When I retired to bed last night, I had every intention of getting up and continuing to knit on the sweater I began last weekend.

The front is completely done.

I am 14 inches along the back, and at 16 inches, I will begin decreases for the arm hole.

My plan was to knock out the back today and cast on for one of the sleeves.

There is no hurry to finish the sweater, but I thought I would ride the wave of momentum for as far as it would take me.

I would like to say I have exclusively been knitting, but that is not true. I have been dividing my time between knitting and spinning (with a brief foray into stitch marker making).

Now that the studio is finished and completely organized, I am most pleased to report it has been extremely easy to keep neat and organized, as everything has a place!

I thought I would be spending more time in there, but that has not been the case. What weaving I have done, has been on Lil' Miss. I adore the twill blocks. In fact, I have been tempted just to weave exclusively on her at the moment, as I love the red and browns and she is a dream now with her eight shafts; however, with the Beast at my back, I feel guilty if I spend too much time on her.

After all, he was my first dream loom love.

Back at the end of June, my friend Lee Anne and I drove to Yarnorama in Paige, Texas to see the weaver extraordinaire Susan. As I wrote about here, Susan had a number of fabulous samples that I went nuts over. One item in particular was a cotton chenille towel that was the epitome of luxury.

Unfortunately, the chenille was by a now defunct yarn company.

I found some other chenille, but it was much thinner than what Susan used to make her towel.

I decided to try what I had found anyway, even though I could not remember exactly what sett she had used for hers and there was no information (maker, yardage, weight, sett, etc.) on the chenille I bought.

After doing a bit of research, I decided upon a sett of 16.

What I should have done was reach out to Susan and ask, but I did not.

I tried the chenille I had, and it produced a lovely fabric that would be perfect for a blanket, particularly a baby blanket, but not a towel.

A subsequent trip to Yarnorama provided another opportunity to pick Susan's brain, and she said the chenille she used was 900 yards per pound, and she had used a sett of 10 for her towel.

I made notes that time.

I even found some green and brown chenille from Crystal Palace Yarns (the company, which went out of business), but I have not been able to try them yet, as I have a ten yard warp on the Beast with a sett of 16...not 10.

Thus, I was unhappy with the warp on the Beast and unsure exactly what I wanted to do with it. The thought of cutting it off crossed my mind several times, but there was nothing wrong with it, it was just not what I wanted.

Unbeknownst to her, Susan came to the rescue again.

While there the second time, she handed me a tea towel she had woven using 8/2 cottolin that had a lovely feel and drape. I remarked how I had used 8/2 cottolin several times and my towels never felt as hers did.

She asked me what sett I typically use.

24 was my response.

She smiled knowingly and asked me to guess the sett for her towel.

I guessed wrong three times.

Her sett was 16!

Who weaves towels with 8/2 anything with a sett of 16?!

Well, apparently, now I do.

However, I did not immediately get there.

As in I did not go straight home and decide to use the warp with the sett of 16 on the Beast to weave tea towels because my warp was 34" wide.

I weave tea towels 22" wide.

Thus, I have been ignoring the Beast, bless him.

So, this morning, I got up early, showered, had my hot tea, and sported a wild hair.

Instead of picking up my knitting and finishing the back of that sweater as planned, I rebelled and sauntered into the studio to sit down and knock out a towel on Lil' Miss.

And, I did.

As soon as I was done, I looked over at the Beast, sighed, and moved the bench to sit in front of him.

I had been weaving some cotton and cottolin on him to create fabric out of which a couple of tops and an apron or two could be sewn. I had a little fun with changing up the colors using Fibonacci. 

This was what greeted me at that loom this morning. 

It was fine. My heart just really was not into it, but I knew if I ever wanted to use the Beast for anything really fun and interesting, I needed to weave up this warp.

So, I persevered.

Thankfully, it was plain weave and easy to get into a rhythm. Before noon, I was able to knock out a couple of yards of fabric.

I was satisfied with that and moved to shut things down in the studio, grab my knitting, and ensconce myself in a comfortable chair.

At least, that was what I was going to do, until I caught sight of the fabric under the loom.

I mean, blue and off-white is a classic color combination, but while sitting square in front of the loom, the stripes were horizontal to me. 

Standing at the side of the loom, they were vertical. 

I measured the width of the fabric: 34".


It was then I had an epiphany!

I threw one of the handwoven tea towels I had on top of the fabric on the loom. The length of hemmed tea towel was almost 4 inches shorter!

If I woven each tea towel 22" on the loom, I would have a piece of fabric (prior to draw-in and shrinkage, as it sat under tension on the loom) 34" x 22". 

That is the exact same size I weave them making tea towels, although, these would require hems along the long side, rather than the short. 

In fact, to make them look "right," I will probably have to weave hem all four sides. 

Uncertain as to whether I were truly on to something, I texted my brilliant friend who has taken to weaving like a duck to water. I sent the above photo to her with my hypothesis. 

She sent me a photo of two baby blankets done in shadow weave that she just pulled off her loom. They were STUNNING!

We chatted briefly, and she said: "I think that makes the most efficient use of your loom."

She then added: "I've been giving the 4 side hem some serious thought."

That's all I needed. 

I went back to the Beast and knocked out another "towel."

Here it is from another angle.

Now allow me to rotate the photo:


I am so excited.

Would you believe it takes less time to weave a 34" wide piece of cloth for 22" than it does to weave a piece of cloth 22" wide for 34"?

There are fewer throws and beats...

However, it will take longer to hem four sides, instead of two.

The jury is still out on that one and will be for a good while longer. There are six or seven more yards of warp to go, until we find out. 

I am going to knit now...and think about it. 



Popular Posts