Happy Napkins (Hapkins)
Every time I look at Elisabeth Hill’s Happy Napkins (or Hapkins as she calls them) from the November/December 2018 Handwoven, I can’t help but smile. The sunny yellow combined with a simple twill band makes for a sweet and sophisticated napkin that will look good on just about any table. Here’s what Elisabeth has to say about her design:
Designer Elisabeth Hill’s Statement
Yellow, like a true diva, has been known to be a little difficult to work with, in part because it has such a light value even in its most saturated form. If you have ever looked at a color gamp, you might have noticed that yellow is the value odd fellow and stands out from among the other hues. But (like a diva) its waywardness is what makes it such a charming pop color. So I have embraced yellow, and as a consequence, I always have a good selection of yellows in my stash.
For my “hapkins” (a name that came to mind as I gazed at my selection of happy yellows), I chose a range of pale yellows in 22/2 cottolin. I settled on the cottolin not only because of the nice selection of yellows I happened to have but also because it has a sturdy rusticity that I really love for my household. With yarn and rough concept in hand, I went to the “drafting” board to design these hapkins.
The plain-weave napkins I had in mind using an array of yellows and creams needed a pop of contrast. As I mulled the idea over, I was winding off bobbins from past projects onto paper quills (which I store by yarn type in those plastic boxes that organic greens come in). When I opened the cottolin box, a cadre of colorful quills called out, “Use us!” I decided that a simple ribbonlike twill border was the answer. I doubled the cottolin for the borders and used it as a pattern thread while continuing to throw the napkin body yarn as tabby. By changing the border color for each pair of napkins, the quantity of yarn on my quills was enough. I always love it when my stash speaks to me!
Featured Image: Elisabeth Hill’s “Hapkins” are sure to bring a smile to your face.
Project at a Glance
PROJECT TYPE: 4-shaft.
STRUCTURE: Plain weave with twill borders.
EQUIPMENT: 4-shaft loom, 18″ weaving width; 10-dent reed; 2 shuttles; 5 bobbins.
YARNS: 22/2 cottolin (3,274 yd/lb; Bockens; Vävstuga); 16/2 cottolin (6,720 yd/lb; Brassard et Fils); 8/2 cottolin (3,360 yd/lb; Brassard et Fils); 5/2 cotton (2,100 yd/lb; WEBS).