The new year has begun with new opportunities for artistic expression. My looms are warped and ready for the shuttles to be thrown, with the yarns to be beat in place, growing the new fabric.
A 12 shaft twill, fabric for more towels. Unmercerized cotton is used since it is has greater absorbency than mercerized cotton.
The colors in the second photo are truer. There was more natural light coming in the windows when it was taken.
The treadling is changed in this piece, giving us a different graphic design. There is not a true plain weave with this threading. Not having a true plain weave will create a better towel since plain weave does not shrink as much as the twill with wet finishing. This will give hems that should not flair out.
We’re getting more rain tonight as I write. it is not supposed to amount to much which is good. We do not need more flooding since some of the rivers are high from waters being released upstream.
There still are occasional blossoms on the roses to brighten the days.
The yarn stash, has been taking over my house. Well at least the bedroom designated as my studio. If I walk into a yarn store I will surely walk out with at least one cone of yarn or a couple of skeins. This will happen even with no project in mind. The yarn just needs to be pretty or a color that may be missing in the stash. The warp yarn for the above towel was purchased many years ago at Fine Line Creative Arts Center, in St. Charles, Illinois. It is a variegated flake yarn that was a millend. Even at that time variegated cotton yarns were difficult to find. So of course it came home in the suitcase, with another cone of different colors and grist to take their places upon the shelves of cotton yarns.
Every year I’ll weave a set of towels that are inspired by fall foliage. So the cotton variegated, flake cone was used as the warp yarn. ( It created a large amount of lint when weaving. Vacuuming of the space was definitely required on completion of weaving 🙁. I used different colors of 8/2 cotton for the weft. The twill weave is difficult to see the pattern due to the variegated colors. The pattern did give a nice texture.
In my last blog, Snowflakes in Summer, a reader requested the drawdown for the snowflake design so here it is:
So now the Spring loom is empty. I had measured a warp, when My foot kept me from weaving, from all those bobbin, and spool ends collected for many years. (“Waste not want not”, I guess this is a clue to how I was brought up). So the new towel warp is awaiting threading on the loom.
I’ve returned from HGA’s 2018 Convergence Fiber Arts Conference in Reno, Nevada. The telling of my experiences will have to wait for the next post.
The iridescence of this dragonfly is amazing. They also help to rid us of all those pesky mosquitoes.
It 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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. 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
Sadly the Boott Cotton Mills closed in 1954. The photo shows a Draper E loom weaving cotton towel fabric at the Bootts Mill.
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.