Merino and Silk Hand Woven Scarf

I used my rigid heddle loom to weave a scarf using the silk/yak/wool yarn I hand spun last fall. I really wanted it to be a shawl or wrap, but the width of the loom limits the size to a maximum of 15″ wide. I had enough yarn to make it as wide as the loom will allow, and about six feet long. Don’t be surprised if someday I get a bigger loom.

For the warp yarn (the long way on the scarf) I used a skein of Madeleine Tosh sport weight “Pashmina” from my yarn store inventory purchase. It is very soft with 75% merino wool, 15% silk, and 10% cashmere. The weft (the short way) is my handspun silk/yak/wool yarn that I posted about in December. It is a little thicker. https://yarnsfromthelake.com/2020/12/17/wool-silk-yak-yarn/

It is hard to get the colors right in the photos, and they look different depending on what device you are using to read the blog post. My hand spun has a little variegation, but it is primarily a traditional denim blue. The Madeline Tosh yarn color is called “Arch”, and includes some tan, taupe, gray, blue, and bits of off white.

My hand spun yarn with the Madeline Tosh yarn

Our dog Lyla kept me company on the recliner while I warped the loom with 90″ of warp yarn in our small rental unit in Arizona. That is the entire living and dining area.

90 inches of warp yarn
Closer view of warp yarn
Warp yarn ready for weaving

Weaving every row with the hand spun yarn went quickly since I did not have any pattern to follow or changes of yarn. You can see the weaving in progress in the photo below.

Weaving in progress

As the weaving progressed, the completed fabric was rolled onto the front beam in order to access more warp yarn. See photo below.

Completed weaving wound onto the front beam

When I got to the end of the warp yarn, or as far as possible given the ends were attached to the apron bar, I did a hem stitch while the weaving was still on the loom.

Reached the end of the warp, working on hem stitching while still attached

After cutting the weaving off the loom, I twisted the fringe, using a technique I learned last summer. I could have left the ends loose, but the twisting method gives it a professional look. If you want to see how this is done, you can look at the following youtube tutorial. The tutorial uses a special gadget that I don’t have, so I used my fingers to hold the yarn while twisting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjXmJUaFOlw

Fringe twisting in progress

The next photo was taken after finishing the fringe, but before washing the scarf.

Fringe finished but not yet washed

I thought I was measuring out the warp yarn for a 72″ scarf. I did not account for “take up”, which is a reduction in length and width due to the yarn going over and under repeatedly in the weaving process. I knew the width would be a bit less than 15″ due to not using every slot and hole in the reed all the way to the edges. The finished size ended up being 14″ wide, and only 61″ long. A little longer would have been ideal, but it will work. After finishing the fringe, I hand washed the scarf carefully to allow the fibers to set and bloom, but not shrink or felt.

Washed and drying

Finished scarf!

Published by Meg Hanson

Hello. I am a recently retired empty nester. My husband and I moved to Jewett Lake in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, after living most of our lives in the Minneapolis area. I have no trouble keeping busy with knitting and spinning of wool, selling yarn and handmade goods, reading, walking, watching movies, surfing on the internet, traveling, doing bookkeeping for our family cabin, and spending time with family.

13 thoughts on “Merino and Silk Hand Woven Scarf

    1. I like the color too! If I had a wider loom I could make a wider scarf, more like a pashmina, or an afgan type thing. Probably a wider loom would also be a different kind that can do more complicated weaving. Not sure I am ready for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a great photo with the cactus. Did Wayne take that with a phone? I miss being able to take portraits or other photos with the soft background focus as I used to with a proper camera as you have in this photo.
    The shawl looks marvelous. The denim color will go with so many outfits.
    Are you interested in trying some scarves or whatever with a woven pattern?
    I am looking forward to touching the finished product. Is it light, but soft? Given the fibers you used, I bet it is cozy.
    Imagine a woman 150 years ago weaving fabric for her family’s clothes while living in a small house. The loom would take up the house! At least then the family members would be able to see how hard she had to work to keep them in clothes. No leaving your hoodie at a friend’s house then, or you would be out of luck and cold!
    Do you have a bigger loom picked out? Lots of choices, or one obvious option for bigger projects?
    It will be fun to hear about it when it happens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wayne’s took the photos with his new Iphone, it has a portrait setting. I have not researched bigger looms, and actually I don’t think I am ready for that yet! There are still many things I can make on the one I have, including trying out a more complicated weave.

      Like

  2. Beautiful new woven scarf. Meg! Color looks great on ou. Liked seeing the photo of the loom taking up the whole living space. 🙂 Enjoy your remaining time in the West. Ken and I just saw Arches National Park for the first time. gorgeous!

    Liked by 2 people

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