Bath mats

Yesterday was a snow day for me. Finally, it seems winter has come here in western Massachusetts! The snow started about 7am, and I took this picture at about 9:45am. By about 11:00am, there was a foot of snow on the railing. It finally tapered off and stopped by about 4pm or so, and two hours later, the wind started howling.

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So what do I do when I am not at work? Why, I get up early, make tea, and get right to work on a project. In this case, the bath mat warp was on the loom, and all that was left was to sley the reed and tie on. This went pretty quickly (hour and a half?), and then I started throwing the shuttle, which always really exciting. You spend all the time to get the warp just right, and it has to be absolutely perfect, but the only way to be absolutely sure is the when you start throwing the shuttle. So much suspense. Deep breath, throw, beat, throw, beat, throw, beat. And if everything is as perfect as it should be, you see the pattern come alive!

Alarmingly (and perhaps predictably), I’ve got a weaving-related injury: my right foot does most of the treadling, and since I’m treadling for several hours at a time, the muscles in my foot decided to rebel and cramp and be otherwise very unhappy. The remedy is ibuprofen, rest, ice, then gentle stretching and strengthening, which meant that all treadling yesterday had to be done with my left foot. I am not left-footed. Things went very slowly. But I did finish!

So. Two bath mats, all woven, hemstitched, washed, dried, and ironed out (for accurate post-wet finish measuring). I hemmed this morning.

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I am so in love with this green!

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I’m not 100% sold on the edges, but I have Ideas for more mats! And just look at that fringe!

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Can’t decide which I like better: fringe or hem…

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The reverse of each.

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Here you can sort of get an idea of how thick they are.

I tested the fringed mat out this morning – it worked really well! It’s absorbent, and I find the size to be just about perfect. The fringed one came out to be 20″ x 30″ (incl. fringe), and the hemmed one came out at 20″ x 27″ (3″ worth of hem total). I’ll measure again after each wash/dry for two or three weeks to see if there’s any more shrinkage, and to note how they wear. This yarn is mercerized, which means it’s a bit stronger, shinier, and takes dye better than unmercerized, but it also means it’s slightly less absorbent. Mercerized cotton (I believe) should hold up better in the long run.

I am going to try a different treatment to the selvedges (edges) in the next run, too. Should be much neater.

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