I have now completed the six hand towels and while they aren’t without their treadling faults, I’m pretty happy.
They were dented at 2-2 in a 10 dpi reed and the sett was 20 epi. The 6/2 cotton was sourced from Lunatic Fringe Yarns. Now they’ve been washed and pressed, the slightly funny selvages have come good and I’m happy that I made what I planned to and that my calculations were all OK. I was able to play with a number of twill patterns and that was great fun, as well as being part of the original project plan.
I did try a different, thicker weft yarn in plain weave with the small amount of warp left over on my Dorset loom after I completed the towels. I sampled using a pale yellow cotton weft yarn that’s a little thicker than 8/4 cotton. I can’t say too much more about that yarn as it was part of a yarn de-stash I purchased from a former loom owner who had a clean up over the holidays.
After washing the plain weave sample it’s looking like a winning combination for some future tea towels (dish towels) as the cloth is very stable, looks attractive and will have good absorbency.
True to form, I have the next project in mind already but putting that warp on the loom will have to wait until after Weaving Summer School at the Guild.
This twill exploration project is for hand towels that measure 10 1/2 inches wide in the reed. I am using 6/2 cotton and a sett of 20dpi.
The plan is to make a set of six towels and use different treadlings and combinations of the two colours.
I had a few warp tension issues and made a very serious threading error. The books tell you how to fix one wrong warp thread. They’re not so helpful when you have a block of 12 threads that are all wrong. My solution (as I had already started weaving) was to chop the whole lot off, fix the error and then tie the warp on again.
The first towel was 2/2 twill. The next will be broken twill. At the moment I don’t quite have an even weave so once again I find myself praying that the miracle of wet finishing will once again be transformative. This weaving business is hard.
After completing the linen and lace course with Kay Faulkner I felt confident and eager to get started on a project I had put on the Dorset loom over the Christmas break, an Atwater Bronson table runner in 3/2 cotton.
Working in the coarser 3/2 cotton was a joy because it was easy to spot and correct mistakes. It was also good to be working with a coloured yarn. The finer white linen we used during the course added another little hurdle for a beginner such as myself as errors were tricky to spot. Weaving in my own space, at my own pace further helped to reduce the error rate.
My own design variant
I made two runners, one following faithfully the project instructions in Pattie Graver’s Next Steps in Weaving and the other to my own design.
The projects in the Next Steps book are particularly well described and tell you everything you need to know, such as sett, width in the reed etc in a way where you can find the essential information quickly, without having waste energy scanning the text. I do recommend the book for anyone beginning their weaving journey, as I am.
This runner was done by the book
One of my guild friends is moving house and decluttering. Somehow we got to talking about that and she asked if I might be interested in buying her folding loom.
I didn’t have to think long about that one as I have coveted her loom (in the nicest possible way) when she has brought it to guild workshops. She seemed so comfortable and self sufficient sitting at her fold up loom while the rest of us cramped each other’s style and gave ourselves shoulder fatigue with our table looms all in a row.
Now that beautiful loom is mine.
I thought it might be a Dorset, make in New England, USA and an application of Scandinavian oil to the wood over the Easter holiday confirmed that. The Dorset name was stamped into the wood under the raddle. I think the raddle storage position on top of the castle is an innovation from my friend’s engineer husband, who like my beloved, is an enabler of her loom and yarn collecting as well as a provider of technical support.
The shafts move smoothly and the folding loom is easier to transport than my Ashford table loom. I’m also really pleased to have something that was owned by my friend, as she’s a terrific person and a good weaving mentor. We haven’t been able to spend much time together yet, but I’ve offered her loom visitation rights whenever she wants.
Mt first project will be two tea towels from the Ann Field book.
The Ashford table loom is on notice – behave or get sent to to an online auction.