It’s a long time since I tried any “finger manipulated” weaving, but I decided the first warp on the baby loom would be some leno!
So, what is leno? Well, it’s where you create a twist in your warp threads and open the web up. Here is a very bad photo (!) of the principle, showing the twisting of pairs of warp threads:
The thing to remember about leno is that you always get two rows of “windows” – one below the row of weft that runs through the twist and one above it:
You can twist individual warp threads (shown in the purple) or groups of them (like in my first attempt), up to whatever number your tension will allow you to twist. And you don’t have to have the same number on each side of the twist either, i.e. you could twist two threads around one thread.
I’ll talk through the technique in other posts, but for me the starting point with leno was looking at how to use the openness it creates. Usually, leno gets used across a whole row, but I find that kind of ugly. The fun, I think, is what happens when you see it used in sections:
Here I alternated areas of leno and plain weave across the width of the warp, and changed where the leno areas were, to make a pattern. Now, I repeated that pattern all the way up the web, but you could free-form if you wanted to. That’s the nice thing about finger manipulated weaves; you aren’t locked into a threading!
Using leno in sections like this, also allows you to create soft shapes rather than a rigid, horizontal line and I like that a lot. Stay tuned for more leno posts and attempts!