Somthing Old, Something New

You’re looking at our new armrest covers for the couch. Not that a dark purple (officially, Eggplant) couch will show the grime that much, but after a year we wanted to be, uh, proactive.

A little background.

I didn’t weave something specially for this purpose, but I did happen to have a table runner that wasn’t doing anything and that was, lo and behold, the perfect color, and the perfect size, at least width-wise. As soon as I determined that the future of this runner was going to be on the couch I cut it in half and hemmed the cut ends.

Voila!

I wove this runner as a one-off in February 1998. So, almost 20 years ago. The weave came from 8, 12…20 An Introduction to Multishaft Weaving by Kathryn Wertenberger. It’s a double two-tie unit weave woven on 8 shafts with two weights of yarns in both warp and weft: 40/3 cotton and 5/2 cotton. I really love this weave and I go back to to it occasionally. If you can get hold of a copy of this book the photos are on pp. 46-47, and the draft is on p. 117.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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’…

Whipping Up a Fresh Batch of Dish Towels

This is a quick shot of the first of my new batch of dish towels on the loom. I'm using my tried and true Turned Taquete technique, but as usual I didn't think it through.

I had planned for a checkerboard effect with the taupe/gray background and multicolor checks. I warped the gray areas in the solid color with no contrast. And I had hoped to isolate the color squares with gray all around. But. To do that, I needed to alternate gray/color/gray/color. Instead, I alternated color/color.

This makes for a nice variety of colors overall, but my intended result is not happening.

I am getting better at using my new warping reel, though. So that's a good thing. And the winding on went smoother for a change.

My next idea is to use this technique for placemats. I will probably order 5/2 cotton for the warp and sett it pretty close at about 24 epi I think. And maybe use 10/2 cotton for the weft. We'll see.

Turned Taquete, the Saga Continues (Originally posted 3/17/14)

So I've been moving quite slowly in the weaving department. A lot of life changes are happening Chez Iowaweaver. The husband retired at the end of 2013. My own retirement looms (ha! a pun!) at the end of June. Our house is our very own episode of Hoarders as my husband seeks to consolidate his office papers and books and regain a semblance of order and sanity.

The next episode of Turned Taquete was themed in greens and blues and I put on a warp for four towels using the threading draft I blogged about last time. See draft below. I had enough colors and ideas for treadling orders that I didn't get bored, and the weaving actually went pretty fast.

Here are a couple of photos of the towels while still on the loom:

This is the weave draft. I sett 10/2 cotton 30 ends per inch. The warp was 20″ wide and I had five 4″ sections, so just imagine another section on the left to match the section on the right. 😉

Here is the towels' group portrait:

And individual shots:

In other news, I've been dyeing sock yarn and other knitting yarn with fiber reactive dyes in the crockpot. This is a process that I got to know about three years ago, but didn't pursue. But I like it lot! It is super easy. And I am going to continue with it more seriously, especially since I will have more time when I am retired. So, guess what I'll be blogging about next time?

 

The Scientific Method – 8 Shaft Turned Taquete (Originally posted 11/2/13)

Hypothesis: In weaving it is generally the case that 8 harnesses will yield a more complex cloth than 4 harnesses.

Experiment: Weave some Turned Taquete tea towels using an 8 harnesses threading.

Results: Not so much. Here's the deal. The towels that I wove on 8 harnesses could just as well have been woven on 4.

Turned weaves are a trade-off. You turn a weave, often, for the convenience of being able to weave a complex weave structure which, unturned, would require two shuttles. Turning, you weave the cloth with one shuttle and speed up the process.

Here's my basic weave draft:

Ok, basic in that I didn't really use the threading. What I did use here was the tie-up and the treadling. Yup, I only used four treadles and the only difference between Block A and Block B was alternating the tabby treadles (1 and 2).

I used two threading blocks. Block A was threaded using harnesses 1-4, and Block B was threaded using harnesses 5-8. Each block was four inches wide and I used Block A three times and Block B twice. The towels were 20″ wide in the reed.

One tactical error was in the colors I chose and how I used them. You really need high contrast colors for Turned Taquete to work well, and I had gone crazy buying new 10/2 cotton, but the colors I went with, though nice and pretty enough, didn't have the contrast I needed.

But, I love, love, loved weaving the towels. It was so much fun deciding what the next sequence would be. The texture is wonderful. Still, I could have done them with four harnesses. What do you think? There is so lttle published on Turned Taquete, and maybe I could have figured out a different tie-up or something, but maybe not.

Here is one of the towels posing for its portrait:

And a detail:

If I had threaded this weave on 8 harnesses using a standard summer and winter structure (which is what Turned Taquete basically is) and woven it with one shuttle, would I have ended up with towels that matched my original vision? What the heck, I have tons more 10/2 cotton…

 

 

Turned Taquete Tea Towels — Terrific! (Originally posted on 11/13/12)

The final results are in. The Turned Taquete Tea Towels are finally done, off the loom, washed, hemmed, and ready for their close-up.

Wow! If I do say so myself. The color combinations are fabulous, the structure is never boring. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

To recap: I used 10/2 cotton for both warp and weft, sett 30 ends per inch. The warp was 20″ wide, and (ahem) not nearly long enough. I wove the first towel 30″ (under tension) plus an additional 1 1/2″ on each end for hems. The second towel was not nearly as lucky. I was only able to weave 23″ plus hem allowances on that one. (When will I learn?) So the second towel is really a Tea Square. A new genre. I just made it up.

Off-loom, the measurements were 28 1/8″ x 19″ and 21 1/4″ x 19″ respectively. I hand washed the towels for their first laundering. The colors barely ran at all, so I probably could have put them in the washing machine with a regular cold wash load with no worries. Air dried, and steam pressed while still damp.

Finished measurements are 26 3/4″ x 19″ and 20 1/4″ x 19″ respectively. So, I calculate about 11% shrinkage in length and negligible shrinkage in width. I used mini-cones of 10/2 cotton from Halcyon yarn that I bought in the mid-90's. This yarn has been more than patient, wouldn't you say? I've only got a few colors left now, and I looked online to see if it's still available, and it is. And at the best prices you are going to find for mini-cones anywhere! I see more 10/2 cotton in my future….

So, here's one more picture for the road: