The cathartic twisted ouroboros torus

When I’m unable to concentrate or don’t want to think, I dissolve into projects. I can lose myself there. With my recent difficulties, I’ve needed some of that. Anyway, since I’d been chatting with Karren about shibori and the mobius scarves I’d written about before, I picked up the project of making another prototype. The one I made is the final version of the pattern engineering I’d come up with, but hadn’t rendered yet. The photo below won’t excite you much. At least it doesn’t me.

I bought the fabric at JoAnns. I was looking for a deliberate stripe. I didn’t want a fabric this busy because I wanted to show the seam lines. Imagine the seam lines following the stripes. I’m pleased that it came out well but it’s too busy for my taste. And too green. Green is lovely but not my color. Here’s another photo, scarf hung.

I really don’t want to get into a long discussion about the features right now, maybe tomorrow, but this is a big improvement on the original I started with (Vionnet). This scarf comes out bias but it is cut on grain. Allocation is really low, about 5/8 of a yard, the Vionnet scarf takes at least 1.25 yards. And that’s beside the point of that this is really really easy to cut and sew. It’s a lot less work than the original I’d started from. You might want to read the first entry if you don’t understand what I’m talking about. Summary, this is easier to sew, easier to cut, less fabric, and so, less costly. Ideal for production -and still good looking.

Oh and technically, according to Catherine who is into topology, calculus and origami math, this isn’t a mobius. It’s a torus, although it’s twisted like a mobius. And it’s one of those ouroboros patterns I’d written about before. Whatever will I call this? The cathartic twisted ouroboros torus? Now that’s catchy, consumers are going to love that. I can see it flying off the shelves already. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

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  1. Trish says:

    Kathleen, my students loved the blog today. We were talking about costing and allocation, etc, so your topic was perfect for us.

    The students are psyched to know that you are near to us and I told them that you love them and want them to read your blog daily!!

    I laughed so hard about the scarf name… except that fact that you needed a catharsis after the news of the other day… I also told my students about that and they were voicing their support of you and their distain for the pirate!!

    I can’t wait to play with this scarf when time permits… only three weeks left of classes and then finals… yipeeeeeeeeee… but I love my students and their enthusiasm so I am not rushing to get away from them… I just need a little down time. And I need some time to play with you, Kathleen.. hope we can do it soon…

    love and hugs, trish

  2. sabiha shaikh says:


    I would hv not gone searching for one instead would have created a design and embroidered it as i wanted it to be.

    By the way i would like to introdce myself as an embroidery designer from India.

    Hope you dont my min my coment.

  3. Catherine says:

    Yes, I’m *that* Catherine — sorry to vanish on you mid-discourse — Kathleen, you have created a marvel of a twisted torus :)

  4. Lee says:

    Please publish the directions for the new version of this scarf. I think I love it and would like very much to be able to duplicate yours, having tried the Threads version (unimaginative and not very flow-y) and disliking the Vionnet pattern you published when you first posted about this scarf. Love the one you made. Like the idea of low usage of fabric for a bias scarf.


  5. ChrisAnn Mead says:

    Awesome scarf! Do you have directions or pattern for sale, and could I use it to make scarves to market?

    Thank you for your inspiring take on the moibus scarf.


  6. jedavis says:

    I’ve been out of touch with lots of things for a while. Is this the latest on the scarf or did you finally come up with a pattern available for publication or sale. Thanks. jed

  7. Ruth says:

    I don’t know if it is worth leaving a comment on an old entry but I was googling Vionnet bias scarves and came across this interesting article which captured my imagination. However I don’t get the issue with the allocation problem of the Vionnet scarf. I mocked up a pattern piece using the Threads magazine dimensions and could fit 3 scarves into 2 yards of 60 inch wide fabric, with the exception that one of the scarves has 4 quarter pieces instead of 2 doubled pieces, if that makes sense. This would make the allocation more in line with what you describe, if making several scarves at once out of the same fabric. Of course you may be referring to comparing the amount of fabric needed to make a single scarf.

  8. Avatar photo

    I apologize for my tardy reply (because boot camp); I’m not familiar with the Threads article and can’t speak to that. To better address your comment, I created a marker of my pattern to see what the yield was. I’d created another pattern after this post and its allocation was .5 yd, not appreciably different from what you reported. My figure was not 1 scarf per a measure of goods but rather, a multiple of them to arrive at an even figure which is then divisible by the total yardage length. In this case, I need 3 yards to cut 6 scarves, making for the half yard I mentioned. The situation is such that there is no savings in only cutting one; the yield is still 3 yards so it only makes sense to fill the marker with repeats of the pattern for higher utilization.

    But I digress. I’ve sewn the Vionnet scarf version and I’ve sewn my own. Mine is much easier to sew so I would prefer it over the original.

    • Ruth says:

      Thanks, makes sense. Having tested this Vionnet scarf a couple of times, I can also report that there is no need to twist the scarf to create the moebius if the wearer intends to tie the scarf as illustrated in the Kirke book. In fact, it is preferable in this case, and more comfortable for the scarf to be an untwisted continuous loop. (The Threads article is identical to the Kirke book with the exception of providing a suggested dimensions of 4 x 19 in for the central length). Definitely your suggestion for closing up the scarf makes it waaay easier and more straightforward to sew.

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