Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: July 2010 Page 1 of 6

Tea Towels!

A few towels for towel exchanges and gifts...

And a few to keep...

This all started when I bought my cottage a few years ago. I wanted a mishmash of handwoven guest towels in the bathrooms, just like Suzanne. I love all the different towels she had accumulated over the years from various guild sales that she used as guest towels. There’s a fresh pile every morning in the bathroom during the classes taught at her house.

I’m impatient. I want that pile now *. The only way I could see that happening is if I start a towel exchange. Get the maximum variety out of each towel warp by exchanging one or two towels from each warp.  Either that, or spend a lot of money at the Whidbey Weaver’s Guild annual sale, which I also did.

So, I proposed a little exchange with a Laura and Donna in my guild. That was 2 years ago. I bought a kit from Halcyon, and then it sat. That is, until this summer. I put it on the loom in June and wove it off. It was another month before I pulled the sewing machine out and finished them.

The kit came with yarn and a draft pattern — Four Thread Herringbone from Davison’s book. I had a lot of fun playing with the different treadling. Each towel uses a different treadling. I may have repeated one or two of my favorites.

This was fun. Changing out the weft color and the treadling order, I was able to get very different towels off of the same warp. I might get that mishmash sooner rather than later!

Sampler Towel

But for this one, I mixed it up. I inserted all the different treadlings into the towel and used all the different colors in the weft. This also helped me finish up all the partial bobbins of yarn. This will be a fun reminder of the project.


  • Halycon Tea Towel Kit in Driftwood colorway
  • Yarn: Cottolin, 1 spool each of white, natural, blue and brown
  • Weave Structure: Four Thread Herringbone; p.25 of Davison’s book
  • Shafts: 4
  • Reed: 10 dent
  • EPI: 20
  • Warp Length: 8.5 yards
  • Ends: 384 (ends and color order provided in kit instructions)
  • On Loom: 18.9″ W x 34-35″ L for each towel; 7 towels plus a partial (square towel in picture)
  • After Finishing: 17″ W x 27.5″ L (includes 1/2″ rolled hem, so 29.5″ long before hemming)

* Yes, you can stop snickering. It took me two years to make these, so “now” is relative.

P.S. This is likely the last time that the towels for keeping will see an iron…

TdF – Results

Tour de Fleece 2010 Results

Here are the all the fibers that I spun during Tour de Fleece. Not too shabby. The final tally?

Breeds Spun: Merino, Targhee, Clun, Border Leicester, and Polwarth
Finished Yardage: 3,852 of assorted 2 and 3 ply.
Singles Spun: Over 5,000 yards of singles, without counting the Polwarth. There is likely to be another 1,500 yards of singles in there.
Weight: 40 oz. (2.5 lbs)

The Polwarth is the one still on the bobbin in the basket. Here’s what the other half looks like.

80/20 Polwarth/Silk

I am spinning it continuously from white to the dark brown.  I am feathering in the last few inches of one color with the new to soften the transition. And with the inconsistency of the splitting the fiber into halves and spinning, that will soften the transition even more. The colors should more or less flow into each other. The singles are approximately 60-70 wpi. It’s slow going. I only just finished the white. It will take me the rest of the week to finish spinning the singles and ply it.

TdF – Last Day

Not a whole lot of progress over here. I’m still working on the Polwarth/Silk blend. I went camping for the past 3 days and forgot to load the mSpinner in the car, so I am far, far behind. I’ve only started the second bobbin this morning. The first bobbin had about 155 grams of fiber — about 5.5 oz. The single is coming in around 72 wpi.

This yarn would definitely qualify for the longest single in a single ounce, but I can’t prove that until the second bobbin is spun and the 2 plied together. I definitely can’t do that before end of today.

So, I will have a leisurely spinning day to wrap up the day.

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