Three Block Twill Towels

This is my first "real" project on the big loom. It didn't turn out exactly as I'd like, but it's not a complete disaster. Really, it was a sample with new yarn, so I knew it might not work quite right.

I wanted to do a three block twill design, two block twill checks is something I've wanted to try but couldn't do on the old floor loom, so I thought I'd adapt it for 12 shafts. I had a design in a book to start with and then I had to figure out the rest myself. The figuring-out part turned out to be more complicated than I thought. The threading was not a problem, instead of having two blocks of 4 shaft twill in a check pattern (on A on 1-4 and B on 5-8), I divided one block into two so I could have the center portion weave the same warp-emphasis twill. I could still do the original check pattern by weaving A and B or the new design of floating blocks with B and C.

Here's some pictures of the towels on the loom, where you can see both patterns:

Near the end of the warp, my tension was starting to go wrong. I couldn't get a nice shed so I'd catch random warps with the shuttle that messed up the pattern. On top of it, some of the shafts were still sticking. To make matters worse, part way through the last towel, the end of the warp was coming off the beam and I was worried about the cord holding it on breaking, as it did on the front. So I tried to run another around the two apron rods and the knotted bundles of warp to make it stronger. This completely messed up the tension and whole sections started coming loose, so I just stopped and cut it off. So I didn't get as many towels as I planned, but at least there were some decent ones. So I cut them apart and into the wash they went.

They shrunk in the wash, which I expected. But it also made the fabric curl where the block patterns changed. I don't think towels should have to be ironed, but these won't lie flat without it. The fabric was nice, but it curled to the weft-emphasis side at each transition. I think a slightly more open sett would help, or possibly a little less tension on the weft to have a bit of extra yarn in each shed.

I'm planning the next project with some changes that should make it work better. I'll come back to this design idea later when I have some more experience with this yarn. I'm going to do a slightly more open sett (20 epi rather than 24 epi) and change the weave structure to a 2/2 twill so it is the same on both sides. A 2/2 structure has more interlacements than 3/1 so there are more places the yarns are held apart, which also requires a less dense sett. 20 epi is a convenient number and I'm guessing the combination of the two will make it about right. I can still do some interesting design with the twill pattern but because there are no transitions between warp emphasis and weft emphasis, it will all lie flat.