Circles Draft Scarves: Monochrome

Okay, this is how it’s going to go down. I am warping for a small batch (two) of Turned Taquete Circles Scarves, and using yarn on hand (how else?). I decided to go with rayon chenille because it’s easy. I don’t want to wind a warp that’s 60 epi. Au contraire, I’m starting this at 16 epi and will be sampling from there. This is 1450 ypp chenille, and my normal epi for that is 16. I am prepared to go up to 20, but we’ll see how it goes. I have weft of the same size, and I also have weft that is 2000 ypp, which would probably be recommended for drape.

Shockingly enough, I will sample with both!

Circles Scarf on the warping reel

This is the draft I’ll be using, including color choices. I decided to go full on monochrome, just black and white. My next warp will have color added. This time, I wanted the most contrast I can get, and besides, I like black and white dots.

Circles Scarf Weave Draft

In other news, I have a batch of Turned Taquete towels off the loom and ready to finish:

Turned Taquete New Batch

Dishtowels off the loom – group portrait

This warp is my standard dishtowels warp: 10/2 cotton sett at 32 epi. 20 inches wide, and woven as close to 30″ long as possible, not counting hems which are another 1 1/2″ each. I say 10/2 cotton is my standard, but as soon as I use up my 10/2 stock, I think I will be switching to 8/2 cotton.

8/2 cotton seems to be a more standard material for dishtowels these days. Plus it’s somewhat less expensive. Can’t argue with that.

So, here are some close-ups just for fun:

Turned Taquete Dishtowel ZoomTurned Taquete Dishtowel ZoomTurned Taquete Dishtowels Zoom

I took these shots with my new iPhone, and I have to say that these photos would stand up to my Nikon SLR any day. Just sayin’…

And I’m Published Again

(This blog post was originally published June 3, 2013 on my first blog site, which is no longer in existence.)

I’m pleased to announce that I have a weaving project published in the May/June 2013 issue of Handwoven magazine which is just out on on newstands as we speak. It’s such a rush seeing your work in a print publication — there’s really nothing like it. And the issue theme was perfect for me — color. If there’s one aspect of fiber that I am always focusing on, it is color. With a capital C. Structure runs a close second, but Color is where I live.

This Circles Scarf is the project that I wove for Handwoven. It is a Diversified Plain Weave scarf, woven with rayon chenille for the thick warp and weft, and 20/2 cotton for the thin warp and weft. Here is the front view (that is, the front of the fabric)

And here is view with the underside (back) of the fabric:


When I got started with this idea, I was playing around with profile drafts and quickly realized that in this design the front and back of the fabric were very different. In this screen shot the front is on the left, and the back on the right:

When you move through the color blocks for each row of circles the neutrals of the warp appear as circles embedded in the weft stripes. On the back the opposite is the case, the vertical stripes of the warp have circles of color embeded within. Magic!

Here is the Profile Draft for the design. You can go crazy with different structures, but personally, I think the Diversified Plain Weave that I used for this scarf is the way to go.



Shameless Plug

(This blog post was originally published February 26, 2013 on my first blog site, which is no longer in existence.)

I’ve been weaving a lot of circles (see my previous post) and using a lot of colors of rayon chenille in small quantities. And it occurred to me, this isn’t a problem, for me, because I dye my yarn. I even over-dye my yarn if I don’t like the current color. But for many weavers, having a lot of colors of rayon chenille at your finger tips might be a pretty expensive proposition.

You can order chenille from the big yarn suppliers, but only on 1 pound cones. At upwards of $15-$20 per cone. Ouch. This is where my shameless plug comes in. I have a shop on Etsy where I sell hand-dyed and hand-painted rayon chenille, in addition to hand-painted tencel and cotton yarns. In small quantities. I sell the cotton and tencel in 4 ounce skeins. And I sell the rayon chenille in 4 ounce skeins. I could even dye to order if a request came my way.

I’m not the only indie dyer out there selling, but if you think about it, this is a real convenience that we provide. Folks needing small quantities should really look into this as a yarn source.

Ok. As I said, I’ve been weaving circles

Circles in Diversified Plain Weave. The warp is alternating stripes of black and gray rayon chenille. The weft is (you guessed it) stripes of rayon chenille in bright colors. This is the prototype scarf for a project I’m hoping will land in a forthcoming issue of a weaving magazine. More about that later.

After I finished weaving my scarves I decided to push the circles idea further and came up with this:

This profile draft has 8 threading blocks, which means for a weave like Diversified Plain Weave or Summer and Winter, you will need 10 harnesses. It will weave in Crackle on 8 harnesses, but I like DPW or S&W better. This design will just have to wait ’til I have more time to devote to it.

Pretty cool huh?


Going Around in Circles

(This blog post was originally published January 4, 2013 on my first blog site, which is no longer in existence.)

And, here we go with the new year. I don’t have resolutions per se, just a list of modest goals. I have some time off between semesters and I am home for two more weeks, so theoretically, I should get some stuff done.

For instance, go through the kitchen cabinets, remove items that haven’t been used in, like, years, and take them to the Goodwill.

Sew a couple of pillows for the couch, which could really use a little bit of freshening up. It should be easy. I’ve had the fabric for about five years as long as we’ve had the couch. Just need to buy some trim and pillow forms. Easy!

On the fiber front, I’m knitting a sweater and 99% done. Knitting a second sock, always a challenge, but it works well with the bowl games in the evening.

Painting more yarn for my Etsy shop. Watch for Pashmina Purples and Winter Blues! Further, I added several of my handwoven scarves to the Etsy shop. They were just sitting around, and needed to make themselves useful.

And speaking of weaving, I am in design mode. A little background: I’ve been seeing some lovely examples of scarves with a circles motif on Weavolution and also on the Handwoven Flickr group. I was kind of obsessed with figuring out a profile draft for circles for my own work after seeing these. I have an 8-shaft loom, so any block weave is going to be limited to six at the most.

At the same time, I got hold of a copy of Alice Schlein’s The Liftplan Connection. I decided the best way to figure this profile draft out was to use PhotoShop Elements, and Schlein’s book is the go-to manual for doing just that. Even better, she included a circle motif as one of her examples. So, using her directions in Elements I copied the cirlce motif, imported it into my weaving software, which in turn generated a draft.

This is the design I used:

Ok, I know it’s not a perfect circle, and if I had more harnesses to work with it would be much smoother. However, I have just five blocks to work with for the circle itself, plus one block for the background, so that’s as good as it gets. I have an idea for a Diversified Plain Weave Scarf, and I need to paint some yarn in order to get that on the loom.

I’m pumped.


Circles 2.0: Color

So this Turned Taquete Circles draft is enjoying some further refinement, thanks to another blog reader. The tie-up that Peg provided (see previous post) had some four-thread floats, which were not hugely problematic. In fact, Peg is weaving scarfs using that tie-up as I write! But with that tie-up color order in warp and weft became touchy, and could emphasize those floats in at least one scenario. Thus, LaJean worked with the tie-up some more and came up with a draft with the longest floats being only three threads.
Well done! Here is LaJean’s version:
Readers who request the wif for this design will now get the new and improved version. If you have Peg’s version, no worries, just adjust the tie-up a bit and we’re all good.
Now, the following is a short demonstration how color order in Turned Taquete can make a difference. The first graphic is all structure and no color. White warp and white weft. You might be able to see the circles if you have the eyes of an eagle, but you probably don’t.
This second graphic reveals the circles by the addition of a light gray alternating with white in the warp. White weft. Very subtle.
Now changing out light gray for black in the warp really shows those circles. You could weave a scarf alternating a light neutral and a darker handpainted warp, with the same neutral in the weft.


This graphic shows the difference changing the warp color order makes. Instead of white/black, we have black/white.

This has the same warp color order, but changing the weft to black. Very dramatic.


Now, add color. Suddenly, the variations are infinite. The Fiberworks program has a nifty tool that lets you substitute colors pretty quickly, so if you don’t like one combination, there are many more to try.


Peg recommends shortening the treadling sequence on treadle 7 so that the circles will be more round. That was a freebie! 😉


Errata, Mea Culpa, Etc.

Mea culpa, mea culpa…
In my last blog post, I shared my circles design, which I was so proud of. I worked and worked to get the circles to conform to my 8 harness limits, and then I convinced them that indeed they could be Turned Taquete. I worked with not one but two weaving software programs, going back and forth, and figuring it out. I thought I had it!
And mostly I did, except for some issues with floats. In the weft. Which you have to check for.
Luckily, someone did, just not me! Intrepid weaver and blogger Peg Cherre who weaves and share her weaving in the blog Weaving a Gem of a Life (check it out!) noticed floats. And not just a few, but a lot! Some as long as 19 threads!
So here is the new and improved design. Peg redid the tie-up, which I had been uneasy about all along, and tweaked the treadling here and there. And here it is:
I have scarf plans and dishtowel plans for this draft, but am still mulling over colors, and fibers, etc.
If anyone would like a copy of the wif file, contact me in comments with your email address. And I promise to do several more mea culpas….


Around and Around in Circles

I like things with circles. This is vase is a case in point, and it had me at the dots. (The rest of it is pretty good, too. Unknown student artist from Iowa State University, c. 2003.) And don't get me started about stripes!

This scarf, found in a tiny store in Paris, is another example. I blogged the story of it here. I loved all the variations of circles in a woven fabric. I just had to bring it home with me.

I have an on again, off again obsession with weaving circles, made all the more of an obsession by the fact of my limitation of 8 harnesses. If I had 32, 24, or even 16 harnesses, the difficulty in designing for circles would be much less. But for now, I only have the one loom, and I am stuck. I designed a scarf in Diversified Plain Weave for Handwoven Magazine, May/June 2013. And it started from this graphic:

That graphic became this profile draft:

And then it beame this color profile draft:

And then it became this scarf on the loom:

At the time I played with complicating the design by moving the circles into two repeating offset rows. To get to that, the profile draft increased to 8 blocks. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of weave structures that I could substitute into that profile draft that would make an interesting, clean rendering of it, given my 8 harness limitation. Crackle Weave came close, but no cigar. I wanted to try Turned Taquete, and I gave it the old college try, but I soon realized that the way these circles are positioned was not working for me.

So I tried positioning the circles farther apart. This is the profile draft Ifinally came up with. The cirlces are four blocks each, and I had to tweek the tie-up until I got it to work.
Since moving, I have upgraded my computer and software considerably. I purchased a Macbook Pro and installed Fiberworks PCW (new to me) and upgraded my Pixeloom. So now I have dueling weaving software and they don't do everything equally. I tried echo theadings on both programs, and I was much more satisfied with the result from Pixeloom. Just sayin'.
Here is the final Turned Taquete Circles drawdown. It took a LOT of trial and error and tweeking, but I finally did it. So what shall I weave?