Confessions of a Novice Weaver – Week Three


As much as I wanted to weave more plaid, it was time to focus on twill. Judy, my instructor, had given us the lecture on floating selvedges and how they prevent floating warp threads when weaving twill, but I was making a scarf for my father, and I wanted the pattern to extend to the edge of the scarf. I decided that if I did four picks each of alternating colors, I could simply carry the colors up the side, which would catch any bits that wanted to stray and eliminate the need for the floating selvedge.

Confession #6:

Wrapping every other pick to carry each color I was using up the side of my scarf was a real drag. Certainly it was less of a drag than cutting the yarn after each section of color, but I didn’t enjoy the process. With each week of class that passes, I am feeling more and more certain about the type of weaver I may be. I say may because I am in the very early stages of learning to weave, but I’m also old enough to know a few things about myself. But more on that at a later date. The nice thing about weaving this scarf was using baby alpaca, though I ended up with tumbleweeds of alpaca fluff all over my craft room. It’s so soft and will be warm enough to handle the coldest winter.

Confession #7:

I was off on my warp and weft calculations and ended up not only making a second trip to Shuttles to buy more material, but also integrating some baby alpaca I had in my yarn stash that was almost the same color as one of my original colors because the project was starting to get a bit expensive. I’m starting to feel like a bad example, but at least I learned a lesson or two. Weaving a sample is sounding more and more like a good idea, especially when using a new, not to mention pricey, material. I ended up beating harder than planned and liked the look, thus the need for additional material. I’m starting to get antsy for class to be over so that I have time to explore weaving on my own terms, exploring new patterns and techniques and using traditional materials in non-traditional ways.

Melissa Ludden Hankens

You can find Melissa designing weaving projects for the Schacht blog and E-news. Melissa is also online at and on Instagram as mlhankens ( ).