Thursday, September 10, 2009

8 Shaft Huck Towels

This past March, I took a class on weaving towels from Susan Wilson. It was a round robin where each of us threaded a different weave structure and /or fiber that's good for towels, then wove a sample from each one. There were also several lectures peppered throughout where she talked about the design tools you would use for each type of weave structure. I was very interested in working some more with 8 shaft huck, so I wound a 15 yard warp of 6/2 unmercerized cotton, got out my graph paper and notes, and went to town. I came up with about 12 drawdowns and converted them to liftplans (I weave on a table loom, no treadles).

I had such a good time playing around with the liftplans and weaving each one several ways, by the time I made it through 15 yards of warp I had only used the first 5 designs. I have another 15 yard warp ready to go so I can weave some of the rest of them.

I used the same 6/2 cotton for the weft on about half of the towels. For the rest, I used 7/2 inmercerized cotton in a slightly darker, duller green. I love the brightness of the 1 color towels, but I also love the depth of the 2 color towels. It makes the huck spots "pop" a bit, too.

I also learned to double-check the liftplan after transcribing from the drawdown. I had a few "surprise" patterns where I had missed a shaft on a particular pattern row. I still liked the pattern I wound up with, but I did have to look at what I had done and compare it to the graph to figure out where I had gone astray. Good learning opportunity, but If I had been weaving somthing that was supposed to be a certain way it would have been frustrating. I also found that all of my designs had been symmetrical. The ones with missing shafts were not, and I both liked them and found them interesting. So, next time I'm going to try drawing patterns that are deliberately asymmetrical just to see if I can. ;)

All in all, I wound up with 21 towels each about 12x22", except for one that came out much shorter (I must have mismeasured). They are all different. I can hardly wait to see what the next warp will reveal!

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