This scarf came about by mistake. A simple mistake. An elementary one, really. Against my better judgment gained from 30 years of weaving, I used a loosely spun novelty yarn as a supplementary warp that would sit or “float” on top of the woven fabric and then anchored down by a weft row every 12 picks. And of course as I was beaming the warp, the novelty yarn began to break and unravel causing a major headache and a few choice words on my part. So I carefully removed the novelty yarn and continued to wind the 10/2 perle cotton warp minus the supplementary warp threads which were meant to be spaced at every fifth dent in an 8 dent reed. The 10/2 perle cotton was sleyed at 3 ends per dent for 4 consecutive dents, then the fifth dent for the supplementary novelty yarn remained empty. And so this pattern of sleying continued for the width of the scarf which was 7 inches.
I needed a replacement for the heavier novelty yarn. A quick look at my yarn shelves revealed this little used cone of fuchsia mohair and nylon yarn.
I wound 12 ends of this mohair yarn, each measuring 7 1/2 yards which was the length of the original warp. The ends were threaded through the empty dents and heddles that were reserved for the supplementary warp yarn. Because the 10/2 warp was already tied and wound onto the the warp beam, I had to improvise with the mohair yarn. The entire length of each of the supplementary warp yarns were wrapped around small squares of plastic needlepoint canvas weighted down with a washer. A small “Boston” clip was used to keep the yarn in place and to prevent unraveling. These were hung over the loom’s back beam.
It looked rather messy, but it worked. This was a true “McGyver” moment! The two film canisters held ends of 10/2 perle cotton that happened to break during the beaming and so also needed replacements.
During the actual weaving, the scarf had a supplementary weft yarn that was inserted after every 12 picks. I used the same mohair/nylon yarn for the supplementary weft.
The choice of colors to me wasn’t an ideal one, but given the selection of my yarn stash, it seemed to work better than anything else that was at hand. This was a simple and easy solution to a very frustrating problem. And I was reminded that I always tell my students that 75% of weaving is trying to figure out how to solve a problem. In this case, the problem was my mistake and short sightedness. It’s all supplementary, I mean elementary isn’t it?