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The crinkly cotton towels are off the loom and waiting to be hemmed.  And they turned out very nice in spite of my earlier reservations.  Once before, a long time ago, I had mixed some strands of this yarn with other cottons in a towel and was dismayed when it shrank at a different rate than the rest.  In other words, I had a seersucker towel–not what I had in mind!  So the yarn sat for a very long time; I was avoiding it.  That, and I didn’t know if the darker shades were colorfast.  But this time, I did not mix it with anything else, and I washed it in hot water with a color fixative, followed by a regular wash.  The result was normal shrinkage and no color bleeding; very good.  Weaving can be an adventure and an experiment.

The heavy cotton/acrylic is still waiting to be warped, but it will be used this year.  It is a promise to myself.

And then there’s the Finnweave.  I’ve been looking up information on it so I can use the small balls of perle cotton left to me by another weaver.  She used it for Finnweave, but I have never tried that structure.  According to Alison Irwin in a January/February 1999 Handwoven issue, “Finnweave is a variation of doubleweave pick-up…”  She writes about both doubleweave pick-up (p. 36-39) and Finnweave (p. 40-43).

Say you want a cloth with two different faces, dark on the back and light on the front, and designs that alternate those colors.  In doubleweave pick-up, you manually pick up and alternate the dark and light threads to make the pattern.  You can do larger areas with loom-controlled doubleweave, but with pick-up, you can be creative and do things like sign your name and “draw” free hand. Draw your design on graph paper and follow row by row in changing the light and dark threads.

Finnweave exchanges pairs of threads rather than single threads, so it weaves faster.  You can pick up your pattern, weave two rows, then change the pattern, whereas with doubleweave, you have to pick up a new pattern after every row. Doubleweave is reversible; Finnweave is not, according to the articles. But Finnweave allows you to weave diagonal lines, whereas in doubleweave, those diagonals appear in stair steps.

This is intriguing and I will have to try samplers in both structures.

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