The Never Ending Warp

I'm still plugging away at the tea towel warp that I put on the big loom awhile back.  Much has happened with it since I last posted, and not all of it was good.

The first issue was that the warp was NOT 8/2 mercerized cotton, as the label stated.  I had noticed that it seemed finer than that, but I tend to believe what I read, so when I tried to weave using 8/2 weft, the pattern wasn't even visible.  This meant that I had to cut and resley the warp at 27 EPI, so the towels are going to be quite narrow, truly fingertip towels.  I settled on using 10/2 merc cotton (what else??), and being careful to beat semi-gingerly.

After that was settled, the first towel I wove was with a red weft, called Lipstick, and it was a joy to weave;

The second was a different shade of red, a bit brighter, and it also wove easily, until I came to the hem at the end of the towel.  I was using 20/2 bleached cotton for the hems, and I had had no problems with the previous three hems, but then this happened:

The temple broke several weft threads, along with 6 warps in a row on the left side, and one on the right.  I couldn't figure out the reason, since all had been well before.  All I can think of is the the tension on the warp was high, the temple was set at exactly the width of the warp (and had been), and I may have beat the 20/2 more firmly.  I hung some repair warps off the back of the loom, weighted, but to have 6 in a row meant lots of problems starting to weave again.  The ends could easily be pushed out or drawn in, so I had to loosely weave quite a bit with some green 3/2 cotton, careful to leave the left selvedge edge a bit loose, until I had enough "cloth" to weave normally. I don't know if the second red towel will be sellable, with the wonky hem.

After all of that, I was so frustrated that such a basic warp was so slow to progress, but now I'm having a slightly different feeling about it.  I. Am. So. Bored.  I've woven 10 towels, and am more than halfway done with the 11th, and I really wish I was done.  With all of the mistakes, I was sure that I would get fewer towels, but I think I have enough for 2 more.  The treadling is like a mantra now, but not in a good way - 4,3,2,1,2,3,2,1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4,3,2,3,4,3,2,1.

These are the colors I've used so far (after the lipstick):

The first purple;

A bright blue - I wove two of these!

A beautiful, rich medium marine blue;

Forest green and jade:


Dark Turq, which is actually a very bright aqua;

And the not quite finished Purple Passion;

I need your input!!  Should I just repeat some of what I've already done, or do you think that some more unusual colors might interest people?  I have more yarn from my autumn-themed towels (brown/rust/bright yellow), or a light silver, or charcoal??  I also have two pinks, one brighter than the other, and two oranges, but it's hard for me to choose colors like that when I don't personally like them much.  That's why I need others' opinions!


  1. I love your selection of colors so far. I tend to love yellow but find they're slow sellers......the light silver or charcoal might be nice as there are so many kitchens today in whites with stainless steel. Autumn colors would also be nice since you don't have any in what you've already done. Pinks do sell, orange it tough, like yellow.

    1. Thanks, Cindie! I was leaning towards one with silver and red accents, but now I may also go with pink.

  2. I was thinking about gray in a stainless steel kitchen, too! And what about a more traditional navy and white or red and white? I've only ever done 5 towels at a time but I was bored to death after that many!


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