Leno lace weaving is a type of pick-up weave that is popular in Finland. I remember as a child, seeing table runners and other linens and wondering how the threads were twisted to make the numerous designs. It seems like a complicated and time-consuming technique, but with a little practice, leno can actually be woven quite quickly.
Although leno lace is traditionally woven in linen, using solid colours, for this sampler, I have used cotton threaded alternately in light blue and dark green threads so that the images would be easier to see. The threading is 1,2,3,4 twill, and the pedals are tied 1,3 and 2,4 tabby. I generally tie the pedals such that when I press the left pedal (1,3), I throw the shuttle from the left. When I press the right pedal (2,4), I throw the shuttle from the right.
Weaving the Edge
Starting from the right, depress the right pedal and weave in about 1/2 inch. Change pedals (left) and weave back to the edge. Change pedals (right) and again weave in about 1/2 inch. This strengthens the edge, and sets the length of the lace.
Change pedals (left). Using your forefinger, pick up the next 2 raised threads (dark green).
Holding the 2 threads that you picked up in the previous step to the right, reach underneath them, and pick up the other 2 threads (light blue) pulling them slightly to the left. Holding onto the light blue threads, allow the first 2 (dark green) threads to drop.
Pass the shuttle through the twist that has formed (between the light blue threads that are on top and the dark green threads that are now underneath). Draw the yarn through and repeat the above steps to the last 1/2 inch of the warp.
Once you have mastered the above steps, a faster way to weave this lace is to pick up the threads in sections. Pick up 2 threads (dark green) as before, pick up and twist the 2 threads underneath (light blue) allowing the top threads (dark green) to drop, and place the twisted set onto the shuttle.
Don’t draw the shuttle completely through, but pick up another set of twisted threads, placing them onto the shuttle. Repeat this until the shuttle is full and then draw the thread through.
When you woven to the left edge, again weave a tabby shot twice to finish the edge.
Drop the shed and beat several times to place the weft evenly across.
Pressing the left pedal, throw the shuttle from the left. Again at the right edge, weave 2 shots of tabby for the first 1/2 inch.
Then depressing the right pedal, throw the shuttle from the right. The pairs of threads will again twist, forming the other half of the leno twist. Finish off the left edge with 2 tabby shots.
A row of this leno twist lace makes a nice edging for table linens and other fabrics.