More Towels … with a New Twist

So I wove up a batch of my Circles Turned Taquete towels recently. It kind of went in fits and starts. My notes tell me I began in October. I had ordered a beautiful palette of cotton yarn in what I called “Beachy” colors, and I was, like, game on.  But change was in store…

Change #1. This is 8/2 unmercerized cotton and it was a brave new world of warping and weaving for me. Previously, all my cotton dishtowels have been woven with 10/2 mercerized cotton. But I had come to think that 8/2 unmercerized cotton was really a better choice for towels. It’s easy to find, comes on smaller cones so you can order more colors, and the weaving community seems to have come to a consensus on its appropriateness for the end result. I was a little twitchy about unmercerized vs. mercerized though. Mercerization is a process that renders it more willing to accept dye, improves color and sheen, but renders it less absorbent. Unmercerized cotton colors are perhaps less bright, but the cotton itself is soft and more absorbent, making it ultimately the better choice for hand towels or all sorts.

Beachy Cotton

Change #2. I picked a group of eight colors and wound my warp. This is a new size of cotton, so I had to choose a different sett for my warp. I chose 24 epi (after checking around the interwebs for a bit to see what others were doing ;-)), which meant that I needed to order a new reed! OMG! I haven’t order a new reed. Ever. But It had to be done. So that pushed my timetable back a ways.

But, once I got going, it was smooth sailing. 8/2 cotton wound on the loom like a dream, and was really easy to weave off. I wove four towels in the circles design and two towels in my checked variation.

Here’s a photo of the two different varieties still on the loom:

IMG_0418

And here’s a group portrait of all six after they were washed, and hemmed, and ready for their closeup:

Beachy Dish Towels 02 copy

I’m ordering more greens for another batch of towels, probably in a design that doesn’t involve so many dots. Everyone needs variety!

A Little Something Extra (but not quite enough)

I’ve had a dishtowel warp on the loom for months. Oh wait, was it only April? That’s not that long…. sigh.

I wound enough warp for six towels, the most I’ve planned for, ever, because I’m not exactly a production weaver. More like a see-where-my-whims-take-me weaver. But, my pattern seems to be that my measuring/estimating skills are not quite up there with the professionals. That last towel turned out to be a placemat. But I love it anyway…. 😉

Circles and Checks Towels 04

Truth is, just about all, OK all, of my dishtowel warps have just enough left over for a small mat. My collection is growing.

This warp was threaded in my Circles draft for Turned Taquete. I alternated natural color 10/2 cotton with different color stripes of 10/2 cotton from the stash. The idea was to use up some cones, and I did that. I threaded 32 epi.

Here are a couple of shots of the group:

Circles and Checks Towels 02Circles and Checks Towels 03

As you can see I produced dishtowels with the original circles treadling and dishtowels with the checked treadling. I used the 10/2 natural cotton as weft for two of the towels. Then I switched to checks.

As in this drawdown:

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 2.53.17 PM

I alternated natural and brown on one. On the second I rotated natural, tea rose and camelia.

Then I went back to circles and wove one with all mauve. The short number six was woven with all camelia.

Quite a cheerful bunch, I think. Next up, I will get them photographed and in my etsy shop. It’s a good thing, because I am currently all out of dishtowels and I need to stock up!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Turned Taquete Circles into Checks (oh my!)

You’ve seen this:

susan-mod1-color-stripes

And I’ve been weaving circles, quite a lot of them in fact. I have the treadling down cold. All I have to do is press a treadle and I know where I am in the sequence. To date I’ve woven three warps of circle scarfs.

Black and white:

Turned Taquete Circles BW 01 copy

Gray and reds:

Red and Gray Dots Scarf 01 copy

And now, gray and greens:

Greens Circles Scarf 2

As you know, one of my recurrent themes is trying to find different designs on a threading, making it do double, triple, quadruple duty if I can. So, toward the end of the third warp I started asking myself what else I could weave on the same threading, besides circles. Heck,  maybe even the same tie-up so I wouldn’t have to crawl around on the floor. Something that folks like and want.

And just like that, I thought of checks. Sort of the yang to the yin of the circles thing. So I sat down with the weaving software and played with the treadling and came up with this little gem:

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 2.53.17 PM

Here it is in a different colorway:

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 2.57.03 PM

So, a dish towel warp could do extra duty and also save the weaver from simple boredom, or, worst case, falling asleep at the loom ;-).  I think this design would be fun as bright and colorful placemats as well.

FYI, for those with only four harnesses, there is a nice little draft on handweaving.net for four harness Turned Taquete checks. Shared by Bonnie Inouye, it is # 61535. As for the circles, you’re still gonna need eight.

Circle Scarves in Living Color [Red]

So, I finally finished the first warp of rayon chenille Turned Taquete scarves in my color stripes circle design. I wove two, each with a slightly different gray weft. Then I wove a little end-of-warp piece with a dusty red weft called Geranium and made it into a cowl for me.

Here are the pics for one scarf that is now in my Etsy shop:

Red and Gray Dots Scarf 01 copyRed and Gray Dots Scarf 02 copyRed and Gray Dots Scarf 03 copyRed and Gray Dots Scarf 04 copyRed and Gray Dots Scarf 05 copy

I am amazed at how far I have come since I started this project. The results has definitely been worth it!

The next warp is going on the loom now. The neutral is the same gray, but the stripes are in greens, and the width is one stripe wider, up from 7″ in the reed to 9″.

Here is a quick iPhone photo:

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_c20

Because the word needs all the circles we can give it. 🙂

 

 

Jitterbug Turned Taquete – It’s not just for 8 harnesses!

About two years ago I blogged about taking an overshot pattern called Jitterbug and converting it to an 8 harness Turned Taquete weaving draft. You can read all about that here. I don’t know why my mind wandered back to that, but I started wondering about how it would work on 4 harnesses. In her article “Turned Taquete: an Introduction” (*see below), Bonnie Inouye describes how it can be done by interleaving a four harness overshot threading with a second threading on opposites. I did not try this method, but I did decide to explore another method.

In her book Weaving with Echo and Iris Marian Stubenitsky suggests some ways to substitute blocks of four harnesses, each arranged in a different order, for the threading blocks in a design line. This means that each block will be switched for a four-thread sequence. Here is the substitution formula from page 71:

For Harness 1 we will substitute 1324

For Harness 2 we will substitute 3124

For Harness 3 we will substitute 3142

For Harness 4 we will substitute 1342

Other sequences of substitution in her book had issues. One could only be used on a rising design line, not descending. Another ended up with many double threads that needed to be deleted. This method had no problems and only the caveat that this threading rubric does not work with iridescent effects (four colors per block), but only with two alternating colors per block.

Off I went. First I re-wrote the design line to the minimum (keeping in mind that it would be expanded by 4x):

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-11-36-38-am

FYI– this is what it looks like with two repeats of the threading and treadling:

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-11-38-03-am

This is one repeat of the threading draft after four-thread substitutions are made:

Jitterbug Threading

And this is one repeat of the threading draft with the tie-up and one repeat of the treadling draft, which includes tabby on alternating picks:

screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-11-59-56-am

The longest floats are 4 threads according to Fiberworks, which should be fine for most close sets. So, lest you four harness weavers should feel left out of the Turned Taquete craze, this is a perfectly serviceable technique to join in the fun. Enjoy!

*The complete article can be found here: Complex Weavers Journal, June 2014, pp 36-40.

De-Stashing (again)

circles-scarfI finished the black and white Turned Taquete Circles scarfs, and this is the one that I am keeping. It’s on the short side, and I haven’t ruled out whether to turn it into a cowl. A seam would shorten it even more, and it’s currently holding at 35″ not counting fringe.

If I do turn it into a cowl, I’m considering using the technique for seaming used by Sarah Jackson in Handwoven with her Diversified Plain Weave Dancing Circles Scarf that she designed for the Thick and Thin issue (November/December 2016). BTW, my DPW Circles Scarf (Handwoven, May/June 2013) was a resource! And I have another short piece of chenille that I can practice on first, so still mulling that one over.

Meanwhile, I decided to go for color and circles in a big way. I dug into my stash of 1450 ypp rayon chenille and came up with lots of balls of hand dyed chenille leftovers from a multitude of other chenille scarf warps.

I’m using a medium gray for neutral contrast. Here’s the stash after already winding one two-scarf warp:

chenille-1

Here’s the stash after winding two two-scarf warps:

chenille-2

And here’s the stash after winding three two-scarf warps:

chenille-3

That would be six scarfs warped. Then I weighed what was left, and it is still over a pound! Arrrgh!

Circles 3.0: Color and Stripes!

I just finished the first Turned Taquete Circles warp, and I managed to eke out two scarves after all that sampling. One is a bit on the short side, so I guess I’ll save that one for moi. I enjoyed the monochrome project, so different for me, but I found myself plotting how to add color this draft. And lots of it. And fast.

susan-mod1-color-stripes

As you can see from this screen shot, the circles are distinctly separate (barely) in the vertical columns, but just a bit overlapping in the horizontal columns. (I’ll have to work on that.) That means that I can change colors vertically, thus adding a whole bunch of interest with very little effort. I’m not sure I would want to change colors in the weft. I rather like weaving with only one color to think about in the shuttle.

Now. Time for a glass of wine.