Sunday, April 12, 2009

Floating Selvedges and Eight Shaft Finnish Lace

I’ve woven Swedish Lace, Huck Lace and Bronson Lace so you can imagine how happy I was to discover a new lace for me – Finnish Lace. See Handwoven Summer 1984 for more information on this weave structure. Originally I wanted to make a summer runner for my dining room table, but when I found these colours in my stash and was so drawn to them I knew it wouldn’t work in my dining room; I have burgundy chairs so you can imagine the horrible clash if I put this red and yellow runner on the table! This is how a shawl was born!
I wanted the lacy runs to appear very lacy, so chose to use a yarn with finer grist than the main warp and weft to enhance the laciness. I love the way the hand painted yellow cotton contrasts with the red. So far I think it looks great, and I hope that with finishing the lace will crinkle up and have lots of texture. The white thread at the right is my measuring thread. I release the tension on my loom and measure my web in 5 inch increments then keep a tally of my woven length.
Finnish lace as I’ve woven it has no lateral floats at all, just vertical floats. This influenced my design in that I left out the optional horizontal blocks and designed progressively wider lace bands separated by plain weave. I can really recommend this weave as it is on 8 shafts, but only uses 4 treadles, treadled in point twill for the pattern, easy peasy!
When I made my warp stripes I miscounted by two threads, so I've had to hang them from the back of the loom right next to my floating selvedge. To stop them from twisting together I've threaded them through some plastic mesh.
Here's a close up - this really works!

Now I have a question – There is Swedish lace, Finnish lace and Danish medallion, where’s Norway’s fancy weave? I know about a lot of tapestry techniques alluded to be Norwegian, but anything else?
Now for a change of topic!

I love to be organized and have clear plastic containers that hold the majority of my yarn stash on wire shelves in my studio. I sort by fibre and I have slapped big words on the front of the containers to minimize my rooting around in every container to find things.
This system worked but was really making me unhappy every time I looked up from the loom and saw it– so I’ve come up with another system. For each yarn type I found a photographic representation and messed with it in PhotoShop. The lambs represent fine wool, the moth for silk, the cotton boll and the linen flower for those fibres and the overall effect really make me happy when I see them. Now I just have to figure out something to represent Orlec and novelty yarns!

Weaving Words
Seersucker got its name from a Persian word shir u sukkar meaning milk and honey, and denoting a puckered or blistered surface.


Life Looms Large said...

The shawl will be beautiful!! Thanks for the tip about removing tension before measuring. I've never done that. Although I think I haven't done many things that really have a lot of lengthwise change in dimension. (Or I just haven't had a measuring disaster yet.)

Cool idea about using the mesh to separate the threads. I just used some of that mesh as the bottom of a purse - to stiffen it.

Hopefully Charlotte will stop by to let us all know about Norwegian lace weaves! (Well, she is weaving with fishing line....but I think that's her invention!)

Nice labeling system!! Much more pleasing to the eye!


Valerie said...

the idea with the mesh is very innovative. More than once I've had canisters dancing and tangling behind the warp beam. I'll have to remember that tip.

Susan said...

Lovely new lace and one that I will try out in time. I'm looking forward to seeing it wet finished to see more of the lace definition.

I just tried segregating my 'danglers' as per your method. It's one of those things that's so simple and easy but you never thought of it until someone points out the obvious. :)

Back to loading Lilibet...

Harmony Fiber Arts said...

The shawl is lovely.

charlotte said...

I am sorry, I have never heard of Norwegian lace, and I don't no what Swedish and Finnish lace might be called in Swedish or Norwegian! I have woven mosquito lace and Spanish lace (Norwegian and Swedish words translated directly). I wonder if Finnish lace might be what we call Karelian lace (an east Finnish district).
By the way, the shawl looks great!

Susan B. said...

And I really appreciate the mesh tip, having just had that experience with dangling ends that wanted to entangle.

bspinner said...

Yellow and red. Two of my very favorite colors and they look great in a lace shawl.

Thanks for the tip. I very often have the same sort of problem when two warp ends break fairly close to each other and want to tangle up.

I love your storage idea!!! I can only dream of being so organized.

Leigh said...

What a clever idea with the plastic canvas! I will definitely put that one to use.

Finnish Lace is new to me too. Lovely choice of colors.