Tuesday, April 9, 2013

tea towel / dish cloth adventures

What to call them?  They are 'tea towels' in Australia, but I think 'dish cloths' elsewhere?  Anyway ... I wanted to weave one for Anita, since we have difficulty finding tea towels in the colours of our kitchen (turquoise, black & white).  So I bought some Cottolin in turquoise and black - also because I wanted to learn how to weave with a material other than wool.

This is what I have done so far:

And here's the sad story behind it (which will probably be incredibly boring to non-weavers - sorry!) ... I majorly stuffed up when warping up the loom!  Instead of weaving with the usual 70 ends, a tea towel requires a massive 312 ends (ends are the amount of warp threads on the loom).  Guess what I completely forgot to do?  COUNT THE HEDDLES BEFORE STARTING TO WARP UP - aaaaarrrgghh!!!

Now I googled and googled, and couldn't find anyone online who had done this (apart from a brief mention) ... does that mean I'm a complete idiot, or that this is something weavers do not blog about?  Anyway, I'm blogging about it here, just in case there is someone as dumb as me who has made this mistake is googling like I was ;)

Firstly - I wasn't going to undo 6 hours (yes - 6 HOURS!!) worth of warping time, so after wrestling with my loom and figuring out that I couldn't take apart the shafts to add extra texsolv heddles while the loom was half-warped, I decided to make my own out of cotton seine twine.

All I did was measure 66 lengths of twine (yes, that's how much I under-counted - not just one or two!), double the height of the shaft and a bit more (they ended up being 60cm each). 

Then I made 2 loose reef knots in the middle to form an 'eye'. 

Then I tied to the top of the shaft.  Voila!

Pretty dodgy, but hey it works!  Only problem I've had was that a couple of heddles came untied while weaving, which I didn't notice until the pattern was looking wrong - woops!

Anyway, more pics when it comes off the loom (hopefully soon!).  Lets just say I *won't* be selling tea towels as part of my range - I mean, there's no profit in the infinity cowls, but there's even less in tea towels!!  And even though I quite like warping up the loom, I don't like warping up for 7 hours (that's how long it took in total - seriously!).

Come on, someone tell me I'm not the only one who has done this!!  Anybody?  ;)


  1. I can't wait to see it in my kitchen!

    1. Hopefully it's softer after being washed and ironed! ;)

  2. Hi Michelle! I don't think I did what you did with your warping up, but I did do it all arse about and had to untangle about ...um... 3 metres by about 130 ends...and the total time, (which obsessed me!!), was , oh about 3 days on and off... wow. But, I'm not sworn off it. I picked up a bigger 4 shaft loom from our local and completely "old school" daggy craft shop, and will be trying to make a kind of double cloth so I can get twice the width. Oh, and just between you and me, I've really started to make some tapestry again, which is pretty exciting for me... I like your tea towel :) x rachel

  3. Eeek, that sounds awful!! I can just imagine!

    Oooo, I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your new loom - is it a floor loom? I will definitely have to get a floor loom one day ... but this one will be fine for at least a couple of years ;)

    And that is *very* exciting about you doing tapestry again - I'm looking forward to following your progress!! xx

  4. Nothing dodgy about improvisation if it works! - and it did.