Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There is satisfaction.... watching the beam collect its layers of woven cloth.  This is an 11-yard warp of block twill towels.  The cotton was gifted to me by a dear friend who was 'cleaning out', so called for the use all of her colors for this collection of towels.  I used the inspiration (again!) of Sharon Alderman's 'Mastering Weave Structures' in putting together a five-color block twill.  Half of the towels were woven in broken twill, half were woven straight twill.  I *love* these towels, which were woven 24" x 34"; finished at 18" x 30"...although, I think with a bit more stretching and tugging with the pressing, they would manage another inch or two each way.

 The tabbies were made on the inkle loom, which I asked my husband to build specifically so I could make towels with these beautiful little hanging tabs.  I've always loved how nice the scandinavian towels look with their coordinating hangars.  He came through with flying colors, and now I can make coordinated hanging tags.

The sett for these was 24 epi / 24 ppi, so the hemming was quite straightforward with 2.5 block rows per hem, folded and pressed on the block lines. 

As much as I was aiming for an easy, relaxing weave, I was destined to make use of the time with several worthwhile lessons...

1:  Even though you're SURE you've been careful about not reversing one of the warp chains, it's a good idea to look again.   I reversed my second chain, which made this warp symmetrically wrong, which made me symmetrically very frustrated!  Jan, my weaving friend in New Mexico made the *excellent* suggestion that I somehow mark (i.e., with a tied string) the start of each sequence when splitting warp chains.  This way, there would be an extra reminder that even though my brain is CONVINCED that I've checked and re-checked correctly, I won't be beating my head on the wall the next day trying to wonder whether my sanity is quite THAT tenuous!

2:  Any time I become mesmerized by the odd, inexplicable rippling of the cotton on the end-feed shuttle, I should quickly see whether an end has found its way into the mechanics of the nearby fan.  I know now that the fan can UNwind cotton from a pirn at least 6 times faster than I can re-wind it.

3:  Any notion of working with skeined cotton in the future should be immediately squelched!  I now know that I would rather stick needles in my eyes than work with skeined cotton again. 

4:  Having said that, unless I want to buy 5 full cones of color to work up these fun towels again, only WITHOUT the reversal of the chain, I may just have to settle for the more affordable alternative of buying skeined cotton.  ...isn't this like childbirth?  If I give it enough time inbetween, my mind will play tricks on me and delude me into thinking that I could do that again without full recall of the pain involved the first time around?.....hmmm...we'll see.

But it was a fun weave!  I'm quite happy with these towels, in spite of my dumb error!  And I will definitely have to do these again.

Thanks for visiting!!! 

Until next time.......


  1. I absolutely LOVE these towels! All of it is wonderful, the richness of the colours, the way they look almost braided (how did you do THAT?!) and the beautiful inkle woven tabs that "put the dot over the i" as we would say in Danish to mean perfection down to the last detail!
    I really do not think anybody would think about the reversal of colour sequence that seems to have caused you so much frustration.
    Congratulations on a most successful and very big project! Well done indeed.

  2. These are lovely towels and a very clever draft.
    I use coloured kitchen klipits to mark both sides of my cross in the warp bouts. I use two of one colour for the two top bits and two in another colour for the two bottom ones, I find that stops me getting them back to front !

    A great blog post and an excellent project.

  3. Hi, I meant to say how nice the tabs were, Ellen sets a high standard when it comes to finishing off towels !!

    I wind my skeins from a swift onto the ball winder before I try to wind a warp, saves a lot of hassle !


  4. I enjoyed reading this post so much! What a story! :) And to be honest, every time I make a mistake, I try to convert it into "That's exactly how I wanted it to be" situation. So, you should just call it "My (your,that is) twill combination" :) The towels, the colors, everything is so beautiful, I really love love love it!

  5. Oh, MY!! Such beautiful gifted colors, and wonder weave, and pattern... Almost enough to go out to the shed and retrieve the loom that is resting these past 25 years... Your work is lovely. Then I went to July's blog post... I read with mouth gaping and holding my breath as the beads were added and tied. What a talent, and patience, too!
    Congratulations on your accomplishments.

  6. NMJewel aka Celinas-Mor (Ravelry)