Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Finnish Lace Runner ~ A Finnish Finish

This is my fourth weaving project and I chose to do a Finnish Lace table runner. I started before my Mum did her shawl in Finnish Lace but I hit a snag/block and my weaving just sat there for weeks. So I am piecing together what I did from my pictures.

For the runner I chose to use a cotton warp and an orlec weft for the lustre. I picked two colours that were close together so that the finished colour of the runner would be a blend. I didn’t want to have two contrasting colours because on the tabby it could be too busy. I used a light shade of turquoise for the warp and a darker shade of turquoise for the weft.
Previously I had been warping the sectional beam just using finger tension but they were short warps. I had some problems with my tension on my last project, so I decided on this warp to use the tension box. The box made really pretty warp sections all nicely spread out. It was also fun to use but I still had problems with my tension in the end, so I think I am going to take off the sectional for the next warp.
The method I use for threading is to count out all the heddles I will need on each shaft, for the whole warp. Any extra heddles are tied together and pushed to the side as this helps to keep everything organized and also helps to cut down noise as the shaft moves up and down. I then count out the ten heddles that I need and thread in blocks. At the half way point and at the end I am able to double check if my threading is correct. I have not made any mistakes in threading . . . yet!
I used a temple for the first time; hmm I do believe that my Mum did a temple tutorial funny that. I liked using that temple, as I like to stop and look at my weaving and admire it so stopping every inch to inch and a half to move the temple was no problem.
Look at how lovely and straight the temple makes everything.
So I finished the runner and I really liked weaving it. I have no idea why I stopped for so long. I like the runner although there is a design feature in the lateral blocks and I don’t like what it does to the selvedge. The long floats pulled very tight on the edges and make a very noticeable draw in. Please forgive the poor ironing as the iron plug exploded and snapped off when it was plugged in for the final pressing and we had to give it a quick swipe with a travel iron.
The beautiful shine from the orlec really comes out after washing and pressing.
A close up that shows the pretty circles that appear between the two blocks.
Closer still.
The closest I can get.


Dorothy said...

I like those close up photos and the pretty circles in the weave. I'm also very interested to see what a tension box looks like in use.

I followed the link back to Lynette's temple tutorial, I should have read this before! I have just found out for myself by trial and error how frequently I must move the temple!

Lynnette said...

I'm so impressed with your selvedges and your 'jump right in there' attitude towards trying everything. You do me proud grasshopper!

Susan said...

Hi Ngaire!
Beautiful job and the patterns are lovely, especially the circles. You just never know what is going to happen when the cloth comes off the loom and surprizes like this make you eager to try again.

You are choosing drafts and projects that are not 'typical' beginner projects! I agree with your Mum that you have a great 'jump in there' attitude.

As for the project aging on the loom for a spell, there isn't a weaver out there who hasn't done that. Some projects just seem to stall but once you get in there and get working on it, you wonder why?

Well done!

deborahbee said...

Lynnette has been giving me some great advice recently,and now you have posted photos of just the kind of plain textured runner I want to make next.It is stylish and very attractive. I am also very interested in your experiences using a temple, I have been getting some broken warp threads because of pulling in.I think I may invest in one.

Sharon said...

You are the second blog this evening I've read to talk about a tension box and a sectional warp, neither of which I have. From the comments, I guess I had better go visit Lynette. BTW, that was gorgeous.

Life Looms Large said...


Congratulations on a beautiful and ambitious project!!! The finished runner looks great!

It's a great idea to tie the heddles at the side of the loom. I have a friend who clips them with clips on the heddle bar. I've wanted to emulate her, but don't have small enough clips. But tying them.... I can do that today! Thanks for the idea!

I weave the exact same way....when something gets stalled or difficult, I let it have a "time out" for a while! I try to make sure that time out doesn't stretch into years....because then I get mad at myself instead of at my project!

Glad you survived the iron explosion! Yipes!!

Can't wait to see what you'll tackle next!


bspinner said...


Great color and pattern!!!

I've been weaving lots of years and never used a tension box.

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

You are really off to a great start!!! It turned out fabulous and I just love the fact that you showed the detail;)