Good Variants: Designing Scarves in a Pandemic

Here’s a little of what I’ve been up to as a weaver. COVID-19 is making it hard to sell scarves and shawls but I’ve been busy. I have new designs and I’m learning tapestry weaving!

In the first wave of COVID I made some scarves with big colorful ovals, color against color (no black). I used many harnesses to achieve two complex layers.

Oval Scarves in Vibrant Tones

I made them in black, white, soft browns, and grays too.

Last summer, I used the same treadling and a broken diagonal threading with all dark, rich, muted colors. (I’ll explain treadling and threading below.) Here it is on the loom:

Intermediate pattern

The shape is vertical sections of the oval.

I wanted more motion, more excitement, so I tried straightening part of the treadling so the lines swoop and continue, like a journey. I made some in these dark colors and later in the fall I made some in the bright vibrant colors I’ve dyed for years. Here is a red one on the loom. I’ve named it “Traveling” because it expresses that movement I looked for.

Traveling in Vibrant Colors

I have all of these in stock, $260 each. You can contact me for purchasing details, or see them on the website soon. There will also be a virtual CraftBoston event coming in March, and I’ll write more about this event next time.

Best wishes, stay safe and healthy, wear handmade,


Here’s some explanation about “threading” and “treadling:” A weaving pattern has two dimensions. It’s a grid that comes from both a horizontal (threading) pattern and a vertical (treadling) pattern. The threading stays the same; this is the warp pattern. In the Ovals scarf, the arrangement of warp in the harnesses is cup shaped, curvy. In the next two pictures, the warp is arranged in straight lines, no curves. The weft pattern (treadling) has the same curve in the first two pictures. In the Traveling scarf, this pattern has a small curve and a straighter part.

4 thoughts on “Good Variants: Designing Scarves in a Pandemic

    1. Hi Denise,
      Yes double weave. Ratios vary ala Marian Stubenitsky’s method of designing a tie-up. 32 harnesses and 64 treadles. The design line is put on a 1-1 network, echo added with interval 16. Each oval or twill line is shifted in warp and weft. Thanks for asking.

  1. Greetings Muffy:
    My name is Elizabeth and i have had the distinct pleasure of working and being associated with/at The Websters in Ashland, OR for many years and have always been thrilled by your work! Its always such a fun day whenever your beautiful scarves/shawls arrive and i get to ‘fondle’ each one and prepare them for display!
    You are an inspiration and i simply wanted to tell you how much your work and creativity is appreciated!
    In a ‘world gone mad’ we makers are so fortunate to have our art AND each other!!
    Thank you for all you do and the beauty you add to our world!
    Stay safe all the very best to you…

    1. Oh! So sweet Elizabeth, thank you. And thank you to all my partners out there like The Web-sters and Dahlia Gallery, and Studio 40 who appreciate and explain and educate the people coming in. This was made by hand, this was made by a person. And it must have been so hard to be closed for months, and now to be open. Wonderful and amazing!

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