Thursday, November 9, 2023

Kitchen Elegance (yes, more towels!)

The first time I saw this draft at it was in a rather stark combination of red and white.  I almost went by it but took another look and I saw a very pretty pattern that had a lot going on.  Kinda busy but it intrigued me.

When weaving up a busy pattern, I usually lean towards the motto 'less is more' and go with more neutral shades or softer colours. Let the pattern do all the talking!   The size of the yarn you choose also has a role to play.  Smaller grist means a smaller pattern, shorter floats (if they are over 5 ends).    I decided to go with 10/2 cottons. 

It will give a lighter weight cloth, and at 28 epi a smaller, tighter pattern.... plus I had a nice two pound cone of 10/2 Venne cotton from Lone Star that had been sitting in my stash long enough.  Sadly, they don't carry it any longer as I tried to get some more.  It's beautiful quality!   Venne cotton is carried by many dealers so it's just a matter of hunting it down. Thrill of the hunt and all that....

Here's the draft  #57312; 16 shafts. As you can see the threading isn't all that complicated or the treadling. The magic is in the tie up.   This went onto the Megado loom and I let it do all the hard work.  

This is what it look like in weaving mode on the Mac. It just chugs away at it line by line!  This is my new 'old' Mac as I had a recent computer crisis. It seems a 2013 Mac Air decided to up and quit on me and there was a frantic dash to find another with the right OS on it to run my loom.   All fixed now thankfully.  A good search, help from a long distance friend and money fixed it.   Otherwise my loom would be a large paperweight.....  

So deciding on finer threads means more of everything.  725 ends to this warp, making sure I had enough heddles on each shaft. Fiberworks gives me those numbers as a count per shaft and all I had to do was count the heddles.    Winding the warp was done in six bouts, all nine yards long. That took time as you can imagine.

Winding on took time and this time I opted to do it all by myself and used weights on the bouts and just took my time. It took an afternoon with lots of breaks in between.   I used the "helping hands" from Lofty Fibers again and I must say that I really like the devices.   They give much more stability to the process.

Threading was straightforward and I normally take my time as I'm not a fan of correcting threading errors if I can help it.  Happily, there were no errors!

Weaving also takes longer as you have to throw the shuttle many more times to build an inch!  One repeat of the main pattern plus the V was 133 treadlings.  Six full repeats plus the top and bottom border for the hem allowance gave you 36-37 inches.    I worked it out: 926 throws for one towel.  I wove six towels and one table runner of 46 inches in length.   The total shuttle throws for just the six towels alone is 5,556  😳  The runner was 1,160.   The grand total was 6,716 throws. Just looking at those numbers makes me wonder why I counted.... crazy right? 

Then came the serging the towels apart, washing, pressing and turning hems.  Hand sewing the hems and a final press of the hems again.

The runner was pinned to a foam board and fringes twisted, hand washed and pressed.

There they sat during some very gloomy days where we had lights on at midday and it poured rain.    The discovery of a leak in our 13 year old roof kept us busy with insurance claims, roofers and all. 

Eventually the sun came out and so did the camera!

The towels came in with finished dimensions of 22 inches in width and 30 inches in length.   Turning the hems, take up and shrinkage accounts for a loss of 7 inches in length. The width lost 3 inches due to drawn in and shrinkage of the cotton.  This sort of dimensional loss is something more veteran weavers can account for in their project calculations. It's also comes with sampling and simply weaving and getting to know your yarns. 

First up was a pretty weft that Webs calls 'sponge'. Hardly an attractive name so I call it Lichen instead. I wove two towels in this colour.  (above and below)

Next up was one towel woven in a colour that Webs call camel. Rather rosy camel don't you think?   So I call it Tawny Rose.  Its very pretty.

I have a lot of 10/2 colours but not all are softer or more neutral shades. I chose this crisp green shade which I think is actually called Willow and finally a name that suited! One weaver wrote that she thought this would make a lovely table cloth in this colour, paired with a formal table setting and candle light perhaps?  My choice would be a cloth using Tawny Rose....or Lichen.

Reaching into the stash, I found this bronze gold called Ochre Gold.   A bit darker than I was looking for but it's also rather nice once all done.  Since these are being sold and / or given as gifts, I have to appeal to all sorts of tastes and decor.

~bonus loom shot because I finally remembered to take a picture! 

The final towel was woven in a colour way called silver cloud but when you look at it, especially against the green of the table centre, you can see plum or mauve tones.   So I call it Mauve Frost.

I had a lot more warp left after six towels and an almost full pirn of the silvery mauve and so I left room for a fringe allowance and simply wove until I ran out of warp.   The result is a runner that is 22 x 46 inches with a neat and tidy 2 inch twisted fringe.

A peak of the reverse side. The darker side was my view throughout the entire weaving process, so cutting it off the loom and seeing the lighter side was a pleasant surprise.

So that's the end of this post and I'm apologizing for how long it's taken to post something here for you.  It's been a busy Fall getting ready for winter, plus some medical appointments, dental surgery and crown work.   💰💰💰     The roof leaked, the washing machine has been acting up, and our new cook top developed a thermal crack so lots to deal with and arrangements to make and people and warranties to chase.

There is one more towel warp under way on the Spring loom. I have two towels done of six, so more weaving for me and waiting for you. The Megado is being dressed in painted silk finery for two scarves.   So a return  to more normal fare. 

Now we're off to get our covid and flu shots. Be careful out's not gone away! 😷🤧 💉🦠


Dianne said...

Beautifully elegant.

Susan said...

Thank you Dianne! 😊

Leigh said...

The towels are lovely. I'm one that usually favors high contrast, but I have to say that your color choices are making me rethink that!

Lynnette said...

I love all the calculations you did. It is just amazing how many throws went into the project. And the result....outstanding! I love all of the colours that you chose for the tea towels and would use any one of them as a runner/tray liner too.