I’ve always loved the smell of sweetgrass, which, when woven into baskets, continues to carry the unforgettable scent forever. If only I could have captured that same scent when weaving this group of scarves! A recent walk in late summer through some fragrant sweetgrass inspired me to use these neutral and natural tones, enhancing them with some fibers I’ve collected.
Hand dyed green and purple silk tussah made me think of late summer’s purple asters sprinkled through the fields, while colorful mohair curls suggested early summer’s Indian Paintbrush and dandelions. Snow white bamboo ‘silk’, which feels luscious in one’s hands, brought thoughts of milkweed pods bursting in late summer, as well as springtime’s pussy willows.
Looking at a vase of pussy willows from a friend’s garden provoked me to re-create that branch-like effect in one scarf, where I used a ‘clasped weft’. This is a bit more complicated and slow going, and it requires using two shuttles with different colors, in this case using a brown thread in addition to the regular ‘gunmetal’ weft thread. Each pass requires the shuttles to ‘catch’ one another in every row somewhere in the middle, and inserting the bits of bamboo silk is another step. As any weaver out there would know, this really interrupts the rhythm of weaving, which can otherwise feel a bit like ‘chair’ dancing. In the end, it created the ‘branches’ for those fuzzy little blooms! And of course, it was kinda fun to do.