These two kitchen towels will maybe, maybe not become kitchen towels. I like them, it's just that they're square and rather thick. Perhaps they'll make a nice kitty blanket for the summer… We'll see.
I spotted a $1 sale on Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn and bought a bunch just for fun. I've never had much luck making actual household items, and so I figured even my plan of dish towels didn't work out, they'd probably be useful.
I used the Glimakra Emilia and the 8 dent heddle. Just in case you're wondering, two skeins, 240 yards, is exactly the amount you need to warp 60" on this size loom with this size heddle. However, buy three! You should actually warp 70" or even a little longer to make a real towel.
For the weft I chose a striped green, extremely light. I think my camera is set to overexpose because I haven't taken a decent picture lately. They aren't quite as light as the picture shows, but the stripes are gradual. I like the variegated patterns better for towels so next time!
Off the loom, each measured 18" x 20", but then, after washing, the always-shrinking cotton ended up at 16.5" x 16". Yes, they are now shorter than wide.
This experiment led me to immediately warp the Emilia with another batch of cotton. My plan this time is for a bathmat.
It started as spa wash cloths, and ended up as a rag and a table runner. The warp was a nice cotton/hemp blend called Hempathy, but the weft, at first, was plain hemp 100% hemp yarn. Sorry, but after just one cloth, I was ready to call it quits. It has a rustic look, which is fine, but it was dusty, and it shed bits and pieces everywhere. It's best left for a rope, or a handle, or something other than a wash cloth. Plus, it smells when it's wet, too, so don't use it for something meant to be doused in water on a regular basis. I made one loop pile cloth, then moved onto a second, which I quickly turned into a little rag, and the final two feet of warp sat on my loom for two months.
I decided to use the hemp blend for the weft, and a little pick-up stick pattern to create a small table runner. The pattern was 2 up, 2 down, and the weaving was Up + Pickup Stick, Down, Up, Down. It worked out nicely, with the warp floats creating a stripe. Hemp is nice in a blend.
As the value of a dollar rises and falls due to economic stress and inflation, so does the price of an imported loom. I enjoy my Glimakra Emilia, but I had to weigh the cost of the loom less than a year ago when I purchsed it. It wasn't the most expensive, it wasn't the least expensive. It was somewhere safely in the middle of similiarly-equipped rigid heddle looms. I spent $189 (USD) on the 19" loom, from a site that had it priced a bit lower than the typical $209. Today, however, I'm surprised to see the cost of it has risen $100. It now sells at about $289.
I understand importing an item means prices will fluxuate, but I was a little sticker-shocked yesterday to note the change.
I'm very pleased with my loom, especially the construction and quality. But $100… in less than a year?
Sometimes, deep in the winter, when it snows and it freezes and it snows a little more, I grow a little weary of staring at snow. A few winters ago, we started making terrariums. It's instant summer, only in miniature.
This year, it's aquariums. We're on our third, a three gallon Eclipse, which I plunked down in my little office. So far, it's home to a piece of Mopani wood and a variety of low-light plants. Because of its small size, I won't put a fish in it, but maybe I'll look for a few shrimp. Even though there are no critters, it's nice to watch the plants grow in a constant 78 degree temperature.
My current project: Spa Wash Cloths from Weavezine. I'm using Hempathy as the warp, and 100% hemp yarn as the weft.