This one is pretty!
I must say, weaving plaid scarves is the thing:
This cozy little scarf was completed yesterday. It’s another rectangle loom scarf using my Hideaway Homestead loom on the 10″ x 48″ setting. I’ve found they “shrink” in width about 2″ or more, but the length stays about the same. The yarn was Yarn Bee First Love, which is 100% polyester. It holds its shape very nicely off the loom:
I’ve struggled using a crochet hook as a continuous strand weaving tool. When you first start a project, it’s easiest to use your hands to weave, but after about twenty rows, it’s faster to use a crochet hook; however, there are times it works perfectly and there are times the yarn jumps off while pulling it through the shed or the hook itself snags the yarn and creates a mess. I’ve often thought there should be something better than a crochet hook for this type of weaving. Some weavers use a long, wooden hook that has what appears to be a deeper, sturdier looking hook, but I still thought there should be something that almost locks in the yarn but allows it to travel through the opening freely while pulling the working yarn through the shed.
Then I thought of using the humble kitchen skewer. If I could add a handle to this, it’d be a perfect tool for weaving this way. I’ve been using it without a handle, and it’s great. The yarn doesn’t snag, it only jumps out of place on occasion, and using the rounded end to weave over/under works really well. It’ll only be the last five rows or so where the size of this becomes an issue, and then… back to the crochet hook.
The yarn was a challenge (Schachenmayr Original Boston Sun (Earth Mix)). I’m making a note because I chose, on purpose, a yarn I wouldn’t have chosen. I wanted to see what the colors would look like on the loom. Believe me, the orange is a blaze hunting orange, but it looks far softer in the photo. The bigger issue was that the yarn itself was snaggy. It split and frayed and pretty much made the project difficult to complete. I think it’s better for knitting.
Continuous strand weaving, done on rectangle, square, triangle looms, etc., is really unique. I like this style of weaving for so many reasons, some big, some small. Here, in no particular order, is a little list:
However, with all this goodness, there are some drawbacks that may keep a weaver favoring a floor, table, or rigid heddle loom:
I liked the first one so much, I decided to weave another.
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.