Friday, December 6, 2013

Scarves for gentlemen with Valley Yarns alpaca/silk

Hello, friends. I am getting ready for my last exhibit of this calendar year at LaBelle Winery on Sunday, December 8th. In addition to the usual table runners and fiber jewelry to display at the show, I've included a few new handwoven scarves for gentlemen.

I wanted to use a fiber that was soft, warm, and lightweight. Valley Yarns alpaca/silk blend (80% alpaca and 20% silk) worked out really nicely for my purposes. I sleyed the reed at 20 ends per inch and wove at approximately 24 picks per inch. Shrinkage in the width was minimal. Shrinkage in the length was not much - about 10-12%. I tend to have a very light beat, so if you choose to work with yarn, your results might be different.

Here is a photo of the "really red" alpaca/silk on the loom:

I also wove two tartan scarves using the Barclay Hunting traditional design:

The red is the "really red" used in my first scarf. The blue is Valley Yarn's "navy" and the green is "olive." I really like the contrast of the green with the red in the scarf. 

I was a little bit nervous about how well the yarn would hold up under tension but I was pleased that I did not have one broken warp thread while working on any of the scarves. Hooray! Finishing the cloth was pretty simple - I handwashed in gentle detergent in cool water. It took several rinses to for the excess dyes to be removed but this is a small price to pay when considering how fabulous the colors are! I hung the scarves to dry and ran the iron over them on the "blend" setting (a medium heat). The resulting cloth is soft, smooth and has a very nice drape. Valley Yarns alpaca/silk became a fast favorite. 

Here are some photos of the finished gentleman's scarves:

One final thing: I LOVE weaving tartan. I suspect that there will be more tartan weaving adventures in the near future! I think that the "Keith" and "MacDonald, Lord of the Isles" tartans will be next. So fun. And so interesting to learn a bit of history.

Be well,
Kate K.

1 comment:

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

Oh Kate, that red scarf is absolutely beautiful. Red is my favorite color - okay, it is tied with cobalt blue - I love them both.

Tartans are a blast to weave, glad to hear you are enjoying yourself. Hope your sales tomorrow wonderful - enjoy yourself and maybe some wine too.