The replacement dish towel project began when I discovered that my old towels had become stained, and a bit dingy as the result of a man being around the house. He seemed to forget they were handwoven and used them to mop stains on the floor, clean up snow mixed with granite gravel and asphalt, and of course, wiping the stove top off after cooking a spaghetti dinner. Like all men, he just wants to be forgiven, and like all women I just want my pretty dish towels back.
My first steps were to look around the kitchen and discover the colors I wanted to use. I happened to have purchased some beautiful denim blue 16/2 cotton, and have some yellow and white cones of thread. My first thoughts were to make the towels mostly blue in an effort to hide future dirt. I began wrapping thread on to cardboard strips to see what stripes I was most interested in. I found the wrapping task to be a bit tedious. Of course, I made the mistake of letting someone else in on the project, only to discover that they are not so interested in the blue background. They really like the yellow which matches the kitchen walls.
I then scurry around on the internet and search for blue and yellow striped towels to get some ideas. In the process I discovered a few great design tools. A Stripe Generator, a Tartan Designer and a Color Picker. All are awesome diversions – yet none of them output to weaving software and thus none directly suited my needs. Back to the old fashioned way of doing things for now.
I then made some sketches of the stripes that I found on the Internet for my purposes, I found my stripes by Googling for blue and yellow striped towels and selected the entry that displayed images, it looks a lot like Pinterest and I could just flip through the pictures looking for my favorites. I eventually decided that there were so many I wanted to try to make, that I should make my design using an all white warp so that I can change stripes whenever I like.
Me being me, I can not weave in a plain weave when I have a loom that has 24 shafts! So I selected to use a 16 shaft point twill as a base structure. I learned during my stay in Italy, that I am happiest with twill and damask weaving and it seems to come naturally to me. I will use as my inspiration for the structure, Angstadt 16 shaft twill profiles.
So far I have determined that I will be using white 10/2 perle cotton in the warp, 8/2 unmercerized cotton in the weft, and various colors and widths for the colored stripes.
I have selected a beginning sett of 20 epi based on my previous experiences with this structure. I have chosen to weave this on my AVL loom using the compu-dobby to help me pick the pattern and I will have to concentrate on the weft color changes manually.
I have decided that I will be weaving 18 towels in all and therefore will be winding a warp 15 yards long on the sectional beam.