Benjamin’s Outlandish Tartan Scarf

Recently I had the pleasure of working with the Lhasa Wilderness yarn from Bijou Basin Ranch in a few of their new colors from their Outlandish colorway series which was inspired by Outlander, a book and recent TV series based in the Scottish Highlands.

When I was thinking of projects for this yarn I immediately knew that I had to weave a tartan-plaid with it. (My Scottish ancestry is generations back and not well recorded, so I decided it was best to not weave a traditional tartan that I didn’t have claim to.)

To create my plaid, I arranged my warp threads to make sure I used the same number of each color in the pattern. Not only did this give me peace of mind that I would use the same amount of each color of yarn, it gave me a visually balanced scheme. I wasn’t worried about anything but the looks of the finished tartan. Using a weaving program allowed me to move colors around in the design without committing to a final setup.

Equipment: Baby Wolf Loom – This could be done on any of our floor looms or rigid heddle looms.

Yarns with original draft. From left to right: Skye, Watercress, Laoghaire (yellow–but it looks orange here), Lallybroch.

Yarn: Lhasa Wilderness from Bijou Basin Ranch, 130 yards each in the following colors

31 – Laoghaire (Lira) (yellow)

43 – Watercress (bright green)

44 – Lallybroch (dark green)

52 – Skye (blue)

Warp: 80 ends total at 3 yards long.

Sett: 12 epi for plain weave (If weaving in a 2/2 twill sett the warp at 16 epi and increase your yarn yardage).

Structure: Plain weave.
I set up the loom as a straight draw, using 4 shafts just to distribute my heddles evenly. This also allowed me to have the option of doing a twill structure if I wanted to.

Repeat two times.
Weaving: Weave about 2.5 yards following the same color sequence as in the warp.
Finishing: Using four groups of two threads, make “four stranded flat braids” all the way across your warp.

I found that my selvedges weren’t up to snuff, so I chose the dark green (Lallybroch) and single crocheted a border around the edge. I also found that this added a more “masculine” edge to the scarf, making it feel more substantial.

Detail of crocheted border on each side of the scarf

Helpful Hint: When I use my Baby Wolf, I normally use my lease sticks to keep my warp cross because I generally have a pretty wide warp. For this project I had a much skinnier warp than normal, and I felt that my lease sticks would be too large. I had an “aha” moment when I looked over and saw my Variable Dent Reed on my shelf. I took out the individual dents, and slid the frame around the cross. I re-screwed the frame together and then lashed it onto my loom.

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Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets.) His work can be seen in Handwoven, Spin-Off and the SIP Easy Weaving With Little Looms.