Colorful Huckaback Towels

There’s nothing like a guild challenge to kick-start creativity. In this case, members of the Syracuse Weavers Guild of Syracuse, New York, were challenged to use the yarn from Tintes Naturales Friendship Towels kits to weave their own, original towels. Judy Fox turned to Marguerite Porter Davison’s classic book for inspiration for her Colorful Huckaback Towels from the September/October 2018 issue of Handwoven. Here’s what Judy has to say about designing her towels:

huckaback towels

Judy Fox’s huckaback towels.

Designer Judy Fox’s Statement

As a relatively new weaver, I faced the Tintes Naturales towel challenge with a mix of anxiety and excite¬ment. The towels became a catalyst to study weaving design.

With the encouragement of other guild members and a very basic understanding of weaving software, I explored how to use all eight colors in at least one towel for the challenge. After five or six attempts, I had a plan that fit the challenge directions and available yarn. The Large Huck-a-Back threading in Marguerite Porter Davison’s A Handweaver’s Pattern Book allowed me to weave different patterns while experimenting with color.

I put on extra warp and tried several treadlings using stash yarns along with the kit yarns. Some of my towels were more successful than others, partially because I didn’t factor in different shrinkage rates with the stash yarns. Sometimes you learn more from your failures than your successes. My takeaways from this project? Taking the time to plan well is worth the effort, do your calculations at least twice, trust yourself, and see what happens.

Happy Weaving,

Project at a Glance

PROJECT TYPE: 4-shaft.

STRUCTURE: Huckaback.

EQUIPMENT: 4-shaft loom, 19″ weaving width; 10-dent reed; 1 shuttle; 2 or more bobbins.

YARNS: 8/2 unmercerized hand-dyed cotton (3,360 yd/lb; Mayan Hands Dye Project; Cotton Clouds).

OTHER SUPPLIES: Matching thread for hems.

Featured Image: Judy Fox combined hand-dyed cotton yarns from Guatemala with a Marguerite Porter Davison draft to create towels that are a modern take on classic huckaback.

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