Snowflakes 8-shaft weaving kitJanuary 05, 2024

'Snowflakes' designed and woven by Robin Witon, featured in Handwoven N/D 2019 issue, pages 54-57.

Photo above: 8-Shaft silk and silk-blend scarves, designed and woven by Robin Wilton, featured in Handwoven Magazine N/D 2019 issue, p 54-57.  Weaving kit for TWO scarves available [CLICK HERE]

The circular placement of Atwater-Bronson Lace motifs looks like white snowflakes falling on a plowed winter field.

I've always loved this scarf that Robin Wilton designed and wove.  So why has it taken me so long to show it off? 

Well, about the time the magazine came out, Mom was in the hospital, then rehab. Luckily, Mom was back home in early 2020, before COVID shut down the world for a while.  Mom was our priority--there would be time for other things later.  Mom was with us just 18 more months; I'm glad I chose to make those 2-3 hour daily visits.

And now back to Robin's beautiful scarves...

Robin's challenge was to design circles.  She was inspired by a draft in 200 Patterns for Multiple Harness Looms, by Russell E Groff, published by Robin and Russ Handweavers, 1979, p 70.

Naturally shiny white 100% bombyx silk alternates in the warp with matte yarns--either Silken Fog (silk/yak, natural taupe-grey) or Camelot (silk/camel, natural camel color).  Robin placed the white silk so it creates the warp floats, which group together to make both big and small snowflakes. 

The opposite side has weft floats in camel or taupe-grey.  These "snowflake shadows" make the back side just as pretty as the front. 

The background field of Silken Fog's and Camelot's warm natural colors go with everything. All the yarns are skinny (30 EPI), making the scarves wonderfully light-weight, but still very warm.

Robins shares two weaving tips:
   1) count your heddles on each shaft before you start to dress your loom--Atwater-Bronson lace needs half of the heddles (140 for this draft) on shaft #1.
   2) 8-shaft Atwater-Bronson Lace on a wide loom can be a physical challenge to weave--seven shafts (#2-#8) are tied up to Treadle One.  Treadle One is used for every-other pass of the shuttle, so that's a lot of weight to lift. 

      What Robin did, was "split the weight" and use a skeleton tie-up for Treadle One.  Robin tied shafts #2-#5 to Treadle One.  Then tied shafts #6-#8 to Treadle 9.  When the draft calls for Treadle One, Robin simultaneously pressed on Treadle One with her left foot and Treadle Nine with her right foot.  That split the weight across both legs, making it easier to lift the weight of seven shafts.

SNOWFLAKES--2-scarves weaving kit [CLICK HERE TO ORDER]:
Your Snowflakes Scarves Kit makes TWO scarves, each about 8-1/4" wide and 60" long (plus 8" fringe each end, before twisting).

Each kit includes a minimum of:
    --   746 yds (48g) of Taiyo (30/2 bombyx silk yarn)
    --1,104 yds (71g) of Silken Fog (30/2, 50% bombyx silk/50% yak)
    --   728 yds (47g) of Camelot Charmeau (30/2, 50% bombyx silk/50% camel)

Because the yarns used are so skinny, I've opted to include full size skeins. 
This gives you the option to play a bit:
   You can reverse the Silken Fog and Camelot.
   You can shorten the fringe and weave longer scarves.
   You can make your warp longer (we used 5.25 yards for two scarves) and weave longer scarves. 
You have the option to include Handwoven Magazine Nov/Dec 2019 issue (or not--see drop down box selection), which has all the instructions.

Scarf designed and woven by Robin Wilton for Treenway Silks.