A Scarf is Born

Are you looking for a handcrafted gift for yourself or someone special? I’ve been weaving a lot of scarves lately using hand-dyed alpaca silk yarn. My friend Ellen, who owns Ellen’s 1/2 Pint Farm is the dyer. She works in small batches dyeing yarn mainly for knitters. But the fine 80% alpaca/20% silk yarn is suitable for both knitting and weaving and it makes a beautiful scarf.

Hand dyed alpaca silk, tencel scarf

I use her yarn in the warp (the lengthwise strands) and for the weft (the crosswise) I use a solid color in either tencel or more of the alpaca/silk. It’s a fairly loose weave so the scarf is lightweight and has excellent drape.

I usually choose a solid color that matches or comes very close to one of the colors in the main yarn. Darker solids tend to make the multi-colored yarn pop while light solids can have a muting effect.

I set up the loom to weave just one scarf at a time.  I could set up a run of more than one, but what I might gain in efficiency hasn’t yet outweighed the pleasure I get from moving rapidly through many different colors. I’m usually making the next color choice while weaving the current scarf and I get impatient to move on to it.

I love that the hand-dyed yarns will always be a bit different. Two scarves woven in the same pattern with the same warp and weft will look similar, but rarely identical. And because Ellen works in small batches I can request custom colors and not have to purchase pounds and pounds of yarn. Those colors can rarely be exactly duplicated so if you purchase one of my scarves you can be assured you won’t see it everywhere. Order online or visit one of the galleries listed in the sidebar.


Author: Jennifer Kortfelt

Owner, Heron Pond Designs, a fiber and textile exploration.

2 thoughts on “A Scarf is Born”

  1. That fiber combination sounds yummy! I liked reading how you think about variegated yarn–I have been quite frustrated when using it and need to re-think my approach. This particular scarf looks like it would be perfect for autumn.


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