Saturday, May 11, 2013
New Weaving Project: SCA White Scarf
See that? That is how a weaving project starts for me. I got a commission today for a hand woven White Scarf. In some parts of the SCA (the Medieval/Renaissance historical recreation group I'm part of), a white scarf worn on the shoulder or tied onto the arm designates someone who is Very Very Good at rapier fighting. Several of the folks around my Kingdom wear scarves that I've hand woven, but I am about out of my stock. And, the gentleman who contacted me wants one that is longer than the two that I have left.
So, tonight after I got back from my son's final choir concert for the year, I rummaged through my yarn stash and started looking through pattern books for inspiration. I chose two different 10/2 cotton threads, in whites that are just a little bit off from each other. That way the scarf will be pure white, but the pattern will pop just a little bit more than if I wove it all of the same white. Making it of cotton ensures that the scarf will be machine washable. That is an important consideration, since these tend to be worn on the fighting field. Inevitably, they will get dirty. Very dirty in some cases. Sword fighters are not known for being easy on their fighting garb!
I weighed the yarn to see how much I had available, so I knew how many scarves I could make this time around. I did the math, and decided to make three scarves that should be long enough to tie around the arm, and three that are short enough to pin over the shoulder without getting in the way of arm motion. I knew I wanted to do a twill variation of some sort, so I looked up the chart for yarn settings and decided to put 30 warp threads for every inch. Out came the calculator, paper, and pen. I need...hmmm...120 threads, each of them 8 yards long. Wait...since it is a twill pattern, I find it easier to use some floating selvedges on each side. Make that 124 threads. Scribble, scribble, figure.
Then I went rummaging through my books. I like be able to set up the loom once, and make a variety of patterns depending on how I do the treadling. Ideally, each of the six scarves would have a different pattern, without me having to re-do my set-up on the loom. I found what I was looking for in the old standard, "A Handweavers Pattern Book" by Marguerite Davidson. I'll be playing with one of the variations of Rose Path twill (#2), found on page 17. In the picture, it is the second column in from the right.
Ok, I think my initial calculations are done. Tomorrow I start measuring thread!