Here is a project for intermediate-advanced weavers, designed by Elisabeth Hill and woven with Duet Cotton/Linen Weaving Yarn in a variety of vibrant colors. These towels are woven on an 8 shaft loom, but Elisabeth also adapted the draft to be suitable for 4 shaft looms. In the project notes below you will see the instructions for both 4 shaft and 8 shaft looms. There is also a plain weave variation of these towels and the option to add additional accent colors to the design.
You can download an updated version of this pattern and purchase a kit here.
Warp & Weft: 5 cones of Duet Cotton/Linen Weaving Yarn
1. Wind a warp of 396 ends (4 shaft) or 400 ends (8 shaft) 3 yards long following the color order below. Use your preferred method to warp the loom and thread following the draft below. Sley 1,2 per dent in a 12-dent reed, centering for a weaving width of 22" (4 shaft) or 22.25" (8 shaft).
2. Wind one bobbin of each of the warp colors.
4. If you prefer, measure out 2 floating selvedges in Cerise (Color A), sley in the outermost dents and weight off the back of the loom. Do not thread in heddles.
5. Weave 8 picks of plain weave using a fine thread for the inner hem, then begin weaving according to the draft below. Notice that you will be using 2 treadles at a time for this project.
6. Continue weaving according to the draft or for your designed length. Finish with 8 picks in plain weave using a fine yarn for the 2nd inner hem.
7. Weave 2 picks of a contrast yarn and begin and end the second towel as you did the first with 8 picks of plain weave in a finer yarn for the inner hems. Optional: Substitute Santorini (Color D) for Storm (Color C) in the weft for your second towel.
8. Cut project off the loom and serge or zig zag the raw edges. Elisabeth writes, "For the first wash, I recommend hand washing in warm water with a mild soap, roll in a towel to remove excess water and hang to dry. When damp, iron until dry and hand hem. I turned the hems to create horizontal stripes on towel 1 and vertical on towel 2. You may machine wash and dry after this first wash, but I find that my machine will create difficult creases if I use it for the first wash of any project that uses linen."
To weave a set of towels in plain weave, choose any color sequence you like. Elisabeth wove checks for the first third using Storm (Color C) and Pear (Color B), created a divider using Cerise (Color A) and Santorini (Color D) and wove the rest in Storm (Color C).
Elisabeth (Lisa) Hill has been weaving for over 20 years, received her master weaver certification from the Hill Institute in 2012, has been a tech editor for Handwoven magazine, a faculty member at Vavstuga weaving school and a workshop leader for guilds and conferences across the country. She lives in Western Mass with her wonderful family and her very bad dog.