Weft Floats Scarf
Our woven Weft Floats Scarf may look complicated with its striking waffle weave and precise design, but this lovely scarf is anything but… The trick is simply threading a pick up stick through selected warp threads (just once when you warp the loom), then, as you weave, flipping the stick onto its edge on selected rows, creating an extra heddle and those distinctive dashes, aka floats!
To create this beautiful design, we used Schacht Spindle Company’s tabletop Cricket Loom, a weaving wonder roundly celebrated for its ease in every important category: learning, using, and storing. It’s small enough that you can bring it wherever you want and store it almost anywhere at all when you’re not using it.
For our Weft Floats Scarf, we used our Season Alpaca, a wonderful weaving yarn. Its smooth spin highlights details and textures beautifully, but its 100% baby alpaca content is gentle and squishy enough to soften the edges. Warp on with this exceptional yarn and create some floats!
Designed for Purl Soho by Carrie Laing.
- 4 skeins of Season Alpaca, 100% baby alpaca. We used Dove Gray.
- Schacht Spindle Company’s 15-inch Cricket Loom
- 15-inch, 8 dent Cricket Reed, included with the Cricket Loom
- A Cricket Pick Up Stick, 15-inch
Plain Weave With Weft Floats
Warp Length: 98 inches (includes 26 inches of loom waste)
Warp Ends: 114
Width in Reed: 14 inches
Ends Per Inch (E.P.I): 10
Picks Per Inch (P.P.I): 17
Finished Dimensions, Unblocked: 13 ½ inches x 72 inches long, with a 1-inch fringe
Finished Dimensions, Blocked: 12 ½ inches x 72 inches long, with a 1-inch of fringe
Cricket Loom Tips
Cricket Looms come with a very user-friendly instructional booklet that walks you through every step of the weaving process, from assembling the loom to tying the fringe. For even more guidance, check out our Cricket Loom Tips.
Placing And Using The Pick Up Stick
To create weft floats, you need to weave the pick up stick through the weft threads. Here’s how…
First, put the heddle in the down position. You will weave the pick up stick behind the heddle and only through the warp threads that are in the up position.
From the right, insert the pick up stick under the first up warp thread and over the second up warp thread, under the next up warp thread and over the next.
Continue weaving under and over the up warp threads until you have reached the last thread.
For Row 4 of the pattern, first put the heddle in the neutral position, so all the strings are lying flat and no shaft is open. Then turn the pick up stick so it is lying on one of its long edges, raising different warp threads in order to create the floats.
NOTE: These photos were taken on a 10-inch loom, not the 15-inch one we used to make our actual scarf.
Warp The Loom
Set up the warping peg 98 inches from the back of the loom. Note that, at this point, the back of the loom is clamped to the far edge of the table and so is the side farther away from the warping peg.
Tie the yarn to the back apron bar.
With an 8-dent reed in place, begin threading the heddle by pulling the first loop of yarn through the second slat from the right end of the reed.
Working from right to left, thread the next 56 slats so there are 57 slats threaded in total.
Tie the yarn to the back apron bar.
Wind on the warp using paper to separate the layers.
Working from right to left, thread the yarn through each of the holes on the heddle.
You should have a total of 114 warp threads.
Tie the warp threads on to the front apron bar in groups of 6.
Using scrap yarn, weave until the warp threads are evenly spread out, about 1 inch.
Wind a shuttle with the yarn you’re using to make your scarf.
Leaving a 36-inch tail, which you will use at the end for finishing, weave in plain weave for 1 1/2 inches, ending with a down-heddle row.
Now weave in the following pattern…
Row 1: Heddle in up position
Row 2: Heddle in down position
Row 3: Heddle in up position
Row 4: Heddle in neutral position; turn stick (see Notes)
Repeat Rows 1-4 until piece measures 70 1/2 inches from beginning of plain weave, refilling the shuttle as needed, and ending with Row 3.
Weave in plain weave for 1 1/2 inches, as you did at the beginning of the scarf, leaving a 36-inch tail for finishing.
For a complete how-to on this step, visit our Finishing with Hemstitch Tutorial.
Use the 36-inch tails to finish each end of the scarf with a hemstitch.
Make the hemstitch around groups of 6 warp ends across the width of the scarf.
Cut the fringe 1 inch from the end of the weaving.
Weave in the hemstitch tails and gently hand wash your finished scarf in cold water, laying it flat to dry.