Overshot orange peels

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.

 

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Waffleweave kitchen towel in unbleached cotton

 

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:

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loom for sale & new kitchen towels

NOTE: The loom has been sold! Thank you for looking! Updated Nov. 2017.

My husband and I are “right-sizing” our home and belongings over the course of this year. As such, I have attempted (not for the first time) to make do with the yarn options that I currently have on hand in lieu of placing large orders of cotton, tencel, or bamboo. A diamond twill kitchen towel that I designed this summer has worked out really well to help me work through small cones of 8/2 ummercerized cotton. I generally work with between 4-6 colors in the warp for each colorway. Here is one of my latest combinations:

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Diamond twill kitchen towels in jewel tones

I will be sending some of these towels off to the Sarah Orne Jewett House  in South Berwick, ME for their annual seasonal holiday sale. However, if you can’t make it to Maine in November or December, I have reserved a few of these gems for my online shop inventory.

 

In an effort to forward our “right-sizing” goals, I am also looking for a new home for my small Harrisville Designs direct tie floor loom. If you’re interested in learning more about the loom, please visit this document. It is a great little loom for novice weavers, or for those interested in doing demonstrations. Here is a picture of me working at the loom during an artisan fair:

Me with Harrisville loom

If you have any questions about the loom or the kitchen towels shown above, please contact me. It would be lovely to chat.

 

Three reasons why I love to wind warp chains

Hello, friends. One of my favorite steps in the weaving process is winding the warp. I will admit that I was less enthusiastic about this necessary step when I was limited to using a warping board. I found the board to be fatiguing; perhaps if I had a wall-mounted warping board it would have been less so, but I always ended up perching the thing on the floor and it was just a major chore. Then my husband got me a warping reel!

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Blue 8/2 cotton on the warping reel

This is a Harrisville Designs (made right here in the lovely state of New Hampshire) reel and I really like using it. I confess that I often have more warp chains waiting to be put on the loom than is really necessary. Here are my top three reasons why I love warp chains:

 

  1. It is relaxing! People at art shows often comment that weaving “must be so relaxing.” I rarely find this to be the case (weaving and especially warping the loom require a fair amount of attention to detail) with the exception of winding the warps. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I prefer the quiet or, weather permitting, I open a window.
  2. Get off yer arse! As I approach my fiftieth birthday (yikes!) I find that it behooves my hips and backside to take frequent breaks from sitting at the loom bench and stand up for a while; why not wind a warp if I’m just going to stand around, right?
  3. Play with color: Winding warps takes me back to my finger painting days, in many instances. Obviously this isn’t always the case (it is a function of the design, really, and many of my warps are monochrome), but it sure is fun to play around:

 

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Warp chains are my eye candy

 

These chains will (someday soon) be more of my diamond twill kitchen towels. But until I finish my overshot table runners that are on the loom, the chains will have to wait:

 

Black snowballs overshot
Black and ivory overshot on the loom

I like weaving these small centerpiece-sized table toppers and, based on customer interest, I’d say that there is every reason to weave smaller items like this. They look really pretty on a dining table, especially on top of a simple clean cloth. They also pair well with smaller furniture pieces, like the one I have here on an antique bureau:

 

 

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Overshot in brown and ivory

I took a big leap recently and ordered myself some custom-woven ribbon labels for my handwoven pieces. Pictures to follow, once I actually cut some cloth from the loom!

Be well, friends.

 

 

Log cabin placemats

Hello, friends. I’m continuing to weave custom order requests that I received at the League of NH Craftsmen Summer Fair in August. These log cabin bordered placemats were a new design for me so I was especially pleased that they found homes at the fair. I’m weaving a set of eight mats for a client in brick red and ivory cottons. Here is how they’re shaping up:

 

 

 

log cabin mats on loom
Weaving placemats

I designed these so that there is a machine-stitched hem on each end. Placemats that live in my house tend to need machine laundering, especially after pizza night, so I like to make items such as these washing-machine-sturdy. I hang mine up on a drying rack and, if I’m feeling snazzy, run a hot iron over them to give them a bit of polish at the table.

Next up after the placemats will be another custom request for an overshot runner. My client requested a black runner in this well-loved pattern draft:

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Overshot runners

I’m really looking forward to working with black as a pattern weft. Pictures to follow! You may have ascertained that a lot of my work is the result of custom order requests. I welcome custom work! If you have a special request or would like to inquire about one, please drop me a line. I’d love to chat.

Be well,

kate k.