The 1970s are cool again–if you’re a fiber nerd, that is. Maryanne Moodie was the first weaver I spotted who was calling upon the age of shag carpeting to create a more-modern-but-still-earthy wall hanging. There are several weavers out there doing very creative wall hangings nowadays. If you’re inspired to give it a try, here’s a nice tutorial to get you going.
I wove mine on the little Goodwood Pocket Loom, not made any longer, but pretty much any small loom or picture frame will work. This measures 4″x5″ off the loom, not counting the fringes. This was a fun, fast project that I’d like to do on a larger scale… maybe on my new loom. And, no, I’m not talking about the new loom I just posted a few weeks ago but another one, a Hagen tapestry loom that I’ll blog about soon.
Here’s a new-to-me addition to my loom family, a 25″ Schacht Tapestry Loom.
It’s a deceivingly simple loom, basically a frame with a tension bar, but it has the ability to do a continuous warp, which means you can weave something 60″ long, plus it has four harness dowels for patterned weaving. I warped the loom with what I had left of my churro warp. Spacing it at about 5 epi, I have a 15″ width. I wove a footer with some beautiful blue indigo wool, and then I used string heddles to add a twill pattern. It takes four harnesses. My plan is to only do small areas of twill, followed by some wedge weave.
The cheerful sailboat is starting to come to life. If you think it looks kind of angular, you’d be right. At some point, I’ll post about the design, but because I’m usually willing and able to tear out and do over, design is an ongoing thing for me.
All the different sails. I knew it would look downright odd, but it was actually kind of fun to try out different colors and designs:
I need to do some work on the right side of the right sail. There’s also that odd blue wedge between the two sails that needs to be toned down or taken out completely:
The second challenge in the Tapestry Ravelry WAL is a complementary color tapestry. I know nearly nothing about color, and so it’s been very educational. Of course, I didn’t pick subtle, soothing color combinations… just the eye-sizzling ones! That blue water is very loud.
I’m using my C. Cactus Flower Mini… upside down. Oops! It was a mistake, but I don’t think there’s any real difference with the weaving. Ergonomically, it’s easier to weave with the bottom bar on your lap. I’m using a tatting shuttle here and there, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It catches on the warp threads. The tapestry will end up being about 7.5″ x 11″.
More water. I’m totally experimenting with this, using a dark blue cotton embroidery thread and a lighter blue. The complementary color to blue directly across the color wheel is orange. Get ready for an orange boat!
The boat started out a little shaky. I had framed it on either side with too much muddy-looking water, and I didn’t care for the angle of the boat. This design is very geometric, and so I unwove the top section and started over. The “old” one is on the left, and the “new” one is on the right.
Because this year’s WAL in the Ravelry tapestry group is about the color wheel, I organized my cotton embroidery threads as closely as I could. Some colors only have one or two shades, but I’m learning as I go so it doesn’t matter all that much.
It only took me about ten months to finish this 4″x6″ weaving. Honestly, the Lightning Weaver is an awesome loom and I’ve used it for several small tapestries, but quite awhile ago, I wished I hadn’t started this type of a project on it. I used embroidery thread and needles to weave it. At 12 epi, it was pretty fine. My goal when I began was to work in more curves and colors. You can tell I jumped into “finish” mode where the lines start traveling from selvedge to selvedge. I went back to shapes near the end.
The Lightning Weaver has little hooks on either end, which makes it impossible to weave up until the edge. So, I’m left with some white threads poking out, but that’s okay. Throughout the weaving, I overlapped where I started and stopped threads. This keeps the back very tidy. Any loose threads can be safely trimmed away.
I needed a little inspiration for weaving, and I found these two great videos. The first is a short segment with weaver James Koehler. I was interested in his work because so much of it is monochromatic, which is what the first two months of this year’s WAL on Ravelry is focused on. The second is a great video about Navajo weavers: