Doup (Continuous) Leno Scarf

Cheryl has created a clever way to weave doup leno on her Flip rigid heddle loom. She shares her technique with us here as a guest contributor to Yearning To Weave. Cheryl first presented this material at the New Orleans Weavers Guild in October 2010. This article focuses on the doup leno technique, and does not have explicit directions for creating the scarf.

Leno, the technique of twisting warp threads to create lace, is a finger technique that offers absolute freedom and creates a lacy, stable structure often not possible with other lace techniques. The downside of creating leno is that the twists need to be made each row. Doup leno is a way to create the twists by using string heddles, or doups, to make the twists automatically.

Equipment:

Flip or Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom with a 5-dent or 8-dent reed

2 pick-up sticks

1 shuttle

a 3/8″ diameter dowel at least 4″ longer than the width of your project

pre-made string heddles (see below); You’ll need ½ the number of your total number of warp ends.

Warp: Slubby or boucle-style novelty yarn, 5/2 pearl cotton in a coordinating color.

Weft: Choose either the same novelty yarn used in the warp or 3/2 pearl cotton in a coordinating color.

Warp Length: about 3 yards (but not longer).

Width in reed: Not to exceed 8″.

 

How to make string heddles

Use carpet warp or other strong, tightly twisted yarn. Cut 50 lengths for this project, 18″ long each. You can use the frame of your rigid heddle reed as a jig. Be sure to tie a tight square knot to prevent your heddle from coming undone during weaving. After you’ve tied all of the heddles, cut off the tails to about ¼” length. Detailed instructions on making and using string heddles, well as step-by-step pictures, can be found in the Schacht News from the Ewes newsletter, Summer 2010 issue.

leno scarf #3

Scarf A

Rigid heddle:  5-dent

Warp:  UKI 5/2 pearl cotton in color Ruby Glint #100 and Crystal Palace Waikiki in Hot Jazz are used in pairs.

Weft:  UKI 3/2 pearl cotton in color Ruby Glint #100.

Scarf B

Rigid heddle:  5-dent

Warp:   UKI 5/2 pearl cotton in color Burnt Orange #149 and Cryastal Palace Waikiki in Hot Jazz are used in pairs.

Weft: UKI 3/2 pearl cotton in Burnt Orange #149.

Warping

Use the direct warping peg method. Hold 2 yarns together (one smooth and one novelty). Sley through every other slot (there will be 4 ends in each slot). Beam the warp. To finish sleying the reed, take one novelty yarn and one smooth yarn out of each slot and sley into the adjacent slot. There will be 2 ends in every slot, 1 novelty and 1 smooth. Note: there are no threads in the holes. Tie onto the front apron bar.

Establishing the leno pattern

Working behind the heddle, use the first pick-up stick and pick up every smooth warp thread in order. Slide the pick-up stick to the back of the loom.

Using the second pick-up stick, pick up the same smooth threads as on pick-up stick 1, but pull the smooth thread over the top, around and under the adjoining novelty thread, then up the other side (creating the leno twist). Place the smooth thread on pick-up stick #2.

Be sure to check your work as you go to make sure that the leno twist has been successfully made.

If you inadvertently changed the direction of your sequence, a twist will not form.

Turn pick-up stick #2 on its side. Place a string heddle under the first smooth warp thread and slide the heddle onto the dowel. When you are finished, a string heddle will be cradling each smooth thread and the heddles will be on the dowel. Check your work. It is so much easier to correct your mistakes now. Once you’re satisfied, remove pick-up stick #2.

You now have pick-up stick #1 and a dowel with string heddles lined up. To keep the heddles from slipping off the dowel, place a strip of tape (blue painter’s tape works well and won’t leave stickyresidue) on top of the heddles to secure them to the dowel. You’ll use pick-up stick #1 and the heddle dowel alternately to weave your fabric.

Weaving

The rigid heddle remains in neutral throughout the weaving, except for beating in the weft picks.

The dowel (or heddle bar) and pick-up stick #1 remain behind the heddle during the entire weaving process.

The shuttle passes through the shed in front of the rigid heddle.

Weaving sequence:

Row 1

Step 1: Bring pick-up stick #1 forward to the back of the heddle.

Step 2: Turn it on edge.

Step 3: Pass the shuttle through the shed.

Step 4: Beat the weft into place.

Step 5: Slide pick-up stick #1 to the back.

Row 2

Step 1: Lift up heddle bar just behind the heddle to raise the other set of threads (you can insert a second pick-up stick at this point to hold your place if it is easier for you).

Step 2: Pass the shuttle through the shed.

Step 3: Beat the weft into replace (remove the pick-up stick if you used one).

detail of scarf

Weave alternating rows 1 and 2 until your scarf is the desired length. Note: With this technique only leno is possible. You cannot weave plain weave in combination with leno with your loom set up in this manner.

Variation: Doup (or continuous) leno with basket weave or plain weave

This pattern requires two additional dowels and sufficient string heddles for the width of your scarf (example: if your warp is threaded through 25

slots, you will need 25 heddles for basket weave or 50 more heddles for plain weave.)

Follow the warping instructions and establishing the leno twist for the Doup (Continuous) Leno Lacy Scarf above.

Work behind both the rigid heddle and the heddle dowel holding the leno twists. For basket weave: use a pick-up stick and pick up every other pair of warp threads, beginning with the first pair on the end. Turn the pick-up stick on its side. Place a string heddle under the first pair of warp threads and place the heddle on a dowel. Continue in order across the remaining pairs of warp threads on the pick-up stick. Remove the pick-up stick. Place a strip of blue painters tape across the top of the

string heddles to secure them and mark the dowel as A.

Again, using a pick-up stick, pick up the remaining alternate pairs of warp threads, beginning with the second pair from the end.

(These are warp threads not previously picked up). Turn the pick-up stick on its side. Place a string heddle under the first pair of warp threads on the pick-up stick and place the heddle on another dowel. Continue in order across the remaining pairs of warp threads on the pick-up stick. Remove the pick-up stick. Place a strip of tape across the top of the string heddles to secure them and mark the dowel as B. These 2 dowels (A and B) will allow you to weave basket weave whenever you choose.

For plain weave, you will proceed as above, except that you will pick up alternate individual warp threads. Place all of the novelty threads on one heddle dowel and all of the fine threads on the other heddle dowel. Alternate lifting A and B to weave plain weave.

Note: It is important to determine whether to begin the plain weave sequences with dowel A or dowel B. Before starting your first plain weave pick, check the edges of your project by selecting and raising either dowel A or B. Make sure the outside edge will be caught by the passing weft thread. If not, select the alternate dowel and begin with that. Use the remaining dowel for the return plain weave pick.

It doesn’t matter whether you start from the left or the right side. It DOES matter that you check to see which dowel to begin with so that the weft catches the selvedge thread.

Follow the weaving sequence directions for Doup Leno Lacy Scarf, additionally, placing rows of plain weave selectively, as you choose, throughout the scarf. Your sheds most likely will be shallow. I suggest winding a small amount on your shuttle to make passing it through the shed easy.

Cheryl Dunworth