What Shawl We Weave?
Sharon Alderman's silk lace shawl is lovelier and more luxurious than any store-bought "pashmina." Gladys Strong's Colonial Stole is based on a recipe by Mary Meigs Atwater, the first documented draft for deflected doubleweave.
Sharon Alderman's silk lace shawl is
lovelier and more luxurious than
any store-bought "pashmina."
Gladys Strong's Colonial Stole is
based on a recipe by Mary Meigs
Atwater, the first documented
draft for deflected doubleweave.
Shawls do have a new presence in commercial clothing and specialty stores. It is somewhat annoying that imported “pashmina” shawls can be bought for less than the yarn would cost a weaver. For that reason, a handwoven shawl needs to be especially wonderful and stand out above any shawl you could buy in a store. Luckily, we handweavers can use yarns and weave structures and finishing treatments that are seldom found in commercial fabrics: open laces in silk yarns, loose interlacements in wool that are carefully fulled, metallics and novelties and fragile yarns that require careful tensioning and handling.
The collection of shawls in our new ebook, Top Ten Shawls on Four and Eight Shafts, will give you plenty of options and ideas for weaving luxury items you could not find in a store. One of my favorites was also a landmark in weaving literature: the first example of a special form of doubleweave in which warp and weft threads deflect to form circles and unique shapes. Mary Meigs Atwater included the draft in her Recipe Book, calling it an old “Colonial Stole.” The draft begs for further exploration. Other structures in this book of shawls that are uniquely the province of handweavers include Atwater-Bronson lace, M’s and O’s, loose undulating twills fulled to incredible softness, and more.
Winter is the perfect time for weaving soft warm shawls. You can wrap them around you in the evening (or put them over your knees if you are anything like me). So warp up and get cozy!