Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Twenty-Three Towels in Advancing Twill

I've always considered advancing twill pretty interesting. It creates complex patterns with only one shuttle. It's also fairly easy to weave with many variations that one can dream up and test. What gives advancing twill its uniqueness is the length of each "run" of the twill and then the offsets between runs. Heddlecraft's first issue early this year included a great article about advancing twill - all the principles I wanted and needed to know. Perfect timing!

Towels are always great to test what I want to try - and to learn from there. I would never do this with blankets when the materials for each blanket, just the warp alone, are pretty costly. Towels, however, give me the freedom to experiment. Any duds are still usable if they're not good enough to sell.

For this project, my advancing twill run was five threads, and I had an offset of only one. Here's the start of the pattern threading:

12345 23456 34567 etc.

Then I swung down from 81234 using harness 4 as the pivot point. For any complex threading like this, I test the threading on paper first by counting out the harnesses for each section of 24 threads and writing down the start and end of each section. This way I am fully confident I'm on track when I get to the actual threading. So, the first 24 threads are section one, then section 2 takes the next 24 threads for the 2/8 cotton I used. And so on. It's all there on my threading "map" before I do the actual work. Then I refer to that map throughout the threading process to reduce the chance of errors.

It's safe to say I love every one of the 23 towels. (OK love 22, like one.) Here are some samples.

Towels are $34 each or three for $98 - plus taxes. These are a bit wider than my usual. Most of these measure 65-70 cm (25"-28") long and 60 cm (24") wide.

Next project? More towels just like this but in lighter colours - can't wait!

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