Weaving a favorite

Hello, friends. I’ve woven a fair number of placemats using my “Cityscape” design and have moved onto kitchen towels. I love to weave kitchen towels! “Farmhouse Plaid” towels have been a customer favorite since I designed them nearly eight years ago:

 

IMG_2574
Farmhouse plaid towels on the loom – red and ivory

 

IMG_2562
China Blue and ivory cotton kitchen towels

 

For these towels, I sett the 8/2 unmercerized cotton rather closely at 24 ends per inch. This results in a cloth that strikes a good balance between drape and thickness after finishing.

In addition to weaving in anticipation of summer and early fall exhibits this year, my husband and I are embarking on a rather big project. Here’s a hint:

 

IMG_2565 (1)
And so it begins…

My husband and I will be “right-sizing” now that our children are grown and flown. We’re looking for a place that will allow for ample opportunity for gardening, cheesemaking, baking, and, of course, weaving.

Be well,
Kate K.

PS: Be sure to stop in at the latest League of NH Craftsmen exhibition, “Fairy Tales & Fantasies” in Concord, NH. The exhibit runs through June 15, 2018. My handwoven “Truffula Trees” placemats are part of this exhibit.

IMG_2559

 

 

“Truffula Trees” and “Cityscape” weaving

“Truffula Trees” and “Cityscape” weaving

The “Truffula Trees” placemats are finished and I’m pleased with the results. A set of four mats will be my entry into the next League of NH Craftsmen exhibition, “Fairytales and Fantasies,” which opens April 6, 2018 in Concord, NH. In case you’re not familiar with “Truffula Trees,” I encourage you to read “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss! It is a wonderful contemporary fairy tale and has a message that is relevant for our times.

 

The mats feature hemstitching so that the mats are reversible. (I like both sides!) I used 5/2 mercerized cotton in the warp, as the tabby weft, and also as the pattern weft (used doubled). The mats are machine washable in a gentle cycle.

The following mats, named “Cityscape” thanks to our son, Andrew, are a variation of the same threading. Andrew noted that the interlacements reminded him of the bricks on Bay State Road in Boston, where he is a university student:

 

IMG_2496
“Cityscape” placemats in turquoise and purple

I liked these mats so much that I decided to keep two for our table! They pair nicely with our Fiestaware dishes.

The placemats are so much fun to make (and feel so substantial!) that I have decided to see how a more traditional design would look and feel. These mats (and possibly companion table runners) feature overshot weaving:

 

IMG_2498
“Square and Compass” overshot

The color in the chart is a little underwhelming (I was trying to conserve printer ink by using a muted shade). It will be interesting to see how these go together.

That’s all for now, friends. Happy weaving to you!

Be well,

Kate K.

 

 

 

“Gavotte” overshot is on the loom

The loom is dressed with a new warp this week, a self-drafted overshot design using four shafts. It is always fun to see how one’s sketch (or in my case, computer draft) translates into cloth.

After sampling several inches of fabric, I decided to double up on pattern weft picks to give the pattern a little more definition. While this approach elongates the pattern somewhat, I am not displeased with the results.

IMG_2349
“Gavotte” in garnet and ivory

I’m planning table runners with this pattern and started a second variation in a lovely moss green this morning:

 

 

IMG_2354.JPG
Major mistake! Snip, snip!

One would think that after all of the overshot weaving I’ve done over the years that I would remember how important it is to remain focused while treadling! I ended up cutting out about 6 inches of overshot fabric, which was no party, especially given the fine 10/2 mercerized cotton that I used for the tabby weft and the warp. I will venture to limit distractions the next time I am working at the loom. Maybe weaving to the “Wonder Woman” soundtrack wasn’t such a good idea. (It is a great soundtrack, though, especially if you need a pick-me-up).

 

It is fair application season for summer and fall 2018! I’ve submitted my work for consideration at Codman Estate (Lincoln, MA) and Roseland Cottage (Woodstock, CT), which are both Historic New England venues. Right now I am committed to the 2018 League of NH Craftsmen Summer Fair at Mt. Sunapee and will even have the same booth assignment as last year! This takes place in August. Stay tuned!

 

My shop will enjoy a brief hiatus as I take a family trip to visit my parents to celebrate a very special birthday.

Happy weaving, friends and be well.

Kate K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minuet in B(lack)

Minuet in B(lack)

Hello, friends. I’ve finished weaving the eight shaft overshot table runners (see my earlier post about this cloth here) and am quite satisfied with the results. I made three runners, one each in black, garnet, and mineral blue. Here is the black one:

 

IMG_2211
“Minuet in B(lack)”

 

After some consideration and research, I decided to call this design “Minuet.” A traditional minuet is a slow, graceful dance in 3/4 time. I tried to capture the element of “three” in this piece, and I also attempted to suggest a sense of movement in the pattern. Here is a close-up of the “Minuet” in mineral blue that is finished with the opposite side facing up:

 

Mineral blue minuet.jpg
Mineral blue and ivory (and my Norwegian Elkhound, Kari)

The garnet runner will be finished up today. I plan to submit this design for possible inclusion to the “Living With Craft” exhibition for the League of NH Craftsmen Summer Fair, 2018. Fingers crossed!

 

My newest project: kitchen towels in straight and point twills. Here is a photo of the cloth on the loom in spring green, natural, and royal blue cottons:

 

 

IMG_2206
New kitchen towels!

It has been fun to brainstorm about different color combinations for this design. I will share more details about this item as the cloth progresses!

Many thanks for stopping by!

Be well,

Kate K.

 

 

 

 

Self-drafted 8 shaft overshot cloth

Hello, friends. The summer and winter placemats are finished and some have headed out to my family for Christmas.  I liked the “heft” of the cloth, which is important for well-behaved placemats. So, we’re moving right along in the weaving queue!

I hope to submit at least one piece to the “Living with Craft” exhibition which is held during the League of NH Craftsmen Annual Summer Fair. (See more about the Summer Fair here). I’ve been tinkering with several different self-drafted overshot designs and finally settled on one:

Minuet draft version 1.JPG
Part of my new overshot draft

I designed this pattern with the help of FibreWorks weaving software. I’ve been using FibreWorks for several years now but, because I am a slow learner, am just now starting to appreciate the features of this weaving program. I like the different color palettes that are available. For reasonably complex designs such as the one above, it is lovely to see the results of a new tie-up plan with just a few clicks. If you’re interested in perusing the program, do head over to their site. The FiberWorks folks  were most accommodating when it came time for me to reinstall the program on a new laptop. Check them out!

After correcting a couple of threading errors and having words with a broken floating selvedge thread, I started to weave the overshot pattern. I’m using ivory 10/2 mercerized cotton in the warp and tabby weft and 5/2 mercerized cotton in mineral blue, single thickness, for the pattern weft. I typically use a thicker cotton for pattern wefts in overshot, but I really was going for a finer, lighter cloth here. I experimented with the 3/2 cotton during sampling and I found that the thicker yarn tended to yield a less defined design. Here is a photo of the first five inches or so:

Minuet in mineral blue border
Weaving the border

This photo doesn’t do the best job of capturing the mineral blue color very well. If the good people of New Hampshire are provided with a day that affords more light, I will reattempt the pictures. This project will be in the works for some time so hopefully there will be a break in the clouds so that I can get a decent photo. As with all overshot cloth, the weaving is slow-going but the results are usually worth the effort.

Weave on, friends and be well,

Kate K.