Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Taquete Second Try

So why am I playing with taqueté?

I first learned this weave structure in a workshop given by Lillian Whipple, sponsored by San Diego Creative Weavers Guild, back in the 90's. It was a fun workshop, and I remember really enjoying it and playing quite a bit with making bitmap designs to weave. I wove the shuttle and spindle below after the workshop, using pickup for the spindle since the design wasn't symmetrical, but have never woven with this structure since.

Well, Lillian was back in San Diego in January, but unfortunately, I was not able to take her workshop. It got me thinking of taquete, though, itching to play with some of those old designs I had made. I didn't feel up for a sewing thread warp, though, and wondered what it would be like using a heavier warp. Hence the current experiment.

After finishing the first towel, I also decided to try something else I haven't used much. Kati Meek was here last year, and her method of live weight tensioning is magical! Since this particular loom has ratchet and pawls rather than a friction brake, I decided to try the live weight tensioning. Weaving is so much more fun when you don't have to get up to advance the warp.

This picture shows a few things - first, I've got my bobbin winder attached to the back beam. The electric bobbin winder is in the other room near the big loom. It's handy to keep this one here, and space efficient to have it on the back beam since I'm not weaving the full width. Second, I had an odd-shaped rectangular grass basket and was wondering what I could use it for. Since this loom is in the corner of our family room, I decided it was perfect for holding the cones for my weft yarns. Keeps the area looking not quite as chaotic as usual. Last, but not least, the weight pole I've got is too wide for this area, so rather than using it and risking someone gouging a shin, I just hung the weights on rafter hooks. For this warp, I've got 15 lbs of weight on each side of the loom, and I used the collettes from the weight pole as counterweights. It's working really well.
I decided to try a little fatter pattern weft - so I wound three stick shuttles with some chenille. This does give better coverage, though I think I need something still a little heavier. And... I'm still having fun.


Sue said...

Thanks for writing about that tensioning technique. I'm refurbishing a loom with a ratchet and pawl brake, and I have concerns about that type of brake. Good to see that there are different ways people deal with it!


Lynnette said...

I am really enjoying reading your blog. This is my first sighting of taquette; although I did receive a turned taquette handtowel in a recent exchange. Lookes like a great weave structure. Love learning how you warp your loom too!