Celebrating scarves

Recently a lot of my textiles work has centred around scarves. I've always loved scarves as an accessory; they can add interest to an otherwise low-key look, and add some much-needed warmth. I've certainly been appreciating mine this winter, spending most days in a chilly office!

Baedeker Scarf

The most exciting scarf project of late is undoubtedly the Baedeker scarf I designed for Quince & Co. as part of the Scarves etc. 6 collection.

This design is my first published pattern, and I had such fun creating it. The yarn is Quince & Co. Owl in Taiga, which is a lovely wool–alpaca blend in a muted olive green, which is so up my street. The choice of name for the scarf was a bit funny. The main idea is inspired by the Baedeker Guides: travel books that inspired generations to get out and see the world. I like that idea of finding adventure and new perspectives. 

I originally thought of the name, though, because I was knitting my initial sample for the scarf when I was evacuated from my flat in Bath, thanks to a WWII bomb that was discovered at the end of my road. The city of Bath wasn't of any military importance, but was targeted for its cultural significance in an attempt to destroy morale: the Baedeker raids. I do like to include meaning in the names for my designs! 

As well as the pattern release I've been weaving a few scarves, having bought myself a beautiful rigid heddle loom a couple of months ago. 

Hand-woven scarf in wool and alpaca

The above scarf is the first I wove on the new loom. The yarn is all hand-spun, mostly wool and alpaca with a small amount of soy. The dark grey-brown is undyed wool from one of the fleeces shown in my last post, which I carded quickly, leaving in the scorched tips and slubby bits for a beautiful heathery tweed look. It's quite thick and very warm, but is surprisingly lightweight, thanks to the woollen-spun yarn.  

Soft textured hand-woven scarf

I love the subtle shifts in colour and texture in this super-soft scarf. I'm not even sure how to describe the colour; there are definitely flecks of turquoise in there; the rest moves between teal, grey and brown. The fibres were a delight to work with; the warp is my hand-dyed BFL Fingering, and the weft alternates between merino–silk–alpaca and merino–baby llama–silk. Oh my, so luxurious. I could happily cocoon myself in there.

FibreShare hand-woven scarf

The last scarf I'm going to include is one that's really special to me, and is one I made for me to keep. FibreShare is one of my favourite ways to interact with other people who love fibre and textile crafts. For those unfamiliar with it, it's a huge international yarn and fibre swap. Participants get matched up according to their interests, and are encouraged to get to know their two partners and create the perfect package for them. I've participated three times, and each time my partner has sent me beautiful fibre (in some of my favourite colours!), which I have spun up and woven together. 

Isn't it lovely? The shifting reds, oranges and neutrals all worked so well together, and I love that the three people who picked these colours for me got it so right! It's really interesting to build a connection with other crafty people who I might not have come across otherwise. 

To finish, I am now working with two heddles on the loom so am able to weave more interesting patterns. I'll be experimenting further in the next couple of months! Here's a look at what I currently have in progress.

Rigid heddle loom with two heddles

I can't wait to see how this one drapes when it's finished.

Do you have a favourite scarf, or one with a story? If you'd like to share, please leave a comment!

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