Bead Leno Lace Scarf

I’d seen bead leno before I saw Deanna Deeds’s Leno to Love scarf from the November/December 2018 Handwoven. Many of the projects were beautiful and looked like very traditional “lace.” Then I saw Deanna’s scarf and sat in awe. Using bead leno combined with an amazing grasp of color and pattern, Deanna has created a scarf that is lovely, lacy, and thoroughly modern. Here’s what Deanna has to say about her design:

Leno Lace Scarf

Deanna Deeds’s Leno to Love scarf is a thoroughly modern take on a classic technique.

Designer Deanna Deeds’s Statement

I must confess I used to be a doup leno snob. I assumed the only way to get fancy patterning in leno weave (aka crossed-warp or gauze weave) was to add doup heddles to my loom. Bead leno, although much more common, is only used for featuring highly textured or unusual yarns in a simple 2/2 crossed-warp structure—or so I thought. I realized that if I was going to hold this biased opinion, I should at least give bead leno a chance. After all, how could I believe such a thing if I’d never even tried bead leno?

Leno Lace Scarf

Wear it long or wrap it up—Deanna Deeds’ scarf looks great no matter how you wear it.

The beads in bead leno are used on the loom, not in the final product. They create the sideways movement of some warp ends under others. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that bead leno can produce complex crossings on a multishaft loom! Its only limitation is that it needs two warp ends to cross under the stationary end instead of the one used in doup leno. Challenging myself further, I found that with just four shafts, I could get two threading units which, although not completely independent, can produce the warp crossings at different times.

The weave in this scarf uses only one stationary warp end in each crossing and two finer threads to do the crossing back and forth under it. This gives the illusion of two equally balanced threads working in a pair. The result is a lightweight and airy scarf with intricate patterning that changes character front to back and with the background color.

Happy Weaving!

Project at a Glance

PROJECT TYPE: 4-shaft.

STRUCTURE: Bead leno.

EQUIPMENT: 4-shaft loom, 10″ weaving width; 6- or 12-dent reed; 1 shuttle; 1 bobbin.

YARNS: 20/2 pearl cotton (8,400 yd/lb; UKI; Yarn Barn of Kansas), 10/2 pearl cotton (4,200 yd/lb; UKI; Yarn Barn of Kansas), 5/2 pearl cotton (2,100 yd/lb; Yarn Barn of Kansas, B colors), Cotton Fleece (80% cotton/20% merino 980 yd/lb; Brown Sheep; Paradise Fibers).

Featured Image: Deanna Deeds’s Leno to Love scarf is woven using bead leno.

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