Finishing the hand spun/hand woven scarf

Finishing the hand spun/hand woven scarf

In the fall I wove a scarf using my ‘precious’ handspun yarn.  It’s time to stop thinking of this commodity in such terms.  There is bound to be loom wastage when using any yarn and handspun can’t be saved, so best to get over that reality and start enjoying the enormous gratification to be had in weaving my own yarn.

The excitement didn’t wane even as the finishing process started.  Finishing can be an extremely tedious time, but I really enjoyed it this time.

A metal needle slides the knot into position

Once the warp is woven it’s time to cut it off the back beam.  I did this very carefully and knotted each group of four threads as I went along.  Using a large metal tapestry needle lets me slide the knot into position easily.  I didn’t hemstitch the scarf, nor did I use a fringe maker.  These are two perfectly satisfactory methods of finishing but I chose not to use them, maybe on a later project.  I also left a lot of fringe length to help in the finishing process for later evening up.

Starting the fringe finish on the loom - back edge of the scarf

Here the back beam fringe is all done, now I have to unwind the fabric and start on the front of the material, which is still attached to the front of the loom.

These knots are usually easy to undo, but if they get a bit cranky the metal needle comes in handy for prying them apart.  Again, I just knot them in groups of four as I move along the front of the loom.  Once that is all done, the fabric is inspected for unwoven threads that are hanging loose.  My apologies for not taking pictures of these, but I was running out of hands.  These usually are along the selvage edges and I trim them off or weave them in using my trusty metal needle.  It’s a bodkin so works perfectly for that task.

The plaid of the two different burgundy shows clearly

Once everything is where it should be, the fabric is given a wash in very hot water and mild soap, rinsed and hung to dry.  I was very pleased with how the colours played out to give a subtle change in the plaid.  I hope to be able to replicate this somehow in the future, just have to figure out how I did it in the first place.

Align the knots of the fringe and cut both sides of the fringe

The final step is to even out the fringes; they need to be the same length on both sides.  I find it easiest to pin the fabric together and just cut them at the same time.

Once the fringe is trimmed the two sides are pinned together and the fringe length is verified

Sometimes they need just a little more trimming, just noticed there is a stray bit in the picture, just like a bad haircut.

The final product is going to be used for display purposes at the next Sale and Exhibition.  I am very pleased with the final result.  It will not be for sale.  I did show it to a fellow weaver for a hard critique and I meant it.  I wanted to hear the “hard stuff”.  She was kind enough to tell me the truth.  There are a few techniques that I need to work on before selling my scarves.  I need to open up my work so it drapes better.  I need to get better at math!!!  This ended up very short.  It was a wonderful width, but it did shrink in length and would only work as a dress scarf.  And finally, I need to practice hemstitching.  That said, the colours are great, my use of yarn is superlative, the fringe is perfect and the simplicity of the design is perfect to set off the fibre.  Ta-da, I’ll take that.


12 thoughts on “Finishing the hand spun/hand woven scarf

  1. Lovely work! And I’m so impressed that you used handspun for both warp and weft. You are braver than I am. Well done.

    1. Thank you Carlene, I’m just getting so overwhelmed with all the yarn that I really needed to face a reality that I better use it or find another place to live, and with the housing market being what it is, the use it option looked less expensive, and more inspiring.

  2. Aargh! Don’t throw the spare warp ends away – if you don’t felt, give them to a felter. They make lovely additions to felt in all sorts of ways.
    Having got that off my chest: I love the colours you’ve got in this scarf. I am usually of the “Yarn doesn’t look so good once it’s woven/knitted” school, but I think that they way you’ve got the colours to blend and merge and emerge looks really great. Your scarf pin is attractive on it too. More power to your elbow.

  3. Thank you Ann. I have to admit it took me a few weeks to decide on how the fibers were going to come together. I have another one that I’m planning and it’s taking time to evolve properly. I will give some of the thrums to my felting friends if they want but I have a plan for these as well. They make a great pile weave for pillow covers. That is for another post into the future.

  4. I love the colourwork on this scarf! It’s even more lovely knowing it comes from your own hand spun yarn. I’m sure the other more experienced weaver knows their stuff, but as a non-weaver all I can say is, it looks beautiful and you should be very proud 🙂

  5. Beautiful outcome! I think it’s fantastic that you are using your hand spun yarn. It’s good to get a critique but I agree that you should be very proud of what you accomplished.

  6. I think it turned out beautifully. I love the subtle plaid, and the overall effect is gorgeous.

    I agree with Ann wholeheartedly. Those little ends have a multitude of design ideas within them for the felters amongst us. Always better to reuse and repurpose ❤

  7. Love it! There must be great personal satisfaction in taking your own hand-spun yarn and making something so beautiful.

  8. Thank you everyone for you generous encouragement. I will keep the loom wastage for another project, hopefully not to far into the future. It should make for an interesting post on a different weaving technique.

  9. It’s beautiful – I love the subtle colour shifts. It was quite nerve-wracking the first time I wove my handspun, but I found it was so much more satisfying than using commercial yarns. I can’t bare to throw any loom waste away though, so I save all mine to use either as decorative elements in Saori/free weaving, or if that fails they can be used as stuffing for another project.

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