2018 Christmas Towels

Christmas was months ago already and I’m back-blogged again. In my defense, travel and an ill loved one are the reason. My dear one endured a final treatment over Dec.24-26. Over the past 11 months suffering has been profound but we saw completion as the ultimate Christmas gift. (Now for the long recovery.) Then I spent the better part of January in the USA Upper Midwest “enjoying” the Polar Vortex and welcoming a new addition to my family. As you can tell, family comes before my weaving. I expect the same is true for you, too.

You may recall my 2017 Christmas towels were waffle weave. Those towels are pretty, soft and super absorbent, a real treat to use. The waffle weave texture works especially well for towels.

When it came to considering structures for Christmas 2018 towels I sought textured weaves. One particular draft caught my eye. In my search and study I kept going back to it. It seemed an unlikely option but it drew my attention so I wove a sample using various odds and ends from my stash.

Two 2018 Christmas Towels, Front and Reverse sides
Left Towel: Strickler Draft #763
Right Towel: Strickler Draft #760

The draft is #760-763 from “A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns from the Friends of Handwoven” edited by Carol Strickler. The short description calls this “Silk Brocade” from a Virginia West workshop. I am no expert on weave structures. My idea of brocade is quite different. But I don't really know. This weave seems to be “Deflected Double Weave” - a term coined, I think, by Madelyn van der Hoogt. If you can tell me more, please comment.

These were my goals:
  • Weave Christmas towels in time for gift giving
  • Make towels unique from those of previous years
  • Weave thirsty towels with texture
  • Make use of yarns already on hand
  • Try a new structure

Detail, front side - Strickler Draft #760
 The two sides of these towels are very different. It's fun to look at both sides as I dry my hands. Both are nice so I hemmed one end of the towel as if that side was the front and the other end as if the reverse side was the front. That left me with the dilemma of choosing a side for my label. So some are labeled one one side and some are labeled on the other side.

The olive yarn is 10/2 cotton, the terra cotta and yellow yarns are 20/2 cotton. These were all already on my shelf.
Detail, reverse side - Strickler Draft #760

Detail, front side - Strickler Draft #763
Having sampled all four version of this draft, all of my towels except for one were woven using #760. Just for fun I had to try one towel using #763. In spite of some fairly long floats for a towel, this one is nice. In one corner I tried tucking a large sequin in between the plain weave layers. That was nice, not great for a towel but something I'd always wanted to try.
Detail, reverse side, Strickler Draft #763

Did these ever meet my goals! And they were fun to weave. It may have been slow fussy weaving, but the results speak for themselves. My family and friends love these. So do I.

Since I’ve been back at home I tied on to this warp two times more. Watch for photos of those additional color ways to follow soon.

Warp On/Weave Off,

Source: repweaver

2018 Christmas Towels