Friday, April 22, 2011

Calculate Twice, Weave Once

The Fort Worth Weaver's Guild is having a napkin exchange. The napkins are supposed to be 18" x 18" square. We turn in four napkins and get four back that are not our own.

Strickler 8 Shaft Patterns number 315-4

I have been fretting over this project for a few months, and when the deadline drew closer I got busy and wove mine in a twill pattern from Carol Strickler's book of 8 Shaft patterns. The draft is on page 85 of her book and is number 315-4.

I wanted to use yarn that I had on hand, so I chose 8/2 cotton. I have very little weaving experience so I warped my loom with six yards of warp for a test warp just to get dimensions and learn the pattern - which is the most complex twill I have woven. On the test warp, I wove seven little towels that will work for finger tip towels or small dish towels. These will go in the Guild Sale in September and if they don't sell, then I will have some Christmas Presents all done!

Two of each weft color - one for me and one for the exchange
Armed with before and after measurements of my test towels, I put on a new warp with 501 warp ends, 20.9" in the reed, sett at 24, for a finished width of 18 inches. I calculated the number of pattern repeats needed to reach 18 inches. I figured I needed about 11 repeats - which would leave the towels a tad long - but better long than short.

When I wove the napkins, for some reason that I can not explain, I carefully wove 12 repeats. My finished napkins are 18 inches wide as forecast, but they are 20 inches long :-{

No matter. I am turning them in anyway. If it bothers someone, they can rip out one hem and cut them off to square them.

New labels
On the napkin warp, I used a tip from Lorelei in the Guild for flatter folds at the hemline.  I wove 8 picks of poly-cotton serger thread, then the hem area for 10 picks, then I threw a double shot of a contrast yarn to mark the fold of the hem. After I hemmed the napkins, I pulled out the contrasting thread at the fold and the result is a much flater hem because the cloth as a place to turn.

All the napkins got one of my new labels from Sterling Labels. Makes me feel like SomeBody!

I always learn something new with each project. For this one, I won't forget to not trust my memory when I want something to come out to an exact length.


Twisted in Texas said...

Having seen these in person, they are fabulous. I think you might have gotten some draw-in on the width with the twill. Hard to calculate that.

Bet those tea towels are darling.

Cindy said...

You always blow me away, Liz. These are gorgeous, and I'm glad you have the test towels done, too, as part of the project. Very efficient! I'm not a weaver, but I sure appreciate those who are...

Joanne said...

Love, Love, Love your napkins!!
Great job.

Grandmatutu said...