Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Towel 5 almost woven With this towel, my concentration began to flag. I had trouble keeping track of the count.


Basically I’ve been counting 1-and-1-and for the first of the four shots. 1 is the first treadle, and is the second, 1 is the third, and is the fourth. These are the four treadles I have tied up for the weave. Then I count 2-and-2-and and keep going till I finish with 5-and-5-and. Then I click my knitting counter. I do this 3 times. I will then have clicked my knitting counter 3 times. Then I weave 1-and through the second 2-and. And then 2 more treadles. But before I do these last 2 treadles, I measure, just to make sure. The second group 3 x 4 treadles is a little different, because I start with the second of the group. This means I end with the second of the group. And, before I do those last two, I measure.

This is really very simple and has served me well for the first four towels. But with this fifth towel I tended to make mistakes. More and more often I had to rely on measuring. Relying on measuring works, but I would like to figure out how to revive interest so that my attention does not flag. Perhaps a different way of counting?


This towel is quite different from the first four. The squares are white and the horizontal lines are blue and green. My intent was that the blue and green alternate. I did the first blue. I did the second green. I did the third blue. I did the fourth blue………. But I didn’t realize the error until I was almost finished weaving the next square.

Unwilling to unweave, I followed Laura’s dictum: if you can’t do it perfectly, do it consistently. So I have wove 1 green line and 2 blue lines. And who is to say that is imperfect? Who, except you the reader of this blog, who would know what the original intent was? Case closed.

Towel 5 beating


One of the things I noticed as I was weaving this towel is that the wefts do not lock in place as you weave. The last 3 wefts woven are a bit loose and nothing in the world will change that. But everything woven prior to those 3 wefts is just fine. I read once that when you beat, you are not beating in the weft just thrown but the weft 3 or 4 rows back. Now I understand what that means. Clicking on the picture to blow it up should reveal more clearly what I mean.


The photo also shows (actually more clearly than the live fabric does) the effect of 2 ends in a dent. Little dark lines run down the photo, enclosing 2 ends with each pair of lines. These should come out in the wash.

"Towel 5" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on December 9, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Jane said...

Hi Peg! I'm taking a quickie break, from my weaving -- yes, I did say w e a v i n g (finally!) and dropped in to say, "HI!"

Will be back later. Hey, weaving is like Jazz -- if you make a mistake, just do it twice or three times and call it "improvising."



Susan said...

With only 2 ends per dent, there should be no trouble washing those out! Its when its fine threads and 3 or 4 per dent it seems to get streaky.

It also makes sense that the kinetic energy of the beat would transfer back through the older picks. It clearly shows in the blow up of your picture.

I always start with a beat before throwing a shuttle for the start of a session, if I have left something incomplete on the loom.


Laura said...

Hi Peg,

Good save - and ultimately, the one stripe of one colour and two of the other may even be more visually interesting! ;^)



Peg in South Carolina said...

Jane, I like the jazz comparison.
Susan, I also start with a beat when beginning fresh. I didn't used to, but for the past few months I've been doing that. I know they will wash out. I was mainly interested in how clearly they showed up in a photo!
Laura, I definitely agree that the "incorrect" version is visually more interesting! Thanks for your comment.