This year, I chose to make a Leno pattern shawl based on the sample I wove last year. I bought a wild richly coloured skein of silk from the Handweavers Studio in London however I decided that warping it randomly would produce a fabric too chaotically colourful for the delicate Leno lace pattern.
After some thought, I decided to find the colour changes in the skein and match the colours. This involved matching and tying off each thread in the colour repeat and took a long time, about 6 hours. I managed to find a usable length of 3.8m which would be ample for my warp and give me little wastage.
After I removed this from the mill, I wound my warp adding a single of navy silk noil to each bright strand. It certainly tones the whole warp down.
After winding the warp on, this is the view from the back of the loom ready for threading.
I made doups, threaded up and tied up and I was ready to sample on the first piece of warp. Here my weaving is too loose and not a stable fabric but you can see blocks of plain weave and blocks of the twisted stitches in the Leno pattern.
I found the perfect pattern repeats for stability and settled in to enjoy the weaving and forgot about photographs. It took me 4 days to weave the shawl. After taking it off the loom, I twisted the fringe
and behind the books, this is what was lying there.
While it was on the loom, I suffered from many doubts about this project. One can only see small bits of the colour changes while one is weaving and some of them looked pretty awful.
Spread out on the lawn, even though the pattern is lost in the strong light, the full beauty can be appreciated. With the glint of the silk, it looks like iridescent dragonfly wings when it is worn. It made me smile and I had many wonderful comments from my classmates.
There were many other gorgeous projects on the looms too. With permission from their weavers, these are the only ones I managed to photograph during a busy week. They all have a special beauty of their own.
A man's scarf.
A weft-faced sample.
I am so grateful to belong to an active guild and have the privilege of attending such an inspirational class with an amazing patient teacher who encourages everyone to follow their weaving passion of the moment and guides them gently through it.
It is a wonderful learning experience and one's head explodes with ideas for new projects. This is why I love summer school.