Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Everything, Everywhere Towels

I have been itching to weave a turned twill project for some time.  So I dug around in my stash of 10/2 cotton (of which I have a lot 😳 )   and pulled together some colours.   Now the drafts below show the basic arrangement of the two blocks and the colour transitions, but the actual colours are much more muted than the ones I grabbed off the colour bar.  I don't get that persnickety with the colours as I keep the original cones out and close to hand to view as I work. 

These are Web's Valley yarns  and the entire range of colours have a muted or saddened quality to the shades. I must confess that I double and triple checked my selection and wondered if I had chosen right.   I decided to go with it and time would tell.... plus the weave part!

Another part of that 'going with it' mind set was trying a small 8 thread colour gradation between colour changes. It worked fine between the closer value shades but the deeper, darker ones? Not so well.    Next time I would leave this part out and just go with solid blocks instead.   It was worth a try....


Winding the warp took time due to the colour gradation but soon we had the 8 yards warp on, threaded and sleyed for 28 epi.   This is the only picture of the work on the loom, where I'm trying out bands of colours and decided to go with them and simply repeat.

Actually, I got 6 towels and one small side table cloth and each time I simply went with what felt okay at the time. No set plan for treadling the blocks or colour.   I did learn that the dark Victorian Blue was a touch too dark and a small amount of the Autumn Blonde yellow went a long way.    So I focused on the others instead: Dark Teal, Willow green, Cameo Rose and Camel.

So once off the loom the cloth roll make a nice chunky ball of fabric and it weighed in at 2 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces before cutting apart and trimming off loom waste etc.

That is 980 grams in metric for my Canadian and European readers.  🌎     I got busy with the serger and they had a bath and dried.   Steam pressed and hems turned.   Some enjoyable sewing by the TV at night and soon they were ready.   From the designing process right through to the final sewing..... it's a steady step by step process and a lot of work.  Good thing I like it huh?

6 towels that I'm calling the "Everything, Everywhere" towels due to the colours and blocks being, well everywhere!

This towel above is the one that was shown under way on the lot earlier.  Interestingly, its my favourite of the bunch.

One with blocks of the darker blue and small narrow bands of pinks and greens.

Two towels woven the same way using lighter wefts, one of which sold right away. 

Then another featuring the dark teal, and small bands of colour.

Some are similar in block design and colours but with some differences.  

Hubby had just bought a little side table for his den and it turned out that I had just enough to make a small cloth for it.  Adds protection but doesn't hide some of its features.

Turned twill seems to be a great way to get  some bold patterning and colour play.  If you have a weaving program, you can create a basic draft of the threads and then play with colour arrangements, based on your stash.  It's early September and if you chose a Christmas colour theme, you have time to weave up a batch for gifts.  🎅🏻🎄🎁

Back soon.... with more towels!  

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Second Verse: With a little Help From Your Friends 🎵 🎶

 A second helping of an annual towel exchange that honours the memory of Wayne Nicholson or Padre Wayne as he was known on weaving groups at Ravelry.    It's been a lot of fun exchanging towels and making new friends and that was the heart of Wayne's inner light. To reach out and touch people in a light hearted way.    He and I swapped towels, samples and conversations so he would have just loved this.

This time, my towel swap partner was Nari in San Francisco who sent me this lovely towel of all over Swedish lace; sett 18 epi and has an 8/2 cotton warp and cottolin weft.   For a relatively new weaver she did a lovely job with nice selvedges and lovely finishing of the hems.

Nari tucked in some goodies: English Breakfast teas, a chocolate rice krispy bar and a box of Meyer Lemon Shortbread cookies from Rustic Bakery. My husband spotted those right away and so we'll be counting them out over cups of tea.

This was the 7th annual exchange at the group and there will be many more to come.   The group is at Ravelry and called  Woven Dishtowels .  There will be another exchange next year and you have 2-3 months to weave, exchange and then post your exchange towels.   

Reverend Wayne Nicholson 1948-2019   🕯️

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

With a Little Help From Your Friends 🎶

 Some of you long time readers may recall my memorial for a friend Rev. Wayne Nicholson. He died tragically in June of 2019.  He was a friend to many, an active weaver and fibre enthusiast, and husband to Harry.   He touch a lot of lives, especially through his good works at his church.

His posts at Warped Weavers, a group of weavers that carved out a (large) niche at Ravelry endeared him to many all over the world.   One group, the Woven Dishtowels hold an annual towel swap in his memory, as Wayne loved to weave towels and gift them.  The rules are simple: advertise you would like a swap partner and someone teams up with you. Normally it's one towel but you could agree to swap more. Some swap with one other weaver, and this year I'm shaping one towel each with two weavers.  One of my towels has arrived in the mail, just in time to help cheer me up after our recent family events.

Wayne seated at my Woolhouse Tools loom  and having fun!

My towel swap partner, Jessica, in Vancouver BC sent me this lovely set of goodies and canvas weave towel.  Jessica says she has been weaving 5 years and I must say that her weaving is lovely!   Great choice in colours that all pair nicely.

The goodies?   Premium Earl Grey loose tea from the East Vancouver tea company.    Sachets of ginger tea and divine shortbread cookies from The Bench Bakehouse, half dipped in white milk chocolate to nibble on. They were yummy!

Jessica is taking classes from Jane Stafford's on- line weaving school, and given Jane's love of colour, Jessica has taken to it very well! I hear back from weavers world wide about the classes and they seem to really make a difference from being a newbie who is hesitant, to a more confident weaver who embraces colour and gets a good grasp on weaving theory.....all at your own pace if you follow the videos sequently.  I sure wish this had been there for my start back in the 1990's!  There was only in person classes, books and helpful friends then. The internet has opened weaving up to a much wider audience.  Take a look at the link and see if it's right for you.

A warm thank you to Jessica! Your towel will be along soon....  😁 🌺

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Helping Hands Act 3 🎭 Megado Finale

I had hoped to have this post up sooner but a combination of out of town company and all the related activity, plus a death in the family sort of sidelined things.  I found having a stack of towels to hand sew the hems quite a comfort actually. Something about a simple task that takes your mind away from things.   I was sorry when the sewing came to en end.

So we'll start with a similar picture of a stack of towels, in the same order, except this time they are washed, hemmed and well pressed..... and photographed. We actually had some much needed rain and cloudy skies in a long season of drought and I had to wait for the sun to return. It's back again, and we're very hot once more.

So working from the top down, here's the front and back of each towel.   Drafts can be found at this post
To repeat: the warp is 8/2 ring spun cotton in natural, sett 24 epi. All coloured wefts are 8/2 cotton by Brassards, and I was stash busting. 

The premise was to have the same 16 shaft point twill threading, and use different tie-up's and treadlings on the Megado's compu-dobby and get a variety of patterns. It's a nice way to try out new drafts with a view to future projects. It's also a fun way to just change up weaving as doing the same thing for 9 to 10 yards can get boring quickly. All drafts can be located at (with one exception)

I have four more towel projects either just started, or under way, or hanging waiting their turn and all of these warps are shorter for 6 towels. Its good to know your limits or attention span 😉

#79845   Leaves

#34281 Pandora's Boxes

#34777 Stars & Flowers

#34861 Chevroned Diamonds

# ??     Modified from a straight draw draft

#78102 Interlocking Diamonds (or Trellis?)

#56518 modified 

#56518 modified


Thanks for hanging in with these 3 part stories for the two versions of the Helping Hands.  My final thought on the gadgets?  They are certainly helpful and I have no regrets buying them. They will be a regular part of my warping process going forward. It's good to try new things and new ways of doing things as it keeps things fresh!


Monday, July 24, 2023

A Second Helping : 2 ~ The Performers

 This is part 2 of a "Second Helping" where I'm discussing a towel project using the Helping Hands from Lofty Fibers for the Louet Megado loom.  If you haven't already, maybe read part one first. 

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

So this is a picture of a nice stack of towels. Eight of them and every one is different. That's the beauty and fun part of a computer-dobby loom.   No getting down to change a tie up.    You can play with different drafts. The constant is your threading. (although you could change that too if you wanted to!)  The tie up will be topped at 16 shafts, but the treadling can be any number.

Let's go one by one from the top down and view the actors.  That is all the look you'll get for now as they have to be washed and hemmed and will be shown fully finished in part 3.

The warp is ring spun cotton, 8/2 and sett 24 epi. The wefts are 8/2 cottons as well. The loom is threaded for a 16 shaft point twill. The top towel was in a pattern I think of as 'leaves'. Could be dragon scales.....what ever comes to your mind.  As you can see it uses something like 54 treadles!   You can find this draft ( and most of the rest) at and their corresponding numbers are shown for you. is a wonderful resource of over 75,000 + drafts for weavers and any number of shafts. They ask a subscription fee but it's worth every penny!   They are constantly adding new draft collections.... and you can even add your own too.


Towels two is an old friend I call Pandora's Boxes as the first time I wove it was during the early part of the Covid Pandemic.  It's a satin weave.    

The third is one I have also woven before, but that time as a scarf.  I call it Stars and Flowers.

Number four is one I call 'interlocking diamonds' and the light lime green was perhaps not the best colour to show the pattern. Its lovely anyhow.

Towel five was another favourite from the last time I did a variety of towels like this. I think of it as 'chevroned diamonds'.

Now we come to towel six and I have no identifying number to give you!   It came from and was originally threaded as a straight draw as shown below on the right . I played with it to see what it would look like as a point twill.... and 'zig zag trees' came to be.  Its visually striking  and you can invent your own name for this turned twill. 

No # (yet! 😊)

Towels seven and eight:  well, I had woven some old drafts I have woven before and I wanted to try something new.  I found this draft below.  See the point twill right at the start?  Now run your eye down the treadling row and see the pattern created by that one 16 end point twill.


This modified draft below will help to visualize it better. I've added a total of three point twills and created a separation from the main draft.    So I'm using the tie up as shown, and also treadling as shown. The threading is the existing 16 shaft point twill.  This created the bottom towel number eight.

#56518 -modified 1

There is a lovely little zig zag that looks like flowers and ivy where there is a treadling run of 1 to 16.   This repeated sequence became towel number 7.   (Yes I have reversed the towel  order, but doing it this way makes it easier to show you.)   You can play with any draft like this and that's the beauty of weaving programs. I'm using Fiberworks Silver + . I have sometimes put a warp on and then found I didn't like it, so the program comes to the rescue.

#56518- modified 2

So those are the Performers and now they are waiting for my out of town company to depart on the 31st and them hemming can begin.    Then it will be 'lights and camera' time.....  See you again in August!