Someday . . .

Someday I’ll get caught up.

Someday I’ll tell you about the craft show and the trip to Florida and autumn in upstate New York (except now it’s over . . .)

Someday, I’ll update you on a lot of weaving and hand sewing I’ve been doing. Someday, I’ll be a regular correspondent here . . .

But not today.

Today is full of outside errands and chores, helping my mom adjust, keeping up with the basic details of family life.

So, today I’ll just show you a couple of photos that makes me happy–handwoven Christmas towels!

They started here.

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And now they’re done.

 

Our Weaving Ways (Summer 2016)

The weaving continues, con brio.

We’ve made an addition to our pride of looms. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it came from a good friend who’s an excellent weaver—great karma! It’s not the loom’s fault that I feel a little intimidated . . .

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Since I’ve indulged my ego in my most recent show-and-tell, I’ve woven quite a lot.

A bunch of cotton towels like this, with varying bands of varying colors. Many of them have already been given away.

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A set of these towels, heavy on linen, to practice some of the skills I learned at weaving school. You can see one of the handwoven hanging tabs that make me go “squeeee!”

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A blanket and coordinating pillow for a baby girl who was so excited to see the gifts that she came 5 weeks early!

And this set of Monk’s belt towels and a runner—you got a glimpse of these when I cut them off them loom.

My husband, Don, has been weaving, too. He made this pretty runner and has two more huge and gorgeous runners waiting to be hemmed and wet finished.

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He wove part of the baby blanket, too, since it was a gift from us both. He has been spending a lot of time on a big, non-weaving project that I’ll show you soon!

So many projects, so many plans . . .

Did you have a productive summer, doing your favorite things? Have you done your show-and-tell? If so, leave a link in your comment!

My Dishtowel Jones: The Danish Modern Beauty

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It’s no secret I’m addicted to dishtowels. I love ‘em, old and new.

I like to use them.

I like to weave them.

I like to sell them.

I even run contests to honor and glorify them.

I have a new favorite dishtowel—quite possibly the best ever!

It’s damask linen, very high quality. It’s crisp and almost crunchy, the way good linen is when new. And it has that sheen, that shine, that polish that only linen gives us. It’s unused fabric—never washed or put to use, with the original sizing. The woven design looks different on the two sides. One side shows the pattern as light against a darker background and the other side reverses the shades.

The style of the towel is Danish modern and that makes it unusual in itself. While I could show you lots of table linens and towels that evoke styles such as Art Nouveau or Deco, and even more that are mid-century modern and cottage, it’s unusual to find linens that really complement the cool, clear lines and pale colors I associate with the Danish Modern aesthetic.

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This towel also makes one thing clear—it’s a bar towel! The woven design is of wine glasses and champagne coupes and brandy snifters and decanters of adult beverages. There they are, all lined up on the “shelves,” waiting for the party to begin.

I have four of these towels. The fabric was sold as yard goods and the original tag was still affixed to the linen—“Dalsjofors hellinne” from Sweden.

gothic petuniaI bought a piece that could be cut up into four towels—the design is laid out in a way that made it easy to see where to cut. I double turned the hems and stitched them on my beloved Singer Featherweight.

And now I admire these towels. I gaze at them in wonder and touch them with affection.

I know I don’t need four of them and I should sell some of them on Etsy, to spread the beauty around a little. The closest I’ve gotten is listing one of them at a pretty high price.

It irritates me a little that the listing has gotten almost no attention! Towels that are FAR inferior (in my opinion!) are getting love but my Danish Modern beauty is so understated and elegant, it goes unnoticed. Do you think that’s why so few of us opt for understated elegance as a look?

But beneath my irritation, I have to admit I feel a little relieved. Like all addicts, I covet all of what I need. I want to keep it close, to revel in it, and I certainly do not want to share it!

They say addiction is wrong but if this feeling is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

My Weaving Ways (mid-July 2015)

How many posts about weaving are too many?

I’m still in the honeymoon stage of my weaving career so I’m spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about weaving, reading about weaving, planning weaving, and weaving.

You’ve been patient and supportive (so far!), so here are some quick photos of my weaving from the last month or so!

I had this fuzzy, tweedy yarn I loved:IMG_6762

And wove it into a scarf with alternating panels of fuzzy and smooth–I didn’t want the fuzzy (and itchy) at the back of the neck.

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On the loom right now is this scarf in black rayon and red silk/wool. The pattern is called Wall of Troy! Sometimes I pick patterns just because I like the name . . .

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Inaugural Show of the American Dishtowel Club: We Announce the Winner!

Welcome back to the American Dishtowel Club Show! We are so pleased to have you with us, as fans and judges, at this final meeting where we have the pleasure of announcing the winner of “Best of Show.”

But first, to recap the action:

In the tightly-contested showdown among the finalists for Best of Breed, we saw the winners of three categories go head to head.

The winner of the Non-Working/Non-Sporting Group was the Fringed Display Towel, noted for its sheer physical perfection and breeding.

The winner of the Sporting Group was the 1950s Towel, with its exuberant style and sociability.

The winner of the Working Group was the Flour Sack Towel, appreciated for its willingness to work hard while never losing its charm.

Although the judges felt all of the towels exemplified conformation standards for their class, they also argued that one dishtowel breed stood above others and deserved the title “Best of Show.”

And the winner of the Inaugural Show of the American Dishtowel Club is:

The Flour Sack Towel! Let’s give them a huge round of applause!

The Flour Sack Towel was recognized for its appeal to owners and the extent to which it satisfied many needs. For instance, one judge pointed out that the towels are “cute, serviceable, AND repurposed,” alluding to the fact that many of these towels were originally bred from large sacks that held flour or animal feed.

Another judge, with affection for all the breeds in the finals, ultimately cast her vote for the flour sack towel because she had “fallen in love with its unbelievable ability to soak up water and leave articles dry and sparkly.”

Similarly, another judge spoke of the ways the flour sack towel accomplished what other towels in the show did not, “they soak up water (just what towels are supposed to do!) and are adorable at the same time.” These judges value the ability of a towel to the job of a towel.

Evidence strongly suggests that the judges were impressed with the fact that these towels were both practical and handmade. As one judge stated succinctly, “they look most likely to be the love children of loving hands at home.” The folky embroidery featured on many of these towels was a deciding factor for some judges.

The Flour Sack Towels earn the honor of “Best of Show” for their practicality, their hard-working style, their homey charm, and their exuberant personalities, which reflect the interests and abilities of their owners.

We, the organizers of this gathering of exceptional dishtowels, thank the judges for their commitment to the process and to the selection of the best of the best.

All of the towels that participated are winners, providing evidence that there are no bad dishtowels and that dishtowels truly are a human’s best friend.

American Dishtowel Club Show: The Finals!

Welcome back to the American Dishtowel Club (ADC) show and the much-anticipated final selection of Best of Show!

With your thoughtful and generous input we’ve applied conformation standards to three groups of dishtowels.

The voting was very tight, reflecting the high-caliber of entrants in the show, as well as discernment of the voting public.

Nonetheless, the people have spoken and we have arrived at the three finalists for Best of Show in the competitive world of dishtowels. These are: the Flour Sack Towel, the 1950s Towel, and the Fringed Display Towel.

Please review the finalists carefully and vote, in the comments section, for your choice of “best of show” dishtowel!

Working Class Winner/ Best of Breed

Flour Sack Towels

Affectionate, playful and vivacious into old age, water lover

Guidelines: The flour or feed sack towel is designed as a towel to do a specific job—drying dishes. Despite its humble origins and surface appearance of fragility, these towels are perfect for their job. They display great thirst, are long-lived, and, as one would expect of a water towel, they dry quickly. There are few absolute characteristics to be applied to this group, although they are often so beloved by their families that they are decorated lavishly.

Sporting Class Winner/ Best of Breed

1950s Towels

Happy, eager, and charming

Guidelines: It is common for dishtowels to reflect societal preferences and trends. This can be seen nowhere more clearly than in the 1950s-era towel. Towels of this breed are resolutely upbeat and sociable. Members of the group often have a pink and aqua coloration, although they may display other bright tones, and stylized graphics. Potential owners should know that towels of this group are enthusiastic to a fault; they will not behave in a subtle manner or remain quiet, no matter how well trained.

Non-working/Non-sporting class Winner/ Best of Breed

Fringed Display Towels

Serious-minded, dignified, bright, and aloof

Guidelines: If ever a towel was designed for the show ring, the Fringed Display Towel fits the bill. Physically commanding and of large build, these towels are arresting in appearance. They are prized for their genetic make-up—only the highest quality linen is found in these towels. The towels are expensive to own and maintain, and owners are proud to display these towels for others to envy and admire. The towels are haughty and can appear untouchable; however, anyone who appreciates sheer physical perfection and breeding will be entranced.

Now that you have reviewed the best of breed finalists, we encourage you to vote for your favorite; as you vote, please keep in mind that you are voting not for a specific towel but the category of dishtowel you feel exemplifies best of show. Voting is open for one week. Results will be announced at the end of voting. Don’t delay in making your voice heard!

American Dishtowel Club Show: Non-Working/Non-Sporting Group

Welcome to the third installment of American Dishtowel Club (ADC) show! With your input we’ve sought to apply conformation standards to three groups of towels, ultimately to arrive at the Best of Show in the competitive world of dishtowels. (If you have not yet reviewed and voted on the Working Group Towels and the Sporting Group Towels, you are encouraged to do so soon—voting is very tight!)

Today we are joined by the towels of the Non-Working, Non-Sporting group. Upon reviewing these groups, we hope you will vote, in the comments, for your favorite.

Guidelines: These towels are bred primarily to reflect on their owners’ affluence and exquisite taste. These towels demonstrate a phenomenal gift of beauty and reflect common ancestral traits of high, pure breeding and quality. It should be noted that these towels require special grooming and can be haughty and difficult to care for. Their sheer physical beauty captivates many in spite of the fact that these towels rarely perform well in a working or sporting environment.

Monogrammed Damask Towels

Steadfastly devoted to loved ones, but standoffish and lordly toward strangers

Monogrammed Damask Towels are often considered one-owner towels; they are loyal and bonded to their owners. Of substantial size and impressive good looks, these towels most often bear a pure-white coat and are marked by one or more hand-wrought embroidered initials. Towels of this class can be viewed by outsiders as cold and remote but they are affectionate at home and beloved by their families.

Dainty Fingertip Towels

Graceful, charming, and fussy

Dainty Fingertip Towels are the teacup poodles of the towel world and, in fact, discussions are underway regarding the creation of a new “toy” towel category in years to come. These towels are bred for petite size and sweet prettiness. They can be vulnerable to injuries from hard exercise and are perhaps best suited to households without children. Eager to please, they are boon companions of the elderly and love to be pampered.

Fringed Display Towels

Serious-minded, dignified, bright, and aloof

If ever a towel was designed for the show ring, the Fringed Display Towel fits the bill. Physically commanding and of large build, these towels are arresting in appearance. They are prized for their genetic make-up—only the highest quality linen is found in these towels. The towels are expensive to own and maintain, and owners are proud to display these towels for others to envy and admire. The towels are haughty and can appear untouchable; however, anyone who appreciates sheer physical perfection and breeding will be entranced.

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the towels in the Non-Working/Non-Sporting Group, we invite you to vote for your favorite; as you vote, please keep in mind that you are voting not for a specific towel but the category as a whole.

We hope you’ll join us next week for the final installment in the American Dishtowel Club Conformation Show. At that meeting, the Best of Breed for each of the three classes will be revealed and you will have the opportunity to vote for Best of Show.