Plain Weave Rag Rug

Made with a combination of business shirt strips and thrifted sheets, this rag rug had a width in reed of 60 cm or 24 inches, exactly the narrowest setting on my large temple (stretcher.)

I cut the fabric strips to 1 inch wide using my rotary cutter, sewed them into long strips and used two strips as warp. This is more or less what the Swedish books recommend tho they often advise 2 cm strips. I find anything narrower than 1 inch difficult to join using the sewing machine.

The warp is a synthetic mystery fibre and I was therefore happy to pair it with polycotton sheeting and shirting.

The rug took a little longer to weave than I wanted or expected due to a hand injury. As the beater hit the fell of the cloth the energy transferred to my hand, causing a soft tissue injury. After resting my hand, it’s much better now. I have changed my technique with the beater and have a new, height adjustable weaving bench which means I can work in a more ergonomically sound position.

Tying on using an S Hook and some Cord to keep the Cloth Beam Steady
Rag rug with a woven hem. the rug is placed on a wooden floor with a cabinet behind it.
The woven end is described in Peter Collingwood’s book The Techniques of Rug Weaving

Tessuti Crossover Apron

Tessuti Fabrics made a pattern for a crossover apron available during lockdown, for free. Thanks to the team at Tessuti for doing that.

The pattern was easy to print out and use and the instructions were clear. I didn’t follow them faithfully and instead used bias binding for some of the edging. This was because I used a medium weight curtain fabric to make the apron instead of the lightweight linen they used. I felt that the double folded edge recommended in the instructions would be tricky to get right in my heavier fabric.

I feel bad saying it but the fabric was from the remnant bin at Spotlight, intended for a wearable toile of the hanten jacket. That would have looked pretty odd with upside down pagodas though, so the remnants stayed in my stash until this project came along.

Apron on a dressmakers mannekin
Front view
Apron with crossover style from shoulder to hip
Rear view

Kitchen Towels from the Loom

This is a closeup of my latest project line drying after the wet finishing step.

The warp was some cotton that I received from a generous weaving friend who was de-stashing and the weft was a crochet or knitting cotton that I found at a charity shop. The weft is slubby which can make for imperfect selvages that just for once might not be my fault.

The draft is modified from washcloths featured in Handwoven magazine Sept Oct 2008 which calls the structure a waffle weave treadling in a huck threading. I’m not so sure about the waffle weave part.

I wove the hem section using a very fine cotton that I picked up at a guild member’s de-stash garage sale. It was the first time I had woven hems using a much finer weft and the benefit is immediately apparent. I only wish I had very fine cotton in a shade other than green.

Each towel was woven with 1 1/2 inch hem sections and then 30 cm for the body of the towel. Yes a mixture of metric and imperial measurement but it works for me. The finished towels are small but thirsty and quick drying. The only concern is the longish floats but so far they haven’t been a problem in use.

I was so happy with these that I gave two towels to the friend who gifted me the green warp, put three towels into immediate use and then warped my Dorset folding loom for more of the same.

Finished towels on my newly maintained Druva Floor Loom

Face Masks and Weaving

Two completed face masks with fabric ties

It seems to me most makers are sewing masks at the moment and I’ve seen a few pop up for sale on my Instagram feed. The ones I’ve seen for sale are not of the quality I can make myself and I hope those makers are abiding to not for commercial use caveats. The masks shown in the photo are my current preferred mask pattern from Craftpassion. I’m not a big fan of the instructions on that site (too many options mixed up in the instructions) nor the number of ads that are served as you scroll through but the teenage and women- sized mask is a good fit for small faced people like, yes teenagers and women. I have tested the pattern on both.

While some of my crafting buddies are doing nothing but make masks and attend to their day jobs (and kudos to them for their focus and commitment) I have been mixing it up with a little yoga, a lot of cooking and some weaving.

Here is a little glimpse under my Druva four shaft floor loom. A long time ago I put a warp on to try Overshot, using the pattern in Next Steps in Weaving, which is such a great book for an advanced beginner like myself. I cheerfully ignored the instructions not to make the warp wider than specified, did the necessary calculations and expanded the width so the finished cloth can go on a table and not just in a collection of samples. I weave to use and to gift, not to have an awesome collection of samples.

I am now weaving my way through the different treadlings described in the book and having so much fun that I may well make some overshot towels next. There is a free pattern over at http://amandarataj.com for some very pretty overshot towels that she calls Bouquet Kitchen Towels. I’m very grateful to Amanda for sharing her pattern at no cost. It’s just what we need as we hunker down at home with our looms and our fibre stash.