Tag Archives: weaving

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.

Ombre Scarf

This scarf uses Bendigo 3ply for warp and weft and includes an ombre wool blend in the weft.

I love the drape and softness of this scarf but my next project will be focussed on achieving a better selvage. In attempting to avoid draw in I have gone too far in the other direction and have loopy selvages. My weaving mentor suggested weights on the selvages and I will also look at the angles and how snugly each pass fits at the edge.

A scarf knotted to show the colour variation at the ends

Keep going, keep making, keep improving.

Weaving with Knitting Wool

When I spot 100% knitting yarn at a charity shop it’s hard to pass it up. The scarf on the left was woven with a deep red 8 ply wool in the centre and a variegated yarn (Shepherd Colour 4 Me) on the outer edges and as weft. The two colours I used as warp were not so much as design decision as a consequence of discovering that one 50g ball (at 90m per 50g) was insufficient for a scarf warp at 8 inches width in reed. If I’d done some calculations before starting to wind the warp I would have realised that 90m was insufficient but I learned through lived experience (as they say.)

Happily the addition of the additional colour in the warp made the scarf more visually interesting and appealing. Sett for this scarf was 7dpi in a 10 dent reed which gave the scarf a very soft hand and good drape. I finished the scarf with four strand braids which looks great but took forever to do. While doing it I resolved never to finish a fringe with this technique again as I got so tired of the repetition, but I must admit I do like the result,

Scarf in progress on a four shaft Dorset loom. The stick shuttle is wound with DK yarn
Another scarf in progress – this time with a sett of 7.5dpi

Before the holidays I decided to do some stash busting because I had finally collected enough yarn to start another scarf using gifted and charity shop yarn of the same weight and in complementary colours. This time I chose 11 inches width in reed and a dpi of 7.5.

This blue scarf is now off the loom and ready for fringe twisting or knotting – I’m still considering which treatment to use. It is noticeably denser and heavier than the red toned scarf but I have in mind to gift it to a family member who is a tall man and I think it will suit him well.

Once again I had to make a design decision driven by a shortage of yarn. Problem number one was that the gifted dark brown/grey yarn had been moth damaged and was reduced to a single ply every 50m or so, necessitating frequent stops and starts while warping. Problem number two was that I ran out of weft yarn about 2/3 of the way from the end. Fortunately the weft yarn (Coaster yarn) is still in stock at Lincraft. I had to do an emergency dash to town to buy one more ball of yarn to keep the project running and get my loom cleared to start dressing the loom for the weavers guild annual summer school.