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3/2 Rainbow Cotton Stash Buster Towels

     So as the quarantine stretches on and I have time to finish schoolwork in the early morning hours, I’ve been dedicating some serious extra time planning projects, thinking of ways to get my yarn stash to a manageable level (chances are that may take a couple of years in reality), and sitting at the loom with audiobooks chatting away.  There is a pretty handy yarn tree that I use to see what colors, fibers, and fiber weights I have to work with but, I also have my great grandmother’s hope chest filled with natural coned yarn.  Eventually, the goal is to get the hope chest emptied so I can use it to store something else.  Preferably something that needs to be stored that I don’t want to look at.  So, back to the yarn tree.  I needed to make room.  Which ones could I get rid of quickly?  The 3/2 cotton!!!  

I wanted something bright and cheery so why not a rainbow palette?  With the color order laid out, I gave it a go!  

As with all weaving projects, ends must be counted first.  The plan was to weave this at 12 ends per inch using just plain weave.

I was able to evenly distribute the ends onto three chains with roughly 150 ends each.

This is such a rhythmic therapeutic part.  Actually, the whole process is rhythmic and therapeutic....who am I kidding? 

This is the loom before warping.  It looks so bare!  

With the warp evenly distributed in the raddle, the warp is now ready to be beamed.  The raddle, seen in the picture below tied to the back beam, is a board with nails placed every inch.  Since the 3/2 cotton is going to be set at 12 ends per inch, 12 threads need to go into each one inch space so that when the warp is wound onto the back beam, it goes on evenly.

As the first rotation is completed, paper or beam sticks will be placed between the rounds of threads so that the tension remains relatively even.  If the threads are given the opportunity to slip through previous rotations, the tension will be off and will show in the fabric.

This is just a straight draw so, just threaded in order in heddles one through eight, and then threaded through a 12 dent reed. 

The tension is then set on the front beam.  One inch at a time until it’s even all the way across then secured with a second overhand knot.

Plain weave coupled with the same color repeat gives a visually pleasing pattern.

Sometimes just plain Jane can be so exciting!

The way the colors interact with each other can help with future project color ideas.  I think I have a few up my sleeve!

I ended up with some movement in the tension.  It’s so important to go slow so that this doesn’t happen.  At this point, it’s too late to go back and fix it and it should be fixed when I wet finish.

I purchased some shuttles from Paradise Fibers last year because I thought it would be a great idea to weave a project with 11 colors.  (I probably won’t be doing that again anytime soon)  I didn’t have enough shuttles and was doing frequent color changes.  Shuttles are pretty pricy but, Leclerc makes these plastic shuttles that were pretty reasonable.  The ends of the plastic shuttles are a bit on the stiletto side but they will probably wear after use.  I prefer the blunt edge due to the number of catches on the warp if I didn’t throw just right.

Ten yards removed from the loom!  

When clipping off the header, there’s always a moment of hesitation.  I figured I would take a picture of this.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a picture of yourself cutting something?  It puts a whole new spin on running with scissors......which is actually my given native name. (Runs With Scissors)

Pinning!  Looking back, I should have given myself more to work with in the hem.  I had quite a few daunting repairs to make after wet finishing.

See?  Why was I being so cheap with the hem?  If I could time travel, I would fix this.

I used to buy iron on labels because they were beautiful and easy to put on.  The person I used to buy them from doesn’t make them anymore and I’m out.  I’ve been seeing gorgeous labels on hand knit items so I went shopping to see what I could find and stumbled across a store in New Jersey in Etsy.  I contacted the creator and sent her my logo as well as my ridiculously long name.  She was quick with response and worked these up for me!  I’m thrilled!  KnitWit Tags comes highly recommended! She’s got quite a selection including cork, acrylic, leather, etc.  Great response and shipping time and she even had samples that I could order to try out the different styles!

Flat rectangle and a fold over were the two styles I’m trying out on the towels.  Oh....and they’re still washable.  The labels will survive!

Here’s a stack of wet finished and pressed towels.

I’m pretty happy with these.  There’s a little skip or two here and there but overall, they came out pretty good.  They look happy and cheery.  That’s what I was looking for.

When the temperatures rise above 60, I’ll take all of my creations outside for a nice weather photo shoot and they will eventually all be available in my Etsy shop.

Oh! That’s right!  About making a dent in my yarn barely happened.  Stay tuned for future projects!


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