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.

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.

 

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:

Jewel tones diamond twill towel

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.