The chapter, Hand-Manipulated Weaves is in the Appendix of my book, Weaving for Beginners. It was written by Tracy Kaestner who is the owner of Lone Star Loom Room. She suggested it when we met at a conference some years ago and agreed to produce it. The illustrations are by Ron Hildebrand, my illustrator.
With this technique, after washing, the fabric looks lacy because the weft curves and show up more.
You will always work with open sheds. This is an important point.
Working with an Open Shed: How to Count the Threads:
See the photo and see that the shed is open, and the shuttle is passing part way across the warp before it is taken out of the shed. (Then it will be on the surface of the cloth.) I numbered the threads to show how to count the threads when the directions say go under a certain number of threads. I do it by counting the number of threads that are above the shuttle—that is, the threads the shuttle is passing under. In the illustration, the shuttle is going under 10 threads.
How to weave Spanish lace
You will always be taking your shuttle into open sheds as you normally would—except that you won’t go very far into the sheds, and you’ll be taking the shuttle back and forth. Say, the shuttle is going left in a shed then, when it goes to the right it is to be in a new shed. When it goes left again, it will go in a new shed as well. Every time you change directions of the shuttle, you will be changing the shed, too.
Basically, this is what you’ll do to make Spanish lace: You’ll go back and forth with the shuttle (left and right) a bit, then, move on to a new group and go back and forth again and then, on to the next group, and so on, all across the warp.
To get the idea of how to make this stitch, I suggest you read the instructions as you follow along in the illustration. (Remember, when you go under threads, you are counting the upper threads in the shed only.
Weave a heading of plain weave, and end with the shuttle on the right edge of the cloth. Divide the width of the warp into groups of threads. You choose how big each unit of lace will be. The illustration shows two sizes of groups: 2 threads and 3 threads. You are the designer, and the groups can vary in size. Note there is one thread between each group.
You can weave it just like the illustration, or after you get the idea of how it works, you can start out with experiments. You can try out different sizes of the groups and how many times you want to go back and forth before moving on to a new group.
Follow these instructions to make the pattern in the photo, which makes two rows of Spanish lace.
For the first group of threads:
Step 1: Moving to the left, pass the shuttle under one thread (in this case warp #1), and come up out of the shed.
Step 2: Change the shed. Working toward the right, pass the shuttle under one thread, (warp #2) and come out.
Step 3: Change shed. Working to the left, pass the shuttle under 3 threads. You are now going to work on the next group of threads.
For the second group of threads:
Step 1: Change the shed. Moving to the right, pass the shuttle under 2 threads. (In the illustration, notice that you have already made the first row in the group by going under 3 to the left.)
Step 2: Change the shed. Moving to the left, pass the shuttle under 3 threads to complete this group as well as to move on to the next group.
For the third group of threads:
Step 1: Change the shed and pass the shuttle under 1 thread as you move to the right and make the second “row” in the group.
Step 2: Change the shed and pass the shuttle under 1 thread as you move toward the left.
Continue across the warp.
For the second row
A second row of pattern is worked from the left side towards the right side.
To start the second row: You’ll follow the same process, but you’ll be going from the left edge of the warp toward the right.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Change the shed and pass the shuttle under one thread, moving to the right. This begins the first group in the second “row” (the one on the left in the illustration).
Step 2: Change the shed and pass the shuttle under 1 thread, moving to the left.
Step 3. Change the shed and pass the shuttle under 3 threads, moving to the right. This completes the first group and starts you on the middle group.
Step 4: Change the shed. Moving to the left, pass the shuttle under 1 thread.
Step 5: Change the shed. Moving to the right, pass the shuttle under 3 threads to finish that group and begin the next.
Step 6: Change the shed, and moving to the left, go under one thread.
Step 7: Change the shed, and moving to the right, go under one thread.
And you’re finished with two rows of “lace”! Read on.Note: You will go across the whole warp before beginning the second row of “lace”. When you’re back where you started, you can weave some tabby. Weave an odd number of rows before beginning to make more “lace”. If you want the counting and the placement of the groups to be the same.