Monday, June 16, 2008

Hot Off the Loom:

Kitchen towels of 8/2's cotton in 8 harness point twill with various treadlings. Inspiration for this project is from the Jan/Feb 2006 Handwoven cover article. I changed the colors, stripe widths, and some of the tie-ups. The finished towels measure 25.5" x 14.75". I love'em!

Admittedly, this warp has been on the loom for quite awhile....I just went back and checked. It's embarrassing, so I'm not linking to the original post. However, that was the intention of going to Penland: to jump start my weaving and get me to the loom more regularly. In this first week home it appears to have that effect.

Replies to comment questions (from previous post and Penland photo set):

Meg: I don't know that I'll write much more specifically about the Penland experience. In the class introduction, Randy promised that the class would be more about "attitude and alchemy" in making cloth. He was successful in mentoring us in that way. Words fail me when trying to communicate. Hopefully what shows up on this blog will reflect the shifts in my attitude and the alchemy in the cloth produced here.

Sharon, regarding noise in the loom studio: Actually, it was fairly quiet. Most of the looms are Macombers which are surprisingly quiet. Although jack style looms, Macombers use a pulley mechanism to lift suspended heddle frames. The result is that the heddle frames lower smoothly in treadling and since they are suspended, they don't rattle so much during beating. Most other jack looms use a scissors type of lift mechanism, so when you take a foot off a treadle the heddle frames just crash back down to the rest position. And since the heddle frames in these looms are contiguous with the loom (rather than suspended like the Macomber), the heddle frames with all of their metal heddles "shudder" when you beat the web. The most common noise associated with the Macombers were the curses when the wire hooks that tie the treadles to the lamms would slip out of place and cause treadling errors.

  1. I didn't use any of my handspun singles. However I did recieve a lot of inspiration to do so in future weaving.
  2. Randall didn't weave the vest in the photo, but he did discharge dye it. It seems that he "improves upon" any ready made garment either through discharge, over dyeing, or a combination of both....with good effect.
  3. Most of the strolling around the grounds that I did were to various studio's and resident artist barns. The surroundings are beautiful but I was plagued by pollen allergies while there, so preferred working in the studio to wandering among the allergens.
Next on my list: Vacuum in and around the serger and the loom since I left all of that last night. Also I want to crawl around the loom to tighten up the bolts and screws, lubricate moving parts, care for the wood finish, and get the lint out of obscure places. That should give me some thinking time about the next warp to go on the loom.

Stay tuned.


  1. Beautiful colours! What a treat to have those in your kitchen.

    Alchemy of cloth. What a thought to ponder while weaving this afternoon.

  2. Well, obviously the jump start worked and the towels are lovely!

    About the iodine in salt -- I tried to find information on this and never could. I was interested in what you said about kosher salt, but I really don't know how much the iodine affected the results. One thing I knew for certain, was to not use sea salt.

  3. Thanks for the answers. :-)

    Ever since seeing Randall's vest I've been thinking it'd be interesting to try to weave something similar for Ed, my vest man. (It may also be in part because I've always been partial to the name, Randall)

  4. I wish I knew about looms what I know now when I purchased mine. I'm sure I would have made different choices, but in the end, I feel lucky to own a loom at all.

  5. Anonymous11:10 PM

    your towels are lovely---too pretty for the purpose. If they were napkins you could weave placemats to match. Just tell me to be quiet, Sis.
    I'm always very impressed with your fiber work of any sort.
    I think you know that.

  6. Oh, fair enough, Valerie, and you've been very busy, too. These towels look like Christmas presents!


tie in the loose ends...