Summer and Winter Placemats

This week’s work at the loom involves another two shuttle weave, summer and winter! Like overshot, two weft shuttles are used alternately throughout the body of the cloth; one shuttle is used for the plain weave (to give the cloth stability and structure) and the other shuttle is designated for the pattern design. The really fun thing about summer and winter is that it makes a cloth that is reversible. I think that this feature is especially handy when it comes to placemats; it is like getting two mats out of one! Here is a photo  of the two sides of the same placemat design to illustrate:

 

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Summer and winter placemats in sage and white

 

Nifty, right? So the “summer” refers to the lighter hued version of the cloth, and the “winter” refers to the darker side. Here is a black and white version of the placemats:

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Summer and winter / black and white

The black and white placemats (a set of two) will be heading to Concord, New Hampshire in January for a League of NH Craftsmen exhibition that will highlight (you guessed it) black and white fine craft. I am also going to exhibit this overshot piece:

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Black and white orange peel overshot

Most of the orange peel overshot pieces that I worked on last week are finished. If you’re interested in reviewing the specifics of these pieces, please head over to my shop. Feel free to contact me with any questions, too.

Don’t forget, I am still offering free shipping on all US deliveries this week! Stumped about what to gift to your office mate or host/hostess this holiday season? Kitchen towels fit the bill! They’re priced right and ship easily. My prior customers have shared that they’ve designated these for Yankee Swap gifts, too. I have six of each of these in stock and ready to ship:

Handwoven kitchen towel / red & ivory farmhouse plaid

Handwoven kitchen towel in red and unbleached cottons. Plaid border is woven into all 4 corners. Machine stitched ends. Size: 16.5" x 24". Care: Machine wash & dry, press as desired.

$28.00

Handwoven kitchen towel / blue diamond twill

Handwoven cotton kitchen towel. Diamond twill features a variety of different blue yarns including turquoise, royal blue, sky blue, and powder blue. 16” x 24” with machine stitched hems. Care: machine wash and dry, press as desired.

$28.00

Thanks for checking in! Be well, Kate

Orange Peel Overshot Draft

Hello, friends. I have really enjoyed watching the “orange peel” overshot design take shape on the loom this week. A four shaft design, this pattern entails a lengthy pattern repeat and threading sequence. However, I’ve found that taking the pattern in increments and limiting distractions at the loom (true confession: trying to weave this pattern while listening to Philip Glass at the same time was a pretty feeble idea) will allow you to generate a very special piece for your home or for a friend. Patience is key. (But if you’re a weaver, you already know that).

 

Rust orange peel

(Burnt) orange orange peels

 

A few disclaimers: a basic understanding of how overshot works is required. For example, I did not include all of the tabby picks that are required throughout the cloth. You’ll need to remember to tie up your loom for tabby as well, as only the overshot tie up is included in my draft.

Basic set up: I used 10/2 mercerized cotton sett at 20 ends per inch (threads are doubled in a 10 dent reed).  The width in the reed is 14.5″. I used floating selvedges on each side of the warp. I used the same 10/2 cotton for the ground/tabby weft and 3/2 mercerized cotton for the pattern weft.  You can select different yarns but your sett may be different. I weave a 2″ tabby border for hems with the 10/2 cotton before proceeding with the pattern, but you can plan to finish your cloth in a manner that suits you (i.e. hemstitching).

Here is the Google Drive link for the image of the draft. You should be able to see the threading, tie-up, and at least one full repeat of the border and the orange peel motif:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Kg2i-RcgbSRSZWLcAWvifqU_VLtRzt19/view?usp=sharing

The page will look something like this but you’ll be able (fingers crossed, I’m no computer whiz) to download the Google Drive file, which is a .png file:

Orange Peel Draft Dec 1 2017.png

 

Repeat the orange peel motif to your heart’s content. The border is a simple point twill design; you can lengthen, shorten, or omit to suit your preferences.

Please feel free to issue comments, questions, or corrections here or via my contact page. Happy weaving, friends.

 

 

Overshot orange peels

I’m weaving overshot (yes, again) this week and I am smitten with this draft:

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Weaving orange peels with garnet cotton

The center motif is taken from Josephine Estes’ esteemed publication, “Original Miniature Patterns for Hand Weaving.” I’m using 10/2 mercerized cotton for the warp and ground/tabby yarns and 3/2 mercerized cotton for the pattern weft. I sett the warp at 20 ends per inch. I have a relatively light beat in general but I anticipate some shrinkage after the cloth is removed from the loom. Here is the same pattern using a black mercerized pattern weft yarn:

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Black orange peels

I’m actually submitting this black and white piece for a winter exhibition with the League of NH Craftsmen (Concord, NH), which will open in January.

Some of my Instagram followers have asked me about the complexity of the pattern. While it is only a four shaft design, the trick of it has to do with the length of the pattern repeat in both the threading and the treadling. If you’re going to attempt this pattern, I suggest having a multitude of sticky notes at the ready! After a few repeats, though, one becomes familiar with how the pattern sculpts itself into the cloth.

If you’re interested in seeing the draft, which I plugged into my weaving software program and set up for my jack loom (Leclerc Nilus II), please include a comment below. I’ll see if I can’t figure out how to upload the draft via Google Drive and will share my take on this lovely, traditional overshot design in a future post.



And now for a word from our sponsors…

My handwoven waffleweave washing cloths make great stocking stuffers! They’re also easy to ship and won’t break in the mail. I have about ten of these nifty handwoven treats ready for immediate shipping from the studio.

Handwoven waffleweave washing cloth

Handwoven 100% unbleached cotton washing cloth. Use in the kitchen or bath! Machine stitched hems. Size: 11.5″ x 10.25″. Machine wash and dry.

$12.00

Happy weaving!

Free shipping on your purchases through December 9!

Yes, you read that right. I’m extending free shipping to all of my US customers during peak holiday shopping season. No coupon codes and no order minimum. My shop is able to receive order requests from US customers at this time. Valid through December 9, 2017.

See what is in the shop!

I’ve finished the waffleweave kitchen towels. The unbleached cotton towels are my favorite, I think. They feel fluffy and there is a pleasing sense of simplicity about them.

 

 

Six of these were made at a customer’s request and are already spoken for, but I allowed for a few extra for my shop.

The loom will be dressed in an overshot pattern this week. I’m really excited to see how this cloth shapes up; every pattern seems to result in a fabric with a unique personality. I’ll be weaving a black and white version for an exhibition, and I think a nice, bright cherry red would compliment this pattern, too. Pictures will be posted on my Instagram feed.

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

Be well,

Kate K.

 

 

 

A week of waffles

The loom has been dressed with one of my favorite weaving structures this week, waffleweave! Waffleweave, which is really just a variation on a point twill, creates cloth that is right at home in the kitchen. The little cells shrink up to make a highly textured and absorbent cloth. It does, however, present some challenges to the weaver. I’ve found that when winding a warp for waffles, it doesn’t hurt to err on the side of “too much.” When I work with 8/2 unmercerized cotton for waffleweave, shrinkage is considerable. For example, with these towels, I am weaving 34 inches of waffleweave pattern in order to yield a 24 inch long towel after finishing. That’s a lot of shrinkage (30%!). Here’s the towel in process:

 

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Waffles in monochrome show off the texture of the cloth

 

I wove some waffles using a dark brown 8/2 unmercerized cotton warp and played around with some stripes using some bits of cotton from my stash:

 

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Chocolate waffles? Coffee waffles? 

Next up after the waffles will be a new overshot pattern for me, “orange peel.” I’m really looking forward to seeing how this pattern shakes out. I am basing my design off of the weaving draft found in the Josephine Estes weaving booklet, which you can access, too, right here:

 

Original Miniature Patterns for Hand Weaving by Josephine Estes

I’m sensing a theme here….waffles, orange peels…. I’m a sucker for a food-themed weaving structure.

Be well,

Kate K.

My handwovens take a trip to Maine

Today I made a short driving trip to South Berwick, Maine to drop off some of my work at the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum. The Mistletoe & Holly Artisan Sale  begins next weekend and I am happy to include this historic venue among my current list of retailers. Here is a photo of the Sarah Orne Jewett House:

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Sarah Orne Jewett House, South Berwick, Maine

I took up several overshot pieces, bamboo scarves, and of course, a selection of my handwoven kitchen towels. Here is the sage green towel that I was working on last week, all washed and hemmed:

Sage plaid with cranberries

Sage green and unbleached cotton kitchen towel

While a lot of my inventory is currently stocked in retailers in anticipation of the holiday shopping season, I have reserved a few designs here in the studio for online purchase either by visiting my shop or by clicking the links right here:

Handwoven waffleweave washing cloth

Handwoven 100% unbleached cotton washing cloth. Use in the kitchen or bath! Machine stitched hems. Size: 11.5″ x 10.25″. Machine wash and dry.

$12.00

Handwoven cotton kitchen towel in sage.

Handwoven kitchen towel in sage green and unbleached natural cottons. Measures 17" x 25". Machine stitched hems. Machine wash & dry.

$28.00


I’m working on finishing up a sister-version of the sage towel in red. Here it is on the loom:

 

Red plaid on loom

Red on the loom!

 

I’m really partial to red in the kitchen, I have to admit. Next up on the loom are some projects that I will be working on for gift-giving (top-secret stuff!) and also for private requests. It is always a busy time of year but that’s a good thing.

Be well,

Kate K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAQ: my handwoven kitchen towels

Blue farmhouse plaid towel

A handwoven kitchen towel!

 

I’m getting ready to send a collection of handwoven kitchen towels to the Sarah Orne Jewett House & Museum Shop in South Berwick, Maine; they host a holiday seasonal sale every year that features the work of artisans from New England. I won’t be onsite to answer questions about my items as I can at art fairs, so I put together a “FAQ” sheet about my towels to assist the museum staff and patrons. I thought I would share it here!

  • Will my towel shrink if I wash it in the washing machine?

Shrinkage will be minimal. After cutting the freshly woven fabric from the loom, I machine wash the fabric in hot water and use the high spin cycle option. I then machine dry the towel fabric on the cotton setting. These steps help to “set” the weave and any significant shrinkage is accounted for before hemming.

  • Will the colors run?

It is very unlikely. During the initial wash I include a color catcher sheet with the towel fabric. This step helps to pull out any residual dye leftover from the cotton milling/dying process.

  • Can I wash my towel in a machine?

Yes. Wash the towel at your preferred temperature and machine dry. Avoid chlorine bleach as this will discolor the yarns.

  • Do people really use these in the kitchen?

Yes. I like to weave items that you can live with on an everyday basis. The densely sett yarns create a thirsty fabric. Machine stitched ends hold up to heavy use. Some of my customers prefer to use their towels for bread basket displays, for the powder room, or even as substitute placemats or small-sized table toppers.



Speaking of towels, I started working on another batch today. Here is the first towel, just underway:

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Sage green and unbleached cotton kitchen towel

I will also be weaving this same pattern with a nice Christmas-y red cotton yarn as the main color. Be sure to check my shop for my latest additions! I also added a couple of new scarves to the shop this week:

 

 

 

 

 

I best get cracking on those kitchen towels! Happy November, friends.

Be well, Kate K.