Sunday, May 13, 2007

Current weaving project: German Birdseye dishtowels

I got my new loom warped up in April, but didn't have time to do any weaving until early in May. The pattern is a German Birdseye from Marguerite Davison's book. The yarn is a cotton/linen blend from Webs, and the pattern is one they give you if you order the yarn. It's meant to be woven in a tabby weave, but I just had to try it in birdseye.

I played around with redrafting the pattern so the colors and the birdseye weave corresponded, but wound up deciding it wasn't worth the effort. I did, however, reverse the birdseye pattern when I reached the center of the warp, so that the pattern is balanced.

The shuttle in the first picture is an old Hammett shuttle that I got with the loom when I bought it. I like the shuttle, but find that the Shacht shuttles (in the second picture) are becoming my favorites. The bobbins hold a lot of yarn, and they float nicely over the warp instead of diving under the occasional thread that gets stuck when I change sheds. I've fixed the "sticky shed" problem I was having when I started the first towel -- the warp needs to be at a higher tension, and I had to tweak the tieup a bit -- but the Schacht shuttle had fewer problems overall.

I'm weaving the second towel in plain herringbone. I may either go back to the birdseye for the third towel or try another treadling of the same pattern.



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