Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I haven’t trimmed the fringes yet………

Handspun shawl off loom

Peg Wearing Shawl

I soaked the shawl in hot soapy water for almost two hours.  I changed the water once and kneaded the fabric from time to time until my hands came out.  Then I hung it to dry.

When the fabric was dry I looked at it. It certainly had not fulled and definitely needed a trip in the washing machine.  It certainly looked nothing like the earlier sample I had woven of commercial wool.  Go here to see that sample.

But then I looked again. I felt the fabric.  Yes, the weave was still open, but the fabric was no longer fragile.  And canvas weave is a lace structure.  This is lace!

My intention had not been to weave lace.  My intention had been to create a fabric with floats in both weft and warp to show off the handspun.  And that is what had happened in my earlier trial.  But lace I wove and lace it shall be. Far be it from me to turn it into something it does not want to be.

I then pressed it with lots of steam.  My first round of pressing is always rather gentle.  And then I realize that pressing hard does not damage the cloth at all. Instead, pressing smoothes it out and creates a very thin, draping cloth.  So after that initial round, I did two more rounds pressing hard on the iron with both hands.

My iron is a Rowenta steam generator, so I get lots of steam before I have to add water.   It’s old but still works fine, though I do like some things about the new version.  But I shall wait till this breaks first.

Even though the fringes still needed to be trimmed, I just had to try it on.  It is light, airy, and warm and long enough so that I can swoop one end around my should to the back—the perfect wrap for late fall and mild winter days in the South.


Width: at reed: 27.5”; off loom and after washing:  20.5”.   This is 3.5” narrower than I had planned the finished shawl to be.

Length: on loom: 97.5”;  off loom and after washing: 79”.  This is 7” longer than I had originally planned.


For my birthday I am thinking of asking for a tripod.  I have a monopod which works pretty well but sometimes even with that I am shaky.  And taking a clear picture with one hand is impossible!  You should see all the attempts I culled out.

Related Post:   Handspun Shawl off the Loom

Handspun Shawl Done…Almost” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 1, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Alice said...

Gorgeous project. I wish I could touch it, just for a little while! Hope you get your tripod.

Taueret said...


Peg in South Carolina said...

Thank you Alice. Tomorrow I will send DH the web page link to the tripod I want. We shall see.

Bonnie said...

Ditto on the tripod! It will change your life.

Susan said...

Lovely shawl Peg! That must be so personally satisfying to have made it from the fleece, spinning, dyeing, weaving to the final result!
I have a Rowenta iron too.. aren't they great?

For all the pictures I take, I hand hold the camera and don't have a tripod! I guess it better go on the official 'wish list'. Since I just had my birthday in late March, it will be sometime before a gifting opportunity comes up again.

Beautiful shawl!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Bonnie, maybe not my life, but it will definitely improve my photography!
Susa, thank you for your comment. Christmas is not that far away........