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The Loom with a View

……….is currently empty!

YOU SAID WHAT???????

For the first time in a very, very long time, I find myself in a situation where I don’t have a warp on any one of my harness looms!

I can’t honestly remember when last this happened. My Rigid Heddle looms are well in use I have to say, but my harness looms have been frowning at me from a distance. Some cultures will tell you that a loom without a warp will put a curse on the weaver, and I can only hope that this very simply isn’t true, ‘cause if it is then I could be in trouble – but not for long, because I’m embarking on a new project – at last.

Most of my weaving tends to focus on a particular technique, which I dig into and investigate, and manipulate, and push the boundaries more than a little bit. I seldom, if ever, refer to a ‘pattern’, and most often I figure everything out for myself – the sett, the threading, the blocks, the tie-ups and treadlings. I love to sit with a notebook and just work on ideas, finding out what might work, and might not, how I can improve something or make it more interesting. My weaving notebooks are a minefield of drawdowns, block plans, notes to myself and calculations, which somehow or other, eventually all come together and allow me to sit at my loom and enjoy the fruits of my labour.

This time around though, I am actually giving myself permission not to push the boundaries, or do something out of the ordinary – I am simply going to follow a draft – one step at a time for a specific technique, and allow myself to relax into the process. I think that I have spent so much time lately throwing my energy into the on-line classes and the Patreon explorations, that somehow, the idea of following someone else’s lead for a change is very appealing, and I am going to be doing just that.

My chosen project is tea-towels (love, love, love making tea-towels – they are truly the Smarties in my weaving repertoire), and my chosen structure is Turned Taquete – a new departure for me.

I know that many of you have already played with this technique, some of you in quite a lot of depth. I am of course going to do the circles to begin with – such a classic, followed by blocks. I’m thinking in terms of pairs of towels, one with circles and one with squares…… Please note, I said ‘thinking’, when it comes to ‘doing’ the ideas might change a bit.

My chosen colours for the new project are also a little bit off my particular form of normal, and I had severe misgivings as I started winding the warp, but when I stepped back and took a look it all came alive, and I am convinced that I am absolutely on the right track with this.

Not my usual palette , but I find them rather striking.

The very neutral brownie/grey is the main colour and the idea is that it will offset the brighter colours in the pattern.

The structure of a Turned Taquete, is a warp dominant, slightly altered version of Summer and Winter. Some of you may remember my endless series of placemats that I wove in Summer and Winter last year for our study of Block weaves on the Patreon page. Well it seems that Summer and Winter is still on my radar, albeit in a totally different form.

The draft I am using for this project is a generic draft which can be found in most reliable weaving resources. Many fellow weavers have also documented it on their blogs, so there was no difficulty at all in finding a draft. What has been more difficult is finding an explanation of the structure.I understand that fundamentals of what I have read, but get the feeling that this is one of those things that I will really only understand, once I get my fingers in and actually start to weave.

As usual in weaving, there is more than one name for this technique too. Some resources refer to it as a “Polychrome Summer and Winter”, and other call it a “Warp faced compound plain weave” – that’s a bit of a mouthful really. In China it is called “Jin”.

The warp dominant character of this structure make it a great vehicle for showing off a painted warp, or perhaps a variegated yarn. My structure will be more balanced, and I am anticipating that it will mean that the pattern is more subtle, but again, it could be that I change my mind when I finally get it on the loom.

Right now, the warp is about half done, with plans to finish it tomorrow and start dressing the loom at the weekend. It is actually quite exciting to have a new project to plan, and a new technique to explore, so watch this space as I keep you updated on my progress – or perhaps lack thereof, but I hope this isn’t the case.

Meanwhile, may you all be blessed with well-dressed looms – whatever your project – and freely flying shuttles!