Pics to Picks

Today is P2P2 Big Reveal Day so it is time for a worldwide round of applause and appreciation for Meg, who has organised the whole thing with tremendous generosity and grace. I have not only enjoyed my own project, but have been avidly following the progress of the other participants.

My set of pictures came from Meg. Here’s a reminder of the first one I chose to work with (you can see the whole set here if you want a refresher).

My reason for choosing this one was that I liked it the least. I didn’t like the colours and I didn’t like the busy bittiness of the image. However, I decided to embrace those characteristics and use them to weave something appropriate to the theme: a hand towel. (Well, I couldn’t face the thought of a bath towel, but it did need to be a towel for people rather than dishes.)

I’ve said more than enough about Brighton Honeycomb already, so let’s not dwelll on the technicalities (except to note that the hopsack welt worked well on my sample piece, but scaled up to a full size towel it ended up being a smidgeon too wide — something to record here so I’ll remember next time).

Here’s the towel, posing with its picture source.

Here’s a close-up of the weave structure, which is surprisingly animated.

And here it is on duty. Our cloakroom has no natural light, and I reckon that helps to improve the colour of the towel.

In fact I wove two identical towels, and the twin of this one is currently en route to Nelson, New Zealand as a thank you gift to Meg — though I can’t help feeling there is something rather barbed about sending a gift when you have publicly declared that you don’t much like it! It isn’t really like that, though: the work that I’ve done with the image and the yarns means that the result is something I am quite pleased with, even though I’m still not very keen on the original picture.

Having got myself a bit bogged down in my official P2P2 project, I also embarked on a second project which was inspired by my favourite image in the collection. This one, of a sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle.

In this case I didn’t spend any time planning, I just took some yarn to the warping board and got ready to weave my favourite triangles. I used such a mish-mosh of fibres that I was prepared for all sorts of weirdness when it was finished. However, the result was a more-or-less flat piece of cloth — flat enough, at least, to be used in small pieces to make a messenger bag. Here’s the result.

In fact the body of the bag is a black cotton drill and only the flap features the handwoven fabric. To make it robust enough I used a base of the cotton drill and handstitched two pieces of the coloured fabric side by side onto it. Then I just continued using it in the pattern (which is from this amazing book). I wove the strap in warp-faced plain weave and my selvedges are RUBBISH. But the colours are nice. Oh, and the lining is red.

I’ve included links above to some of my earlier posts on these projects, but you can see them all here or by clicking P2P2 in the tag cloud on the right. More interesting, though, if you go here you can see what everyone else has done.

Thanks, Meg!

Pics to Picks” was posted by Cally on 31 Aug 2011 at

Creative Commons License

11 Responses

  1. Meg in Nelson


    I guessed, as I was sending you the pictures, that Niki de Saint Phalle would be your favorite, but I never expected you to work on your least favorite as your official project. I received the package, (well, Ben came home) 13 minutes after I posted my post, and it was such a lovely surprise. Thank you! It is VERY soft and lovely but I don’t want to share it with guests, so I am going to use it as my travel companion when I go home for three weeks in October/November. The piece looks and is VERY three-dimensional and I can stare at it for an awfully long time. And your hemming is beautiful as well.

    I love your bag and its riotous colors, but I love the color of your chair and the radiator, too. Is that your home?

    I’m very glad you had fun. And thank you for the lovely surprise.

    • Cally

      Yes, it’s our study — also of the arched windows. Painting the radiators dark blue falls under the “seemed like a good idea at the time” heading, but now we’re stuck with it we’ve kind of run with it as a theme: the walls are green, the desks and bookcases mostly dark wood but the sofa, the chairs, the filing cabinet and even the computer are blue. The rest of the house is decorated in light colours, but the study has a very distinct personality. Plus it gives us an excuse to buy blue accessories (stapler, hole punch, webcam…)

  2. Alice

    Love both projects. Really interesting structures and spot on with the color interpretations.

  3. Julia

    That’s a great accomplishment! I know you put a lot of time and thought into those pieces, and they are both just lovely.

  4. Sandra Rude

    Beautiful towel! I like the contrast between the two very different structures, and the way they each affect the yarn colors. The bag is great, too.

  5. Marion

    Both projects are lovely.

  6. Shirley Treasure

    Cally, WOW! I can’t believe you made such a beautiful towel from an inspiration source that you were not happy with!!! The towel is AMAZING, well done Xxx
    but I ADORE your bag!! all those wonderful colours…….Yum!

  7. neki rivera

    wow,wow awol from your blog for sometime and i find you being so incredibly productive.
    as sandra, love the contrast between the 2 different structures in the towel.
    the bacg is really attractive too.

  8. Kaz

    You’ve really captured the essence of each image and as they are both so different it show your adaptability and skills.

  9. Cally

    Thanks everyone. This has been a lot of fun. I did like the way responsibility is spread between the picture sender and the picture receiver – I didn’t have to choose my source, just respond to something given. Very liberating!

  10. sampling

    Beautiful towels and I love the vibrancy of the fabric for the bag!