Checked Peach Runner

April 1, 2010

We bought this oak “credenza” at a famous discount used office furniture warehouse a couple of days before I finished the runner.  (I just can’t get over the word “credenza.”  Why does it sound so lugubrious?  I hear Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard: “Cre-Dennn-za.”)

We needed some low storage with a couple of file drawers, but not in the walnut or teak that is standard issue for vintage sideboards and office furniture.  I’d been looking for a while.  This cost $25!  We were very pleased with our ourselves until we realized just how incredibly heavy something made out of 1″ and 2″ thick pieces of oak and oak plywood really is (we had to ask a neighbor to help us get it up the stairs).  Unfortunately, the Used Furniture Coot at the warehouse chewed up the top edges when he tipped it on the dolly without padding, and we later discovered a crack inside one drawer front that may or may not be a result of the same.  But $25!  Actually, we are still pleased with ourselves.  The golden oak looks okay with our birch computer table, and since it is oil finished, I can re-finish over the scratches and watermarking without having to strip any varnish–if I ever decide to bother about it.

I didn’t have any plans for the runner, but it looks like it’s going to live here for a while, as it hides the marks.  The Crrredenza is certainly not going anywhere soon unless it sprouts wings.

Runner: Checked Peach

Shafts: 4

Pattern: warp-dominant M’s and O’s “Table Stole” from early 1960′s book Handweaving by Iona Plath, pg 125.  Added partial repeats of pattern on either side to eliminate floating selvedges.

Warp: peach Linnea Novita 4-ply 60% linen 40% cotton made in Finland.  13-14 wpi.

Weft: violet blue Borgs 2/2 Bomullsgarn (color 5215) 9 wpi.

Warp preparation:  5 yards on reel with two crosses.  Cut in center for 2.5 yards.  Wound 2 threads at a time, beamed 4-4-4-0 in quarter inch raddle.

Threads: 154 (152 in pattern; selvedge threads doubled but carried in separate heddles)

Sett: 12 epi in 12 dent reed.

ppi: 4.5

Width in reed: 12 7/8″

Woven width: 11 7/8″

Finished width: 11 1/4″

Length on loom: (Borgs weft only, excludes 2 x 2 1/2″ Linnea Novita hemming strips): 63 1/4″

Woven length: 58 7/8″

Finished length: 52 7/8″

Loom waste: 8″ front, 12 1/2″ rear.

Finishing: Lukewarm handwash cycle in machine, tumble dry warm until damp-dry, hand hemmed after zig-zagging edges on machine to prevent fraying.

Conclusions: Crisp warp yarn relaxed after finishing causing some deflection of weft.  Would have been better with sett of 13 or 14–same as wpi.  Checks better defined.

There should have been more of this Linnea Novita.  Each skein was supposed to hold about 104 yards.  Calculated warp as if using 4 x 100-yard skeins, so quite a bit less than stated amount.  Originally planned wider warp, then had to reduce by 24 threads while winding.

Because it was woven on a jack loom, there is a definite face and a back to this cloth.  I’ll have to keep this in mind when planning patterns for the table loom.  Sometimes the flatter back will be more attractive, sometimes the bumpier top.

I beat lighter and lighter as I went on, compensating for the feeling that I had crept into beating too hard.  Would have been a more consistent beat if I had just trusted my motor memory!  (Measuring results were hard to gauge when only 4.5 ppi.)

This would make a good pattern for a doormat with some coarse twine for warp, and heavy, strong-colored sisal or jute for warp.

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8 Responses to “Checked Peach Runner”

  1. ladyoftheloom Says:

    Hey! I recognized that table stole. It looks lovely on the Cre-Denza. I scored Iona’s vintage book recently on amazon for $.99 used (+2.99 s&h, whatever). WHat a find!

  2. trapunto Says:

    That is lucky. It’s a fun book. Actually, I haven’t seen the book for three years; it belonged to the library where I used to live, and I just copied the one pattern out of it! I liked the big single-weft checks.

  3. weaveblah Says:

    Hiya, Never mind the ‘credenza’ (which of course, is a great piece of furniture), you’re table runner is splendid, indeed. Happy weaving.


  4. What a beautiful combination! And I’ve been hearing that same word in different places these last couple of weeks. Congratulations!

    • trapunto Says:

      Thanks. I liked the combination too. It was one of those stash surprises. The violet-blue had turned out to be a really hard color to incorporate into anything.

  5. Cally Says:

    OK, I’m so uncouth I don’t know the difference between a sideboard and a credenza… I’m not very knowledgeable about Ms and Os either… but I do like the runner, and that’s the important bit, right?

    • trapunto Says:

      I’m not sure there is one, except in usage. Over here, sideboard is a more straightforward term for a low buffet; while a credenza can be a sideboard with modernist pretensions, a long television stand, a mid-century stereo-and-record cabinet, or a side table component of an office suite. Anything really, with the basic proportions. But it gets used most consistently in reference to office furniture.


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