TTofC: Eleven Miles of Finishing

OK, that’s a stretch, but it sure felt like a lot of finishing. I thought I’d take today to talk a little bit about finishing the Twelve Fourteen Towels of Christmas.

Once I finished weaving off the last towel, I had an impressive stack of unfinished weaves stacked in a corner of the counter. I had cut them all apart from each other and pulled out the headers, but that’s it.

Ah, procrastination. One tells oneself that one will save time by saving many tedious tasks to be done at once, but is this a self-deception? In this case, no, because I had that handy Christmas deadline.

The first step was to cut the fringe short, to about 1/4 inch or a little less. This is why I asked for a quilter’s ruler for Christmas (Thanks Carina and Matt!)

The second step was to fold up my double-fold hems, iron them, and pin them in place.

Pinned and ready to hem!

I decided to try hand-hemming, because Liz Gipson said it was her preferred way, and because I will do a lot to avoid getting out my sewing machine. It did take quite a few hours to hem these up, but I was very motivated, so it only took me a couple days.

I used the 2/10 cotton, doubled, for hemming.
Mercifully, I had saved the little bits of naturally-dyed 2/10 cotton that I had leftover.

Once hemmed, I had the fearful task of putting them into the wash. I just did a gentle cycle and hung them to dry. I confess, I was timid. They will get shredded by use eventually, but I don’t have to be there to see it!

The excellent drying rack that husband installed in the bathroom. Very handy for drying cloth diapers.

All that remained, then, was to trim off all those ends (which got quite raggedy in the wash), and give them one final press.

You can see in some of them that my hems pulled in quite a bit. I’m not quite sure what I did wrong.

This one looks particularly barrel-shaped at the top and bottom. Maybe I used too light a beat and not enough angling on the header and footer? Maybe my sewing technique left something to be desired? Sadly, with so many to get done on a deadline, I was not inclined to experiment and problem-solve. At least the edges will be sturdy and hard-wearing, and they look fine when folded for hanging.

I am very pleased with this first foray into towel-weaving and gift-weaving, and I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to give it a go. Thanks for riding along on this one-loom open sley! (weaving pun)

One thought on “TTofC: Eleven Miles of Finishing

  1. With the caveat that I know nothing about weaving (and therefore cannot comment intelligently on it), it looks like you may have just hemmed your ends a bit tighter than necessary — which would have pulled them in a bit more if there was any shrinkage in the wash. That’s my best guess, anyway.


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