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!

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.

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:

 

Warp chains

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:

Snowballs off the loom

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.