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?)

 

Turned Taquete Twill Variation [or] The Weave That Keeps On Giving

I hope everyone had a good holiday and isn’t too tuckered out after all the festivities. On my to-do list for January: a blog post about my latest batch of Turned Taquete dish towels.


I decided on colors reminiscent of the desert, or clay pots (or something), so I called them Desert Sands. I did four, and I decided to try some variations with weft choice and tie-up/treadling. The results were suprisingly interesting and downright fun. The first two were like the one above. Changing colors and blocks in a sequence that I decided on beforehand, and I like those just fine.

But, I needed a change, so I decided to weave one towel using one color and treadling just one block. It wasn’t boring at all, and it was faster, since I wasn’t changing bobbins every inch or so. The result was the towel below. Suddenly, instead of checks, we’ve got stripes! And I do love me some stripes.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! I really geeked out on the fact that the towel stripes are completely reversible. Voila:
The edges were the only part of the color sequence that were a solid color. All the other threading blocks alternated either dark/light/dark/light or light/dark/light/dark. By treadling a single block with a single color, the alternate warp color, whether or dark or light, always stayed on the back. BTW, this happens with any of the towels that I weave, checked or not, but with the stripes my delight in the process went a little overboard.
I wove the last towel using the stripes idea with a different color weft, but with this one I decided to go out on a limb and try a completely different tie-up and treadling sequence. Because I could.
If you look closely at the edge of this towel on the right, you will see a zig-zag twill. That twill appears across the whole towel of course, but you only see it on the edge, because I threaded the edge with the sequence light/light/light/light (same/same/same/same). The middle stripes all aternate, so the twill is a bit more, umm, subtle.
Keep in mind that this version of Turned Taquete is threaded on a straight draw. Never mind the color sequence. Straight draw means you can tie up for twills and you can treadle any twill sequence you want. (Light bulb going off in my head!) However. The twill only shows up in the stripes that do not alternate colors. Check it out. I blogged about this Turned Taquete design earlier:
By inserting non-alternating color stripes in the warp, I was able to create a step-ladder effect in the checks. Now look at it with a twill tie-up and a zig-zag twill treadling:
I know, right? (The black sripes are twill too, but they’re black/black so you won’t see it.)
Now, let’s look at roughly the same drawdown in color:

You can really see the zig-zag in the non-alternating color areas. The fact that this is a straight draw threading, while seemingly simple, just upped the potential number of variations on one warp by a ton!

For all the four-harness weavers, it doesn’t make a difference if you do this on four or eight harnesses. I do eight, but I like to utilize all the harnesses on my loom for any project. Saves the dreaded moving heddles chore. So here is the same design on four harnesses:

You’re welcome!