Saturday, October 1, 2011

The warp from h*ll

I was oh so excited to finally have the thread to start weaving the dishtowels for our Bluebonnet Tartan project. Stephanie from WC Mercantile ordered it for us from Halcyon Yarns. The thread is a beautiful 10/2 mercerized cotton. After 5 hours winding it on the warping mill and here's the mound of chained warp.

Warp chain

Unfortunately, I had to finish weaving the towels for the exchange before I could get started. But last Saturday, I met Loretta at the shop and got started. OMG! Who would have thought that anything so beautiful could be such a trial! I spent 4 hours getting the threads separated in the raddle and we started trying to wind on. It was a huge tangled mess!! In despair, I finally just left my loom at the shop with about 2 yards wound on so I could finish this week. Initially we thought that it was just that the thread was really sticky, so I came armed with a can of Static Guard ready to do battle. Alas, that was not the problem and I was once again crushed in defeat. After another 5 hours, I probably had 3 yards on the loom. Apparently when winding the thread onto the warping mill, we were letting it come off the top of a cone on the floor which was adding twist to the thread. Once the warp was no longer under tension on the mill, it began to twist on itself and that was what was causing all the problems. You can see it pretty clearly here.


So now, I'm having to go inch by inch and separate all the threads individually to let some of the active twist run out. What a pain! The worst part of it all is that I know better than to pull yarn off the top of a cone. After spending about 10 hours today, I've got it pretty much under control and only have a little more than 2 yards left to wind on.


I thought hobbies were supposed to be relaxing!

Warped Weavers Dishtowel Exchange 2011

While waiting to get started on the Bluebonnet Tartan project, I joined a dishtowel exchange on Ravelry. Since I had just finished a set, it was a simple matter to adapt the pattern to get the right size for the exchange. I used the same colors in 8/2 unmercerized cotton, but arranged them in a different order. I'm sending in four towels, one plaid (photo), one with white weft, one with yellow weft, one with blue weft. I still need to get them hemmed and will post final pictures soon.


01/16/12 ETA photo of the finished towels.
Finished towels

This was definitely something I would do again sometime. I got four very nice towels back. And contrary to popular belief, I actually use my handwoven towels. They are super absorbent and really wear well.

Shelbyart & Yarnsnthreads

DebbiRYarn & Yagasil

Catch Up Time!

Holy cow it's been a long time since I added anything here! Looks like I was last getting ready to weave my first dishtowels. Needless to say, they've been finished for a while, and the project was relatively successful. They came out nice, but I under estimated the amount of shrinkage, so they're a little on the small side. I've signed up for a dishtowel exchange on Ravelry in the Warped Weavers group and will be able to save myself a little work and just tweek this pattern a bit to get them the right size.


One of the things I learned was that a straight twill (towels middle and right) tends to bias once it's off the loom. In this photo, it's pretty noticable in the plaid towel. The herringbone pattern (towel on left) alternates the direction of the twill and comes out straight. However, a gentle tug as they come out of the dryer makes everything better.