My Almost, But Didn’t Quite Make It, Christmas in July Towels

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.

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Just Knitting

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Happy weaving,

Kelly

Modified Star

Life seems to be busy right now, but I have managed to weave a couple of towels in a draft call Modified Star.  A point twill threading and treadling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2) makes these towels a breeze to weave (when compared to something like overshot).

As usual, I used Venne 2/8 organic cotton for the warp and weft, but used 2/16 for the borders.  The warp colour is Royal Blue and white for the stripes, the weft was white as well.

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2/8 organic cotton- royal blue and white

modified star towel

warp on the loom and weaving progressing

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finished towel

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finished towels showing stripes

 

Happy weaving,

Kelly

 

 

Whig Rose

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.

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Happy weaving,

Kelly

 

Organic Cotton Towels

I recently decided to try the 315-4 towels I wove here again, paying attention to the notes I made last time when I wove them.  Although I had said that  I didn’t like the stripes, I tried them again, only weaving have the repeat in the alternating colour, much better.

These towels are woven with Venne 2/8 organic cotton, (2/16 for the hems).  They washed and dried beautifully and are very soft.

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Happy weaving,

Kelly

 

 

New! Organic Cotton Sewing Thread

You may ask why I would start to carry sewing thread.  Well, after I recently finished weaving a beautiful set of dish towels in organic 2/8 cotton (blog post to follow on that soon) and I had to hem the towels, I felt that the thread I used should be of the same quality as the yarn, and I began to search for an organic cotton thread.

What I found is a beautiful multi-purpose thread.  It is an organically grown long-staple cotton that is GOTS certified and spun in Holland.  It is suitable for seams, overlock, top stitching, and quilting, and comes in 300 yard/275 metre wooden spools.

Colours currently in stock:

 

 

4806 Wine4812 Lavender4819 Stormy Blue4823 Celery4829 Walnut4818 Midnight4821 Grass4828 Terra Cotta4802 Straw4800 White

 

I hope to have these up on the website soon.

Happy weaving,

Kelly

 

 

Third Time’s A Charm

Back when I was weaving the overshot runner (see here), I met a much more experienced weaver and I told her my tale of woe on this project.  We discussed a few possibilities and then she asked what yarn was I using for my warp, “Oh” she said, “you never use their mercerized cottons for warp, they don’t have enough twist”.  Ironically, that was what I thought when this yarn arrived, but this company sells weaving yarns, and still being a new”ish” weaver, I could be wrong.  I had e-mailed them about my problems, they refused to acknowledge that it could be their yarn.  Hence the project was cut from the loom.

The problem with not really knowing what the source of the problem is, is that you don’t know what the source of the problem is (yarn, loom, weaver).  I went through my stash and discovered some 2/16 non-mercerized cotton, mostly likely from the same company as the mercerized.  The first thing I noticed was that there was definitely more twist in this yarn.  I didn’t use the organic 2/16 cotton I just brought in because I was still unsure whether it was the yarn or my weaving technique that had caused the earlier problems.

I started winding the warp, things were going well, and then nearly at the halfway point, a knot.  About 3 yards later, another knot.  In total, I encountered 5 knots while winding this short warp, I was not impressed.  I soldiered on and got the warp on the loom, threaded the heddles, sleyed the reed and began to weave.  And weave.  And weave.  Miraculously, no broken threads, I felt vindicated.

This runner was fun and quick to weave and I will definitely do it again.  I love the fineness of the 2/16 (pattern weft is in 2/8 cotton), the runner has an almost heirloom feel to it.

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Happy weaving,

Kelly

 

315-4

315-4 refers to the threading and the threading for the towels below, it comes from A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns.

I have seen a few pictures of this draft woven as tea towels and scarves on various blogs and Ravelry, and thought it might be fun to do.  My plan is to do a few towels, off-white for the warp and a bright colour for the weft (a different colour for each towel), in 2/8 organic cotton.  But I thought I might first do a trial run in some 2/8 Cottolin, and make notes.

I made a lot of notes while weaving these “samples”, notes for what I did, and notes for what I will do differently.

The green towel with the stripe was the first one I wove, I had seen a few others woven with a stripe and thought I liked it.  Note 1: no stripe, I don’t like it, I think it takes away from the pattern.  Note 2:  harder beat.  While the green one looks okay, they are definitely to drapey for a towel (at least I think so).  The second towel was woven with a denser ppi, I like it a lot better.  There other little notes, but I won’t bore you with all the details.

My “samples”:

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Happy weaving,

Kelly

I Give Up

I decided to revisit the overshot runner project with the 2/16 mercerized cotton warp.  But instead of trying to continue on the existing warp, I decided to make a new warp and put it on another loom.  I made a shorter warp than before, only about 3 yards, using a warping board.  Since this loom has a plain beam, the warp was beamed in the usual manner.  I also replaced all of the existing heddles with brand new inserted eye heddles.  I wanted to see if these changes would provide me with a more pleasurable weaving experience (i.e. no broken threads).

Things seemed to progress okay, but then 3″ into the pattern, the first thread broke.  After another inch, one more, and after another inch, well you get the idea.  I have now woven 20″ and have repaired 11 broken threads.  I am not getting any joy out of this project.  I love the pattern, I love weaving overshot, I love the colour combination, I hate this yarn.  I am not thrilled with the 2/8 mercerized cotton I am using for the weft either.  It seems to be loosely plied and twists on itself and around the tabby yarn as well.

So here is a shot of it before I cut it off the loom.  I have to find a use for the remaining 2/16 (fire starter?), and when I find a better quality yarn, I will try this project again.

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Happy weaving,

Kelly

Stores Update

More colours of Venne Organic Cotton are in stock for your weaving projects: Bright Pink, Fawn, Fern Green and Irish Cream.

And new Handmaiden and Fleece Artist in stock:

Happy knitting and weaving,

Kelly