Ask Madelyn: More on “Smiles”

Hi Madelyn!

The fell on the placemats I’m currently weaving is making a “smile.” Can you help?


Hi Betty!

I am thinking this is the very project that the person was weaving who asked about “smiles” in a previous “Ask Madelyn” post. These placemats are the “Elegant Placemats,” by Suzie Liles from the November/December 2009 issue of Handwoven (pages 60–61).

The extra build-up on the edges is happening because the plain-weave interlacement there is so much more dense than in the lace section in the center/body of the mat. This is a normal occurrence. However, you are beating too firmly, which accentuates the problem.

Huck lace smiles

Huck lace smiles

Look closely at the lace section and mark off three 5-thread warp groups in both the warp and weft directions. They should form a square. You have a rectangle that is shorter than it is wide. Do you see what I mean? Count your actual picks per inch. Your warp sett is 12. That should be exactly how many weft threads you have per inch. If you weave with that weft sett, there will still be a bit of build-up on the plain-weave edges, but not nearly so much, and it will all even out when you weave the plain-weave border on the other end.


If you have a weaving question please email Madelyn! Featured Image: Summer Lace Placemats and Mug Rugs by Suzie Liles Handwoven May/June 2017. View related & recent “Ask Madelyn” posts!

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