Saturday, May 25, 2013

How do you spell relief?!?!?!

I am in the midst of an especially challenging year at work, and there are many, many days when I have to question the quality of life that results from having to work endless hours and days without break.  This warp has been a saving grace for me and a source of restoration, even if I only make it to the loom for a half hour in the day.

It comes from a draft that I happened
upon when scrolling through the infinite options of a twill database in the Proweave program.   After 18 months of having this program, there is still very little that I can do with it (confirmed technoidiot!), but I can and do have fun playing with the twill database, from which one can endlessly change either a tie-up, threading, or treadling.  I was thrilled when this pattern evolved!

Being that towels are my go-to comfort weave when life is in turmoil, it was an easy choice to put a 9-yard warp on the loom and plan for 8 towels.  Unfortunately, my variety of cotton weft offerings were not as cooperative and I had to change some decisions along the way.

I intended to make a set of blue for a special gift, but my skein of blue would not have made it through a second 30" towel.  I decided instead to edge the coordinating towel with blue and keep the main area natural.  That gives me enough blue left over to put on the inkle loom for coordinating tabs.

I was able to get a set of green.... in tan, albeit something short of the intended 30" in maroon

...and two in cinnamon, although the second squeaked through at the end of the warp short of the intended 30".  8/2 unmercerized cotton warp and weft with 10/2 cotton for hems.  22" x 30" on the loom, excluding 1.5" hems at each end.

Now I'm off to warp the inkle loom and make tabs to coordinate.  I'll share the finished towels when they're completed.

This draft was a joy to weave and a pattern that was quick to learn and easy to repeat.  I'd love to try it with a smaller grist in silk.  I think it would make a gorgeous piece!

I attempted to post the wif file here, but did not receive cooperation from this site.  I'm sure it must be possible, but I'll just leave it with 'I'll be happy to send you the wif. file if anyone is interested".  Just send me your e-mail address and I'll send it out.

Thanks for visiting!

Until next time........

Happy Weaving!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

long time coming......

Well, I guess we can say that blogging on a regular basis is not my forte.  Apparently, the timely completion of projects is another weakness; but since the Christmas towels are finally off the loom and ready to ship to their recipients, I thought it might be a good time to update here.

These towels are a purely plagiaristic effort, having passed by a sample of them at The Mannings a number of times before succumbing to the fumes.  Tom's daughter told me that he wove runners for a wedding present with this draft, then wove the towel sample as extra.  His sample is of an olive and medium dusky green striped with a pewter-ish pattern weft.  I never in a million years would have considered overshot for towels until admiring this sample.  So I gave in and purchased the goods to make these beautiful towels as Christmas gifts.  The two cones to the right are 10/2 mercerized cotton and comprised the ground stripes.  The cone on the left is 5/2 mercerized cotton for the pattern weft.

I wound 7 yards for 6 towels, beginning with the darker of the two ground colors edging the fabric.
As I wove with the pewter pattern weft, I wasn't sure I liked it paired with the warm of the browns, so after weaving two towels, I moved to a warmer pattern weft color that I had on hand.  I preferred that while I was weaving, but when the towels were finally off and finished, I found that I liked the pewter weft as much as the gold, just in a different way.

It was the weekend before Christmas that I came to the end of the first warp and tied on to the existing to have another run with the stripes rearranged. The first run were edged by the dark brown, which was also used as the tabby weft.  At the change, the lighter color became the edging and tabby weft.

Were it not for the fact that the edges were better for having a matching weft color, the overall presentation of the two warps were not appreciably different across the two weft colors.

Hems were sewn (I prefer machine-stitched hems on a towel that I hope will see a lot of use!).  The zipper foot has a nice guide for even stitching.  No tabs were woven on the inkle loom for this project.

 Labels have been attached.

....and now that the final towels are off the loom and finished, the packages can be mailed to those who live too far for hand-delivery.  

I have to say that this was an incredibly enjoyable project.  I thank Tom Knisley for being such a wonderful influence and inspiration.  Please note that these towels are his fabulous design.  I'm not in the least frustrated that they have taken so long to complete (too much work; not enough play), as it has been a fun weave from start to finish.  I will certainly never rule out overshot as a towel option again.  

Finished towels are 18" x 30"

Thank you for visiting!

....until next time...........