Quiet Friday: Coral Shawl for a Memorable Occasion

Have you ever experienced a chain of events, where the dominos start falling, and you just try to keep up? That is the story of this shawl. My daughter got engaged, so I bought a dress to wear at her wedding. The dress is sleeveless, so I wanted a shawl to wear over my shoulders. Not knowing where to find a matching shawl, I decided to weave one. To weave a shawl, I had to finish weaving these towels that were on the loom, plan the draft for a shawl, and order thread.

Thread and yarn record notebook.

New 10/2 bamboo thread samples added to my thread/yarn record book.

The excitement of dressing the loom, trying out weft color options, weaving the delicate huck lace pattern, twisting fringe, wet finishing the cloth, and waiting for the wet cloth to dry, is all intensified because of the meaning of the event where I will wear the shawl. The shawl, itself, is a minor player that will serve best if it is not even noticed. The attention will be on Melody and Eddie as they pledge their love and faithfulness to each other, embracing companionship for a lifetime. Three weeks to go!

Sleying the reed on Glimakra Ideal.

Reed is sleyed with two ends per dent in a 12 dent reed, which means the sett is 24 ends per inch.

Every thread is ready. Let the weaving begin!

Every thread stands at attention, each in their proper place. Let the weaving begin!

Weft color auditions on coral bamboo warp. Karen Isenhower

Trying out the weft colors in the late afternoon on the dark coral warp. First, coral weft; and then, hot pink weft.

Coral pink bamboo shawl in huck lace.

Pink coral shawl was woven first. The hot pink huck lace weft floats are on the back side of the cloth, visible as the cloth angles toward the knee beam.

Hemstitching on the loom. Huck lace bamboo shawl.

Hemstitching at the beginning of the coral shawl. Notice the subtle border treatment that starts with plain weave and three closer rows of huck lace before the body of the shawl.

Twisting fringe.

Twisting groups of warp ends together to create twisted fringe that embellishes the ends of the shawl.

Wet finishing begins for coral huck lace shawl.

There is nothing that makes me more nervous than wet finishing. A mistake at this point can ruin the handwoven masterpiece. For this reason, I first wet finished the sample piece, and then the pink coral shawl. Now, I am confident about throwing the coral shawl into the washing machine with a half-capful of no rinse delicate wash concentrate.

Bamboo shawl, laying flat to dry.

After gently rolling the wet cloth in towels to remove excess water, I lay it out smoothly on my longest countertop, and leave it to dry overnight.

Trimming the fringe after washing. Frayed ends removed.

After the cloth is fully dry, knots at the ends of the twisted fringe are trimmed off, removing frayed ends and leaving clean-cut ends.

Finished handwoven coral bamboo huck lace shawl. Karen Isenhower

Ready for a special occasion!

May those you love know how much you love them.

With Anticipation,
Karen

7 Comments

  • Diane says:

    Lovely and a perfect match with your dress!

  • Laurie Mrvos says:

    Gorgeous Shawls – and love the one you’re wearing with your beautiful dress. I was really impressed with your yarn swatch book. I just have a bunch of 3 x 5 cards held together with a ring, but yours makes so much more sense. I think I’ll make one for myself over the summer! I know that the wedding is going to be a beautiful affair. Enjoy!

    • Karen says:

      Laurie, I love snipping off a meter of any new yarn and putting it in the yarn record book. There’s nothing wrong with 3 x 5 cards – you have a good start! I’ll do a Tools Day post sometime about the yarn record book.
      Thanks for your blessing and kind words! It’s a good reminder to enjoy the day!!

  • maliz says:

    That´s really a wonderful shawl !
    Next time I´´ll weave one, I should think about hemstitching.
    I really understand your nervousness before wet finishing, as I once ruined a big double woven blanket because I didnt try it out with a sample.
    I had used two different sorts of yarn which felted differently. When it came out of the washing machine the blanket was damaged and completely useless., I could have cried…
    Wish you a nice weekend
    maliz

    • Karen says:

      Maliz,
      Oh no! That’s too bad about your double weave blanket. I think everybody has ruined something in the washing machine at least once. I’ve done it!

      Hemstitching is easy to do on the loom. It’s a great edging for anything that has fringe.

      Wish you a nice weekend, too.
      Karen

  • […] was an evening breeze that made the air surprisingly cool. I was thankful for the warmth of my handwoven huck lace bamboo shawl.) Everything beckoned guests to come closer. And if you were close enough, you could smell the […]

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