Kings County Fiber Festival

New York metro-area folks — Piglet and I will be exhibiting at the Kings County Fiber Festival as part of our local living-history group, making and showing potholders based on weaving patterns found in historical textiles.

Next Saturday, October 7 from 10AM to 5PM, we’ll be in Brooklyn’s Washington Park, at the Old Stone House, on Third Street between 4th and 5th Avenues.

The park will be filled with more than fifty fiber-craft exhibitors and vendors, but we should be easy to find — just look around for the group of people who are all wearing medieval-style clothing.

If you’re in the area and enjoy handcrafts, the festival is worth a visit — and please do swing by our table and introduce yourself; we’d love to meet some of you folks in person!

Offset Twill Rainbows

Here’s a pair of examples that highlights the extent to which Three-Three Offset Twill weave brings the weft to the surface while hiding most of the warp.

Both of these examples are woven using the same pattern, but in one case the color is in the warp while in the other it’s in the weft — and when removed from the loom, the results are dramatically different.

Woven by Piglet in the autumn of 2022.

Potholder Weave Dimension Reference

I put together a little chart to help visualize the range of sizes produced by different weaving patterns.

The differences are striking: the long-float twills can be as small as 60% of the area of a plain-weave potholder (20% smaller in both height and width), but they make up for that by being up to twice as thick — or even more than that in the case of ribbed and waffled weaves.

This is definitely not an authoritative scientific survey — I just grabbed a ruler and took some rough measurements from a mix of recently-made samples fresh off the loom and well-worn ones that have been hanging in our kitchen for years.

There’s a lot of variation; in places where you see little black bars sticking out of the right edge, those show a range of smaller and larger measurements I took from different examples. There are multiple factors at play, but I suspect the biggest driver is the variation in loops — sometimes you’ll get a bag of loops that are stretchier or tighter than usual, and that impacts the size of the finished product.

These measurements are all from potholders woven with Harrisville (“Friendly Loom”) cotton loops, with no skipped pegs — if you’re using wool or poly loops, I’d expect the results to be different.