Sunday, July 9, 2017

Towels in progress

I decided to go for the Color-and-Weave Towels next. These are worked with the 10-dent heddle with double strands of 8/2 cotton. They use the entire width of my 15” Cricket, which reminded me that I have trouble tying onto the edge of the apron rod. As I puzzled over how to keep the threads from slipping off the edge of the rod as I pulled the warp through, I remembered a trick I saw in a video using rubber bands. Bingo! That made warping 100x easier – see the pink band on the left and the blue one on the right:IMG_6403IMG_6402 I used the direct warp method again this time, even though the warp was pretty long (4 yards). It was a lot of walking…IMG_6404

The next step is winding on, which always gives me agita. I haven’t yet figured out how to keep the paper straight, so sooner or later I end up with too much paper on one edge (which begins to crumple up) and too little on the other (unacceptable, because you have to keep each layer of warp separated by something). When you don’t have unused heddles at the edges, this is especially difficult. I ended up using different pieces for the left and right sides of this warp. (Got a tip? I’m all ears.) Eventually I got it wound on and threaded the holes:IMG_6405

That’s when I realized I had made two mistakes in the warping (and why you see a couple empty slots on the left)! I could have pulled it back at this point and fixed it, but I didn’t want to face winding on with the paper again. I’m going to live with that imperfection on this batch.

Next I made these nifty little guides:IMG_6408

This long warp will make 4 towels, each with a different pattern on part of one end (the rest is plain weave). I cut this into strips and pinned a strip to the work as I went. This way, I didn’t have to keep getting out my measuring tape and tracking my progress on another piece of paper. I like this technique. Here it is in action:IMG_6409

When I reach the end of each towel, I need to leave about 2” of waste yarn before starting the next one. I found a 2” plastic ruler that works perfectly for this purpose. Here you can see it inserted – I took it out right after this to finish working the hem stitch on this end (that’s what makes all those little knots you see):IMG_6417

I am currently working on Towel #3. I’m getting the hang of things, mostly. One thing I’m NOT happy with yet is how my edges look when I’m using two colors in the weft. I need to do some more reading about that, and/or ask my weaving friends (tips? all ears). IMG_6418

The color differences you see in these photos are just due to day/night and lamp/no lamp.

Towels are happening.

1 comment:

  1. Towels are indeed happening and they look great to me! I wish I had tips for you, but I'm just selfishly soaking up your learning experiences, just in case I ever give weaving a try. It looks like an exercise in patience!