the perfect weft

I have become completely addicted to this 30/2 Nm silk.

The colour is called “gunmetal” and it goes with everything. I used it in the previous crinkly scarf and then again in this — another — crinkly scarf. The first was mainly blue, the second mainly red, but both are enhanced by the gunmetal grey. I am sorely tempted to use it again in the current project which has a warp in grey and red; but I don’t want to become a one-weft weaver, so I sampled both the grey silk (at the bottom of the picture below) and a dark red wool (at the top).

The grey does give a very sharp finish and the customer — Stuart — likes it a lot. He also likes the red wool a lot. Finally, after much deliberation of samples fulled to different degrees, the weaver and the customer have agreed on the red wool. (I did offer him more choices, but he felt the two options were sufficiently taxing to his decision-making powers and he didn’t want to risk liking a third as well.)

I have been promising Stuart a new scarf since he bought a new winter coat last year. He is a bit of a scarf tree since he gets not only scarves intended for him, but also assorted items that didn’t quite work out as planned. His favourite is this block twill in blues and greys with a bit of red, but I’m told it goes too well with jeans to be worn with the more formal wool coat. Besides, it is getting rather elderly. I wove it in 2005, I think, and was experimenting — hence the two ends having different patterns. I’m afraid I just grabbed it off the peg for this photo so it is both grubby and crumpled.

For this pattern I decided to scale down the triangles in Mystery beyond the Mountains, which was a nice challenge and a good opportunity to re-deploy something that took me ages to work out. The original blocks were each about 3″ wide on the loom, which would give a rather dull scarf. The new ones are just under 1½” and it was surprisingly tricky to get them the right size and to scale the treadling as well. If it works out, I’m tempted to make another one, just because I can.

the perfect weft” was posted by Cally on 22 Jan 2011 at

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7 Responses

  1. Evelyn

    Wonderful colour. How many metres per kg. that would the 30/2 Nm silk be? I have tried various conversion charts and can’t come up with something that makes sense (to me anyway!)

  2. Sandra Rude

    I think Stuart made the right choice of weft. Can’t tell you meters per kg, but the yards per pound rating of 30/2 nm silk is 7,500 🙂

    • Cally

      Sandra’s absolutely right, of course! 30/2 Nm is 15,000 m/kg – literally 30,000 m/kg divided by 2 since it’s 2 ply – which works out at 7,440 yds/lb apparently.

      • Evelyn

        Just realized that Nm is the definition for metric count – I hadn’t seen it written that way. Got it mixed with the Tex and Denier counts. I did think it looked like the 30/2 that I use alot of. Found a great conversion at Unitex website

  3. Janet

    You simply can’t go far wrong with a medium grey and that one is beeeoootiful! We warped the guild’s 90″ wide loom with miles of boring grey warp and have woven 11 blankets off of it so far – and every single weft colour combo, as different as they all are, has looked great with the grey. I suggested it in the first place because of a rug weaver I carpooled with to Convergence in ’96 who told me she always warped with a medium grey for her rag rugs because it blended with or disappeared into any weft she ever chose.

    Love those scarves! Definitely not letting @ron_dawson (not that other one) see this post or he’ll never look at his boring plain weave scarves the same way again. 😉

  4. neki rivera

    astounded by you ladies math prowess 🙂
    love the gray weft scarf and would love to get my hands on the gunmetal yarn.
    if only for the name!

  5. Trapunto

    It looks like I’m not the only weaver who gets excited about the idea of a weft that goes with everything. I thought a coolish natural flax beige would do it for me recently, and was disappointed. The other colors boss it around and then it goes all passive-aggressive on them after wet finishing. Beige=tempermental. A nice saturated grey=well-adjusted!