A Plaid

Singles with penny to show width
(Some of the) skeined yarns

In 2019, I decided I wanted to weave a plaid for the first time, using handspun. I had spun the yarn earlier that year, using some gifted roving in dark brown and cream as well as light brown and green that I purchased from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I spun it very finely and ended up with quite a large amount of yarn!

I decided to warp up a twill on my tapestry loom, using it like a two-beam loom.

Honestly, this was not the wisest choice — I’d only ever used my tapestry loom for tapestry, and warping such fine yarn for a 2/2 twill was complicated. I messed with the warp for two full weekends, trying to get it to work, but I kept having numerous warping errors and issues with spacing. I tried a lot of different fixes for spacing, and I rewarped multiple times, and every time I fixed something and started weaving again, I found a new error or the spacing went screwy again. Finally, I knew it wasn’t going to be able to fix it this time, so I cut the weaving I had done off the loom.

The warped loom with some weaving
Warping errors
Attempting to fix spacing
The twill, up-close on the loom. Find the errors!

I washed the scrap of plaid that I had managed to complete, and since it was quite crinkly, I decided to full it in the washing machine.

Freshly cut off
Washed and crinkly

As a consolation in 2020, I warped up a tabby weave on my small rigid heddle loom with the remaining yarn. Weaving plaid is incredibly slow and time-consuming, so I didn’t finish the weaving until April 2021.

When cut off, the plaid’s width was between 12.75 to 14 inches and the length was about 82.5 inches. I washed the final project, which caused the twist in the singles to reactivate and make the final fabric quite springy. Unstretched, the final washed width was 10.5 to 11 inches and the length was 73.5 inches, but when stretched it was almost the same width.


Overall, this was an interesting experiment, but it’s going to be a while before I weave a plaid again. That said, I look forward to wearing this scarf!