Monday, March 23, 2009

Lilibet Lace: the Big Finish

Ta da! Ready for a close up?

I love the sheen and silky drape that come with tencel. If you haven't tried tencel, try some of the cheaper undyed. It runs about $15 for a whole pound! By the way my next manikin is going to have arms since I like to weave shawls. I'll be keeping my eyes open for one next Okanagan trip as there is a used fixture store I like to visit there.

So let's back up a bit... the weaving went well and below is a picture of the shawl mid way. Notice the blue bow on the right hand side. I measure from point to point and keep a running tally on a sheet. I find a tape or pins too annoying while I weave but a slip of soft yarn is just fine. I'm methodical enough to keep a running count so it works for me. The centre handle on the Louet Spring makes a neat shuttle rest.

Once the shawl ( and small tray cloth) came off the loom, it was set up on my styrofoam board for twisting the fringes. See my post "A Good Twist to the Yarn" for details on on my method of fringe management. In this case I decided to add a little pizazz to the work and alternated warp ends between groups like this:

Sorry this second picture is dark but you should be able to see the effect across the shawl. It added a 'softer' touch to what is a very feminine garment. I'm a huge proponent of not rushing the finishing. In fact it should take as much care and attention as planning the project did in the first place. Why go to all the trouble to weave and then cut corners at the end?

Then I dug out my bead stash bag and settled on three sizes of beads. One is a regular seed bead but has an opalescent quality, the larger one looks like a mini pearl and the the third is a mini seed bead.I start sewing but quickly realize that due to the fancy fringe twisting, the beads won't float to and fro and be seen from both sides when worn. So this means doing a row of beads on both sides, on both ends. Oh, well... better get busy.

Here is the 'raw' cloth with one side beaded. You can see how open the plain weave areas look. I crossed my fingers and pressed on.

Here is a close up of two rows and after washing/ pressing. The plain weave closed up! YEAHHH!

I threaded my beading needle and pushing through the actual tencel, I sewed beads on the cinch points of the Danish Medallions, all three rows and worked front and back at the same time. I used the opalescent mini seed beads. Some kind of silly huh? Can you see them? They are there! They add a sparkle.

Here are both beaded areas and fancy fringe. All in all, the beading took two full days to complete.Then I soaked it in warm sudsy water and let it sit for 20 minutes, then squeezed it gently to help work the lace into their little groups and hopefully tighten the plain weave! I spun out the excess water in the machine and then hung to dry over a pvc rod suspended in the laundry room. Excuse the's doubling as a storage room for paint cans while we do windows and other home projects. {Lynnette: I have a confession to make. See the small section of green hanger? That's yours... apparently we stole it last visit. It's coming back okay? :) }
I pressed it when dry, using steam and the sheen popped out! I fell in love and couldn't stop fondling it.

So here is the overall effect:

And here's a close up of the lace:

I think Ms. Hammel did a great job in designing this lace! I'll be using this draft again... I hemmed the tray cloth and it looks fabulous too. There is a single row of lace that I brought the hem line up to and blind stitched. Beyond that is a single row of Danish Medallion and the lace blocks after that. The turn under isn't as obvious as this picture shows. I guess the camera flash caught it just right.I'm really pleased with how this turned out and for some reason see it as a bridal shawl. Someone will feel special wearing this.... I loved making it!


Lynnette said...

How lovely! You certainly know how to get the very best out of your yarns, tencel in your hands truly shimmers and shines. The Huck pattern you've chosen looks great and the beading - well you really know how to do it gal!
Great to have you posting again and wowwing me as usual.

Cindie Kitchin eweniquely ewe said...

absolutely breath-taking!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is gorgeous! Someone will feel special wearing that indeed!

Geodyne said...

Susan, that is absolutely stunning. I've just had my nose to the screen, soaking in every detail of every photo. And like you, I thought 'bridal shawl'.

You should definitely be proud of yourself with this one. The tencel makes it look really special - and I can imagine how wonderfully soft and drapey it must feel.

Dave Daniels said...

Wow, that is just incredible! it's such a work of art, and I am amazed at your attention to the finishing details. (Which are So important.)
I'm in awe!

Life Looms Large said...

The shawl is beautiful! I love the huck pattern and the work that you do with beads is always inspiring!

For some reason, while reading this post, I kept thinking how many of these pictures would be really tough in a painting class - with the different textures and different shades of white and clear. Glad I'm not a painter - I might feel compelled to paint something that technically tough!

That's cool that you actually have a source for mannequins! I never knew where people got things like that!


Anonymous said...

That is absolutely stunning! I love the glossy floats and the delicate beaded fringe. Definitely one for a bride.

Theresa said...

Oh gosh Susan, that is spectacular. I'm wowed and awed.

Alice said...

Absolutely beautiful. I love the addition of subtle beads.

Chris Stusek said...

Your shawl is gorgeous! A beautiful work of art and inspiring.

Trapunto said...

The word that came to my mind was "queenly." But then I thought that is the pretty much same thing as being bridal; wedding rituals are a lot like royal ones.

Susan, your true craftswomanship is a joy to observe.

Dorothy said...

I enjoyed weaving lace in cotton, but now I see how the extra sparkle from tencel makes the pattern stand out. This is superb.

I've also just enjoyed your earlier post about fringe twisting, thanks for sharing your method.

bspinner said...

I believe this is the most beautiful shawl I've ever seen. Looks like you wove it for a bride.
The beading and attention to detail is amazing!!

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

WOW!!! I love this!!! Beautiful work again;)

Anonymous said...

Dear Susan:
I have a follow-up question to clarify in my mind ... in your post, "A Good Twist ..." you said:
"This project is 24 epi, with the fringe hemstitched into groups of 4 ends each. I am twisting two groups of four against another two groups of four." So that would mean 16 ends in a fringe? (2 groups of 4 = 8) against another (2 groups of 4 = 8). Thanks so much! June

Leigh said...

This is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for tons of pix! I've not tried weaving with tencel, but you've piqued my interest.

Susan said...

Hi June,
With regards to the fringe twisting. I guess that didn't read too well. Sorry about that! The total ends used was 8 ( four against 4). I much prefer to have finer twisted bouts over thicj and fat. They hang and move easier when worn.

I'll check my older post and make a correction if need be.

Thanks so much.

As for all your other comments, *thank you* for the great compliments!
You are my guild... sure wish we could all meet up for tea and goodies.


Anonymous said...

Susan, ALL of you work is absolutely amazing. I want to live by you!