A Touch of Tea Towel MaGiC!

A Touch of Tea Towel MaGiC! After a few errors and misteps, I ended up with some huge handwoven tea towels wins at the end of 2022. #weaving #handweaving

Throughout the fall season, I have steadily been working through several warps that I put onto the looms in hopes of copious tea towels to chose from for gifts for Christmas … alas, that is not what has occurred. From threading errors to weaving sequence errors and more, I have a few tea towels fit to be gifted and lots to go into our personal tea towel stash.

I was super bummed as the holidays closed in but to be honest, I am over it now. I have learned SO MUCH that I am compeltely humbled by the amount of weaving knowledge I have amassed this year that grace and gentleness is what is needed at this moment, not berating of myself!

welfordWEAVES | Episode 13 | Year of Weaving & Christmas in a Crackle

I placed the Ms & Os warp on the loom in hopes of understanding things like ‘plain weave-ish’ and the trade-offs we make when we chose one threading over another, which will ultimately determine whether we have a scalloped edge or plain weave edge. Mission accomplished. I can chat until I am blue in the face about how this works, the effects at the loom and some tricks with the floating selvedge to create a lovely scallop!

Scarppy Ms & Os warp resulted in scrappy, plaid-like towels that just make my heart sing!
Towel No. 1 off the loom after playing with threading and treadling. I had endeavoured to clear off bobbins and worried not about colours working or not. It’s ended up being my favourite!

welfordWEAVES | Episode 5 | Planning Ms & Os

On another loom, I had decided to weave off the Halvdräll pattern from Arianna Funk on the Gist Yarn website. Simple, effective block weave that would weave quickly … right?! Well, they are still on the loom so that might help explain a lot. I mis-read the pattern, not realising I needed two shuttles (pattern yarn & tabby yarn). Felt completely embarassed about my mistake (I knew it was a 2-shuttle weave, overshot-like but failed to actually implement that at the loom).

The result is a lovely set of tea towels that are quite dense from a thicker warp being woven as tabby and pattern. Woven in one weft-style – only pattern weft.

The result are quite dense towels that will probably withstand the test of time – however, as I wove, I learned even more about floating selvedges and what they can and cannot withstand (several broke). I played with tension and speed. As soon as I realised I needed that second shuttle, I played with colour and blocks, realising I could not get these woven off for the holiday season no matter what.

Woven in the manner of overshot – one tabby shuttle, one pattern yarn shuttle. The difference in drape is notable.

Then, quite by accident, I dove down a crackle rabbit hole that I’ve been chatting about on the past few welfordWEAVES episodes (linked below). It’s been really fun to get into this structure to the extent that I have, enjoying the process at the loom. Like the halvdräll, this is not fast weaving but it’s fun and I like it. I wove both in the manner of overshot and classic crackle, trying to understand the differences and similarities. In the end, I loved the difference in the fabric. The classic crackle is basically twill so think about tightening up the set when weaving this structure and swapping the tie-up to a walking formation for ease. Small things that make a huge difference in your time at the loom!

The initial set with a threading error I fixed prior to continuing on. Towel far left woven classic crackle style.
Next set of towels off the 11-yard warp, all woven in the manner of overshot since my set was 18EPI and a bit gauzy for the classic crackle style.
Final two: My favourite off the entire warp on the left, pattern sections of the towel on the right is woven in classic crackle style.

Stash! Crackle! Pop by Sharon Broadley of @colour.woven (IG) and Jane Stafford online shop

Previous welfordWEAVES episodes on Crackle:

welfordWEAVES | Episode 10 | Intro to Crackle

welfordWEAVES | Episode 11 | Weaving Classic Crackle

welfordWEAVES | Episode 13 | The Year of Weaving & Christmas in a Crackle

From all that learning, I decided to put a very simple crackle warp on the loom and weave off some overtly Christmas towels for the kids’ teachers. They have gone above and beyond this term. The environment they have created has been amazing and honestly, I just really like both of them. They deserve something special. So, using division of space in three for the warp colours (light blue, natural, light blue), I threaded crackle blocks A, B, C, D in succession across the warp and played with colour.

A little tea towel MAGIC: Everything with these two towels went perfectly. They are ready to be gifted and I will weave off the rest of the warp in the meantime.
One for Norah’s teacher to the left, James’ teacher (who loves colour) to the right.

All in all, this has been a very productive month of weaving. These warps (except the last) went onto the loom at various times through the summer and early fall but took a long time to be woven off. With a break from OHS Unit work, I decided to delve into some weaving that I really wanted to engage in – with upsets and victories (sometimes getting things off the loom is enough), I am happy with the work done. There are about 25 towels in all — lots to be proud of and I am already planning some 100% handspun wool projects for the new year to cleanse my palate of all cotton, all the time.

Ravelry Projects Pages here for more photos of each project individually.

Much peace to you and yours this season.



Join the Conversation

  1. Amazing! 25 towels is a huge accomplishment! And even the ones that didn’t go as planned look so beautiful. Enjoy all those pretty mistakes you get to keep.

  2. I love those towels! Once again I am reminding myself that I need to warp my loom…

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