My foray into free form overshot weaving

I was wandering around the internet one morning and I found this scarf;

The mermaid scarf from Lisa Raynor

A little digging (well…clicking) produced a blog post, an Etsy shop and a whole new interest level. The technique is free form overshot; where some weft strands (the bits that go from side to side, not up and down) are doubled with a thicker yarn. Basically, the weft weave is plain while you add a thicker yarn every second pick (one pass through the warp is called a pick), while going over some warp strands out of order to make a pattern.

I decided to give it a go…on some plain, throw away yarn that I wouldn’t miss too much. The technique looked complicated and mistake prone, so I didn’t want to tempt fate by using a good silk yarn or some of my hand spun Icelandic wool.

I warped up with a grey cotton yarn I had left over from making tea towels and chose a pink woolen yarn that should puff up nicely when washed.

I tried to weave it in the advised way; by alternating both wefts right across the warp. That was a disaster. Too much pink showed through and I could not see the pattern, and I kept messing up the warp count.

Next attempt; I kept the alternating threads idea, but only used the pink on the pattern area (sort of like tapestry weaving). This worked really well but I needed to use about five separate thread ends to make it work. I eventually got the pattern done, after a fashion, it is not as smooth looking as I had hoped, but I think it will fluff up in the fulling process..

The star in the centre became hard to see and eventually became a cross.

On the way to finishing the scarf I found another Youtube clip by Pipyr Dooley about making inclusions in weaving. Suddenly this scarf became a project for a friend (don’t ask me why the design just popped into my head, I just work here).

The triangles are inclusions al la Pipyr Dooley.

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