Monday, February 18, 2019

How to Finish Your Triloom Woven Shawl

The last weaving pass is run, the center yarn is clipped and your shawl is done! Yippee!

Oh yeah, the weaving is done, now there's the finishing. 

How do you go from that triangle shaped weaving on the wall to the beautiful, drapey, shawl to wrap around your shoulders?

Follow along on the pictures below, and if you have any questions, you can contact me via messenger from our Havencroft Farm Homestead Facebook page.

The weaving is done! This is a twill/tabby combo pattern done with 100% Havencroft Farm grown Jacob sheep wool (Patchwork Cowboy and Havencroft Lauren's fleeces) processed into yarn at Yampa Valley Fiberworks and hand-dyed by me.)

Pretty as it looks from a distance, there are still some spacing issues that need fixing.

Spend time lining up yarns with your trusty weaving comb. (Not to recommend Walmart, but this is the comb I use.)

Once your weaving is all evened-up to your liking, crochet off the top. This shawl is not fringed, so the color changes are along the top. I'll weave those in later. The chain I use to take a shawl off the loom is; pull the corner loop of the shawl onto your hook; pull a loop of your finishing color through that loop; pull the next shawl loop off the nail and through the loop on the hook; pull another loop of finishing yarn through that loop; and all the way across, shawl loop, yarn loop. You should only ever have one loop on your hook. You can see the pattern in the picture above. At the end of the top edge of the shawl, pull up your last loop, cut the thread in the middle and pull it back through, then knot the starting thread for the shawl and the ending thread of the finishing yarn together.

The top edge is crocheted off the loom. Now to lift the bottom two edges.

Just gently lift the yarn off the pegs, or nails, starting at the bottom corner.

This shawl is now attached to the loom only at the top two corners. This is where you can see floats or any other issues that may need to be fixed by stitching them in. 

Take off the finished shawl, hang up your loom and start the next shawl. I always put the next shawl on the loom right after I pull the shawl I'm finishing off. I've planned it while weaving the last one, and I'm eager to get started on it, plus I hate seeing a naked loom!

I weave in all the color join ends with a crochet hook. Some people use a yarn needle. What ever works for you. I take out the knot that I used to join the colors (why I knot the joins loosly), make sure the yarns are crossed over so there are no awkward holes at the top of the shawl, and tuck the ends in, weaving them down their own color run.

Some shawls I crochet a decorative border, and strenghthener on the top, other shawls don't seem to need it. This one needed a bit of straightening on the top edge, which is provided by the crochet border.

Once you are happy with your finishing on the shawl, it's time to wash it. This "wet-finishes" the shawl, allows the yarns to bloom and meld together and sets it as one garment, instead of a lot of woven yarn. It also assures me that the piece does not have any flaws that I missed in the planning or weaving. Hand wash, gently in cool water with wool safe soap. I do the same - lather, rinse, repeat that I do to wash most things. Make sure you fill the basin first and dissolve the soap before adding your garment. Take the garment out to drain while you rinse the basin and prepare the next water bath.

After washing and rinsing, roll your shawl up in a towel and gently squeeze out the excess water. 
Lay your shawl flat and shape it how you want it to dry. I put a king sized sheet over a few towels on our queen sized bed to block my shawls. It's a big enough space, and the door is closed to our bedroom, so it is a cat-free zone, too.

Give it a bit to dry and then wear your beautiful new shawl. This particular shawl is for a friend, if you want to see a picture of her wearing it (give me a few days to get it delivered!) visit our Havencroft Farm Homestead Facebook page.

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