Darned Huckaback is always in good taste for towels. The work is easy to do and inexpensive, and a very small expenditure of labour suffices to produce, from a piece of huckaback and a few skeins of thread, not only towels but many other articles that call for ornamentation that will stand hard wear.
Huckaback can be had in various qualities; some of it is of "Old Bleach" linen, and beautifully soft to work upon, creamy in tint and rather coarse in texture; that known as Union, and which is a mixture of linen and cotton, is a purer white, a finer mesh, and for certain patterns answers su fficiently well.
You will see here 4 different patterns for darning on huckaback, and when you realize that Fig. 2 is a detail of the towel design shown in Fig. 1, you will understand how the effect varies according to the texture of the background material.
The towel being of rather closely woven huckaback, was worked with longer stitches than those used on the small detail. Usually every one of the raised threads that are the distinguishing feature in huckaback weaving, is picked up by the needle following the outlines of the pattern chosen: in the towel-end, for a bold effect, every alternate one only of these threads was lifted.
The threads to be used are lustrines such as Ardern's Star Sylko, or Vicar's "Brilliante," which can be obtained in many pretty shades. These threads usually come in 3 sizes, fine, medium and coarse, suited for fine, medium and coarse "huck" respectively. For washing articles, boiling dyes should be selected, for other goods, any preferred colour scheme can be followed.
Fig. 1, A TOWEL IN GREEK FEET DESIGN.
In the towel in Fig. 1, the threads are all taken up in diagonal succession, not right up and down the fabric. For the longest lines of this Greek Fret design raise 10 threads in succession, working upwards and from right to left; pick up 4, passing-down again as if tracing an inverted letter V; 3 threads still downwards but from left to right;
2 upwards, forming a small V; 2 downwards, inside that V as it were; 3 up, following the'outer left hand slope and towards the right; 3 downwards to the right, inside the first line of 10 stitches;
3 down and to the left; then, starting 1 loop lower still, begin again with a set of 10 loops lifted. Continue thus all across the work. The towel is worked in the same way, but the darning is under every alternate loop, thus enlarging the pattern.
Fig. 2. THIS SHOWS THE DETAIL OF THE TOWEL.
If other rows are needed to form a wide band or all-over design, these are easily arranged, as the illustrations show, and dovetail exactly in with one another and with the first row worked.
The towel edge is embroidered with scarlet; for the detail deep yellow, pale green, bright blue and coppery orange threads were selected.
Figure3 is a little design that was worked in orange and red; any preferred mixture could be made use of, but the effect will be so different, according to the tints used, as to surprise those unfamiliar with the work. In suit-able colours this pattern is well adapted for small articles.
Fig 4. A PATTEBN IN BOLD VANDYKES.
Fig. 3. A ZIG-ZAG PATTERN.
The straight, orange threads are laid first, and are in plain darning carried along every alternate row of loops on the huckaback, and passing under every one of these loops. The red lines are in zigzags an d manage d thus: raise 4 loops side by side just below a yel-1 o w line, bring the thread up and to the right, under the loop where is also a yellow strand; still upandto the right and the nearest free loop; under 3 more loops paralle1 and going towards the left, down and under a loop where is a yellow strand, in the same direction and lift the loop next to the left of the 4 first loops raised; this is the first loop of the next set of 4 that begins the repeat of the pattern. Continue this in every row, but alternate the zig-zags so as to leave no free and unraised loops.
Figure 4 is also in bold Vandykes, but here no 2 threads pass through the same loop. Scarlet and pale green were the tints used and the same outline was followed by each thread, only the stitches were so set that those of one row exactly alternated with and fitted in with those of the next Four strands were raised for the longest straight stitch, 4 more upward and slanting to the right, 4 down again side by side with this first slant and so on all along. This for the scarlet rows; in the green, the 4 threads raised came at the top and the slopes pointed downwards and to the left.
Fig 5. A BROGADED EFFECT.
Figure 5 is a sample of more elaborate stitchery that gives somewhat the effect of brocade. Blue and green and blue and pink were employed for the interlacings of the stripes, with straighter lines of black.bordered with dull gold. Black is exceedingly effective, but must only be used sparingly. In this pattern the black thread must be finer than the coloured, as a double line of it runs through the same sets of loops. Five straight stitches are followed by one raised just above the line (raised by one black strand) and another raised just below the line and for which the 2nd black strand only is employed. The dull gold thread follows the outline of the black, but is raised to one strand beyond the centre loop of the 5 straight black stitches; thus vandyking it a little. Between the rows of black and gold are the heart-shaped lines that give &8226;one into the other. Seven strands or loops are raised in succession for the longest lines, and the thread passes twice through the 4th of these after completing half the width of the row that it is working. It should be noticed that the bands of pattern arc arranged to set alternately, as this looks far better, especially on account of the black rows, than if they were placed exactly one under the other.
Other patterns, easy and elaborate, can be contrived by any worker who has once successfully managed one design.
As regards its uses, Huckaback darning is adapted for use on towels, cushion-covers, aprons, work-bags, nightdress cases and many other articles. Marking can be effected in this manner and with good effect.
Two further cautions alone are necessary: use a blunt needle (a rug needle) and do not let any stitches be seen on the wrong side of the work. Begin and fasten off invisibly under the stitches that are over the right side of the huckaback.
A border for a Tablecloth, made by darning filet crochet, open mesh. The edge is finished with loops and double crochet.