Posted tagged ‘weaving drafts’

Warp Rep: Variations on a Theme

January 26, 2017

While weaving a pair of warp rep (warp-faced rep weave) runners, I was already imagining weaving another one.  So I did try a variation and a different color.  Then I thought it would be interesting to weave another variation for a belt.  That turned out to be a lot of fun.  These are the projects that I will be writing about in this post.

I’m grateful to Rosalie Neilson whose articles about warp rep in Weaver’s magazine have taught me the basics and inspired me to develop my own designs.  I list her articles and other references in a post about warp rep that I did some time ago.  In this post, Rosalie’s article in Weaver’s #11, “Warp Rep: 8 Shafts, 8 Blocks,” is the one I used as a reference for my current projects, especially her warp rep sampler on pages 21-22.

For the pair of runners I used 20/2 cotton (2 strands together) in the warp, alternating purple and ecru, at 60 epi (6 per dent in a 10-dent reed), and for the weft I alternated a thick purple cotton with a thin 20/2 purple cotton:

Warp Rep Purple Runners, cotton, 10 x 24 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Purple Runners, cotton, 10 x 24 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Purple Runner, cotton, 2017 (close-up)

Warp Rep Purple Runner, cotton, 2017 (close-up)

I designed the draft for the purple runners by starting with threading and treadling pattern lines, and with the help of weaving software and what I learned from Rosalie’s article, I came up with this final draft:

Draft for Warp Rep Purple Runner

Draft for Warp Rep Purple Runner

Partial Draft for Warp Rep Purple Runner (interlacement view)

Partial Draft for Warp Rep Purple Runner (interlacement view)

In the above drafts, dark and light colors alternate in the threading (except in the borders which are one color), and thick and thin wefts alternate in the treadling.  A complete thread-by-thread draft would be too lengthy, therefore this draft shows only 2 repeats of each 2-end threading block.  I actually repeated each 2-end threading block 8 times for a total of 16 ends per block (except the borders which have a total of 32 ends on each side), while the 2 repeats of each 2-weft treadling block for a total of 4 weft shots per block worked out fine just as it is in the draft.  I also used floating selvedges.

These are the 8 threading blocks on 8 shafts:  (1,5), (2,6), (3,7), (4,8), (5,1), (6,2), (7,3), (8,4).

These are the 8 treadling blocks on 16 treadles:  (1,2), (3,4), (5,6), (7,8), (9,10), (11,12), (13,14), (15,16).

Happy with the way the purple runners turned out, I was ready to weave another variation.  I kept the same threading and treadling and played around with the tie-up until I came up with another pleasing pattern.  I decided to use beautiful 5/2 pearl cotton, coral and ecru colors for the warp and a thick and thin cotton for the weft of colors similar to the border color.  I resleyed the remaining warp on the loom to 40 epi, 4 per dent in the same 10-dent reed, and tied on my new pearl cotton warp.  Here’s how it turned out:

Warp Rep Coral Runner, pearl cotton, 14 x 25 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Coral Runner, pearl cotton, 14 x 25 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Coral Runner, pearl cotton, 2017 (close-up)

Warp Rep Coral Runner, pearl cotton, 2017 (close-up)

The draft for the Coral Runner is exactly the same as for the Purple Runners except that the tie-up is different.  Also, you may notice in the interlacement view of the draft below that some warp ends are side by side under the same wefts.  In the draft, these dark and light colors appear to be in the right order, but during weaving they can shift positions and then they will appear like a mistake in the woven cloth.  If this happens, you can easily shift them back into place manually as you weave along and they will stay there.

Draft for Warp Rep Coral Runner

Draft for Warp Rep Coral Runner

Partial Draft for Warp Rep Coral Runner (interlacement view)

Partial Draft for Warp Rep Coral Runner (interlacement view)

While still in warp rep mode, I also wove a belt using 5/2 pearl cotton for the warp and a thick and thin cotton for the weft.  For weaving a narrow width, I wound the weft yarns on stick shuttles and beat the weft in with the edge of the shuttle.  The sett for the belt is 48 epi, 8 ends per dent in a 6-dent reed, closer than the 40 epi I used for the Coral Runner.  I finished one end of the belt by machine stitching twice and then blanket stitching by hand with the pearl cotton.  I sewed D-rings into the other end for the buckle.  This is one of the first belts I ever did.  Here it is:

Warp Rep Belt, pearl cotton, 2 x 36 inches, 2017

Warp Rep Belt, pearl cotton, 2 x 36 inches, 2017

The diamond patterns for the belt require fewer treadles than the runners.  I repeated each 2-end threading block 8 times, same as the runners, except that each border has 6 dark ends and 6 light ends.  I followed the treadling exactly as in the draft below:

Draft for Warp Rep Belt, 2017

Draft for Warp Rep Belt, 2017

With a little bit of warp left on the loom from the belt, I couldn’t resist to weave this:

Warp Rep Bookmark, 2017

Warp Rep Bookmark, 2017

My favorite book about weaving narrow belts and bands is Mary Meigs Atwater’s classic, Byways in Handweaving, An Illustrated Guide to Rare Weaving Techniques.  It is a real treasure filled with illustrations and techniques from around the world.

OK, that’s all for warp rep.  If you would like the wif file for any of the drafts in this post, let me know.

See you next time!

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Four-Color Double Weave Samples

September 21, 2016

Learning to design and weave four-color double weave (4cDW) has kept me mesmerized for the past few months.  I studied Chapter 3 on 4cDW in Marian Stubenitsky’s fascinating book, Weaving with Echo and Iris, and tried to sort out which 4cDW methods and variations I can use to design drafts with Fiberworks that I can weave on my 16-shaft, 18-treadle, Macomber loom.  It turns out that my favorite method is the one Marian describes on pages 88-91:  “Eight Pattern Blocks and a Short Tie-Up” using 8 shafts and 16 treadles.  With this method you can design some amazing 4cDW patterns where the plain weave layers are integrated rather than being separate.  After some trials and errors I gained confidence and even tried some variations of my own.

I learned that in 4cDW two alternating colors throughout the warp and two other alternating colors throughout the weft produce four different areas of color whereas in traditional double weave they produce only two areas of color.  Also, in traditional double weave there are distinct layers with pockets between them, while as I mentioned before, in 4cDW it’s possible to have the layers integrated so that there are no pockets.  I experimented with these different methods and following are a few of my samples and drafts.

I designed and wove Sample #1 below on 8 shafts and 10 treadles.  Marian’s “short” tie-up is 16 treadles and her “long” tie-up on page 94 is 32 treadles with eight different color blends!  My simple Sample #1 is an integrated 4cDW.  The longest float is 3.  I used 20/2 cotton (2 strands together) at 36 epi (a little too close perhaps) but with a firm beat got about 34 ppi.  The warp colors are blue and orange/brown and the weft colors are red/pink and green, all four hues are fairly close in value, not too light and not too dark.

Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1, 8 shafts & 10 treadles, cotton, 2016

Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1, 8 shafts & 10 treadles, cotton, 2016

Here’s the draft for the above sample with a close-up to help you see that the layers are integrated (let me know if you would like the wif file for this draft):

Draft for Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1

Draft for Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1

Draft for Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1 (close-up, interlacement view)

Draft for Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #1 (close-up, interlacement view)

Below is integrated 4cDW Sample #2 that I designed and wove on 8 shafts and 16 treadles.  The sett and yarn size are the same as for Sample #1, and the longest float is 3.  I wanted more contrast so in this sample the warp colors are dark navy blue and white and the weft colors are a light blue and light brown.

Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #2, 8 shafts & 16 treadles, cotton, 2016

Four-Color Double Weave (integrated) Sample #2, 8 shafts & 16 treadles, cotton, 2016

After experimenting some more, I came up with Sample #3 below, designed and woven on 12 shafts and 16 treadles, and the longest float is 3 here too.  This is 4cDW but it’s not integrated, there are distinct plain weave areas with pockets in between them.  I used 20/2 cotton, single strands this time at 56 epi and about 50 ppi.

Four-Color Double Weave Sample #3, 12 shafts & 16 treadles, cotton, 2016

Four-Color Double Weave Sample #3, 12 shafts & 16 treadles, cotton, 2016

I think I learned a few things about 4cDW, but I’m still curious so I searched online to see what else I can find.  I came across a very pretty and lively sample on Weaverly that Alice designed with Photoshop and wove on 24 shafts.  There are also photos of a few very interesting and also very pretty pieces on Marian’s gallery page.  More photos and downloadable wif files are available from Complex Weavers (June 2015 Journal gallery) that are great too, you will find them near the bottom of the page.  Edna, a member of the Complex Weavers Fine Threads Study Group that I’m also a member of, did her study this year on 4cDW using only 4 shafts, and I’m fortunate to have her lovely woven sample.  Edna shares photos and downloadable wif and pdf files of her sample at this link:  “Fun with Four Color Doubleweave.”

See you next time, when the weaving muse visits again!

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Networked Twill Table Runners

May 9, 2016

I wanted to design a networked twill pattern, which is decorative and symmetrical, that would be nice to use for weaving a table runner.  For inspiration and guidance, I browsed through Alice Schlein’s wonderful book, Network Drafting: An Introduction, and came across a few ideas that I wanted to use.  One idea was to use reversing points in the threading and treadling and another was to try different tie-ups.  Using Fiberworks, I designed many pattern lines and generated 8-shaft networked drafts using initial 4, the most used initial because it works well with many twills and other weaves.  Narrowing it down to one pattern and two tie-ups, I was ready to weave a couple of table runners.

The two finished table runners look almost the same when viewed from a distance, but the close-ups look very different.  As a weaver I find it very interesting to look at details, even more so than at the overall design from a distance.  Here is the finished Networked Twill Table Runner with tie-up 1:

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 1), cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 1), cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 1), cotton, 2016 (close-up)

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 1), cotton, 2016 (close-up)

You may notice that the twill lines appear to be on a plain weave background, and they are reversing or mirroring in the pattern.  In the drafts below, you can see this more clearly in the partial draft:

Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 1)

Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 1)

Partial Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 1)

Partial Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 1)

Here is the finished Networked Twill Table Runner with tie-up 2:

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 2), cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 2), cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 2), cotton, 2016 (close-up)

Networked Twill Table Runner woven on 8 shafts (tie-up 2), cotton, 2016 (close-up)

In the drafts below, the partial draft for tie-up 2 shows a pattern with less discernible twill lines, no plain weave areas, and there’s more contrast between the light and dark areas:

Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 2)

Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 2)

Partial Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 2)

Partial Draft for Networked Twill Table Runner (tie-up 2)

It’s interesting to look at a comparison of the same part of the draft with the two different tie-ups:

Networked Twill - two tie-ups (interlacement view)

Networked Twill – two tie-ups (interlacement view)

I’m happy to share the WIF files for the complete drafts, let me know if you would like them.

Weaving Notes:  I wove both table runners on the same natural colored 20/2 cotton warp at 40 epi (ends per inch).  The weft is also 20/2 cotton for both except for the color – one beige and the other green.  The ppi (picks per inch) are about 34 for the beige runner and about 40 for the green one.  The smaller number of picks produced a more elongated pattern in the beige runner, and the finished cloth feels a little lighter and more delicate.  The longest float in both is 5.  I used a floating selvedge to help keep the selvedges neat.  I washed them by hand, let hang to dry and steam ironed while they were still a little damp, and then hand stitched the hems.  I would like to mention that I always read my treadling drafts from bottom to top and the threading as if I’m facing the front of my Macomber rising shed loom.  This way, as I’m weaving the pattern on the loom, it looks exactly the same as in the draft.

Network drafting can be challenging at first, but as you progress it will keep you captivated with so many possibilities.  On that note, here is a scarf I recently designed and wove using network drafting.  I used a variegated colored Tencel warp and a solid colored weft.  It looks as though the warp may have been painted, but it’s not:

Networked Twill Scarf woven on 16 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2016

Networked Twill Scarf woven on 16 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2016

That’s all for now, see you next time!

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Warp Painting: Turned Taqueté & Plain Weave

December 5, 2015

A painted warp is beautiful even before you weave anything with it!  I tried warp painting with Turned Taqueté since I already explored this weave and variations of it this year.  As an afterthought I also tried it with plain weave and the awesome result turned out to be anything but plain.

My first experience with fabric and yarn dyeing and painting comes from a surface design course I took many years ago at Parsons in NYC taught by Jason Pollen.  It was then that I learned about fiber reactive dyes and the different ways that they can be used.  I later did a lot of immersion dyeing (dip dyeing) of yarns and dabbled a bit in warp painting too.  It’s only recently when I started working with Turned Taqueté that I was inclined to try warp painting again.

I use Pro (Procion) MX fiber reactive dyes that are good for cotton, Tencel and other plant based fibers as well as for silk.  They can also be used for wool but that requires a different procedure.  For my warp painting projects I basically follow the directions on Pro Chemical & Dye company’s instruction sheet, “Warp Painting on Cotton and Silk.”  I follow all the recommended safety guidelines including using a dust respirator when I’m handling powdered dyes.  In deciding which basic colors to get that can be mixed to create my own palette, I consulted Paula Birch’s superb website, “All About Hand Dyeing,” where you can find a wealth of dyeing information.

Following are photos, a draft, and notes about the two painted warp projects that I designed and wove.  One is a 12-shaft Tencel, Turned Taqueté scarf and the other one is a cotton, plain weave scarf.

Painted Warp Turned Taqueté Scarf

The finished scarf:

Painted Warp Turned Taquete Scarf, 12 shafts, Tencel, 2015

Painted Warp Turned Taquete Scarf, 12 shafts, Tencel, 2015

Painted Warp Turned Taquete Scarf, 12 shafts, Tencel, 2015 (close-up)

Painted Warp Turned Taquete Scarf, 12 shafts, Tencel, 2015 (close-up)

The scarf in progress on the loom with insets showing the painted warp in the plastic bin I used to paint it in covered with plastic wrap, and on the drying rack:

Painted Warp Turned Taquete Scarf, 12 shafts, Tencel, 2015 (work in progress)

Painted Warp Turned Taquete Scarf, 12 shafts, Tencel, 2015 (work in progress)

In many of the articles that I read about warp painting with fiber reactive dyes, it’s recommended that the warp be laid down on a table lined with plastic wrap, painting it, rolling it up in the plastic wrap and letting it “cure” or set for about 24 hours in a closed container.  Melissa’s Tangible Daydreams blog post, “Tutorial: Warp Painting,” is excellent in describing this process especially for long warps and has other very helpful information.  As you can see in the photo above, I did it a little differently – because my warp was not very long I painted it inside a long plastic bin, covered it with plastic wrap, closed the bin and let it set for 24 hours, washed it afterwards many times as recommended in the instruction sheet, and then let it hang to dry on a rack.  If you want a more precise pattern painted on the warp then you will need to stretch out the warp and use a dye thickener to prevent the colors from running into each other.  If you want the opposite effect so that the colors flow and run into each other you can dip dye sections of the warp.  I think what I did is somewhere in between these two methods.

I designed the Turned Taqueté draft shown below on 12 shafts for this scarf.  If you use weaving software and would like me to email the WIF file to you for your personal use, I’m happy to do so, just let me know.  I shared this draft with a fellow weaver and you can read her humorous take on it at this link.

Draft for 12-shaft Painted Warp Turned Taquete Scarf

Draft for 12-shaft Painted Warp Turned Taquete Scarf

A few notes about how I wove this scarf:  I wound two warps of 8/2 white Tencel, one painted with several colors that I mixed as I went along and dip dyed the other warp in a light grey color.  I also dip dyed a skein of 20/2 white Tencel in the same light grey to be used as the weft.  The sett is 40 epi and about 30 ppi woven with a firm beat.  The scarf was wet finished by washing by hand, air dried completely, and then steam ironed.

UPDATE March 2016:  I am fortunate to have received the Complex Weavers award for this painted warp Turned Taqueté scarf at the Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers “Celebration of Fibers” annual member exhibit, March 11 – March 20, 2016.  The photos of the scarf are posted on the Complex Weavers website gallery awards page and the wif file can be downloaded from there.

Painted Warp Plain Weave Scarf

I had some leftover dye solutions and thought that I may as well use them up so I wound a warp using some white cotton slub yarn from my stash, washed it well to remove any sizing that would hinder the dyes from reacting with the yarn, and wove it up in plain weave using a thin, mauve colored rayon bouclé yarn (I think) for the weft.  The sett for this scarf is 18 epi and about 16 ppi, woven with a light beat.  After wet finishing the same way as the other scarf, I was amazed at how well it draped as plain weave can be a little stiff, but I think that the combination of these yarns and the open weave helped make it drape nicely after wet finishing.

The finished scarf:

Painted Warp Plain Weave Scarf, cotton & rayon, 2015

Painted Warp Plain Weave Scarf, cotton & rayon, 2015

Painted Warp Plain Weave Scarf, cotton & rayon, 2015 (close-up)

Painted Warp Plain Weave Scarf, cotton & rayon, 2015 (close-up)

Here’s how it looked as I was weaving it on the loom, notice how open the weave is before wet finishing:

Painted Warp Plain Weave Scarf, cotton & rayon, 2015 (work in progress on the loom)

Painted Warp Plain Weave Scarf, cotton & rayon, 2015 (work in progress on the loom)

And here’s the lovely painted warp for this scarf as it’s drying on the rack (I painted the colors more randomly than I did for the other scarf):

Painted Warp for Plain Weave Scarf, (drying on the rack)

Painted Warp for Plain Weave Scarf, (drying on the rack)

The inspiration for the colors I chose to use for both of these scarves came from the natural beauty in our backyard this past autumn:

Inspiring autumn colors - purple Beautyberry, red Burning Bush, yellow Pawpaw, green Pine, brown earth & blue sky

Inspiring autumn colors – purple Beautyberry, red Burning Bush, yellow Pawpaw, green Pine, brown earth & blue sky

Best wishes to all my readers for a safe and joyful holiday season and for a happy and healthy New Year.

UPDATE December 13, 2015:  This year I had the privilege of once again showing my work at the Jill Beech open studio.  Jill is a ceramic artist and sculptor whose beautiful and inspiring work I greatly admire.  There’s an article about Jill and her work in the December 9, 2015 Unionville Times where my name is also mentioned, “Art Watch: Jill Beech’s natural curiosities.” heart

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Turned Taqueté Variations

August 21, 2015

The next step in my weaving experience with turned taqueté was to try some variations.  While I was browsing through Marian Stubenitsky’s amazingly beautiful book, Weaving with Echo and Iris, I came across an 8-shaft draft in Chapter 7 of a turned taqueté variation with a different interval – the threading is designed with an interval of 3 instead of the usual 4 as in true turned taqueté.  I designed a few drafts this way on 8 shafts, chose one I liked and wove some yardage.  I also experimented with another turned taqueté variation that was inspired by my fascination with interleaved threadings.  The drafts I designed this way looked very interesting and so this time I chose a 12-shaft draft that I liked and wove some yardage as well.  Following are photos, drafts, and notes of these two fun projects.

Turned Taqueté Variation – 8 Shafts

First, here are photos of the woven work:

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 8 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2015 (blue weft version)

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 8 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2015 (blue weft version)

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 8 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2015 (blue weft version on the loom)

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 8 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2015 (blue weft version on the loom)

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 8 shafts, Tencel, cotton & rayon, 2015 (yellow weft version)

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 8 shafts, Tencel, cotton & rayon, 2015 (yellow weft version)

And here are images of the profile draft and a partial thread-by-thread draft:

PROFILE DRAFT for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Variation

PROFILE DRAFT for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Variation

Partial thread-by-thread draft for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Variation

Partial thread-by-thread draft for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Variation

The thread-by-thread draft is generated from the profile draft.  When using Fiberworks PCW weaving software, the threading design line in the profile draft is first networked (initial 2) and then extended parallel repeat (shafts shifting by 3 not 4).  The treadling is generated by simply adding plain weave, as you can see in the partial thread-by-thread draft.  I wasn’t sure if I did this correctly so I emailed Marian and asked her about it, and she assured me that I did it well.  I can email the WIF file of the complete draft to anyone who requests it.

Additional notes:  I used the same warp to weave both the fabric with the blue weft and the fabric with the yellow weft, alternating 8/2 Tencel (variegated colors of dark browns, reds, and purples) and 2 strands together of 20/2 off-white cotton.  The blue weft is 20/2 cotton (only 1 strand, not 2 together) and the yellow weft is 20/2 rayon (also just 1 strand).  The sett is 40 epi and about 28 ppi.  I used a 20 dent reed, 2 ends per dent, but you can probably use a reed that’s not as fine and be able to avoid getting reed marks after wet finishing.  However, I would recommend weaving a sample first and resleying if necessary because in this particular variation the finished fabric looks much better if certain warp ends are sleyed together in the same dent.  For example, with my 20 dent reed I sleyed together in the same dent the ends on shafts 1&4, 2&5, etc. rather than 4&2, 5&1 etc.  I think the reason for this is the way certain warp threads slide together here.

I washed the yardage by hand, spin dried in the washer, hung to dry and steam ironed.  The pattern became a little less sharp than before wet finishing.  The first photo above of the fabric viewed from a distance was taken after wet finishing while the close-ups were taken before wet finishing.

I was going to make something functional from these fabrics, but for now I enjoy just looking at them as they are.

Turned Taqueté Variation – 12 Shafts

Here are photos of the woven work for this project:

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric for pillow woven on 12 shafts, pearl cotton warp & acryllic weft, 2015

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric for pillow woven on 12 shafts, pearl cotton warp & acrylic weft, 2015

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 12 shafts, pearl cotton warp, acryllic weft, 2015

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 12 shafts, pearl cotton warp, acrylic weft, 2015

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 12 shafts, pearl cotton warp, acrylic weft, 2015 (close-up)

Turned Taquete Variation, fabric woven on 12 shafts, pearl cotton warp, acrylic weft, 2015 (close-up)

The warp is wound with 4 different colors of 5/2 pearl cotton yarn.  You may also notice the rug in the photo, that is a summer & winter, weft-faced taqueté rug that I wove years ago:

Winding the pearl cotton warp

Winding the pearl cotton warp

I used a profile draft here too but made revisions to the final thread-by-thread draft until it looked like this (I can email the WIF file for this draft too to anyone who requests it):

Draft for 12-shaft Turned Taquete Variation (view with corrected aspect ratio)

Draft for 12-shaft Turned Taquete Variation (view with corrected aspect ratio)

Partial thread-by-thread draft for 12-shaft Turned Taquete Variation (interlacement view)

Partial thread-by-thread draft for 12-shaft Turned Taquete Variation (interlacement view)

As mentioned earlier, I designed this variation by interleaving two threadings, actually I interleaved the same threading with itself.  It may look like a turned polychrome taqueté, but Bonnie Inouye pointed out to me that the threading and tie-up would look different if that was the case.

Additional Notes:  I originally wove some yardage using this draft with a very close sett of 20/2 cotton but was not satisfied with how it looked.  So then I resleyed part of it with a wider sett and tied on the thicker and more lustrous 5/2 pearl cotton warp.  I really like the way the four different bright colors in the warp mix with one another when they are woven together this way.  The sett is 28 epi and about 20 ppi.  For the weft I used a lofty white 20/2 acrylic yarn that I had in my stash.  Wet finishing is the same as for the 8-shaft turned taqueté variation.  I really like the little pillow I made from this yardage!

I’m not done yet with exploring turned taqueté.  What’s next?  Maybe a painted warp?  Until then…happy weaving everyone!

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Turned Taqueté!

April 6, 2015

This year I learned to design and weave turned taqueté, a warp-faced or warp-emphasis weave – I love it!  In the past I wove weft-faced taqueté rugs and now, what inspired me to explore turned taqueté is Bonnie Inouye’s article, “Turned Taqueté: an Introduction,” published by Complex Weavers in the June 2014 issue of the Complex Weavers Journal.  Bonnie’s article has everything you need to know about this versatile weave to get you started.  You can view images from her article including downloadable WIF files of the drafts (but not the text) on the June 2014 Gallery page of the Complex Weavers website.  Bonnie also contributed two 4-shaft turned taqueté drafts to handweaving.net that can also be viewed online, one is a checkerboard pattern with two clean threading blocks and the other one is a flame pattern with four overlapping threading blocks.

Keeping in mind Bonnie’s suggestions that for scarves the sett should be between twill and double weave and the weft should be much finer than the warp, I began my quest.  I wove a few samples trying out the clean checkerboard pattern first but decided to continue exploring with overlapping threading blocks that I liked better.  I ended up designing and weaving a few 8 and 12-shaft patterns this way.  In this post I’m happy to share photos, drafts and notes of an 8-shaft scarf, a photo of a placemat woven on the same threading, and photos of another scarf woven on 12 shafts.

Here are photos of the 8-shaft Turned Taqueté Scarf:

Turned Taquete Scarf woven on 8 shafts, Tencel & rayon, 2015

Turned Taquete Scarf woven on 8 shafts, Tencel & rayon, 2015

Turned Taquete Scarf woven on 8 shafts, Tencel & rayon, 2015 (detail)

Turned Taquete Scarf woven on 8 shafts, Tencel & rayon, 2015 (detail)

I started by designing this Profile Draft:

PROFILE DRAFT for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Scarf

PROFILE DRAFT for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Scarf

The thread-by-thread draft is derived from the Profile Draft, easily generated by weaving software in several steps.  Bonnie gives clear directions about how to do this in her article.  This is how it looks using Fiberworks:

Thread-by-thread draft for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Scarf

Thread-by-thread draft for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Scarf

Here’s a close-up of the upper right hand section of the above draft:

Partial thread-by-thread draft for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Scarf (interlacement view)

Partial thread-by-thread draft for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Scarf (interlacement view)

This next draft shows the structure of turned taqueté, recognizable by the letters “T” turned on their side:

Partial thread-by-thread draft for Turned Taquete Scarf (structure view showing sideways T's)

Partial thread-by-thread draft for Turned Taquete Scarf (structure view showing sideways T’s)

My thread-by-thread draft is not easily readable as shown so I made separate threading and treadling drafts that are even larger and clearer to read when you click on them.  I can also email the WIF file to anyone who requests it.  Note that the threading draft may be threaded as is for this scarf, but each block in the treadling draft should be repeated more than one time (I did it 3 times for this scarf) to achieve a more elongated pattern.  For example, reading the treadling draft from the bottom to the top and starting with the column on the far right, repeat three times:  1,4,2,4; then repeat three times:  1,5,2,5 and so on.  Repeat the entire treadling draft as many times as you wish depending on how long you want the scarf to be.  Here are the threading and treadling drafts including the tie-up:

Threading Draft for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Scarf

Threading Draft for 8-shaft Turned Taquete Scarf

Treadling Draft for 8-Shaft Turned Taquete Scarf (repeat each block of 4 picks three times to elongate the pattern for this scarf)

Treadling Draft for 8-Shaft Turned Taquete Scarf (repeat each block of 4 picks three times to elongate the pattern for this scarf)

Notes on weaving the scarf:  I wove this scarf by using a warp of 8/2 Tencel, alternating light and dark colors (purple and off-white) with a sett of 40 ends per inch and an off-white 20/2 rayon weft at about 30 picks per inch.  The result is a warp-emphasis weave, the weft shows a little but the warp is what shows the most, and the scarf drapes nicely.  It was very easy to weave with  a light/medium beat, nice selvedges with no special threading or floating selvedges needed.  I twisted the fringes and washed the scarf by hand, let it hang to dry, and steam ironed it.  Shrinkage was about 10%.  The finished scarf is about 9-1/2 inches wide and 48 inches long plus the fringe.

Placemats woven on the same threading:  Keeping the same threading after cutting the scarf off the loom, I resleyed the warp to 30 ends per inch and tied on a new warp with a thicker, 8/4 cotton carpet warp and wove a couple of placemats using a 20/2 cotton weft at about 16 picks per inch.  I kept the treadling at only 1 repeat of each block in order to achieve a more squared pattern rather than an elongated one, repeating the first block several times for the borders.  These placemats turned out to be closer to being warp-faced than warp-emphasis – you can hardly see the weft, rather nice and sturdy, each one about 13 inches wide and 16 inches long plus an inch or so of fringe.  I like experimenting with setts, and turned taqueté is very satisfying in this regard.  Here’s a close-up and full view of one of these placemats:

Turned Taquete Placemat woven on 8 shafts, cotton, 2015

Turned Taquete Placemat woven on 8 shafts, cotton, 2015

Lastly, as a member of the Fine Threads Study Group at Complex Weavers, I challenged myself to design and weave something interesting for this year’s study and sample exchange – turned taqueté on 12 shafts:

Turned Taquete Scarf woven on 12 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2015

Turned Taquete Scarf woven on 12 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2015

Turned Taquete Scarf woven on 12 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2015 (detail)

Turned Taquete Scarf woven on 12 shafts, Tencel & cotton, 2015 (detail)

The longest float in turned taqueté is three so it’s great for weaving soft and supple scarves as well as thicker and sturdier placemats.  Bonnie mentions in her article that even chenille works well as warp with this weave.  I may try some more color experiments next time, maybe dyeing or painting a warp or trying a variation of this weave.

Hope you enjoyed looking at my work and are inspired to try turned taqueté too.  See you next time!

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Shadow Weave Samples & A Woolen Pullover

December 7, 2014

 

I wove a few yards of fabric in shadow weave using woolen yarns I found in my stash, and from this fabric I made myself a new pullover.  I haven’t made a new one in a long time because the old ones seem to last forever!  Shadow weave seemed like a good choice because its mostly plain weave structure would work well with these yarns to produce a lightweight, felted fabric after wet finishing, and also because there are so many patterns you can design in shadow weave by alternating light and dark or contrasting colors of yarns.  Shadow weave falls under the category of color-and-weave and is considered to be a color-and-weave effect.

In this post I’ll be sharing photos, drafts, and notes about a couple of shadow weave samples and the pullover.  I wove a sample in cotton yarn, liked the pattern a lot and decided to use it to weave the fabric for the pullover as well.  Here’s a photo of the sample:

Shadow weave cotton sample designed with 7 blocks and woven on 14 shafts

Shadow weave cotton sample designed with 7 blocks and woven on 14 shafts

I developed the weaving draft for this shadow weave pattern that to me looks like a plaited twill, from Fig. 586 in G. H. Oelsner’s A Handbook of Weaves, described by Oelsner as a twill “arranged to produce basket or braided effects.”  However, I did not weave this draft as a twill but used it as a 7-block profile draft:

PROFILE DRAFT - 7 blocks

PROFILE DRAFT – 7 blocks

I wrote an article in the June 2008 issue of the Complex Weavers Journal,Shadow Weave & Log Cabin,” that describes the method I used for designing shadow with independent blocks.  That’s the method I used to develop this 14-shaft thread-by-thread shadow weave draft from the 7-block profile draft:

Thread-by-thread draft for 7 blocks, 14 shafts shadow weave

Thread-by-thread draft for 7 blocks, 14 shafts shadow weave

The red and white contrasting colors work well in the woven sample to show off the plaited/braided pattern.  The colors of the woolen yarns I had available were not as contrasting, but since I wanted an understated look for my pullover I hoped it would look nice anyway and here it is:

Shadow weave woolen fabric after wet finishing, pullover, and close-up of sleeve with knitted cuff, 2014

Shadow weave woolen fabric after wet finishing, pullover, and close-up of sleeve with knitted cuff, 2014

Here are photos of the warp and a close-up of the weaving in progress on my loom to show how it looked before wet finishing:

Woolen warp yarns

Woolen warp yarns

Shadow weave in woolen yarns - close-up of weaving in progress on the loom before wet finishing

Shadow weave in woolen yarns – close-up of weaving in progress on the loom before wet finishing

Notes on weaving the fabric for the shadow weave woolen pullover:  I used a 2-ply heathery purple/blue woolen yarn (272 yds./4 oz. skein, “Regal” from Briggs & Little Woolen Mills) and a beautiful, single-ply brown/black woolen yarn, I’m not sure where I bought it years ago, the label says on it “Black Welsh, 1/5-1/2 YSW.”  These two yarns alternate in the warp and the weft at a sett of 8 e.p.i. and about the same p.p.i.  The width of the web on the loom was 28 inches and the total woven length about 3-1/4 yards.  I wet finished it in the washing machine in warm/hot water with Ivory for wool, agitated only two minutes, rinsed, and carefully spin dried it.  I put it in the dryer on low heat for about 12 minutes and then let it air dry until it was completely dry.  The end result was a slightly felted, lightweight fabric, 22 inches wide and 3 yards long.  The construction of the pullover was fairly easy because of its simple design.  I cut out the pieces, serged the raw edges, sewed the pieces together and knitted the hem, collar, and cuffs.  By the way, Laura Fry is an expert on wet finishing and I treasure her book, Magic in the Water, with real woven swatches attached, great tips, and excellent information.  For more about weaving with woolen yarns see one of my older posts, 2/2 Twill: Handwoven Woolen Wearables.

There are other methods of designing shadow weave than the method of using independent blocks of log cabin that I used to design the pattern for the red and white sample and the pullover.  The Atwater method uses alternate threads for the basic pattern and the threads that form the “shadow” are threaded on the opposite shaft.  The Powell method uses a twill-step sequence and two adjacent blocks weave together in the pattern.  Carol Strickler explains it in detail in A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns in Chapter 6 on shadow weave.  She writes about Mary M. Atwater who introduced shadow weave in the 1940’s and Harriet Tidball and Marian Powell who later developed other methods for designing the same fabric.

I like to design shadow weave the Atwater way with the help of my weaving software (Fiberworks PCW).  I simply design a threading and/or treadling profile and use the extended parallel repeat to generate a complete draft with the Atwater tie-up.  Below are a photo of an 8-shaft shadow weave sample and two versions of its draft that I designed and wove, similar to pattern #8-16-1 in Marian Powell’s book, 1000(+) patterns in 4, 6, and 8 Harness Shadow Weaves.  I designed the Atwater method draft first by using the extended parallel repeat and then used the shaft shuffler to rearrange the shafts to come up with the Powell method draft with the Powell tie-up.  These two methods produce the same results:

Shadow weave cotton sample woven on 8 shafts - designed with Atwater & Powell methods

Shadow weave cotton sample woven on 8 shafts – designed with Atwater & Powell methods

Drafts for 8-shaft shadow weave cotton sample - Atwater method on left, Powell method on right, two methods, same result!

Drafts for 8-shaft shadow weave cotton sample – Atwater method on left, Powell method on right, two methods, same result!

Marian Powell first published her wonderful book in 1976 without the aid of weaving software.  Some weavers find it a little hard to decipher.  If you’re  a weaver and need help with Powell’s book or would like the WIF files for any of the drafts in this post, let me know.

Snowflakes

Season’s Greetings and a happy and healthy New Year to my readers who visit from all corners of the world!  Thank you for visiting and wandering around in my weaving universe!

Peace

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