Scary Tea Towels


As I was weaving these, I kept thinking that the further along I got, the more likely it was I would miscalculate and do too few stripe repeats for the size of tea towels I wanted. Turns out the second and third were fine, but I’d made the first one too short. Never mind! I’m calling it a hand towel. Here’s the fabric that came off the loom:


I used up the last of the weft at the end of the warp, leaving me with a scrap to play with, or a sampler to keep with my project notes.

And these are the finished, hemmed towels.


As it turned out, this project wasn’t as scary as it initially seemed. The problem was a) not having enough heddles to make something of tea towel width if I wove using 16/2 cotton, b) I assumed the loom would come with enough heddles to make something like this so when there wasn’t enough I figured I had the math wrong, and c) I had the math wrong anyway – but a different part of the equation.

I know now that I can weave tea towels on this loom if I use a 8/2 cotton warp, or I convert the loom to 8 shafts so I can double the heddles without losing a whole lot of weaving width when weaving thicker yarn.

And if I want to weave anything else with yarn thinner than 8/2 cotton and wider than a scarf I’ll have to convert the loom, too.

Converting the loom will mean adding more pedals to our handmade loom table, too, so it’s no easy decision.

And there’s still plenty I on my list of weaving techniques I want to try with 4 shafts before I start exploring the possibilities of 8 shafts. Now now that I’ve woven with 8/2 cotton, I’m looking forward to doing it again. Perhaps waffle weave tea towels next, because these are a bit thin for tea towels.

But not straight away. I’ve cut a warp for a sampler using 4ply Bendigo Classic, to work out what I want and need to do to make some shawls.

Tapestry Hat

The Tapestry Hat is done:


It came off my modified loom easily, just a bit of ‘persuasion’ to get the circle of plastic out from inside.


Once out I knit a brim:


Then I gave it a good rub under hot soupy water followed with a cold rinse and good squeeze, to get the yarn to felt a little. Even so, I think I should have woven a more densely packed fabric…


Still, the gaps don’t appear unless the hat is stretched, and it’s not stretched when worn, so it looks fine on my head. Still, I’ll keep it in mind if I make another.

Now that my fidgety projects are done, I’ve been whittling away at the WIPs. The scary tea towels are off the loom and being wet finished. The woven squares are slowly being assembled to make a jacket. Though I’m not 100% happy with the look of crochet joins on a garment, so may end up doing it all again.

Capucine Cowl

To make a cowl over the leftover yarn from Capucine, I cast on about 80 stitches, knit 10 rows of rib, a pile of garter stitch, and finished with about 8 rows of rib (because I underestimated the yarn I’d need to do a matching 10 row rib section, and I didn’t mind the variation enough to frog back and reknit it).


A toggle and loop mean I can adjust the fit on the inside by moving the knot on the loop.


So that’s another bit of stash used up. A bit of unravelled former project yarn stash used up. Sometimes I wish I wouldn’t get so attached to something I’ve knit that when I grow out of it (or it shrinks) I unravel and keep the yarn. It makes using up stash a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ process. But I guess I only do this with yarn I really like.


I contracted a bout of startitis recently. Though I’d made progress on the tea towels and had started crocheting together pin loom squares, I also cast on for the Capuchine Cowl and started a tapestry woven hat.

The latter happened after a friend said she wanted to do some simple weaving on a cardboard loom at the school she works at. I went through books and bookmarked web pages for suitable methods. One of the more complicated ones was in this book:


It involved making a circular cardboard loom to weave a beret:


Looking closely, I got to thinking about how the circle could be altered so you didn’t have to tear it up to get the beret off. I found an old scrap of plastic and using an awl, knife and scissors came up with something I think – and hope – the hat can be removed from without damaging either. And then I got stitching, using some leftover scrapes of discontinued Vintage Hues.


Turns out, it’s quite addictive. With added suspense, because I won’t really know if I can remove the ‘loom’ until I finish and give it a try.




The pattern is Capucine. It was my first handknit project in… ages. I knit about six rows at a time, once every day or two days. My hands didn’t protest too much.

It’s a cosy hat, and the only one I have that truly covers my ears. Definitely a mid-winter hat.

I have this much Patons Inca left:


I’ve cast on for a cowl out of the bluey grey, and I’ll leave the grey for another project.

Sewing/Refashioning Day

A friend hosted a small crafty day on the weekend. I took some refashioning projects. As always, I forgot to take ‘before’ shots, but here are my ‘afters’:


I picked up this dress at a vintage fair. It fit fine from the waist down (unfortunately, the leglessness of the dress model makes it drape strangely), but the top was too big. Pinching in at the sides was all it needed – and I replaced the rather small press stud side opening with a zip.

It took a lot longer than I expected, so I only got two more smaller refashions done.


This had a polo neck. I like polo neck tops, but the fabric is very thick and I found it too hot. This was the simplest refashion – all I did was cut the collar off so no sewing required.


When I bought this is was a bit snug, so it wasn’t long before snug became too tight. The answer was my standard ‘add a side piece’.

It felt a bit weird doing summery refashions when it’s too cold to wear them. I guess I like the instant gratification of being able to put on something I’ve just ‘fixed’. But it was great to be making something and hanging out friends.

Blackwork Beginnings

I’ve started the sampler:


It’s gonna take a while.

As for my growing list of the WIPs, I’ve made progress on most of them. The Hunky Hank Blanket might turn into a jacket. I’ve been playing with arranging squares on my dress model and have come up with a few designs I like the look of. I’m two squares short of the number I need for the design I prefer, but I figure I can do them with a different black yarn and put them under the arms, where they won’t be seen much.

Tomorrow I’m off to a Craft Day with a small bunch of friends. I’m taking some clothing to alter and some refashioning projects. Hopefully I’ll have some finished pieces to post in a few days.

On the Go

I’m still weaving two-yarn squares while watching tv:


I have nearly 30. Though I only had one ball of black and three of the multi-coloured, the black ball weighed twice as much as one multi-coloured ball and is slightly thinner, so won’t have as much leftover multi as I’d expected. I’ll join the squares with it, and do a crochet border. While I intended to make a blanket, I like the fabric so much I’m tempted to try making a garment of some sort. There might be enough for a simple kimono style jacket.

One Scary Tea Towels has been woven:


Two more to go.

I’ve started two new projects. The first is to de-boringify a cashmere cardigan. I bought it for travel as it’s light and warm, and easily layered:


After trying several embroidery methods, I’ve settled on using a crochet hook to do chain stitch. It’s fiddly, and very slow. I’m hoping that using some tearaway stabiliser and putting it on hoop will make it easier and faster.

The other project is a hat knit from frogged Inca yarn:


Yes, that’s hand knitting. I’ll stick to a couple of rows a time, every couple of nights, it the hope of avoiding an RSI flare up. The thing is, weaving the yarn didn’t appeal, and it’s a bit thick for the knitting machine. I’ve got to use it somehow, so hand knitting it is.

Lucky Stand

I’ve not done any embroidery for a while now. Mostly because the projects I want to do require larger stretchers and hoops, and I’ve found the weight of them hard on my wrists. So I’ve been looking at stands. There are a lot to choose from. Stands that hold a hoop at one point. Stands that prop up stretchers at either side. Taller stands that rest on the floor.

So Monday last week I decided to check out what was on eBay. There just happened to be an auction for a adjustable-width floor stand ending that night, for a bargain price of $12.50. I bid, won and picked it up that night. All that was required to attach my stretcher was two drill holes and some longer bolts:


Two days later, on an op shop tour with friends, I found a stretcher exactly the same width as the stand for $4.50.

So I’m obeying the messages of the craft gods and setting up to do my first blackwork sampler. And I’ve a hankering to try tambour embroidery, so I’ve ordered some hooks.

Blue Sleeves

The weekend before last I whipped out the Bond and made new sleeves for the remaining part the Gift Yarn Jacket.



It was fun using the knitting machine. What I made was really just a long rectangle, cast off by hand at either end after latching some ribbing. I had the itch to do more and have been looking at some of my stash yarn and thinking about what I could make with it. But this last weekend I got the gardening bug instead. Well, I got some sunshine at least!