My Weaving Ways (Winter 2019)

Are you tired of reading about weaving? If so, avert your eyes!

But unless you want to read about my outings with my mother or going to the gym or learning to give subcutaneous fluids to my cat, weaving is currently what I’ve got to talk about.

It’s the craft I’m doing now, every day if I can.

Since I last reported the details, I’ve woven some scarves. I don’t actually love them, although I loved the variegated thread I started with. It’s Tencel, called Painted Desert– this combination of colors just moves me.


But, as I tend to do, I feel like I over-complicated things and sort of lost the beauty of the thread. I made two long scarves and one that I sewed up as a cowl.

I made a set of 8 placemats for my sister’s friend, to coordinate with towels I wove for her last year.

And I wove my shawl, my gift to me.


I’ve also woven new iterations of projects I’ve made before.

I know lots of people never want to make the same project twice but I quite enjoy it. The first time I go through the process, I learn SO much, it seems a shame not to apply the lessons.

These placemats, however, took that concept to the extreme. I had made them in off-white and in turquoise last year. This winter I made 10 in the light gray, for a customer who then decided the color wasn’t right (grr), and then made 12 more in the off-white for another customer, who loves them.

Each time I wove these I learned more about doing them efficiently and I made small changes that improved them each time.  Truth be told, I got a little bored with them and yet . . . I have a color combination in mind that I really must try. Soon.

And I’ve made these tab towels again, for the fourth time. I just really love making them. They sell well, they allow me to use up colors I’m running low on, and, because they are smallish and I can change colors with each, I never get bored. I made 12 of them from the last warp!

Right now, I have projects on two looms. I gave you a glimpse of the veggie towels last week and, to use up more odds and ends of leftovers and stash yarns in cotton, I am making these towels of bright stripes.


And I’m thinking about what comes next.

The arrival of nice weather means I’ll have access to the loom on our glassed-in porch again. It’ll mean I can drag my small band loom outside and weave by the water. I have plans for scarves (ones I like better, I hope!), coasters, maybe a rag rug for the kitchen—think how much the cats would enjoy destroying that!

And in a few months I can write about My Weaving Ways, the summer edition.

72 thoughts on “My Weaving Ways (Winter 2019)

  1. Your work is all gorgeous, but I must admit I am bowled over by the beauty of that shawl, and I love the tab towels. If I had your skills, I’d show my weaving off too because the vast majority of us will never, ever be able to create anything that beautiful. You go girl!

  2. Weave on,my friend! I love the painted desert scarf ,it has a warm glow to it. I do hope someone takes those gray placemats, I think they would look lovely on a table with beautiful china ware.

    • I agree about the Painted Desert– have more of the yarn and am going to do something simpler with it, for me! And I know the placemats will sell at some point–they’re understated but that means they’re versatile, too!

  3. I love every single project here! The series towels are my favorite though. Weave on, my friend, and keep sharing these lovely photos. I can only imagine how lovely it must be to weave by the water!!!♥️

  4. That Painted Desert thread is lovely. I would think it would make a nice light weight open type weave ( is there such a thing?) summer scarf or shawl. You do such nice work, Kerry!

    • Yes, there are a number of lacy sorts of weave structures and the Tencel yarn would be perfect for some of them. That color always seems to be back-ordered–very popular–but I need to get more!

    • I love that color, too. The bright colors are especially fun on these flirty little towels. I made one that’s a bright yellow green, too, that I love.

  5. Everything you make has class in my opinion! Looking at that beautiful painted desert thread I would love to see something woven simply with it just to show off those variegations and to compare them with the more complex designs you have come up with. (You may have ‘over thought’ them, but they still look beautiful.) The trouble with eye catching thread is it requires nothing too fancy from us to look its best. It took me four years to work out what to do with my beaded sari silk, every pattern I tried looked over wrought – in the end I went with a button hole stitch through the entire thing and got a lightweight lacy pattern that pleased the thread immensely. I adore that turquoise tab towel (it’s a colour thing) and of course your very own shawl is completely yummy. Did you get much wear of it this past winter? Is winter over in your neck of the woods yet? It’s coming on fast here……

    • I agree with you about the Painted Desert yarn–simpler would’ve been better. I have more of it but maybe not enough and it’s *always* on back order–I’m not the only one who loves it! And, yes, I’ve worn the shawl several times and am getting used to enjoying it. Winter is pretty much over but the chilly part of spring will stretch on so I think I’ll get to wear the shawl for awhile yet!

  6. I know how easy it is to be seduced by fibre and yarn. I go into a knitting store and even though I have a substantial stash it is hard to walk away from a glorious colour and texture. I also appreciate the joys of making the same item or reusing the pattern but in a different colour. My sister is an expert sock knitter but she changes every pair up with pattern, colour, fibre type, the possibilities are endless. How nice to have a glassed-in porch to create your pieces.

    Hope your husband is mobile again. Spring is coming….

    • As you say, the same pattern can be done in so many different ways and, the first time I make it, I am always envisioning what *else* I can do with it! Our glassed-in porch is wonderful . . . for 3-4 months a year. We live out there in good weather but it’s mighty cold much of the year. And my husband now has a walking boot and is *much* more mobile–thanks!

  7. All beautiful projects, beautifully made. How could we be bored hearing about and seeing them? Your shawl looks sensational: soft, lush texture and delicate colours. I do miss properly cold weather and the joy of rugging-up in woollen clothes, hats, gloves and scarves. And that Painted Desert thread tugged at my eyes too; I agree that perhaps it needed just a very plain weave to show off the beauty of the colour variations without the distraction of pattern. Do you have any left?

    • I would miss wearing snuggly winter clothes a lot, I think–I am always excited to do the summer-winter clothes swap-out and like my winter clothes much better than my summer ones! I do have some of that Painted Desert left–I have to see if it’s enough for another scarf. It’s apparently very popular (no surprise) and always on back order.

  8. Even with the best attempts, hand made things are never the same. That’s what we love about the hand made. And there is so much in your work to love! Maybe the placemats are my favourite, or at the shawls? But maybe the veggie towels, because their cheery colours just sing!

    • Thanks, Anne–I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite project, too, and always have about 10 more in my head to try next. I know you understand that!

  9. I love everything but especially the turquoise tab towel which would go very well hanging in my kitchen. You don’t sell your work in your Etsy shop though do you? Plus – the postage from the U.S. 😱
    Now, tell me about your cat’s subcutaneous fluids.

    • We have a separate Etsy shop for the weaving: I have a high postage cost listed for international orders but the last time I sent a tab towel to the UK, the actual cost was about $6. It would probably be about the same to France? You should just learn to weave and make your own!!

      I have two cats who have chronic kidney disease, which means they are chronically dehydrated. The subcutaneous fluids help them because they can absorb that fluid and hydrate. I’ve just started doing the process this week . . . the needle seems so big. But both cats are being good sports so far. Have you ever had to do this?

  10. I will always love seeing what you create. I can’t imagine not liking the color they selected when received. My favorite is the rainbow towel. The scarves are wonderful as well. Keep up the great creative work.

  11. I love it all Kerry and will never get tired of reading about your weaving and admiring your photos. I love the tab towels and I *really* love the pretty striped towels!

    • And the fun thing about the striped towels is that I was able to use up a lot of odds and ends that were basically waste thread. It’s a bonus that they’re pretty, too!

      • I have a friend who weaves but we haven’t gotten together so she could actually teach me. She did show me how to direct warp the loom (but not what to do with the mess when the clamps let go!) and she checked my work when it was done. So I still am not great on selvedges. But I think I am getting slowly better overall. Yesterday was a bad day, but I moved on.

        • Selvedges are an ongoing battle–I find the less I worry about them, the better they get! That will resolve itself with time. I have never done the direct warp method–I don’t know if it really works with a multi-shaft loom, but I am glad you have someone who can guide you. Keep at it!!

          • On going battle? Nooooo! I want to get where I know how to do it and it works fine. But not worrying is good, maybe I will get there someday.

            I understand how direct warp works, but I have to get a clamping system that holds against the tension. If the clamps come undone, it makes a big mess. That much I have learned the hardway.

          • Are you doing plain weave? I find that good selvedges are more difficult in plain weave than anything else! Give yourself time . . .

          • I am doing plain weave at the moment, but itching to get more complicated! I will stop stressing over it and just keep practicing! 😉

    • That’s what I always said, too . . . and now I’ve ditched some of those other crafts! You have lots of creative outlets, and you do them all so well!

    • Thank you, Joyce! I do think that’s why I love weaving the kitchen towels so much–even if I make a mistake or the colors don’t quite work, they’re useful. But sometimes they’re even beautiful!

  12. I am sometimes disappointed with the finished product from a variegated yarn that looked really promising as a ball/skein. A friend of mine recently made and unmade items with a particular yarn three times before she finally found a pattern (crocheted virus scarf) that it actually worked with. And it must be even more complicated when you are weaving and, therefore, combining warp and weft. Anyway, I’m sure you will come up with a way to use that beautiful colour combination that makes you happy.
    Oh, and I really love those colourful stripes.

  13. Your placemats looks so nice and heavy, like they will stay put on the table instead of floating off, and all four of the edges look so consistent! Beautiful work.
    I love the colorful striped towels. I have made ones like that a lot but never with the twill diamond pattern, and I also love that detail of the darker edge threads on the stripes.

    • Your knowledge and experience with weaving always make your comments fun to read, Gwen! The placemats *are* a nice weight–it’s really a great pattern draft. If you ever want to weave some, let me know and I can share the draft. I saw a photo on Pinterest where someone had made bright stripes with the dark edges and thought it looked really cool. It’s a big pain to wind the warp, though!

  14. I don’t replicate projects enough. Like you, I learn so much when I make the same project several times – though I often just move on to the next thing.

  15. The multi colored towels are very nice! I know I like bright colors more than you. I could never have woven those plain placemats, lovely though they are!!! I discovered that I don’t have the correct sized temple for my latest project….one too small, one too big! The warp was going to be hand towels, but I’ve decided to make napkins. And I’m just going to weave and weave and cut them apart later.

    • The placemats have really nice texture that kept my interest but, I admit, I got pretty bored by the time I was done. And the only time I’ve used a temple was at Vavstuga, for the two classes I did. I don’t really like using them. I’ll look forward too seeing the napkins when you finish them!

  16. I always look forward to your weaving posts! It’s so nice to see what you’re up to. I wish we lived closer and could talk weaving, though. All of your projects look impeccable, as usual. I especially love the dish towels (and those veggie ones are fantastic). You have a lot more discipline than I do … I weave about 2/3 of a warp in what I’ve planned and then go off on wild tangents, mixing up treadlings, colors, whatever, just to see how they will look.

    I’m about to warp up some of my handspun wool singles. Keeping my fingers crossed they don’t break all over the place. Off to Vavstuga in a few weeks.

    • Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived close enough to visit and talk?! I do some weird sampling, too, as you describe but probably not enough–I need to fight my inhibitions! The veggie towels should off the loom in the next few days–I hope they live up to my expectations. Vavstuga should be such fun–and the Bridge of Flowers will be fabulous in a few weeks!

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