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...........


  1. Hi Linda, how nice to see you updating your blog! Great! And how incredibly lovely towels! I really appreciate those with jaquardlike motifs! I got one little towel from one of my dearest friends and classmates in Finland (we studied together at School of Arts and Design), she continued with one year specialized studies in weaving after our course. So I got one of her experiments as a gift and it had similar kind of rich motifs, but in black and midnight blue. How I love this towel! The feeling of the handwoven is just much more than in an industrial and ready-made. Mostly it even isn´t easy to find ready-made products with that kind of motifs!

    Another thing...your lovely towel reminds me of my grandmother and the beadspread she weaved in a similar pattern! I have to look closer next time I visit granddad in Finland and see if it´s the same or similar.It was made with white and dark pink threads, maybe even a third thread, but I´m not sure. Now I realize that it would be nice to take a photo of the beadspread like a memory of it, I have seen it since I was little baby and always connected it with the cozy bedroom of my grandparents :)

  2. Kirsi: There is, indeed, something special about using handwoven towels! It just makes the job so much less a chore when there is a generous, handcrafted towel to work with. I'd love to see a photo of your towel from your friend as well as !! this bedspread woven by your grandmother. Is this the pink loom in the pig sty that you spoke of? Thank you so much for 'visiting' and your kind words about this run of towels. It truly was such an enjoyable warp from start to finish!