2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. However, there have been many examples of kindliness and neighbourliness which have been so uplifting.
Sharing online has become a way for some people to acquire new skills and also to share their skills with others - from yoga, physical fitness and craft.
I joined the wonderful Weave-Along with Tien Chiu and Janet Dawson. It was a great online experience with copious notes and live question and answer sessions. Several thousand weavers joined in the fun.
There were two variations for the mug mats - 4 shaft and 8 shaft patterns. I chose the 8 shaft pattern and made a long warp in blue cottolin.
The pattern was for 134 ends sett at 18 ends per inch.
Here is my first mat. I used two shuttles one for the tabby weft and the other using a doubled thread for the pattern weft. Here the tabby weft is the same colour as the warp threads.
I wove two mats. The first mat was woven too loosely. I did not beat hard enough as you can see. The second mat with the white pattern is better.
I hemmed and washed them. Here you can see another woven mug mat made with carpet wool which I wove many years ago. I felt that the size of the cottolin mats was too large. I decided to make the epi 20 and to take out some of the warp ends.
This made the width at the reed as 6.5 inches 16.5 cm. Number of warp ends is 96 plus two ends for selvedge ( one on each side)
I used nine shafts. The selvedge on each side is on shaft 10 and is shown in green.
This pattern has the tabby weft in white and the pattern weft in blue and pink. The selvedge weft goes over one warp end for two picks then under one warp end for two picks.
At 20 ends per inch and beating appropriately, the pattern looked more even.
The weave structure is 3/1 twill so using the same colour weft the pattern can look quite complicated.
I tried some clasped weft designs which are time consuming but there are some excellent ways of varying the colours. This one is straightforward. The colours are clasped in the centre.
Here is the whole of the narrowed warp off the loom with three wider mats at the top.
I wove 10 picks of plain weave at the beginning and end of each mat so that they could be hemmed. This was only just enough so next time I will weave a wider hem. I also tried leaving a fringe on some of the mats. These are just the right size for me and I gave many of them away as presents. I will be trying the four shaft variation next.
What was so wonderful about the Weave-Along was the amazing variations that other weavers showed on the Facebook page. Such fascinating combinations of colours and adaptations of the weave. This was truly inspiring. When skills are shared, everyone benefits.
For this New year, I send my best wishes and love to everyone which starts with such hope that the infection will be overcome.
Susan J Foulkes January 2021