Category Archives: Twill Weave

Scrap Happy Towels

The idea for these twill block towels came from blogs written by other weavers earlier this year. It seemed there was a trend to see what one could do with the leftover yarns and/or fabrics used in ones craft.

It always seems a shame to throw away good yarn that remains on a bobbin when a project is finished. Also there are those cones with just a wee bit of yarn left. Some these have been lingering in a basket and small box for quite a few years.

So I decided to create a warp using these ends of 8/2 unmercerized cotton. There may also be some cottolin yarns, since for a time I never identified the leftover yarns. A bit of a yarn hoarder I am, since you never know what one might need the leftover yarns for. I measured a 5 yard warp randomly placing colors. With all the different yarns, winding was a bit tedious. The weft I used was a 8/2 Stone color, from a new spool of Brassards cotton yarn.

8 shaft, 12 treadle twill blocks were used to create the pattern. I changed up the block pattern in some of the towels as you can see above. So Towels were made from those left overs. Waste not want not.

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Towels from the Stash

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 ūüôĀ. 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.

Snowflakes in Summer

Each year the the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston have a Swatch Swap that any member can join for a nominal fee. At the end of the previous year members pick the subject matter with this year’s subject being “Seasons”. Participants can interpret this as they wish.

This is the weaving I needed to finish when I found myself in the boot for Achilles tendinitis. So I wove this 8 shaft, 8 treadle, twill, one footed.

The warp is a baby blue, 10/2 Mercerized cotton, sett at 30 epi. For the weft I used a double shuttle with with one shuttle white 10/2 unmercerized cotton, and the second shuttle a translucent white metallic yarn. The finished fabric has a nice sparkle from the metallic yarn and will be made into table runners. The actual fabric is a prettier blue than what I was able to photograph.

I chose winter for my season. Living in Houston I miss snow. I especially miss it after the endless days of heat and humidity. I grew up with snow in Minneasota and still find it magical. Of course I don’t miss the subzero temperatures or the dirty gray snow piled along the roadways, but fluffy snow coating tree branches, and the ground will always bring fond memories of bygone days.

I am out of the boot. The foot still is not 100%, so on trips I throw the boot into the suitcase just in case.

I will be attending the Hand Weavers Guild of America Convergence conference in Reno, Nevada later this week and hope to see some of you there.

The Iris is from my mother-in laws garden, in Superior,Wisconsin.

Oh no now what

Some days it seems one won’t ever get to the point of weaving beautiful cloth. A simple 8 shaft turned twill makes weaving fairly simple. There’s no need to even use the Tempo Treadle to help with weaving. Just treadle 1-4 two times than 5-8 two times and vala pattern repeat is done. One shuttle to throw so weaving goes quickly.

Weaving did go quickly but a few problems needed fixing first. I discovered when threading that there were not enough heddles on 2 of the shafts. Oh my! I could rethread so the heddles could then be moved around on the shafts. Instead I added string heddles which is a fairly easy fix.

A change in weft colors and varied treadling helped appease the boredom that can set in when weaving multiple towels on a longer warp.

The towels are off the loom and being hemmed. Some will find their way to the CHH gallery at the Guild House in Houston this weekend.

Now to setup the looms for the next projects.

This Amaryllis is blooming on a 24 inch stem. Normally their 10-16 inches tall. The bulbs outdoors are just beginning to send up their buds.

Scarves

Sunsets and sunrises inspire this scarf. The hand dyed yarn used in the warp was a former convergence purchase, a fiber combination Rayon/Linen, which I had not woven with before. The 8 harness twill floats show off the warp colors. A magenta tencel was used in the weft.

So why weave two scarves alike? The second scarf on the warp I used a olive green Tencel for the weft. Much more subtle. This scarf was also treadled differently, using the same tie-up. When finished the scarves had a nice hand and drape. The Linen gave a sturdier feel than a scarf from all Tencel/Rayon.

Thoughts of spring flowers.

A trip to the garden store, found beautiful daffodils and tulips. I came home with snapdragons, marigolds, and petunias for the flower pots on the deck. Flowers I hoped would last longer as our temperatures fluxuate.

Autumn colors

IMG_6265Every autumn I weave a set of towels in colors of changing trees. There’s not much inspiration here, but my eye can take me back to the years spent in Minnesota.

The towels are a twelve shaft shadow weave, of 22/2 cottolin sett at 20 ends per inch. I used any where from 3 to 5 colors in their weaving. 3 colors in warp, The weft colors were changed as cones were used up to avoid adding to the stash.

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The box above is the 4 shaft extension kit for the Spring loom. Not what I expected for all that money. Anyways it arrived a few days before Hurricane Harvey so was not assembled for several weeks. A few choice words were spoken during assembly.  ( Have you ever assembled IKEA pieces?) My recommendation is if you think you want 12 harnesses invest up front and purchase a 12 shaft loom.

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This bundle of joy arrived a month ago to my Son and Daughter-in-law. We are lucky to live 5 hours away, making it easier to visit my first grandchild.

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A Baby blanket was woven and gifted.

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I’m finishing items for the CHH Annual Sale. So if your in the neighborhood visit and support the Fiber artists participating as well as the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston guild.

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Signs of the coming winter with the Blue Heron returning to the community lake.

 

 

Small Bags

 

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So what do you do with all the small pieces of  handwoven fabric from sampling and weaving off a warp? Small bags with and without a strap are one possibility.

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With pockets

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Beaded

 

 

 

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                                                  Antique button closure

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Simple, but elegant

The possibilities are endless.

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Happy Holidays to all, and may your New Year be filled with many fiber related projects.

 

 

 

 

Changing the tie up and treadling

img_0807Blocks of plain weave alternating with blocks of waffle weave. Magically it could be woven on the same warp as my last blog post, simply by changing the tie-up and treadling. My only regret is I was only able to sample this weave since I had had such fun playing with color.

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I wove 7 towels using five different color Wefts. One color weft for each ¬†towel above, cayenne, burgundy, pumpkin, elm green, and gold. I’m always amazed with color interactions. Some day I’ll put another warp on the loom to weave more of the waffle weave.Which was #519, page 144,¬†A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns.

These towels will be some of the handwoven items for sale at the guilds upcoming CHH Handweavers Holiday Sale, Nov 17 Р19, 2016. Click on the link to see a post card.

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So I’m trying to think fall and cooler weather, even though there’s a high of 85 degree’s ¬†today. This picture¬†wasn’t taken in Houston but in Madison, Wisconsin where we attended a nephews wedding.It helps me remember it’s Fall when it feels like summer.

Fire II

imageOn the loom are more towels that I’ve named Fire II. I used the colors gold, pumpkin and cayenne in the warp and burgundy in the weft. The gold looks lighter in this ¬†photo. The pattern came from A Weavers Book of 8-Shaft Patterns, Edited by Carol Strickler. I consider this book a must have for anyone with an eight shaft or harness loom. This is pattern #520 found on page 144.

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Next up a pumpkin weft color gave a much different look. Nothing changed in weaving but the weft color. I also plan to weave a couple of towels using a different tie-up and treadling. other  weft colors in some towels.

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We finally made it to Quintana Beach. First time this year.  It was worth the wait. No seaweed on the beach or masses of people. An added bonus, an abundance of shells to collect.

 

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.