Drumroll please… let me introduce the new Chain Reaction Scarf!
A simple and distinctive new plain weave pattern that can be woven on a rigid heddle or floor loom.
I was inspired to create this scarf after seeing Sierra’s technique for a chained dropped stitch braid that she used in the Under the Boardwalk Knitted Shawl - Pattern Download. Using dropped yarn overs and a crochet hook, she created a horizontal braid that added textural interest to a simple garter stitch shawl. I love the way the braid pops against the rest of the shawl.
With this in mind, I set out to see if I could create a similar effect with woven fabric, and the Chain Reaction Scarf was born!
I substituted garter stitch for plain weave and substituted the dropped stitches for gaps in the warp. Leaving gaps in the warp left a space for extra weft to travel across. Once the scarf was removed from the loom, I, too, used a crochet hook to crochet a chain up the front of the scarf using the excess weft. The chain pulls the plain weave strips together to create a solid piece of fabric. I had to experiment a little bit to find the right size crochet hook and the right number of weft picks to chain in order to create a fluffy braid that pulled the strips in neatly.
This technique is extremely versatile. It can be woven on almost any loom and with almost any yarn. It was so much fun to develop and I can’t wait to experiment with it more!
To make your own Chain Reaction scarf, you’ll need 2 skeins of Juniper Moon Farm Herriot Fine Yarn – or about 250 yards for warp and 280 yards for weft of any fingering weight yarn. You can weave this on a rigid heddle, 2-shaft, or 4-shaft loom – you just need a weaving width of at least 14” and a reed capable or 12 EPI. And don’t forget a US 10 J (6mm) crochet hook!
The”chain” creates a nice scalloped edge and the fringes can be finished with a simple knot and left loose, as shown, or after tying they can be braided or twisted.
Skill Level: Advanced Beginner
Finished Measurement: 9” x 60”, plus 8” fringe on each end.
Sett: 12 EPI • 12 PPI
Yarn: Most soft yet sturdy fingering weight yarns will work, estimate a wraps per inch (WPI) of about 18.
We made ours in Herriot Fine Baby Alpaca Sock Yarn, 75% Alpaca/25% Polyamide (18 WPI, 2,105 yds/lb)
Shown in Colors #2005 charcoal (A) #2002 tan (B)*
*Color 2002 has been discontinued by the manufacturer, we recommend substituting Color 2001 (grey) in its place.
Suggested color combinations:
Either color can be used for warp or weft, and it’s a great project for any skill level. As shown, the weft yarn will be the color of your accent braid. The scarf makes a great gift and the pattern includes detailed instructions and photos for learning the new technique!