Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Life of an Item with Franticfiberfun

Just about all of my scarves start out as a problem I assign myself to solve. Sometimes it is a fairly simple problem, like "How can I best bring out the character of the yarn I'm featuring?" Other times its "I need 1200 yards of yarn for warp and weft, and I have 3 450 yard skeins of different colors. How do I make a scarf out of this?" In the case of my latest scarf, the problem was "How do I use to best effect this pattern that I have only read about?"

Creating a scarf is, on average, a 14 hour endeavor. It start with measuring off the yarn for the warp - the long part of the scarf. Sometimes I measure off enough for 3 scarves at a time, which works out to about 280 7-yard threads. I'll spend up to 3 hours just measuring yarn! From there, the yarn goes to the loom and I have to get each thread through the right holes in the right order, and make sure that each thread is as tight as the next thread - that's called tensioning. Another 4-6 hours right there. It's only after all that is complete that its time to weave! The weaving itself goes by fairly quickly - a single scarf can be done in 4-6 hours. But wait, there's more! The scarf, when done weaving, is still not Done. After it is off the loom, its time to tuck in any loose ends, wash it to get the yarn to set in place, and press it to complete the item. If I decide to add beads or something to the fringe, tack on another 2-4 hours.

Through all of this, there are breaks that must be taken, because weaving can be hard on a body. Lots of short, detailed, repetitive movements. Fortunately, I have supervision to remind me of the more important things in life, like petting the cat!


  1. Wow, weaving is alot more labor intensive than I realized. You obviously love the craft because your scarves are just so lovely! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I do love it. It has become a part of my identity, and yet I am just amazed each and every time I can say "I'm a weaver." It's just wonderful stuff.

  3. This is a wonderful article. Thanks for sharing.