving a rigid-heddle scarf is much the same thing. You want something with interesting texture (boucle, ribbon yarn, ladder yarns, etc.); something with a splash of color; something to be the soft and stable workhorse; and, finally, something variegated and/or something shiny. You can double up any of these elements in a single yarn by choosing, for example, a slubby yarn that’s variegated or a metallic ribbon yarn.
The real key is to balance your elements. One way to do this is to design as you warp your rigid-heddle loom (affiliate link). As you sley your heddle, really look at the warp as it develops and, if you need to, move yarns around. After the warp is laid out, you might find that you need a bigger stripe on one side or maybe a splash of color on the other. It’s a bit like tasting as you go when you cook, and it’s not something that’s as easy to do on a floor loom. Also, don’t be afraid to go asymmetrical—indeed, I suggest it!
Now, if you want an example of a beautifully balanced scarf, check out Sara Goldenberg’s Over the Mango Moon scarf. In her project, Sara achieves a beautiful balance of shimmery, variegated ribbon yarn, bright-pink wool, and a solid—and extra-soft—wool/silk blend to tie it all together. Sara then wove it in hopsack to ensure maximum warp visibility. Simple and stunning!
If you want to weave Sara’s scarf, the bad news is that Mango Moon Yarns is no longer around, so finding these yarns can be quite difficult. But here’s the good news: We still have a few of our Over the Mango Moon project kits available. They have everything you need to weave this beautiful but oh-so-simple scarf in a day and impress everyone.
Featured Image: Sara Goldenberg’s Over the Mango Moon scarf. Photo credit: George Boe