Monday, January 16, 2012

Bluebonnet Tartan Dishtowels - Finished!!

I know I should have been posting on this all along, but what can I say? 2011 was a crazy year! So in order to start 2012 off on a better footing, I'll catch you up on the infamous Texas Bluebonnet Tartan Dishtowels. After spending about 40 hours just getting the warp on the loom, I let it sit a little while to gather up the courage to start weaving. I was terrified to think that the actual weaving might be just as torturous as the warping had been! I knew that there would be tension problems, just not how bad they might be. So finally one weekend I started weaving and it actually went along fairly smoothly. After the first towel I started to get loose spots in the warp, so I used some soft pieces of foam to take up the slack.

Foam to take up slack in warp

That went along ok but by the time I had finished the third towel, I knew that they would have to be cut off and the warp re-tentioned. Since I needed at least 3 for Christmas gifts, that worked out ok. At some point in my quest for weaving books, I had bought "Warping All By Yourself" by Cay Garrett. So I cut the finished towels off ala Peggy Osterkamp, unwound the warp off the back beam, and my grandson Riley put the warp spacers in as I wound it back on. My last three towels have been fairly uneventful, except for the fact that the warp is still just a little loose just inside the selveges. Nothing that my little foam wedges can't take care of.



And here's a photo of one of the finished towels:
The finished dishtowel

Overall I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, except for the fact that the tartan pattern isn't square/balanced. In retrospect, I should have just changed the number of picks in the big squares. I think if I had been doing this in wool that I would have been able to beat it in a little more evenly. But that is just one of the MANY lessons I've learned on this project. And if you happen to be one of the lucky people who receive one of the five I'm giving away, there are not going to be any more down the line! This is a one-time project!