As we were working on the gray Chameleon scarves, using 3 strands of 10/2 mercerized cotton yarn, it suddenly occurred to us that we already had the perfect yarn for a gray scale scarf. It was even foolishly apparent: we could use 5/2 yarn from our gray matter kit! Those yarns already have 5 shades of gray plus black and white in a nice progression…no need to reinvent the wheel to get a gray progression across the warp.
A few hours later using a flip rigid heddle loom, we had a lovely scarf woven with 5/2 mercerized cotton, sett at 12 epi. (Being able to warp up 90″ of a warp for one scarf on a rigid heddle loom with almost no loom waste is a wonderful benefit to these little looms.) The weave structure for the scarf is the 3/1 lace pickup pattern from Jane Patrick’s The Weaver’s Idea Book, and the scarf has a nice asymmetry to it with one end being black and the other end being white with the grays spread out in the middle.
It turns out that setting 5/2 at 12 epi makes a nice soft scarf when you weave the scarves at 12 picks per inch (ppi). We did need to beat gently even on the rigid heddle loom and measure occasionally to make sure that we were getting 12 picks per inch during the weaving process. When weaving 12 ppi on a floor loom, we really needed to place the yarn rather than beating it in. However, the resulting texture of the fabric is well worth the extra effort. The gray matter scarves are available as a kit, as well as just the instructions if you want to use your own yarns.
We were so pleased with the gray scarf, we couldn’t stop there…we had to make another scarf out of 5/2 mercerized cotton, this time using purple yarns. And just for variety, we used the 5/1 lace pickup pattern, from Jane Patrick’s The Weaver’s Idea Book. For this scarf, we used 6 purples, going from 5 Red through the red purples, purples and ending with 10 Purple Blue. We liked the color flow from the dark 10 Purple Blue to the bright 5 Red, and the overall delicious purple color of the scarf. The 5/1 lace pattern gives the scarf a ribbed warp-wise texture on one side that is very pleasing for the scarf.
All told, we are in love with using 5/2 mercerized cotton yarns for making light weight scarves. Now, off to pick out more colors of Tubular Spectrum yarns to make scarves…which ones should we try now?