Dishcloth Weaving

Turning the draft for the dishcloths was, initially, not quite 100% successful. I was able to get plain weave on all four sides for hems, but not in the corners. The corners would be folded into the hem anyway, so I figured it didn’t matter. Once the Deflected Doubleweave sampler came off the Lotus the dishcloths went on.

Slowly.

The back issues I had and the migraines they triggered meant I couldn’t approach a loom for days, and then only for very short sessions. Threading with the deflected threads at the same time as the ground warp was time-consuming, too. When I finally had it all threaded I began tying up the treadles and I realised I had two treadles tied the same.

Hmm. If I eliminated one it would free up a treadle, and maybe I could get those corners to come out as plain weave.

So I went back to Fibreworks and as I was deleting the duplicated treadle I realised there was another pair of duplicates. I sorted that as well, leaving two extra treadles to play with. More tweaking followed and I had it: a draft with plain weave in all the right places.

I also increased the sett by 150% except on the edges. As I got weaving I saw that this had been the right decision.

After weaving one dishcloth I ran out of the ground yarn. I was expecting to, but when I went to buy it from my usual supplier I found it was out of stock. I could have searched around for other sources, but I decided to play with other 16/2 cottons in my stash. This turned out to be a good idea.

First I tried red, then pink, then, at Paul’s suggestion, stripes of colour. After that I did a rather patriotic red, white and blue, and finally I tried using a linen yarn – which worked surprisingly well and didn’t pull in at the sides.

These six dishcloths quite a bit of time and brain energy for something I could have bought for a few dollars. But I saw it as an intellectual challenge and I’m really chuffed to have figured them out. Next time I weave them – if there’s a next time – it should be a lot faster. But I do need to come up with a better way to wrangle a supplemental warp. I had to put this one on lease sticks tied to the back beam, to stop the bundles of them twisting around each other then getting caught on the heddles when I advanced the warp. Perhaps if I threaded them through some sort of suspended reed. It’s going to be an ongoing conundrum.

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