Monday, September 8, 2014

Doubleweave Placemats

This here was a daunting project.  I chose to weave these placemats after seeing their pattern in Handwoven Magazine.  I had just enough weaving space on my table loom, so I got going.  As I've blogged about before in my "Rebeaming" post, I had SO much trouble getting this project on the loom and ready to go.  First I had the beaming issues, where I also had several warp threads break, I miscounted heddles and ran short, and then I had beating issues... UGH.

Finally, with the help of weaving instructors from Handwoven Magazine, I discovered that the problem with the beating was that a table loom cannot beat in firmly, as this pattern required.  So, I ended up with my EPI (ends per inch) being half what the original pattern called for.  After staring at it for a long time (and ignoring it for longer), I came to the conclusion that there was no way in H-E-double-chopsticks I was going to undo all and scrap the project.  So I recalculated the repeats based on my EPI, and hoped it would come out in an acceptable placemat-like size.  As you can see, it did!  Here is the cloth beam just as I was finishing.  So rewarding to have a nice hefty roll of cloth that you made yourself!

I was so enamored with doubleweave after my previous project, my Stadium Cushion, that I just HAD to try another project.  These are reversible, one side of the weaving is white with yellow stripes and one side is blue with yellow stripes.  As you switch the layers, the colors reverse positions.  It's so much fun to do.  Hard to describe, but trust me.  Here is a shot of the back side of the placemat, blue dominant.

So cool.  But I'm ahead of myself.  Let me tell you a little bit more about how I finished them. After I fixed all my issues and finished weaving four placemats, I was left with a long stretch of fabric that looked like this:
I then cut the placemats apart at the pink divider line...
...and then zigzag stitched to hold everything in place.

The yellow wefts were not worked in or carried, so I had to weave them in after the fact.
Now because doubleweave, in this application, creates a tube-like structure, I was able to sink the seams into itself and form a nice finished edge.

I then pressed them and began hemming. I hand sewed the weft from one side to the corresponding weft from the other. It took a while, but the finish is very seamless.
But here is the finished product!
I love that you could mix it up and have some be white and some be blue.  And if you spill something on one side...just flip it over!  Problem solved!  :)

I learned more on this project than any other to this day.  All my headaches were certainly worth it and I'm happy to say I didn't give up!

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