Wednesday, February 13, 2008

M's And O's Dishtowels

M's & O's dishtowels.By Leigh

Four M's and O's dishtowels done! Happily, I actually got the weaving finished in time to cut the entire length of fabric off the loom, and run it through the washer and dryer in time for Saturday's WNCF/HG meeting.

Both warp and weft are 8/2s unmercerized cottons, and I did intend to measure my fabric to see how much shrinkage I got after wet finishing. However, I was in such a hurry to get ready for Saturday's meeting, that I forgot to take before and after measurements. I did notice that since I used two different brands of unmercerized cotton (the red is one brand, the other colors another) the shrinkage was slightly different.

Yesterday I finally got them cut apart and hemmed, and I still have enough warp on the loom to either weave one more, or experiment a bit.

One thing that's fun about M's & O's, is what happens with wet finishing. Like huck lace, it is transformed. You can see this in the photo below.

Before & after wet finishing.On the left is before washing, on the right is after.

I really like the weight of this fabric for dishtowels. They are sturdy and not wimpy. The weaving size on the loom was approximately 19 by 24 inches. The finished size is 15 by 22.5 inches.

I chose the red warp as one of the parameters for my Winter Project. I wasn't too sure about what to do for the weft though. M's & O's requires the same size yarn for weft as warp, so after looking through my stash, I finally chose colors which were analogous to red.

Red warp & yellow weft.Yellow weft

Red warp & orange weft.Orange Weft

Red for both warp & weft.Red weft

Red warp & purple weft.Purple weft

The colors aren't very true here. This is probably due partly to my lighting, and partly to the fact that my digital camera is dying.

One last tid-bit; the M's & O's name. In the comments for my last post, Christine pointed out the O's. With a little lot of imagination, I found the M's too.

Christine also gave me a link to several free, pdf articles from Shuttle-Craft Bulletin, each featuring M's & O's. These are from the Online Digital Archive, and are a fantastic resource. If you are interested in downloading copies, click right here.

Posted 13 Feb. 2008 at

Related Posts:
Five Red Warp Dishtowels
M's & O's: The Basics
M's & O's - Weaving Observations


Sharon said...

Actually, wouldn't your camera be dying? Freudian slip, I'd say. I think I can do that project and I think I might actually have something upstairs to do it with, though I think my cotton is 20/2. I guess I just need to figure out the epi and measure accordingly. I'm mapping out time to weave this weekend since my dye day fell through. You always nudge me.

Sheepish Annie said...

Those are just lovely. Isn't it nice when something can be functional and pretty at the same time? I also love the way some projects change with a washing. It's always so fascinating!

Leigh said...

Good eyes, Sharon! LOL Absolutely a Freudian slip. You can tell what's always on my mind. Of course, being the grammar freak that I am, I had to go change it.

I think M's & O's in 20/2 cotton would be fantastic. Makes me think I should experiment with different size yarns.

Valerie said...

Lovely towels! I love the color effects when they are hanging together on the warp, many color effects.

You can play with the treadling a bit in M's&O's too.


I love the towels, and the colors are great, wonderful display on the pegs.

bspinner said...

Like Valerie I also like the picture you took of the towels on pegs.

When I weave towels I machine zig zag the ends to prevent fraying. After they are washed and dryed I then hand hem them which takes a ton of time. I hope I'm not being nosey but would like to know how you finished the hem on your towels.

ladyoftheloom said...

What wonderful pictures!

What a great online resource!

Thanks Leigh!

Charleen said...

I love your M's and O's towels, so much so that I ran right downstairs and picked out the warp for a set for me! Thanks for the virtual kick in the pants - it's just what I needed to get something back on my loom.

Anonymous said...

These are great Leigh, well done. I envy you and your weaving.

Janet said...

The dish towels are lovely Leigh. But I have a question after all the discussion back and forth across the pond about the meaning of the words dish towels. How are yours meant to be used?

Leigh said...

Janet, I believe that what we call a "dishtowel" on this side of The Pond, is what you call a "tea towel." Ours are just a general kitchen towel, originally used for drying dishes. Of course, most folks over here use dishwashers now, so they probably serve more as hand towels in the kitchen. I'm assuming your tea towels are pretty much used the same(?) Sizes seem to vary quite a bit (and seem to get smaller and lighter weight at the discount type stores). I used to weave scarves as samplers, but since I don't wear them much, and have given one to everyone I know, the dishtowels are much more useful.

Jackie said...

I love the picture of the towels hanging! And what a great idea to weave towels as samples. And , like Charleen, I want to put some on for myself!

Kathy said...

Just bee-you-tea-full! :)

Dorothy said...

I've enjoyed seeing your work with M & Os weaving. I particularly like your before and after washing photos.

Also, I'm really pleased to be reminded to look at the Online Digital Archive, there's so much good stuff there.

Thanks Leigh!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful T-Towels Leigh. The M & O's are great for absorption.

Peg in South Carolina said...

The towels are lovely and I enjoyed reading what you wrote. I wove a bunch of towels in this cotton and they do shrink...and shrink....and shrink.........! But they are wonderful! However, next time I will make them probably twice the size I want them to end up being!

Tracy said...

They are all lovely. Nice work.

Clare said...

These are all gorgeous, lovely colour combinations. I've been looking at lots of M's and O's, there is so much lovely work, but I think I like best the ones that use one colour for warp and another for weft.
Thanks for all the photos and tips!
Clare at