My confession for today is that, although I am 52, I have only just “found” Facebook. I can hear your sighs, see the shaking of heads and the looks of “What???” But technology and I don’t make the best bed fellows, and if something can go wrong, it will (with me).
However, Facebook has allowed me contact with weavers from around the world. They are a fabulous group of people, kind, giving, supportive and with a wealth of information.
I joined a “weaving study group” and the weave structure for the month is Turned Taquete. An innocuous sounding weave structure, so I thought I would give it a try. I had never heard of this structure before, so I tried doing a little research online before diving in head first.
Now it is either the way I search the internet, or the fact that I am not tech savvy, but I could not find much information on this particular weave. So I read what was available from the study group site, and someone had kindly put in a weaving draft, so I was set.
Turned Taquete tea towels to commence.
I use an 8/2 cotton for tea towels, sett at 24 epi and there has never been a problem. Thinking that this was a “standard” formula, I warped for the Turned Taquete using this formula … HA … I will never, never use the word “standard”when referring to weaving setts ever again.
My first Turned Taquete patterns were designed of squares and rectangles. Not bad looking, but something was off, and I could not put my finger on it.
So I put on my weaving big girl pants, and decided that if I wasn’t thrilled with the block design of Turned Taquete, I should try it again, this time with curves. Maybe it just wasn’t the blocks that I was thrilled will.
Another warp put on, 518 ends of black, white thread repeat, extremely convoluted threading sequence, me as the weaver …. what could possibly go wrong? By the end of the first tea towel I knew that there was something seriously wrong. The thread seemed to skip/shift of their own accord. Rather than being black, white repeat, one thread would skip and I would have two blacks beside each other – not what the weave called for.
After seriously considering turning to liquor of ANY kind, I threw in the towel (pun intended) and headed to bed after sending out a WID SOS (weaver in distress SOS).
Now there is a wonderful weaver whose blog I follow, she is a very kind and generous human and has helped this weaver immensely. Her name is Eva Stossel and I would recommend that everyone check out her blog and weaving … there are no weaving disasters there.
My WID SOS was answered and Eva pointed out that I had discovered the intricacies of Turned Taquete. It would appear that this particular weave structure has, what I have dubbed, live, or, active threads that will skip or shift position.
The partial solution is to apply “spanks” to the warp. Yip – just like trying to contain jiggly bits of human body in thin spandex, we apply the same kind of solution to warp threads. Where you would think that 28 epi was fine for 8/2 cotton, you up the epi to 40. Yes my friends, 40 epi for 8/2 cotton. The thought boggled my mind. Even then, with the warp “spanks” in place, the threads still skip – but I think the trick is, you can’t see them as clearly.
This weave structure, although slightly frustrating, has caused me to grow as a weaver. Just when I had the mantra “a thread under tension is a thread under control” burned into my brain, this weave came to kick my up the tuckas and make me realise that respect has to be given to all warps. Whether they contain live/active threads or not, just because I can throw a shuttle, it doesn’t make me a true weaver.
Respect for the threads – that is what I have learned …. well, that and a few new swear words …. but that was in the beginning of the TT saga. For now – I am trying to make friends with Turned Taquete and love the “live” threads for their great determination to move within a “spank” contained space.
The blue/black/white was the first attempt where the active thread movement is very visible, the black/white/red cloth is after the warp had been condensed to 40 epi. It is not off the loom yet, and I look forward to seeing whether it still has any drape after being condensed. Its fate ….. to become a table runner. Something which I will see on a daily basis, and a beautiful (hopefully) hand woven article which will remind me to “respect the warp”. Happy Weaving y’all.
Turned Taquete sett at 24 epi with many active threads