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Blue and Red Towels off the loom

The blue towels came off the loom a couple weeks ago and before the last shuttle thrown, I already knew a red warp would follow.

The blue warp has three shades threaded evenly across the ground with plaid-like bands of pale yellow bordered with purple on either side. This was the first time in a while that I wove distinct bands in the warp and it turned out to be a relaxing weave—I knew the drill, followed old habits and came up with several variations for weft-wise borders.

Even as the blue towels are waiting to be hemmed, I was measuring the red warp, this time a blend of various shades accented with yellow, purple, orange, and fuchsia. Using the same treadling orders, this set of towels wove up fast. All the designing was done already. And yes, I did tie the red warp onto the blue.

The first three towels were an experiment in themselves. Twill draws in more than tabby. Twill woven within a tabby towel often leaves scalloped selvages, but could I reduce or eliminate those scallops by bubbling the weft more? The answer is yes –and no. The twill bands didn’t draw in as much, but there is still some difference. And if I wasn’t careful, the excess weft sometimes left loops on the surface.

This twill threading allows a variety of different treadlings too. This is when I really appreciate the computer. I was able to eliminate a couple ideas because they resulted in some long floats. I took careful notes on how I treadled each set so that I could repeat them with the red warp. Even so, there are plenty of options with straight draw twill:

Straight Draw Twill on Ms and Ws Threading

a combination of tabby and twill (bubbling carefully):

Tabby with twill

woven as drawn in (what is sometimes called “trompt as writ”):

Ms and Ws woven as drawn in

and point treadling:

Point treadling on Ms and Ws threading

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a green warp next. However, a niece is expecting a baby this fall and baby blankets and bibs are next on the to-do list. And then there’s a loom reassignment coming up—more on that next time!

When have your designs done double duty? Share your story!