Last May I bought a weaving kit from Halcyon Yarn but when it arrived I realized it was far too advanced for my skills at that time. I got it out two weeks ago and decided I was ready.
The kit used 10/2 Perle Cotton at 36 ends per inch in a Huck Lace (also called Huckabuck or Huckaback) pattern. Once I got the loom warped the weaving was pretty fast. I finished sewing the hems on the six place mats last night.
Here is what I learned. I would probably not make placemats from perle cotton again. It is too soft. I expect place mats to be a bit stiff and sturdy. These are soft enough to be napkins. If I'd known that from the beginning, I would have made napkins instead! I ended up pressing them with spray starch.
Huck Lace draws in A LOT. I spent a bit of time trying to iron the placemats into rectangles. You can see how they flare a bit at the ends where there is an inch of plain weave. If I made them again I would not add that inch at the ends.
I don't like black edges with colored weft. It seems to show every tiny flaw. The pattern called for an inch of tabby on either edge. If I did them again I would reduce this to half an inch.
With such a dense warp (36 epi) it was IMPOSSIBLE to get an even weft, no matter how hard I muscled the beater. 36 warp ends equaled an inch - half that many weft shots equaled an inch in pattern, and in tabby it was even less, more like 12-14!
The hems of each place mat were woven using plain sewing thread for weft. This made a smooth, warp-faced BEAUTIFUL shiny fabric! The color of the thread hardly showed at all. In fact, tightly packed 10/2 warp with sewing thread weft would make fantastic striped napkins. They'd have a great sheen, be smooth, and the stripes would be solid. The spool of thread fit right into a small boat shuttle so it was easy to weave.
I liked the huck lace pattern and will probably make something with all my leftovers. I will expect it to be soft, cushy, and draw in...a lot! I will not repeat the elements I didn't like but will do it my OWN way next time.
As always, I learned a lot!