Category Archives: cotton

In the Shadows

IMG_5379It is so nice to be able to weave again. The work is completed on the house, (sigh of relief). I have almost finished washing all the crystal and china to put back into the cabinets. It makes me wonder why I collect depression glass.

On the loom is an 8 harness shadow weave. They will be towels when completed. The 8/2 cotton is from Webs in a black and light gray. The colors alternate in the warp and weft, except at pattern block transitions where 2 shots of black are used. Keeps me on my toes. I really like the business of the pattern.

I was surprised at the size of this bubble bee collecting pollen from the snap dragons in pots on the deck. With temps the last few days in the upper 80’s those snapdragons are beginning to fade . Soon some summer annuals will be planted to replace.

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To fold or not to fold

6 harness twill

The first towels of the year. These cotton towels let me play a little with color. Two shades of blue, a soft green and natural colored yarns were used. When the towels are opened:

Plaid twill towel

Large horizontal border stripes are visible. How do you fold towels? Do you fold in half or fold with each side behind the towel and the towel center on view. Does it matter if your pattern is symmetrical or asymmetrical? What if there are warp color or pattern that will only show when the towel is folded in half or not at all.

Grand Rapids, MN

No this is not Texas in March. While visiting my Mother last week in Minnesota we went to see my sister in northern Minnesota. There was snow. Snow to walk through and snow to make into snowballs and throw. Back in Texas it’s warmer and a coat isn’t required.

Playing with crimp weave

Crimp weave 10/2 & sewing

This sample of crimp weave was woven on warp left after weaving a scarf. It’s narrow since the original scarf was only 7 inches wide. The warp is a 10/2 Tencel and weft a polyester sewing thread. This gives a lovely hand. Note to self when setting up to weave future scarf warp width should be at least 15 inches in reed.

Floating squares towel
The towels which were on the loom are off and need to be hemmed. This was the warp I showed in a previous post “Spring Has Sprung“.  I’ll post the variety of designs I wove when the handwork is finished. My time lately has been spent sewing handwoven fabric into a garment for the upcoming Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference in June. With a sigh of relief it will go to the post office tomorrow. There will be pictures to share after the conference. So what to put on the loom next?
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We had a little too much rain a week ago. The lake flooded in the park where I walk. Later that day the water had receded and the grounds cleaned up. Other areas near continue to have flooding a week later. More rain is in the forecast here. With any luck it will come in light sprinkles. Today was a beautiful sunny day, letting us relax with a swim in the pool.

Tour the Historic Boott Cotton Mills

Boott Cotton Mills 1920's weave room

Boott Cotton Mills 1920’s weave room

After attending Convergence I spent a few days with my husband traveling. One of the stops was to Lowell, MA. I’ve been fascinated with history as well as textiles most of my life.  Of course a stop at the Lowell National Historical Park was necessary. The park provides  an up close view of textile production in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Trolley Car at Lowell NP

Trolley Car at Lowell NP

First we rode the rails, on a reproduction Trolley car from the visitor center to the Boott Cotton Mills. The walk would have been about 15 mins, but the free ride was  much more fun.  A part of the former mill now houses a working 1920’s weave room, and a museum with interactive exhibits and video programs. DSCN0172 The 1920’s weave room shown at the top, features operating power looms. These are restored  Draper Model E. looms (ca. 1913 ).  When running they create  a racket, so ear plugs are supplied. One can only imagine how noisy it would be with multiple floors of looms all running at the same time.  No wonder so many textile workers became deaf. Some of these looms were weaving dish towel fabric  sold in bulk or as finished towels at the gift shop. These towels could be found in most American homes at one time.  The  towels are being woven  plain or with different stripe colors and number of stripes. I now have 2 of these towels in my home. Reminders of the trip.

Another Draper Loom weaving dish towels

Another Draper Loom weaving dish towels

Sadly the Boott Cotton Mills  closed in 1954. The photo shows a Draper E loom weaving cotton towel fabric at the Bootts Mill.

Cotton Boll Wreath

Christmas shopping always includes looking at the new decorations available in the local stores. Dillard’s always has some classy decorations. On the edge of the display I found these cotton boll wreaths whose picture needed to be shared with my fiber friends.

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