Tuesday, July 29, 2014

'What Is Turned Taqueté? A Weave by Any Other Name...'

I have been trying, with modest success, to understand the weave structure known as Turned Taqueté. 

Turned Taqueté is described alternately as polychrome Summer and Winter but without tabby... or warp-faced compound plain weave... or like Samitum but based on plain weave, not twill.... Quite honestly, I do not have enough weaving background -- or I am not enough of a math-head -- to fully understand all the analyses and terminology. I do know that there is a tie-down weft and that the pattern warps float over three wefts and then are tied down as well. Ideally, the weft is much finer than the warp, allowing the warp pattern to show. And for what I want to do -- that is, paint two different warps and then weave them together in one fabric, so that the colors play against each other and with the pattern -- Turned Taqueté is terrific. Alliteration intended. 

Simply put, this structure provides for a wonderful drape and beautiful design possibilities. I wove the sample above (and below) on 8 harnesses using two hand-painted warps in 20/2 silk and a weft of black 60/2 silk.  

The incomparable Bonnie Inouye designed the pattern and I modified the treadling a bit. Below is a small version of the drawdown. (If you would like me to share with you the WIF file, send me an email at dkovn@hotmail.com.) The pattern appears in the most recent issue of the Complex Weavers Journal, in an article by Inouye, "Turned Taqueté, An Introduction." In the article, she also discusses how to draw this structure on a network, using either Fiberworks or WeavePoint software. Network drafting is another wonderfully intricate subject -- one that is discussed and illustrated at length in Marian Stubenitsky's new book, Weaving with Echo and Iris. Network drafting allows weavers to soften and curve their patterns, so that the structure appears fluid rather than rectilinear.

I think I have just dipped my toe in the water....

Monday, July 21, 2014

An Entirely Arbitrary Look at Convergence 2014

From a very biased viewpoint: Mine! A group of Rochester Guild members -- including two "Convirgins," as weavers affectionately call those who are attending the convention for the first time -- journeyed to Providence on Wednesday, July 16, to see the fashion show and the exhibits. And, of course, the vendors.

For those who aren't familiar with what Convergence is: this is the biennial convention of the Handweavers Guild of America, held somewhere in the continental United States and drawing a couple of thousand weavers, teachers, exhibitors, and vendors from all over the world. It is an inspiring event and -- because it's usually held on the West Coast -- I was not about to miss it.

My traveling companions (left to right): Leslie Mendelson, Karen Berk, Hope Herting, Jenn Snyder, Teri Silsby, and me. Jenn, a Rhode Island native, was our wonderful hostess AND tour guide.

Among the many tempting vendors: Master weaver Randy Darwall, 
whose scarves are pictured above

The Glimakra booth, which to me is pretty much 
the weaving equivalent of Disneyworld....

None of us took classes, but instead visited the exhibits and toured the Providence area -- again, guided by Jenn Snyder. The fashion show was a highlight and spurred a lot of discussion. The first-place winner was not a weaver, for instance, but the garment itself was masterful and showed great skill in surface design, couture sewing, and garment design.

(I had an item juried into the show -- but found out at the last minute that my garment had been disqualified because there was a tear in the back seam. I was told that they had received the garment that way, but there is no way on earth I would have shipped it like that. Most likely, it tore when a model tried it on. Still, quite honestly, the fabric was fragile and I had not reinforced the seam. I learned NOT to do that again, for sure. A painful experience but also a lesson.)

Moving on: the Complex Weavers exhibit, named "Complexity," was a highlight of the conference for me. Again, for those who don't know, Complex Weavers is an international organization of handweavers who are interested in working with more than four harnesses -- although four-harness weaving is also explored by this group, as it can offer many challenges for advanced weavers. 

A dimensional wall hanging by Susie Taylor,
double woven on 10 shafts with an origami layer 

Bonnie Inouye, whose work I admire greatly, wove this Echo weave piece
with looped and interlocked strings on 24 shafts

A detail of a Jacquard-woven piece by Lois Bryant,
in weft-backed 8-shaft twills and 16-shaft satin

One of my personal favorites: a scarf by Lesley Willcock 
created from network threading, woven on 32 shafts 
in a treadling range of 8-end satins

The first-place winner was another piece by Lesley Willcock: a 4-color double weave
using an extended parallel on a network threading and woven on 32 shafts

Another personal favorite: a fancy twill scarf by Carol Wooten woven on 32 shafts

This scarf is by Elizabeth Calnan, woven on 32 shafts 
in a double-weave point threading

So much to see, so much to learn! With all the conversations, reading, and viewing, my head was fit to burst. The ideas will last me for at least two years -- until the next Convergence, just about....

What's on the Loom?

More accurately, what's going on the loom? At this writing, I'm in the process of winding on a painted warp for a Jin design on 28 ...