I thought that the modified star motif in the dishtowels I recently wove resembled more of a snowflake than a star, so with that in mind, and with the popularity of Christmas in July (although not with me), decided to weave a set of classic red and white towels.
I had the best intentions of having these towels done in July, and they were woven in July, however the hemming only just got done, oh well. I ended up with three towels that are 19″ x 29″ and one generous bread basket size. I do love the contrast between the red and white.
Some time ago I came upon this blog and the beautiful scarf, which I new I had to weave, and now finally have. It is woven in a 2/8 Tencel, the warp is silver and the weft is midnight blue. On the loom the width was 8″, off the loom it is just under 7″. The finished length is about 70″, not including the fringe. I am always amazed how much Tencel changes with wet finishing, from stiff and almost board like, to soft and drapey with a beautiful sheen.
Or a shawl. Or a very big scarf.
A few years ago I purchased a skein of hand-dyed boucle from Hidden Touch Yarns, they were a vendor at the OVWSG annual Christmas sale. It has been languishing in my yarn cupboard ever since, waiting to be turned into something.
As it turned out, I had a couple of cones of mohair left over from a throw I did a couple of years ago, I thought the colour of the mohair would go nicely with the boucle.
I decided on a plain rectangular shawl, similar to one I done a couple of years. The mohair was used for the warp, sett at 6 ends per inch, width in the reed was about 27″, and the warp length was 3 yards. I did one pick at each end with the mohair and hemstitched each end as well. The boucle was used for the weft. It was woven plain weave throughout.
Mohair can be difficult to work with, it wants to stick together. I googled for ideas on how to stop this from happening. I read where spray starch may help. I also read where someone suggested mane detangler for horses. I tried the spray starch and a detangler (just not for horses), I would not recommend either one. But what I did find was that if the warp is wound on nice and evenly, you keep your warp very tight, advance your warp frequently, and do a direct tie-up for your harnesses, things move along a lot better.
I may not do another mohair project for awhile, but I am happy with the result. Now, if I could just get a good photograph, this isn’t as long as it looks.
Continuing with overshot, I wove two table runners (or maybe more accurately, one loooooong runner, and one table square/topper) in the Whig Rose design from A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison.
I used Venne organic 2/16 cotton in cream for the warp and tabby weft. 2/8 organic cotton in Brick Red was used for the pattern weft in the red runner, and a 2/8 mercerized cotton that shall remain nameless was used for the green one. The organic cotton is a high quality cotton with great twist and is wonderful to weave with.
At 54.5″ long, the red runner would suit a long harvest table (which must of been what I was thinking, hence its long length), it would look great as the centrepiece of a holiday table setting. The green one is 20.5″ long and would make a great table square for the centre of a smaller table.
I have finally reached the end of the first runner for this warp, or maybe the end of the last, depending on how I feel.
This has been the warp from hell for me. The spools themselves had knots, but the biggest annoyance has been warp threads breaking. I have searched on-line, started a discussion on Ravelry, and have spoken with more experienced weavers to determine the possible cause (me, loom, thread), but it is hard to come up with a clear answer.
The breakages have occurred after I have advanced the warp and tensioned it. Could there be too much tension on the warp? Well maybe, but after comparing mine to others, my tension is not any tighter (and probably a bit looser) than those I compared it to.
One thought I had was maybe the metal heddles were too rough for the 2/16 mercerized cotton I am using. However, that was met with a bit of skepticism from my weaving group, mercerized cotton is supposed to be stronger than unmercerized cotton (I was going to replace the metal heddles with Texsolv, but I will hold off on that for now). This is the first time I have used anything as fine as 2/16, but should that really make a difference other than it takes longer to weave 36″ in 2/16 versus 2/8?
The majority of the broken threads are in one area. This warp consists of one entire spool of 2/16 mercerized cotton and part of a second. Selvedge threads were added after the warp was put on and came from the second spool, all of my repair threads have come from the second spool, and now one of those repair threads has broken. What does this all mean? Could it be a bad spool of cotton? Maybe.
Other than the broken threads, I have enjoyed weaving with the 2/16 mercerized cotton. I love the sheen that the cotton has and the heirloom look it gives the runner. If anyone has any other ideas as to what my problem might be, I would love to hear from you.