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Tea Towels

March 14, 2010

Like many other weavers  I love handwoven towels.     Over the years I have made many towels, participated in a few towel exchanges within a guild and via mail with weaver’s all over the world.  As a result I have a drawer full of lovely towels that are used on a daily basis. I am noticing that a few are beginning to show signs of wear and it is  time to think about another towel warp.

I love some of the old overshot patterns but don’t always want the  floats for kitchen towels nor do I want to use two shuttles.  One way to use the overshot patterns is to convert the  pattern to a profile draft.   I then use  weaving software convert the blocksl.  Standard 4 shaft overshot patterns have 4 blocks which can become 4- three end twill blocks plus one  for plain borders on 15 shafts, or 4- four end blocks on 16 shafts taking the pattern to the edge.  I use  turned twill so that the fabric doesn’t skew in one direction.

One source of overshot patterns is Marguerite Porter Davison’s, A Handweaver’s Pattern Book, available used or new.    This towel (honeysuckle overshot) is done with one overshot block for one 3 end  twill block. The result is a darker and lighter side in the resulting cloth.  The warp and weft are 22/2 Swedish Cottolin.

The tie-up for this towel ( blooming leaf overshot) uses   two blocks together and makes a larger pattern with each side a reverse image.  22/2 Swedish Cottolin warp, 10/2 mercerized cotton weft.

My converted drafts coming… 😉

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2010 12:46 am

    Cottolin is great for towels! Looking forward to the drafts 🙂


  2. March 15, 2010 3:57 am

    I still have trouble with wrapping my head around profile drafts and blocks, but I know a beautiful towel when I see it! Those are beautiful towels. Looking forward to the drafts.


  3. March 15, 2010 7:44 pm

    Someday I hope to be able
    to weave beautiful towels like


  4. March 17, 2010 10:05 pm

    I’m not comfortable with different yarns and drafts but I do enjoy seeing what is possible. I hope to see more clearly in that not too distant future. Those are lovely!


  5. April 1, 2010 5:02 pm

    Yeah, I’m confused by the block thing too. I still don’t have a good grasp on how that all works, but I hope to learn more when your drafts are up. (Actually, I’m so far behind on blogs that I best check to see if the drafts are already up for my illumination!)

    Beautiful towels! It is kind of nice to see towels showing wear in a way. (Or I’ve just branched out and am making hand towels for our bathroom.)



  6. Evelyn Oldroyd permalink
    April 1, 2010 8:33 pm

    I had almost finished the write up on converting to blocks and that was the one I lost! So colours came next and i am rewriting blocks. 😉



  1. More Tea Towels – Maltese Cross « Evelyn Oldroyd

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