Every warp, I think I'm getting a little bit better at weaving, and then I take the cloth off of the loom and realize just how much more I have to learn. As I wove these blue towels, everything looked OK on the loom--even beat, nice selvedges, no skips. Near the end of the warp, a few threads were suddenly looser than their neighbors and by the very end the fell was wavy. When I took the web off the loom this afternoon, I discovered that I beat the first two towels lighter than the later ones. I think the beat was the same, but those first two are sleazier--and longer, since the pattern was for a number of picks--than the last five. There are skipped threads. And the selvedges are not nearly as neat as I thought they were. My fingers are crossed that all the issues will improve after finishing.
Following the advice of Sara Lamb and other weavers I know, making a weaver is all about frequent practice. Put on lots of warps. Weave frequently. Lather, rinse, repeat.
So far this year, I've chosen published towel projects--I usually put on longer warps and change up the colors--but I'm not designing yet. I'm learning the mechanics of warping and weaving. After today, I feel like I'll never get there.
This draft is from Handwoven Mar/Apr 2016--Ozark Quilter Towels draft #3. I used two shades of blue with turquoise, pale green, and purple for the contrast picks. I wove at 20 epi instead of the 16 epi used in the pattern based on my previous experience with Webs 8/2 cotton in plainweave. I like the half basketweave hems on these towels. It's easy to turn under evenly and makes a nice contrast with the body of the towel. Out of an 8 yard warp, I got 6 full length towels and one shorter one. A sensible person would have stopped at 6. These are gifts, so I wanted to use the last bit of warp as a record for myself of what I did--so the last towel has stripes of every contrast color.
In May, I wove this draft in different colors for my mom. I don't actually know how those came out because I delivered them to her just off the loom with hemming and finishing instructions. She says that she loves them--enough to take some with her to Arizona for the winter.