Pictures of the Kate Smith and Norman Kennedy’s first dish towels, from their exhibition ‘Celebrating the Dish Towel‘.
Singles linen and spot weave humbled me in my last week. while also giving me a a glimpse into truly how beautiful cloth from linen singles can be. From the 8 yard warp I put on the loom I got about a foot of cloth, with threads breaking about every two picks. We sized it using a a mix of wallpaper paste and vegetable oil, which did reduce the fluffiness, but had us prying apart the threads for each treadling at the magic moment between the thread being too wet and too dry. But OH THE CLOTH it makes.
Month-long bliss at Marshfield this August. Linen was the main focus of my work study, all of which I got to weave on an very special 18th century loom that had recently come to the barn from Connecticut. One of the projects I wove was a double bed sheet in 40/2 linen, striped and dyed with one of the many indigo vats cooking outside this summer. I also was lucky to see a sheet in their collection, dated and numbered, a historical practice as one’s linens were of such great value.
Marshfield: Part VI
I finished my blanket midday and got it off the loom, I have a load of broken threads to repair and I need to decide if I hem it or make a fringe (I am leaning towards hem).
Kate and I with my finished blanket.
I spent the rest of the afternoon weaving tape using an 18th century pattern chiefly used for upholstery. This one is linen and wool, I wove about a yard in blue and another yard in green.
Two historical blankets that I believe a future student is going to use as the basis for their blankets.
Marshfield: Part V
To my own surprise, I wove 60 inches of my blanket today. I have about 8 more inches to do to finish the last repeat of my pattern and then I get to weave some tape! Kate has one she had made for a sample warped up on a smaller loom, so I am going to finish that tomorrow. Plus I get to see more of her collection of 18th century coverlets.
Marshfield: Part IV
After much of the later morning and early afternoon underneath the loom tying up, I finally got to see my pattern. I’m weaving on a countermarch loom for the first time which was a bit of a brain melt to tie up with 8 shafts (more on that later). Despite that and a few broken threads, things are moving forward. We decided to double up the wool weft after throwing a few picks with it singly and I’m pleased as it gives the whole thing a bit more density. After playing around for about 5 inches I drew up my pattern, which is only slightly different from the historical blanket mine is based on.
Marshfield: Part III
Below are some shots of the studio, which is an incredibly beautiful place to work in.
I wound bobbins on this today, faster and more efficiently than I have with any other winder.
There are many amazing things happening in the studio at all times, including this warp weighted loom that Norman Kennedy is going to be weaving on sometime over the next months.
Marshfield: Part II
The majority of today was spent threading, 1260 ends in all. Tomorrow brings tying on at last and then finally getting to wind some bobbins and start weaving.
My blanket is based on this historical one that Kate pulled out for me when I said I wanted to focus on twill blocks for my weaving project. This one has been beautifully seamed up the middle out of two panels, mine will be one piece 43 inches wide and 60 inches long.
A whole new world of 8 shafts and string heddles.
My view for the better part of the last 9 hours.
One pattern repeat of my draft.
The lower beam where I sat, also for the better part of the last 9 hours.
Somehow crossing out the repeats gave some sense of satisfaction halfway through.
At last, threading the reed, something which I could do standing up!