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August 3, 2021 newsletter

Granny Pam’s Inspiration

Cotton Bouclé Tea Towel Kit

Here we have classic GP, nothing insipid about these colours!  🙂

As promised, here are a few more design options for our Bouclé Tea Towel kits, this time using Granny Pam’s Inspiration colours!

The pattern that comes with all our Bouclé tea towel kits is a great starting point to design and create your own patterns. Each kit weaves 9 towels in plain weave, on 4 shaft looms. We recommend using a 12 dent reed and having an available weaving width of 22″. If your loom is narrower, you can design your own warp to your required width by reducing a few threads as needed 🙂

Below are 5 of the towels I designed with our Granny Pam’s Inspiration Kit. This kit includes the exact warping and treadling sequences to weave them. I hope that Granny Pam’s Kit inspires you to weave these towels plus enjoy creating your own designs on the additional 4 towels that are possible on this warp.

Warping Sequence

18 Purple
60 Fuchsia
12 Peacock
60 Orange
40 Pale Limette
36 Purple
36 Peacock

Total warp threads 262

A note on hems…

  I often use a different colour for my hems so I can do an easy turn and fold at the pattern line. You can weave 1.5″ of hem at each end using the Orange Bouclé from the kit.

Towel #1

1″ Peacock / 3 picks of Pale Limette repeated for 30″ ending with 1″ Peacock

Towel #2

1.5″ Peacock
3″ Purple
3″ Pale Limette
2.5″ Peacock
3″ Purple
3″ Pale Limette
2.5″ Peacock
3″ Purple
3″ Pale Limette
2.5″ Peacock
3″ Purple

Towel #3

4 picks Orange / 4 picks Fuchsia
repeated for 10″ ending with 4 picks of Orange
3″ Pale Limette
4 picks Orange / 4 picks Fuchsia
repeated for 17″ ending with 4 picks of Orange

Towel #4

4 picks Peacock / 4 picks Pale Limette
repeated for 30″ ending with 4 picks of Peacock

Towel #5

1″ Purple
5″ Fuchsia
1″ Peacock
5″ Orange
1″ Purple
5″ Fuchsia
1″ Peacock
5″ Orange
1″ Purple
5″ Fuchsia
1″ Peacock

Design for Weavers:
Using Colour, Part 2

Weavers can’t mix on a palette like painters do, so it is important to play with combinations that might strike you as unlikely, because you’ll be amazed how some of them work in the cloth.

You can see in the sample work on the School of Weaving, that varying colours that have high and low saturation can give you the most amazing, complex colour in your finished piece. Sort of like having a party with your quiet family, and then the loud crazy cousins come in and it becomes a hootenanny.

I have some favourite moves I like to make when using colour, and I’ll share them with you here.


I love gradation work.  This is where you can put all the tints and shades of one colour that you might have in your stash. A gradation builds movement across your weaving from light to dark.

If you then add an over-grid on your gradation, it makes an entirely new graphic:

You can shift through analogous colours, or in and out of one set of colours—for example, dark on the selvedge to light in the middle, or vice versa.

Analogous Colour Harmonies

I use analogous colour harmonies more than anything else in my weaving. They are the colours right next door to each other on the colour wheel.

Analogous colours flow into one another. Gaia uses them all the time: just start looking at flowers!

Some colour systems include four colours from the wheel in a row, others three. Personally, I think you can use as many as you want to create your own personal rainbow. If you are working directionally around the colour wheel, you can never go wrong.

Analogous colour harmonies are the perfect place to start if you are unsure about using colour. Then you can add gradations of light and dark.

Complementary Colours

Colours that are right across the colour wheel from each other are called complementary colours, or complements.

Complements for Zingers and Accents

Complements make great zingers and accents.

When deciding how you want your complementary colours to interact, keep in mind that colour plus its complement (in theory, anyway) gives you a muddied look. For example, if you use one colour for your warp and its complement for your weft, the resulting piece can be very muted, possibly more than you expect.

If you want that big contrast, keep blocks of complementary colours larger in both the warp and the weft, so that the eye does not blend them into gray.

Our plaid sample is a great example of this. We have big red squares and big green squares. Where they weave on each other, they look muddy. But because our eye is drawn to the solid square of each colour, we don’t even notice the muddy areas.

Split Complements for Pairing

For a split complement, we first identify the true complement of a colour. Then we select the colours on either side of it to pair with the original colour. For example, the true complement of green is red.

To find the split complement, we look at the colours on either side of red.

If you are looking at one colour family and want to find some nice pairings, split complements always work. They make great zingers, too. Start looking for split complements in nature and you’ll start seeing them everywhere.

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Here to help

You can always find us on the Jane Stafford School of Weaving Forum or on Weave with Jane Stafford at Ravelry.

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