Category Archives: Finished Object

Finished: Silvery Scarf (and the Wonders of Math)

Silvery Scarf

I love this simple, soft, silvery scarf, woven on my new Hideaway Homestead rectangle loom. Having woven several projects on triangle looms and Weave-Its, I had some experience with continuous strand weaving, but I’d never used a rectangle before, which is all done on the diagonal. Triangle loom weaving is more popular, and you can find several yardage charts available, but not so with the more obscure rectangle. So, I found this explanation on Roger Thrush’s website about how to estimate yardage (page 12). Multiply the number of pegs of the width by the number of pegs of the length and divide by 36.

For this weaving, I had 30 pegs for the width and 150 pegs for the length:

30 x 150 = 4,500 inches

Now, you take that total and divide by 36 to get the yardage estimate:

4,500 / 36 = 125 yards

This scarf was approximately 9.5″ wide and 48″ long. If you study rectangle loom weaving, you’ll see it’s basically a bunch of squares being woven on the diagonal. With this scarf, there were five “squares.”

Another way of figuring yardage is to find the hypotenuse of one of the triangles that make up a square. You can measure the length with a tape measure, or if you just want to figure it out without the loom in front of you, you can use the Pythagorean Theorem because they’re right triangles. Each side (a and b) is 9.5″ so you’d use a2 + b2 = c2:

90.5 (which is 9.5 squared) + 90.5 = 181

Now, you find the square root of 181, which is approximately 13.4. So, the hypotenuse is 13.4″ long.

If you multiply that by 5 (because there are five “squares”), you’ll find how many inches of yarn you’ll need to weave across the rectangle one time. Remember, you’re not going straight across like with traditional weaving; you’re zigging and zagging. So, the total for one row comes to 67″. You then multiply that times 60 (pegs) to find out how much yarn you’ll need to go all the way across on 30 pegs and then return back. You then divide by 36 (inches) to get yardage:

67 x 60 / 36 = (approx.) 112 yards

However, when you weave, there’s something called “take up,” which means you need to add in more yardage than you think because all those threads are going over and under other threads, using up about 5-15% more than your total.

If I had needed an extra 10% for this project, I wouldn’t have had enough yarn. The skein of yarn stated on the package that it had 120 yards. So, either I didn’t have much take up, the yarn company added in a few extra yards, or there was magic in the air, because I not only had enough yarn to finish this project, I had about one yard to spare. Weird!

It was super fun weaving this scarf. I really love bias weaving. It’s very stretchy and comfortable. The look is more toward the rustic end of the weaving scale, but the feel is really kind of luxurious.

As for the loom, I can’t believe I waited to buy this. It really feels like something I should have been weaving on for a few years now. Roger from Hideaway Homestead (website | Etsy) is great. He makes a fine loom and is super efficient when it comes to getting it to your door. I’ll be using this loom quite a bit.