Weaving presents for family and friends is always fun. Sometimes, I get minimal instructions and can basically make whatever I want. Other times, the instructions are pretty specific. This was one of those times.

Handwoven shawl with heart pattern thrown in a bunch
Weaving gifts is fun

Hearts in pink and silver

My niece knew exactly what she wanted: a shawl covered in pink and silver hearts. As for the yarn, that was easy: I had some lovely bamboo yarn in pink and grey. Due to the shimmer of the yarn, this grey yarn came close enough to silver. However, the hearts provided me with an interesting challenge, as I had never woven hearts before. Most of the motifs I make are rotationally symmetric, yet hearts do not fall in this category. So, my normal approach to designing would not suffice. I first experimented with twills and was able to produce some heart shapes. Yet, none of them really excited me.

Close-up of shawl with pink and silver hearts
Breaking symmetry to find a heart

Huck to the rescue

So, I turned to Handweaving.net for some inspiration. Searching with the keyword ‘heart’ was all it took to find draft #74197: Eight-shaft Huck Heart by Robin Spady. This draft checked all the boxes: it is in two colors, requires 8 shafts and 10 treadles, and — above all — it is really cute. It consists of Huck lace hearts on a plain weave background cloth.

Close-up of shawl in Huck lace folded onto itself
A little huck was all it took

I took this draft as a starting point in Fiberworks to make my shawl design. I played around with the heart shape, making it smaller and bigger. Yet, my final design follows the original closely. I did reduce the float length to 3 instead of 5, since my sett would be 4 ends per cm. I also reduced the number of shafts to 7, as I saw that two shafts are actually the same. I repeated the final motif four times to obtain a decent shawl width.

Heart-shaped motif woven in Huck Lace The other side of the heart-shaped motif
Two sides of one heart

A touch of glitter

I was ready to start weaving, since I had already decided on the pink and grey bamboo yarn. To include a touch of proper silver after all, I added silver sewing thread to the warp. I held the pink yarn and silver thread together while winding the warp and preparing the loom for weaving. Together with the grey weft, this gave a subtle sparkling effect. I had no idea how the sewing thread would behave while weaving — I was happily surprised I was able to weave the shawl without any of the threads breaking. It was fun to see the little Huck hearts emerging on the loom.

Close-up of the fringes of a handwoven shawl in bamboo pink and a silver sewing thread
Shiny and strong

Woven with love

This project was a nice change from my echoes-filled weaving life of late. I have not woven many Huck projects before, but I feel like it warrants further exploration in the future. In the meantime, my niece has a nice heart-filled shawl to keep her warm.

Handwoven shawl in echo-8 technique using crochet cotton yarn, thrown in a bunch
To be continued