Turned Taquete, the Saga Continues

(This blog post was originally published March 17, 2014 on my first blog site, which is no longer in existence.)

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

(This blog post was originally published November 2, 2013 on my first blog site, which is no longer in existence.)

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!

(This blog post was originally published November 13, 2012 on my first blog site, which is no longer in existence.)

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:

 

Turned Taquete Tea Towels

(This blog post was originally published October 30, 2012 on my first blog site, which is no longer in existence.)

Like the alliteration? This blog is practically going to write itself. And the tea towels? They’re practically weaving themselves. Really, this Turned Taquete technique is a real blast. [For the record, turning a weave structure basically means taking a two-shuttle weave and making it a one-shuttle weave. The warp will alternate colors (dark/light) or thickness (thick/thin), and the weft will be one color or thickness and on one shuttle.]

Taquete used to be called Summer and Winter until somewhere in the 90’s (yes kiddies, it’s true) when the weaving magazines suddenly decided the correct term was Taquete (there is supposed to be an accent on the last “e”, but it’s too much trouble to figure out how to do it, so just pretend it’s there 🙂 . And, by extension, Turned Taquete is the same structure as Turned Summer and Winter.

I worked up a sample weave draft in WIF ‘n Proof. Rather than an exact drawdown, this is a visual of the color and structure, from which endless variations could be teased. The threading is just a four harness straight draw. Easy peasy, right? Colors alternate on even and odd harnesses, and then switch to odd and even, creating blocks when woven.

Here is the Treadling sequence and Tie-up. One shuttle is used in the weaving and this is where the “turned” part comes into play. The treadling sequence,

 

1323, 1323 or 1424, 1424

 

is the sequence that would normally be used in the threading of (not turned) Taquete. I changed colors when I changed blocks, and sometimes I didn’t change blocks, I just changed colors. It was all pretty much stream of consciousness weaving. On the reverse side, the color blocks will be the opposite of front side.

Here is a Fabric view of the above threading and treadling:

And here is a complete draft with a detail of the actual fabric superimposed below (I love digital everything):

 

The weaving of these towels has gone super fast. Changing colors produces a mix in each block, multiplying visual interest seemingly infinitely.

Here is another shot of the loom:

I am using a temple to weave the towels, and I love that the color goes with the weaving project.

The warp is 10/2 cotton, sett 30 epi. The width in the reed is 20″ and I’m weaving each towel 30″ plus extra for hems. I’ve got one done, and one to go. Next project I’m going to make an eight harness draft, and see what I can do about combining blocks in the design.

 

 

My Left Pinkie

(This blog post was originally published September 11, 2012 on my first blog site, which is no longer in existence.)

The weaving projects chez moi have been far between. The last one, the diversified plain weave version of a crackle design, came off the loom in June. I was all set to do something completely different.

In early summer I was reading Weaving Today, and it seems the Handwoven folks had just put together an e-book compilation of projects using 10/2 cotton. I thought, just the ticket! I have a bunch of mini-cones of 10/2 cotton that I acquired in the, uh, mid-90’s. (They don’t go bad. Really.) So I bought it and downloaded it to my iPad. I liked the Turned Taquete Tea Towels project and I’ve seen other towels in the same technique, so I went ahead and wound a warp for a couple towels. Starting small.

But. The warp was going to be 20″ wide, and my inclination was to go ahead and order a temple to keep the weaving at an even width while weaving. I remember struggling with drawing-in cotton warps in years gone by, and really didn’t want to deal with those kind of problems any more. So I did order the temple, which is a whole other saga, and took a month+ to be delivered in one piece and in a box that didn’t fly open in transit. (They know who they are.)

Turned Taquete Warp

So now it’s the end of July, and HOT. My sister is visiting, and we are suffering in 100+ heat. My studio is the sun room, on the south side of the house, and with no air conditioning. ‘Nuff said. No loom work going on then.

In mid-August the husband and I traveled to California for 12 days. On Day 5 I stumbled on stairs, going down to use the bathroom, and whacked my left hand on the bannister. I was so sleepy that I didn’t notice pain until I was sitting down and, you know…

I thought my pinkie was sprained. Really. It swelled, bruised up, but wasn’t really immobilizing. I could still function and attend fun vacation-type events. When I got back home, I scheduled a doctor visit as soon as I could, and got it x-rayed. Yup.

Fractured.

Turned Taquete Warp and Pinkie

So what you see here is the total progress I’ve made threading this warp through the reed. I have threaded 3 bouts out of 5. Each bout has 120 threads and the grand total is 600. Hovering in blurry close-up is my hand, with my pinkie and 4th finger splinted together. I am in the 3rd week of 4 weeks of splinting. It’s anybody’s guess what will happen after that. I hope, fervently, that I can take it off for good and get some hand therapy for a while.

And don’t get me started about how much golf I’m missing.

 

 

Stashbuster Turned Taquete Towels

I am slowly cleaning out my studio, going through my yarn, some of which has been on the shelves for literally more than a decade. We plan to pull up stakes next year and move to be near the grandchildren (yay!), and moving every last little cone of yarn doesn’t really make sense. To that end, I decided to finish up all the mini-cones of 10/2 cotton that I bought in the 90’s in a Turned Taquete Dishtowel warp. I supplemented judiciously with newer 10/2 cotton that I bought last year, but I did it! I can cross one more thing off my inventory list.

I designed a very simple Turned Taquete warp:

This is my standard straight draw threading. I alternated dark/light threads for the first block, then alternated light/dark for the next. The third block is back to dark/light. You can do that as many times as you want to get the width that you want. For the treadling, I go 1314 with a color, then I might switch to 2324 for another color, but you don’t have to. You could treadle 1314 for the whole towel, and just change colors without changing the treadling at all. Easy peasy.

For blogging purposes I took some informal iPad photos of the towels before they are cut apart and wet finished.

This is Destash Towel #1:

On all of these I was aiming for 1″ checks, but I wove them 1 1/4″ or so to allow for shrinkage. I had six colors on bobbins in a rotation that I repeated 4 times. My notes are bad on this one, but I think I alternated 1314, then 2324.

This is Destash Towel #2:

For this one I again used six colors in rotation. I wove each color on 1314, then 2324. I still ended up with 24 checks, but this time I would have 2 repeats of the rotation.

This is Destash Towel #3:

This one was more complicated, using 5 colors in rotation, but alternating them like this:

[color] a on 1314, [color] b on 2324, [color] a on 1314, [color] b on 2324

[color] c on 2324, [color] b on 1314, [color] c on 2324, [color] b on 1314

[color] c on 1314, [color] d on 2324, [color] c on 1314, [color] d on 2324

[color] e on 2324, [color] d on 1314, [color] e on 2324, [color] d on 1314

[color] e on 1314, [color] a on 2324, [color] e on 1314, [color] a on 2324

[color] b on 2324, [color] a on 1314, [color] b on 2324, [color] a on 1314

I was starting to do anything to keep the interest up….

This is Destash Towel #4:

Desperate to finish at this point. I just treadled 1314 for the whole towel, using 6 colors in rotation, repeated 4 times.

Destash Towel #5:

Oops, I had enough warp to weave another half of a towel, and save it for myself. It’s kind of a tradition now.

I treadled 2324 with just one color, going for the stripes.

Now I am moving on to all those odds and ends of 6 ply rayon for a stashbuster rayon scarf…

 

Theory and Practice and Weaving from Times Past

 

 

Ok, I am working on a dishtowel warp and this is just a quick follow-up post to my last post. That post was all about how my Turned Taquete threading (which is actually just a straight draw) could be tied up for twill treadlings.

I’ve got enough warp for four towels and this is number three. And looking pretty good. As I explained before, threading stripes of solid color in between the stripes of contrasting color will ensure that the twill will show well.

*************

Now, on a completely different subject, I have begun “scanning” my slides of weaving from times past. I finished my Masters Degree in Craft Design in 1987 and began weaving and exhibiting for a period of time after that. I took many slides of my work, and have just finally begun the process of sorting these slides, and reproducing them digitally.

My gizmo of choice is this:

The Lomography Smartphone Slide Scanner works with my iPhone to capture the slide images quickly and easily. While not the super quality of the slide scanners I used to work with in my former life as a Curator of Visual Resources, the images I am getting are good enough and sometimes even great. I edit them in Photoshop, and upload them to Flickr. Some blog readers may have already noticed them on the Cooliris Flickr Wall on the right. More are coming!

And I will talk more about these weavings in a future post. For now I will say that I did a ton of work in boundweave with Summer and Winter threadings. Inspired by Peter Collingwood’s book on rug weaving, I called it polychrome Summer and Winter on opposites. Now everyone calls it Taquete. (Who knew?)