A Basket(Weave) of Flowers

As a kid, I loved the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. In it, the narrator warns that if you give a mouse a cookie, it will lead to more and more requests from said mouse, starting with a glass of milk and working on up. As a child, I found the book delightful and silly. As a weaver, I think I can relate to the mouse, except perhaps I’d say that if you weave a set of placemats, then you’ll want to weave a set of napkins to match. And then, of course, next comes a runner and then maybe some dish towels—it can go on and on. Phillenore Howard’s napkins and the rest of the projects from the Silver City Weavers’ Tea Study Group featured in the September/October 2018 issue of Handwoven came about in just this way. Here’s what Phillenore has to say about this story:


Phillenore Howard’s Basket(weave) of Flowers napkins.

Designer Phillenore Howard’s Statement

Our study group planned exchange napkins to coordinate with green placemats I had recently woven. To me, our chosen colors suggested flowers blooming in a meadow of green. Thus, I planned twill stripes using a mix of all the colors in our palette alternating with stripes of solid green.

For the twill, I chose a draft I’ve admired by Michelle Sbraga that was part of a guild swatch calendar. I used half-basketweave in the green stripes to avoid the puckering that can occur when mixing twill stripes with plain-weave stripes.

Happy Weaving,

Project at a Glance

PROJECT TYPE: 8-shaft.

STRUCTURE: Twill and half-basketweave.

EQUIPMENT: 8-shaft loom, 21″ weaving width; 12-dent reed; 1 shuttle; 1 bobbin.

YARNS: 10/2 pearl cotton (4,200 yd/lb; UKI; Yarn Barn of Kansas).

OTHER SUPPLIES: Coordinating sewing thread for the hems; Shout Color Catcher dye-trapping sheet.

Featured Image: The purple stripes in Phillenore Howard’s twill and half-basketweave napkins evoke images of fields of flowers.

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