Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Christmas Conundrum

In my earliest weaving days a draft in the classic Marguerite Porter Davison "A Handweaver's Pattern Book" caught my eye and my imagination. The draft, called "Norse Kitchen" is on page 186 of the chapter Squares with Borders. The draft is simply stunning: a lovely center ground with classic, intricate borders.

First few "Norse Kitchen" towels.
Pattern Wefts:
Red - 10/2 perle cotton
Green - 8/2 unmercerized cotton
Blue - Cottolin
Lately my weaving adventure has led me to several projects using Miniature Overshot. You will find a few of them here on my blog. As I was considering this year's Christmas, overshot was definitely on my mind. Norse Kitchen's time had come. Using the same set-up as those Miniature Overshots I've been weaving I set out on November 10th with excitement both in the project and in my early start. There would be no midnight oil this year -- no, not for me.

I warped 10 yards of bleached white 20/2 cotton sett at 30 e.p.i. and set to work. That's when Norse Kitchen began to sour. Something about this draft was different. All along I had been using 10/2 perle cotton as pattern wefts at 30 e.p.i. But it quickly became clear that 10/2 cotton would not work as the pattern weft for Norse Kitchen. It wasn't heavy enough to square the design. What to do . . . ? I would either change the sett or change the pattern weft. Choosing the latter I wove a green towel using 8/2. Still the design would not square. It didn't square when I used a royal blue cottolin, either. Rats!

My first "Norse Kitchen" towel using 10/2 perle cotton as pattern weft.
I don't know how it goes for you, but it is near agony when my weaving goes wrong. For days I pondered the puzzle -- how do I make this work?

There were a few other issues with this draft that really bugged me. I knew for certain I could not continue weaving as it was. How would I ever meet my Christmas deadline?

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