It's been a while since I've mentioned my little loom. I have been tinkering with it on and off and, rest assured, it is still so much fun. This latest scarf I pulled off the loom was my first attempt at a technique outside of the plain weave. This technique is called leno and is a manipulation of the warp strings that create a lacey spacing in the weave. It is achieved by using your fingers to twist one group of warp threads over an adjacent group of warp threads. You store this "twist" on a pickup stick and repeat the process across your weaving. Once finished with the twist manipulation, you set your pickup stick on its edge to create a shed.
I tried using groups of 2 warp threads in one row and groups of 4 threads in another. As expected, the 4 threads gave a larger "swirly" lace look while the 2 warp threads gave a more compact stitch look. I did not have a pick up stick when I started this project (and I still don't) so I used a wooden paint stir stick from Lowes. It worked perfectly. It held the shed open wide enough to comfortably fit my shuttle stick through. It was a low fuss solution to a lack of equipment.
The one thing I couldn't figure out and drives me a little crazy is that the edges of a the leno don't look great. I think I captured this in the picture to the right. The weft thread at the very edge of the scarf does not maintain the same tension as the weft thread in the middle of the scarf, making it impossible for the turn in the weft to keep the warp threads twisted over one another. So, on either side of my scarf, there are sad little lenos that didn't twist. I guess the answer to this might be to add a plain weave border, essentially framing the leno in a space with more consistent, stronger tension in the weft. I will have to try that next time. In this particular project, I liked the look of the 2 warp thread leno over the 4 thread leno. It had more to do with the weft threads above and below the leno, I felt the 2 warp threads looked "cleaner."
I used a solid color for the weft and a hand painted, varigated yarn for the warp. I think the varigated warp color is beautiful here. It is subtle enough that it does not have that hectic look of cat throw up that some varigated projects suffer from but it still adds a dynamic color shift. I used a light colored weft, and I have a little remorse on that count. I wish I had used a darker weft color, I think it might have allowed the warp to sing a little more. However, the pale teal color is still very pretty and the overall look of the scarf still makes me happy.
At the start and end of the scarf, I applied a hemstitch while the scarf was still on the loom. For the fringe, I twisted groups of four threads in a 2x2 twist. I was not rigid in how long I twisted the threads, knotting the groups between 4-5.5". I then laid the fringe flat and, using a rotary cutter, trimmed it to an exact six inches. I then wet blocked the scarf. The finished prodect is very soft and drapes well.
Summary: It was a lot of fun to experiment with a new stitch. I am excited to apply this knowledge on future projects and trouble shoot a little to improve my technique. With the decorative weave on only the top and bottom of this scarf, this project was mostly just a plain weave and was very easy.