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Eggshell Cotton Huck Lace

My eggshell cashmere silk scarves were a failure, at least as far as being saleable. So I combined my customers’ requests for white or eggshell scarves and their desire for cottons into one product.

After my recent experience with the 5/2 handpainted Egyptian cotton, I knew that I wanted to sett the eggshell cotton farther apart than the 15 ends per inch I used then. I also wanted to make them be handwoven lace, because that would help with softness and drape. Lace weaves need to be sett and beat loosely, so I took a gulp and set the neutral 5/2 pearl cotton at 12 ends per inch. I threaded the loom for an all over huck, and sat down to weave.
handwoven lace scarf, eggshell

I LOVE THESE SCARVES!

They’re soft drape really well for cotton. The color and lace provide a very classic look; the cotton ensures great versatility. I’ll be amazed if they don’t sell at the Roycroft summer show this weekend. I’m sure I’ll be making more of these. (Hope I don’t end up eating those words.)

Like with most of my handwoven lace, I made these scarves on my delightful little counterbalance loom. It is totally possible to weave with 3 shafts against 1 on a counterbalance. It just takes a bit more care, since the shed (the opening where you pass the shuttle through) isn’t as large.

No, once again I didn’t sample these scarves. I am much more confident when I’m working on my little loom. We operate on the same mental plane, and I just knew this one would work.

21 comments to Eggshell Cotton Huck Lace

  • These are beautiful! Hope you do well at the sale!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Evelyn. I do enjoy the shows. If nothing else, I get to hear what my customers, and potential customers say — about my work and about what they might like.

  • Joanie

    Just lovely! They look so much finer than 5/2.

    • Peg Cherre

      I agree, Joanie! I was quite surprised. And actually, at this moment I like them better than the handwoven lace scarves I’ve made before in 10/2. (I do know that this might change…I always like my newest creations best.)

  • Judy

    WOW!!!! They are really beautiful! No wonder they sold out in the first couple hours of the show – I was looking forward to seeing and feeling them in person – but based on how quickly they sold – they must have been every bit as wonderful as the photos made them look.

  • […] to go were the two eggshell huck lace scarves. With a show that started at 10:00AM, I’d sold my first scarf by 11, one of these beauties. […]

  • They are delicate and so pretty!cotton lace weaves are light weight and perfect.Thanks!

  • […] I headed up to Amanda’s, I did manage to get three of those gorgeous eggshell cotton huck lace scarves woven. They went so fast at the Roycroft show, I’m confident they’ll sell quickly at […]

  • caroline

    I am just beginning to learn to weave at a local shop. They have rigid heddle looms and jack looms. What kind of counterbalance do you have for your lace ? What size? I am so interested in learning to do Huck and Huck lace. Is that feasable as a new weaver? should I get the book on Huck lace that is available on Amazon ? Sorry for so many questions but your pictures are wonderful ! Caroline

    • Peg Cherre

      Welcome to the wonderful world of weaving, Caroline! I hope it brings you as much joy as it brings me.

      I do 90% of my weaving, and most of my lace, on a 4-harness counterbalance loom that was made by hand (no kit), I’m guessing in the 1930s or 40s. My loom is small, which suits me quite well. It has a maximum weaving width of about 20″. It’s quiet, easy to operate, and relatively small in every direction.

      You can certainly weave lace on any type of jack loom. I have an 8-harness Macomber loom, but I use it only when the design I want to make, lace or otherwise, can’t be done on my 4-harness loom. (I just love my little counterbalance!)

      While lace can also be woven on a rigid heddle loom, it’s substantially more complex, unless you want to make hand-manipulated lace (such as leno or Brook’s bouquet). Huck and huck lace are best done on a 4 harness (or more) loom.

      Most people would tell you that it’s easier to make lace on a jack loom than a counterbalance loom. That’s because counterbalance looms are designed to always be in balance – to have 2 harnesses up and 2 harnesses down – while most lace weaves require 1 harness up and 3 down (or vice versa). However I successfully weave lace on my counterbalance loom all the time.

      As to your question of whether weaving lace is feasible for a new weaver, my answer is it all depends. Just how new is new? How many pieces have you woven successfully? I suggest that someone have some experience with plain weave and twills before weaving lace, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. I started weaving with rayon chenille, a challenging fiber, after I’d woven only a few cotton samples. No one told me I couldn’t do it, and I’m persistent aka stubborn, so I just figured it out and did it. My first few pieces were far less than perfect, but that’s all part of the learning process.

      As for books, there are many books that focus on lace weaves. And others, such as Deborah Chandler’s Learning to Weave or The Handweaver’s Pattern Book that cover many different types of weaves. Which is best depends on what you’re looking for. I would think that the store where you’re learning to weave would likely have some books you could look at to see which you would like.

      I’m happy to be as helpful as I can to other weavers, Caroline. Ask me more questions!

  • Caroline

    Thank you for your thorough answer ! I am SO new….have only been at the loom for an hour or so , so far. I have my first private lesson this coming Thursday. A shop just opened a few blocks from my house. They have a variety of looms both floor and table. I worked on a floor loom yesterday and really liked it. We only used 2 treadles. we are making a joint project through a church group. It will be a shawl that is 6 feet long in simple weave. The owner had already done the warp and showed us how to do tieups. I think it is a baby wolf loom.

    She will let me learn on the RH on Thursday to start. I will begin by doing the warp and learn by making a simple shawl/sampler…using a number of kinds of neutral cottons. I am not as interested in design as I am in textures. I love all one color but many textures. I really like the look of your huck lace. The 4 harness CB loom is what I have been reading about. I have really liked the look of the LeClerc. Have you any other suggestions ? I will continue to use their equipment until I am sure I want to make a purchase and that I will stick with this. I have never done any hand crafts/sewing of any kind before. I am a baker !! I love to make artisinal breads and have done so since the mid 70’s.

    Again thank you for the encouragement. I will keep you posted as to how the first lesson goes . c

    • Peg Cherre

      Hi again, Caroline. To be honest, the only CB loom I have used for more than a few minutes is my own. As I mentioned it was hand made, not from a kit, many years ago. I do, however, have a positive comment on the LeClercs. Their newer CB looms come with a shed regulator installed (on their older looms, this was an add-on). Although I’ve never used one, a shed regulator is designed to make it easier to do unbalanced weaves (1 harness up & 3 down, or vice versa) on a CB loom. If what you’re interested in is lace weaves, this might be a serious consideration for you.

      I used to bake quite a lot of bread in the 70s. As my family grew up and moved out, I don’t make much any more – I eat it all too quickly when I do. 🙂

      Enjoy your classes!

  • Judith

    Hi, I just love this shawl and would like to try do it myself. Do you have a pattern for this that you don’t mind sharing? I have a 8-shaft counterrmarche loom. Regards, judith

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Judith. It’s a standard huck weaving draft. I do most of my weaving on my 4-shaft counterbalance loom, but huck can be done on 8, too, and can provide many more design options. If you have The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory, huck threading and treadling is on pages 164-165. If you don’t have that book, check out this online resource: http://www.weavingindiana.org/PDFs/LaceProgramHandout.pdf. If that’s too confusing for you and you want me to post a draft of what I used for this scarf, let me know and I’ll be happy to oblige.

  • Janet Ver

    Do you have a pattern for a baby blanket in eggshell huck lace?

    • Peg Cherre

      Janet – You can find drafts for huck lace in many, many weaving resources. If you have a 4-shaft loom, my go-to resource is The Handweaver’s Pattern Book. For 8 shafts I like the Strickland book. You can also go to handweaving.net for huck lace drafts. Then you just need to decide on the size of your yarn, size of the finished piece, and draft for those specifics.

      If you have more questions, let me know and I’ll do my best!
      Peg

  • Lisa

    This eggshell huck lace is beautiful. I have looked at many huck lace pieces, and this is my favorite. I would be very grateful if you could post the draft you used. Thank you!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Lisa. It is a simple draft, and one that you can find in many places – read the earlier comments and responses for some sources. If you still need a draft after that, let me know and I can email you either a jpg or a wif file.

  • Georgie stevenson

    Lisa I have tried to find a pattern for the eggshell lace pattern. No luck. If you would send it I would be very grateful. Thank you. That is the prettiest piece I have saw.

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