I think that I am right in assuming that most of us are looking forward to the first signs of Spring, after what has been, for many people, a pretty torrid Winter.

Of course, we get off quite lightly as far as Winter is concerned in the Lowveld, but even here the temperature has, on more than a few occasions dropped down below the usual balmy temperatures that we are used to associating with Winter.

For me, Winter usually means an extended period of time at home – and some fairly intense periods of work on both harness and rigid heddle looms. My floor loom is still idle, but the warp for the Turned Taquete is up and running.

I have to admit this – when those silly little circles actually started to appear I laughed out loud in sheer delight. Somehow the idea of doing something this quirky after months of ‘serious stuff’, just brought me a whole lot of uncomplicated pleasure!

This project hasn’t been without its issues. I was so determined to undertake a project that I didn’t have to think about, and follow someone else’s instructions, that I just bombed ahead regardless and followed instructions. Imagine then my horror when I started threading my warp and found that each band of colour was two warp threads short of the required number for the threading draft.

Not my fault – I checked – it was a typo in the instructions. Not to self: always check up on other people as assiduously as they will check up on you!!!

So, I was faced with a choice – make my blocks two ends smaller, or add two false warp threads to each block and make the blocks the correct size?

Given that I was spacing my warp slightly wider than recommended, and using a weft thread the same thickness as the warp, instead of about half the thickness, I decided to go with the former option, and found that even removing the two warp threads from each colour band, I was still getting a good width for the towels.

Then of course there were the usual threading errors that needed to be dealt with. Special note to anyone out there who thinks that I sail through the processes without any hiccups every time I start a new project – I don’t! There is always  the occasional wrong thread on the wrong shaft, or twist behind the reed, and  as far as I’m concerned this is all part of the process.

My weave structure turned out to be quite a long way off the warp dominant  structure of a true Turned Taquete, but the pattern is showing clearly and I find myself enjoying the subtlety of a pattern that is slightly more subdued than originally envisioned.  

I can sort of see where the relationship with the Summer and Winter structure comes in, but it is a little bit obscure I feel – the biggest point of contact between the two structures being that they are both two-tied unit weaves – but then so are a whole host of other structures too. This is a very personal opinion by the way, so please don’t shoot me down in flames if you disagree.

This is turning into a lovely dense cloth, and I think that the finished project – once it is washed and ironed will be something rather special – even if I say so myself!

……. And my circles are actually round – bonus!

Until the next time – happy weaving and flying shuttles to you all!

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