The Tartan as Phoenix

Weaving had been stalled for a bit. No particular reason other than life. And I really needed a break from everything. I was even able to read a book! A whole one!!

Then reality set in.

The tartan is rising again. It is going to Ireland. And that right soon!

I have the privilege of going to Cobh, County Cork, Ireland in January to be present when my first Edward Bransfield Commemorative Tartan scarf is given to a descendant of Edward Bransfield. And some members of the Remembering Edward Bransfield committee wanted tartan scarves.

No problem. I will just whip up 8-10 scarves.

But then there were issues getting the yarn. (Don’t ask. Just know that a particular credit card company is on my no-use list!) Then life kept happening and being in the same house where my loom resided long enough to actually work on the project was a problem. Again, life.

The yarn finally arrived and I realized that even though it was June, I only had 6 months to get the project done. It took me a year to do two scarves the first time. Now there were eight!!!


Yesterday I finished dressing the loom. That is putting all 500+ little, itty-bitty threads, of eleven yards each, in their proper order and position on the loom. The process is a bit complicated and I will NOT bore you with it here. Suffice it to say that today was a weaving day.

Sitting at my loom the old feelings of industry and satisfaction returned. The procedures and tricks that I learned when making the first tartan scarves came back to me in glorious clarity. Did you know that when you are using wool threads they have a tendency to grab onto each other and hang on for dear life?

It is called a ‘sticky’ yarn because it sticks to itself. That makes separating those threads to weave a likewise ‘sticky’ yarn between them a bit of a sticky wicket. (Sorry, I could not help myself…)

The answer to this problem of adhesion is simple. Spray starch. The same stuff your mother used when ironing dress clothes.

It makes those little fibers stay where they are suppose to stay and allows one thread to pass by without the need to clutch each other.

I sprayed away and look at today’s results:

2019-07-13 19.48.20

Yup. There is great satisfaction in knowing that others will get to enjoy the fruits of my labors.

That is why I weave.

Categories: Edward Bransfield Commemorative Tartan, Tartan, UncategorizedTags: , ,


  1. Your scarf looks superb Gael, congratulations. And that accomplishment and satisfaction feeling, is a wondrous personal boost to ones soul… well done …. It’s like when I know I’ve written a good poem, and there’s that final accreditation of having of having my words published…..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Ivor! Hope all is well with you!


  3. Thank you Gael, I’m doing reasonably ok 😊🙂


  4. You explained all the colors in previous posts…But besides that, it’s just happens to be a handsome tartan in a scarf.

    When you get the licensing worked out for a commercial weaver, let me know.


  5. Hi Gael, Excellent blog. One small thing. We are hoping to present the scarves to the Edward Bransfield relatives as a surprise. But no worries if we have to tell them. We would present the scarf I dipped in the Bransfield Strait to Eliese Gallo, Edward’s bother William descendant.


  6. Hi, My wife is a relative of Edward Bransfield. We are in the US and are planning of coming over for the dedication in 2020. How do we buy the scarfs? They are beautiful and would love to gift them to our children.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mr. Griffen, I am so pleased that you and your family like the scarves. I will be at the dedication as well. I haven’t gotten far enough to reach the selling point. BUT I am hoping that is not far off and, believe me, you will be first on the list! How many would you like?(Planning is everything!)


  8. Reblogged this on Team South and commented:
    Great handwoven tartan is under production in Commemoration of Edward Bransfield.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi There Gail here from Team South. I am blown away by your incredible work on the Tarten. Team South will be down south sailing Ocean Tramp and hope to send on a message to everyone on the 25th. I live in Co Cork and will be in Cobh 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful! Thank you for reblogging my last tartan blog. I am the only one producing the scarves right now. I am looking at Cushendale Woolen Mill up near Kilkenny. I hope to get there in January. If you and your crew would like one that I weave I would be glad to do that. I would have to figure out a price (I need to cover the yarn and shipping and a bit for me—I hate charging). I am currently making some for committee members so yours wouldn’t get done until after January. I would love to meet you!


  11. No need for a scarf. It is great to be on oard as a friend. G

    Liked by 1 person

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