Our annual Woolery Weave-Off is underway. If you aren't familiar, it's our annual dish towel contest with prizes where we donate all the towels we receive to a local women's shelter. All the towels must be woven in Bluegrass Mills 6/2 Cotton Yarn and postmarked by May 20th, 2022. You can see the full details for the contest on our Woolery Weave-Off Page.
We have four categories in The Woolery Weave-Off, Pattern, Color, Beginner, and Rigid Heddle. Our recommended sett for Bluegrass Mills 6/2 cotton is 15 EPI. This means that you would need to weave your towel entry using a 15 dent heddle. Not all looms have a 15 dent heddle as an option so we have a work around for you. You can use 2 strands of yarn as one working end to double up your sett! Basically just hold two strands of 6/2 cotton together at the same time and warp them using a 8 dent heddle. This gives you a sett of 16 EPI. It's only one thread off our suggested sett and will make lovely thirsty towels. Amy made a useful video for you on how to set up your loom with a doubled up warp:
This technique works with any skinny yarn that you might want to double up to weave on your rigid heddle loom. You can then double up your weft to create a towel with a balanced weave. Amy wove with a doubled up weft in our Cozy Textured Scarf Project and you can see how she manages her yarn on her stick shuttle in this video:
Amy used a slightly different technique for her towel. She used two different shuttles, a double boat shuttle, and a single boat shuttle, so that she could alternate between having 1 and 2 strands in her weft. She felt it would be easier to reach 16 PPI using this method.
Colors Used: Evergreen, Dusty Miller, and Queen Anne's lace
The Woolery Weave-Off also requires all towel entries to be washed. When we say washed, we don't just mean soaked in the sink. We mean washed in the washing machine on warm and then dried in the dryer. They are meant to be used like dish towels. Most people do not hand launder their kitchen linens so we want to make sure these towels will be ready for use and laundering when they are received. If a cotton dishtowel has not shrunk in the wash we do not consider it to be fully finished.
You need to keep this shrinkage in mind when you choose what size to weave your dish towel entries. The Woolery Weave-Off has a minimum finished size requirement of 14" x 22". Amy's towel had a 19.25" warp and a 32" woven length. After it was washed and dried it is 14.5" x 27.5", you are going to need a weaving width of at least 20" on your loom if you want have a towel that will be 14" wide.
We also require that all towels be hemmed. Taking a sewing machine to your handwovens can seem scary if you've never done it before so we made a video on preforming a simple hem for you. This video also has Amy's helpful tip on keeping her selvedges nice when using 2 shuttles. The tips for the hem start at around 9:17 if you just want that information:
We can't wait to see all of your dish towel entries for The Woolery Weave-Off! Please feel free to give us a call or email us if you have any questions about the contest.