Handwoven: Happy accident scarf

My latest scarf is a bit of a happy accident. Collapse weave without even trying 🙂 Collapse weave is where the fabric naturally forms peaks and troughs as though it has been pleated or shirred, It does that because of the tensions within the warp and weft threads rather than any treatment.

It started off with a skein of hand-painted yarn that I bought at a weaver’s market. It’s from the same person who dyed the skein used in my orange & blue scarf.

Hand-painted skeins


The warp was wound so that the colours stacked loosely. Watched on by my little treefrog friends doing their evening skydiving formations.

Winding the warp under watchful eyes

The loom was warped in record time, using the back to from method. In just a few hours, I was auditioning weft yarns. It was a toss up between the charcoal ( cashmere) yarn and red/blue mix (lambs wool).

Auditioning the weft yarn

I decided to go with the charcoal for the scarf as it showed up the warp colours more an was a more open weave for a finer fabric.

in progress with the charcoal cashmere yarn

By dinner time, I was hemstitching the end of the scarf.

hemstitching the end of the scarf

Since the warp was much longer than it needed to be because of the colour stacking, I used the remainder to play with the red mix lambs wool. It’s only about 60cm long so I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. But it was interesting to see the difference in the two when they were washed. Wasn’t quite expecting this though….

after wet-finishing. Sport the difference in the wefts!

The scarf, using the fine cashmere, came out as a collapse weave! There was a lot of tracking with the hand-painted yarn.

Lambswool weft after wet finishing – a little tracking

There is still some tracking in the lambs wool sample, not nowhere near as noticeable. I had noticed some tracking with the orange/blue scarf so I suspect it is something to do with the twist of this yarn ( overtwist?).

Close-up of the collapsed weave

It is quite a happy accident. The photos of the finished scarf don’t really do it justice. I’m hoping to use the effect more with the other skein that I bought.

Finished scarf

Some stats for me to remember for next time…
# ends : 240
Draft : 4 shaft plain weave
Sett : 2 ends per dent
PPI: balanced weave


World Watercolour Month

I other news I’ve been participating in WWM. One paining a day as a way to improve my watercolour techniques. I’ve done a fair bit of pastel painting and I’m having a hard time remembering to start with the highlights in watercolour and end with the darks. Plus that whole thing of regulating the amount of water. It’s been fun and frustrating, but I’m getting a lot better with colour mixing which should come in handy for fabric dying.

I’ll leave you with this, one of my favourites. If you’d like to see more, check in on this page or by clicking on the WWM logo in the sidebar. Updates will be added there each day, rather than filling up the blog feed with non-sewing stuff.

white-faced heron

Till next time, happy sewing!

  1. Your new scraf is quite dramatic with the colour combinations and I love seeing your treefrogs keeping an eye on you. As far as the collapsed weave, I am at a loss as to what you mean (my lack of weaving I suppose).

    Amazing watercolour.

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    1. Thanks Sharon. Sorry, I should have explained a little. Collapse weave is where the fabric naturally forms peaks and troughs as though it has been pleated or shirred. Like a crinkle fabric, but much more pronounced. So the difference in the widths of the two samples handing on the clothesline is because one had very marked pleating ( about 1cm in depth). It does that because of the tensions within the warp and weft threads rather than any treatment. Some weavers try really hard to get this effect so I was really surprised when it just happened.

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      1. Thank you for the explanation now I can see clearly what you mean.

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  2. kathleenbenitez 12 July, 2018 at 1:59 am

    So neat! I’m trying to remember that I have enough hobbies already!

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    1. Haha! I’ll warn you now that it is highly addictive and comes with a large yarn stash 🙂

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