Free Pattern to Weave these Striped Linen Tea Towels – GIST: Yarn & Fiber
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Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels

Coastal Linen Tea Towels

If you only have time to fit one last project in this summer, let it be linen! Linen sometimes gets a bad rep for being tricky or only for experienced weavers (not true!) but weaving with it in hot, humid temperatures can make the learning curve even easier. (See more tips below for weaving with linen).

I designed these tea towels with our gorgeous 100% linen yarn imported from a textile mill in Lithuania. I chose three subtle colors (Fog, Cream and Sea Glass) and two bright pops of color (Peacock and Goldenrod). I encourage you to experiment with your own color choices, mixing some bright colors with some neutrals. You can also see our kits below for some more suggested colorways!

Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels
                
Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels
                 

Materials

  • Warp: Five ½ lb. cones of 100% linen - Color A (Fog), Color B (Cream), Color C (Peacock), Color D (Goldenrod), Color E (Sea Glass) See other suggested color combinations below or choose your own! 
  • Weft: Use remaining warp yarn as weft 
  • Each kit contains enough yarn to make five 13" x 20" tea towels 
Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels Kit

Solstice

Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels Kit

Herring Cove

Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels Kit

Sea Glass

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: 4 shaft loom
  • 10 dent reed
  • EPI: 20 
  • Width at reed: 14"
  • Warp ends: 280
  • Warp length: 5 yards
  • Finished dimensions should yield enough cloth to make five approximately 13" x 20" tea towels
  • Finishing details: 1/2" rolled hem, hand-stitched 
  • Care Instructions: Linen gets softer and even more lovely with wash and use. You can machine wash and tumble dry, but if your towels get regular use, using the dryer can shorter their life span (all textiles last longer if they don't go in the dryer - the lint in your dryer is bits of the textile coming off). You can also handwash and hang on a line to dry. Either way...if you plan on ironing, you can iron while they are still slightly damp for the best results! 
Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels
                 
Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels
                 
Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels
                 

Pattern

Draft: Point Draft taken from page 71 of Ann Dixon's Handweaver's Pattern Directory (see diagram below)

Warp color order: I tend to design color stripes at the warping board. Feel free to experiment with your own blocks of color as you’re warping. If you’d like to follow mine exactly, here is the order:

  1. Color A: 42 ends
  2. Color B: 6 ends
  3. Color C: 12 ends
  4. Color B: 4 ends
  5. Color A: 46 ends
  6. Color B: 4 ends
  7. Color D: 14 ends
  8. Color E: 10 ends
  9. Color D: 2 ends
  10. Color B: 4 ends
  11. Color A: 28 ends
  12. Color B: 4 ends
  13. Color C: 12 ends
  14. Color E: 2 ends
  15. Color B: 8 ends
  16. Color A: 66 ends
  17. Color D: 14 ends
  18. Color E: 2 ends

Weft color order: Get comfortable with the random! For these towels, I warped a few bobbins or pirns at a time with different colors, not entirely filling each of them so they had varying amounts of yarn on them. The great thing about these colors is that they all play so well together. So I just wove the piece with alternating blocks of color, not worrying about where one towel starts and the next stops. Each towel ends of being unique, but as a set they look lovely and coordinated together.

Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels Draft
Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels
               
Free Weaving Pattern Striped Linen Tea Towels
                 

Tips for Weaving with Linen

Linen is one of those gorgeous, texture-y beautiful yarns that I get a lot of nervous questions about. Can I use it as a warp? Do I need to dampen it when I weave? Is it going to be hard?

I'm probably a broken record because I have pretty much the same response about everything, but for this it certainly is true: Just try it!

Linen doesn't have the elasticity of other yarn so it can be a tad more challenging as a warp, but it's nothing you can't handle. Take care to wind on with even tension, and as you are weaving, you should advance the warp frequently. Linen is very strong and won't break when you try to snap it, but it does weaken with side to side abrasion, so advancing your warp minimizes the time that any one part of the yarn is in the heddles.

(As for whether you should wet the warp while you're weaving...I have never needed to, but I live on the East Coast with a lot of humidity. If you are somewhere very dry, you could try spritzing it with a bit of water as you are weaving.)

Comments

Sara J von Tresckow

Sara J von Tresckow said:

You are, hopefully, aware that putting pure linen towels in the dryer will significantly shorten their useful life. Or are you trying to up your sales?

Lisa

Lisa said:

That was uncalled for.

Judy Klehm

Judy Klehm said:

I’m interested in the Coastal linen kit but could I change out the yellow for a red?

Amy

Amy said:

Definitely uncalled for. And it took about 30 seconds online to figure out that Sara J von Tresckow is a competitor in selling linen yarns. Ouch, Sara. Not a great way to advertise your business.

Katrina Thomas

Katrina Thomas said:

Well… I know who I won’t give business to.

Catty much?

Much better to say simply “FYI, drying in the dryer will soften them up but will also shorten their life”.

See? Much less catty and you’re passing on helpful info.

Randi Rewoldt

Randi Rewoldt said:

Thank you for the drafts & beautiful yarns!

Sarah Resnick

Sarah Resnick said:

Judy, yes you can choose any colors you’d like! You don’t need to purchase the kit, you can choose any 5 colors of linen from here: https://www.gistyarn.com/collections/linen-colors

Sarah Resnick

Sarah Resnick said:

Sara, thanks for commenting! It’s always a balance with care instructions – all textiles have a longer life when they aren’t put in the dryer, and yet often being able to wash and dry something quickly means it will get much more practical use. I wash and dry my linen towels in the machine. But you make a good point about linen in particular, and I’ll update the post about care suggestions. Certainly not trying to up my sales with my care instructions :-)

Gretchen Falkenburg

Gretchen Falkenburg said:

Dear Ms. vonTresckow(from whom I will never purchase anything), if you had bothered to read the whole blurb you would have noted Sarah’s statement that using a dryer shortens textile life.

Jennifer

Jennifer said:

Loving the modern color palettes! It will be hard to decide.

Carol

Carol said:

I have made three wonderful towels with the Italian Cotton linen on my 8 shaft loom and LOVE that yarn. I will be buying one of these kits as soon as I can make up my mind which color I like. I have lots of the other yarn left to make more towels with You have winenderful yarn.

Nancy

Nancy said:

Sarah, I am so very new at weaving… actually trying to figure out which loom to buy, all the new terms to learn and if I really want to take this on or not. But, I love yarns and have worked with them all my life in one form or another. I found your site and subscribed because of your generous nature in sharing ‘how to ’ information and I thank you for taking the time to do so.
In my mid 70’s, I come from a generation of ladies that were and are so very different from the younger generation of today. It always amazes me how mean spirited and hurtful people are becoming, saying anything they want to in order to hurt another person. I’m sorry for Sara ( whomever she is) to live within such a spirit…how awful it must be to see bad in everything rather than good. She must truly wake up each morning ready to find a fight of some sort.
On the other side, how fortunate you are to have within you a forgiving , understanding nature.
I have found the lady I would prefer to do business with and I thank both of you girls for showing your true nature’s, it made my choice so much easier 🤗

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