So I finished the handtowels from the Ashford book of riggid heddle weaving using the “8/2” weavers cotton from Ashford. I am so disappointed with these it’s not funny. They finished exactly how I thought they would, thick and not at all what I wanted or what was shown in the photos in the book. These feel and look more like a bath matt.
This is the before washing (finishing) photo of the small towel
And the “finished” photo of the normal sized handtowel.
I was originally so excited to start this project, I was going to make new towels for our household and then more for family and friends. From the day the cotton arrived I thought it was too thick, but hay, what do I know I’ve just started learning all of this, so I continued as per the instructions in the book. Now I don’t know if the book “recipe” is wrong or if the cotton I was sent was wrong, but I’m going to get some 8/2 cotton from another company and see what the difference is. I really really wanted this project to work.
Now, my countermarch sample faired much better.
So remember, my countermarch loom came with some warp thread still on the back roller. Instead of rewarping from the start I decided to just weave off this yarn. I threaded 1 end per heddle and 2 ends per dent of the reed. I used two treadles that did a simple pattern lifting shafts 1&3 or 2&4. All I wanted to achieve was a feel for throwing the shuttle, beating and changing the shed. After about 30cms of this I picked up some of the roving I had lying around and pulled off strips and wove that in with 3 picks between each strand of roving. The finished result is 3 blocks of plain and 2 blocks of roving strips, it’s quite a nice first time shawl or table runner. The selvedges are horrid for the most part but they do improve a little. For the last tiny piece of warp I changed my weft yarn from white to a small bit of leftover colour changing warp yarn, then a strip of the pink (the warp yarn although colour changing has mostly pink in it and I was able to get several rows of plain pink) and then I found I had some blue yarn that was very close to the warp thread.
If I was to weave this as an item of clothing or bolt of cloth I’d probably do the blue as the main weft just because you see more colour variation using the blue then the pink, but then I also like the idea of the border of multi and pink before the main body of blue.
I really wanted to get down to some weaving today, discovered that there was no easy way for me to warp up my Rigid heddle loom to do the tea towels I’ve been wanting to do for months, in the craft room, so decided to warp it up in the lounge. It was supposed to be ok, it would take me a few hours and then I’d be out of everyone’s way. That was until I discovered that when the Ashford Book of Ridid Heddle weaving says that you need 8/2 cotton white 150gm, 8/2 cotton navy 20gm for the warp it lies. My warp is 220cm long and I am just about at the end of the first cone of cotton which is a 200gm ball and I’ve only done about 53 or 198 ends I need to do! I need almost 4 balls, and that’s not including the weft thread. I had been a fan of Ashford, but I think it’s just because it’s a brand so close to home. I’m really disappointed with the DVD I got (actually I had to send the first copy back as it didn’t play), it lacked any real information and was more a promotional video then anything else, their cotton isn’t very nice to the touch, but perhaps it will be different when woven up and washed. The rigid heddle book isn’t clear and complete. It misses information about the types of yarn they use and most of them aren’t supplied by Ashford and there is no listing on where or how to get them.
Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! I have no way of getting the cotton thread today or tomorrow, none of the shops that sell Ashford products sell this thread (or at least none of the ones open). I can get onto my usual supplier of Ashford products but then he’s not going to be able to post it till Monday so it could be Tuesday or Wednesday before I get it! So what the blazers do I do with this warp in the mean time? I can’t leave it set up in the lounge room for 3 days as it’s utalising the dinning table – apparently I can, Craig say’s we can work around it and Kain says we don’t need to eat at the table – but that’s not the point! Things just aren’t going my way today. I did attempt to spin some newspaper this morning, which was an interesting experience that I think I’d really enjoy, if I had a spinning wheel with a larger orifice, like the ones for novelty yarn spinning (which I guess this is).
I was hoping to use this for my candle bundles that Ines and I will be taking to markets, unfortunately she doesn’t like the look so we have to find something else.
And now I’m simply feeling like I’ve spent far too much time in front of my computer today and haven’t actually achieved anything *sigh*