I have been weaving for 30 years. Some time ago I wove handtowels in natural cotton, using 2/20's and 8/2's cotton, and an overshot pattern from Davidson's book of 4 shaft patterns. I have decided to re-visit this design, this time using cottolin and cotton chenille. I have "sampled" one towel from the warp, and I'm very pleased with the result. The towel is thick and looks and feels luxurious, so I have repaired my threading errors (oops!) and am continuing on, with the addition of a floating selvedge. I have decided to finish the towels with a fringe, as the chenille contracted considerably in the weft, leaving my cottolin hems looking frilly. I hate that!
The pattern is Batchelor's Fancy, from Davidsons chapter on Squares with Borders. (note that the photo in the book shows the cloth at 90 degrees) I have woven the top border as written, then a centre block of 11 inches, followed by the border pattern for the middle of the towel, another 11 inches centre block, and another border repeat to finish the towel.
what a good idea for yarns, looks luscious!
Your towels are beautiful. They must be so absorbant and fell lucious to the hand.
One thing you can do to avoid a floating selvage is to thread 1234 or 3412 or any other variations of the twill with the four shafts at each edge.
Thanks for sharing your photos.
The towels are gorgeous. Makes me want to pet one. What a great idea. It looks so luxurious.
I finished my burgundy and moss green "Lee's Surrender" table runner; it ended up about 120" long not including fringe, so it should fit nicely with a tidy overhang on my son's 93" dining table. I took a break from Overshot to weave some same-color napkins in various twills, and discovered that I do NOT enjoy twills nearly as much as I enjoy Overshot. The napkins, however, are coming out beautifully. The combination of the burgundy and moss green seems to make them shimmer. I'll take photos of the whole package when the napkins are done.
I'm getting ready to begin some new Overshot projects. In an effort to study and understand overshot better, I've been doing drawdowns of all the patterns in Atwater's book. I'm on # 76, "Lace and Compass", working my way through one by one and studying the patterns and how they are constructed. It has given me a better understanding of what threading and treadlings produce what results. Lots of "aha" moments. And, I now am developing a resource library that I can go back and refer to for ideas.
It has also given me some ideas for sampling. Some of the patterns seemed to resonate with me, and suggest certain times of the year with certain color schemes. So, I'm planning "A Year In Overshot", and am going to do a runner for each month -- starting with a sample and a runner for January in icy blues and frosty gray-whites. I've got several Atwater patterns set aside to trial for January. Then on to February and some soft pinks and greens.
A friend recently took a photo of the high desert floor in Eastern Oregon. The combination of pistachio green moss, soft brown pine cones, and little purple flowers made me wonder if one couldn't do an overshot sampler in three colors -- one for the warp, one for the tabby, and one for the weft. Or even hand paint the warp to get a variation. Anyway, I'm going to try the three mentioned colors for the high desert floor interpretation soon on my smaller loom, and maybe try a hand painted warp with overshot later to see what happens. I'll take photos.
I've been amazed at how inspiring Overshot is! It's lovely to see photos of others' work, as well.
Thank you for your comments, Rita. I have woven one more towel, and I think it is without mistakes! Two more to go.
I have been looking through the posts since this study group started, and would like to thank you for the time you have devoted to further our knowledge and mastery of weaving overshot. This was the weave that had me entranced when I began weaving 30 years ago, but I have not used it as much as I would have liked. Now I feel inspired to continue exploring overshot, and am planning to make a cotton baby's mat using the draft "Four leaf clover" from Davison.
Yvonne K, Hazelbrook, Australia
thank you for your long and inspiring reply to my post. I have been on a two week break from work as an elementary school teacher, so I was able to indulge myself by sitting at the breakfast table with my laptop and enjoying your thoughts. I went to my bookcase and dug out my unexplored old copy of Attwater's book, plus Davison, and spent a happy morning playing with overshot drafts on the computer. I am impressed by the amount of thought and effort you are putting into your study, and I feel utterly lazy now! However, I have decided on a draft to use for a baby's mat I need to make. I will use Four leaf Clover from Davison ~ another of her squares with borders.
How is your baby mat coming along. I look forward to seeing it. Are you using the chennile as pattern weft? It will be so soft.
I am a new weaver and have cottonlin on my loom right now. I see that you are using a bar across the front to keep the width in place do you always do that? I am starting over because it pulled inward and was causing my fiber to break. What can I do differently?
Welcome to our warped world! I've used a cotton/linen blend quite a bit for huck lace towels, and I'm happy to share what works best for me. When I first worked with 8/2 cotton/linen, I had breakage on my end warp threads. I have found if I use a temple (that's the bar you are referring to), keep my weft angle at 30 degrees, and beat on a closed shed I don't experience popping warp threads.
It's important to keep moving the temple; I move mine every half inch and make sure it is on the very edges of my cloth. I think each weaver has unique variables to consider, but this is what worked for me.
That "bar" is a metal temple, which I bought when I was starting weaving. It is very heavy, but it is the only one (of three) that fits narrow cloth. My middle sized temple is made if wood. Although it is lighter, it is also takes up more space on the loom, which affects the space available between the beater and your cloth. Be careful of their teeth! Temples puncture finger tips and gouge timber too.
I agree with all that Pattie said. I seldom weave without a temple. I can't abide my cloth drawing in because it affects the selvege and creates a curve in the finished cloth as well.
Happy weaving, Yvonne K
PS, Don't be shy, put in your profile
What sett are you using for your cottolin? I also use a temple for every weave except a narrow scarf. Pattie and Yvonne gave you good reccommendations for using one. I still have the note that was pinned to my project long ago in college where I had draw-in on a 45 inch wide tablecloth. There was a temple placed on my loom to use for the project. A temple saves not only the selvage threads but all threads are kept free from rubbing the reed dents, which causes the fraying. When you beat the weft into place, the reed should go straight to the fell line without rubbubg the warp ends. It is a good investment to use them.
Hi, my sett was 20. Now I have a new question. If you were to embordier on the hand towel would you wash it to set it first. Then at the emboridery? Want to do this today. Love to hear from you!
Thank you , I got the temple and took the towels off the loom over the weekend. They are now all hemmed.
Yes, you should wash it first. The embroidery floss is prewashed.
I used to get messages sent to my email address when a post was entered. Sorry, I didn't see your post until today. Send a photo of your towels.
I am happy you are using a temple. I know that you will be pleased with the results.
Hi Yvonne! My 'Mom's' first name is Yvonne too! Anyway, I really just started weaving about 3 years ago. I joined a local guild, and one of the things they do is 'show and tell', so I brought two of the things I wove to the meeting. The one comment that stuck in my mind is "What nice selveges!" I have never used a Temple, but find making even selveges aren't a problem for me. Aren't I lucky! I have also had trouble with end warp threads breaking. What I did was change out the reed for one of a larger size, and this seemed to stop that.I do beat on a closed shed and make sure I have plenty of weft in the shed before I close it. hope the weather in australia is kind, Susan S