Back To School – Crabapple Scarves

The promise of fresh supplies at the beginning of a school year was always one of the best moments. Any occasion to get a new box of crayons was worth celebration. The only bad thing about school crayons was the meager 8 count box. The larger boxes were reserved for home use. Lucky for me my parents were always indulgent with all of my artistic and creative endeavors so I had my fair share of 64 count boxes over the years.

Now more often than not, my explorations in color are related to fiber. As a knitter I am not very adventurous with color; I will never do intarsia or fair isle patterns, for example. Weaving however, lets me play with color in a completely different way. It was about this time a few years ago when I got my 1st Cricket loom. Maybe it was the desire to experience something similar to those kids getting on their buses to go learn new things, or the inspiration I found in the crab apples that were dropping all over my mother’s front lawn, or both, but I needed to explore a new project.

I have helped gather a fair amount of these crab apples over the years and this year is a bumper crop! Once again I am entranced by the amazing colors of these little gems. So, I think now is the appropriate time to share my back-to-school time project(s) inspired by the apples. Reds in nature are some of the most beautiful and challenging to duplicate in other mediums. I am especially drawn to the rubine reds that have a little more blue in them, which is the primary beauty and appeal these crabs have for me. In the crayon box the color would be magenta, fuchsia, mulberry, or red violet.

My first Cricket project was going to be a crab apple-inspired, stash busting scarf. I dug out every value of red yarn I had at my disposal and started playing around with snips of each yarn until I got the combo I liked.I warped the loom using a 4 ½ yard warping board since so many different yarns were being used. My stash busting ended with the warp when I decided I needed to buy a decadent solid color yarn for the weft at my LYS. I think it was a cashmere blend and above is the first scarf I wove on my new Cricket.

Before I had it off the loom I was immediately planning a variation on a theme which actually resulted in 3 more stash filled warps and 5 more yummy wefts. Here is one of my piles of pre-warped yarn. I would try out different combos until I was happy. As I progressed I added more variety in colors and yarn weights to the warps, using an 8 dent reed for all of the scarves. I used a different color weft yarn for each scarf and was surprised in subtle differences in the scarves with reddish weft yarns. It was a great beginning to play with color on the Cricket, and a perfect individual back-to-school endeavor.

I do still love a pristine box of crayons and the promise it holds. Several years back my dad got me a collectors tin with a 64 count box of crayons and an 8 count box of the newly retired colors which will remain untouched. Now the promises lie in the colors of nature, my stash, and all of the new yarn yet to explore.

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Judy Pagels

Judy Pagels comes to Schacht from a varied background in printing, graphic design, and flower arranging. Hired initially as our shipping manager, Judy shortly afterwards was promoted to sales and service manager where she is in charge of new accounts, as well as sales and service. Judy is first a knitter, but also weaves and spins—always with a keen eye to great design.