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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.