Woven Dishcloths

woven dishcloths

I am weaving dishcloths.

There, that felt like a confession. It does sound a crazy project, for some reason even crazier than knitting dishcloths. To claim it is part of an uncluttering project probably makes me sound completely deluded.

I felt inspired to weave last year when looking at books on The Book Depository website. Sometimes I look up a book that I own, then see which other books are recommended. Scandinavian Stitches (by Kajsa Wikman) led me to Scandinavian Weaving (Tina Ignell) and Simple Weaves (Birgitta Bjork & Tina Ignell). The two book covers feature woven fabric I like, simple yet pleasant. I remembered my two weaving looms, which were languishing in my parents’ attic. I fetched them, wondering if I should have just left them there, or arranged to sell them, instead of taking them home. I had not used them for over ten years, and until recently, I had not missed them. However, I have a stash of yarn that I do not want to knit into jumpers that I will not wear. I used to like wearing multicoloured jumpers, now I prefer them plain. If I enjoy weaving, these balls of wool may become blankets. I find the yarn too heavy for a knitted or crocheted blanket.

But first, I wanted a simple low-commitment project to make something useful. My dishcloths are in a terrible state, fit only for the bin. I alternate between forgetting to buy new ones, or not liking the ones I see. So I am now weaving squares of cotton to use as dishcloths. The cotton yarn was originally purchased to knit jumpers and cardigans for children. The blue and pink are remnants, the not-quite-white may be a remnant, or I may have changed my mind about the project for which it was purchased. The rigid heddle loom was a childhood gift, and it is simpler to use than the other loom, a four-shaft table loom.

Fortunately, dishcloths don’t need to be perfect in order to be functional. It doesn’t matter that the sides are wobbly, especially on the first few, as I gained experience in how tightly I needed to pull the weft. The first one is likely to be longer than the others, as I was not beat that thread as hard as I should have. The fabric will probably buckle when I release it from the loom, as I ignored the very sensible advice that the warp be rolled with a sheet of paper on the back roller, and consequently some strands are shorter than others. (I can’t remember why I did not immediately unroll the warp and try again with paper. It was obvious there was a problem, as the ends differed so much in length when I tied them to the front roller and I had to cut some of them.) But it doesn’t matter. I am enjoying the weaving, knowing that I am making something I will use despite its many flaws.

And maybe the last one will be perfect!

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3 Responses to Woven Dishcloths

  1. My mother was gifted a woven linen dishcloth, which I understand was an expensive purchase for the giver. It has lasted for many years and works brilliantly. It does seem like a crazy use of time, weaving dishcloths, but anything that’s not made of a synthetic fibre gets a thumbs up from me. I might just have to try it, too.

  2. Cindy says:

    Your woven dishcloth is beautiful! I totally understand you! I weave potholders on looms…the kind of looms kids use! What kind of loom do you have? I knit, crochet and sew but there is something about weaving that I can’t explain! Weave on, my friend! Weave on!

  3. Cindy says:

    I see now that it is a rigid heddle loom. I might have to purchase one!

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