Off to Virginia to stay with Fletcher and Cooper while their parents were away and I took my Hokett Loom, yarns and design materials. I knew the boys would have their noses in the World Cup and I would have time to indulge in weaving.
I pack my weaving supplies in translucent bags that all fit into a larger bag. One for my Hokett with the tray I use it on, one for a selection of yarns and one for little bits of equipment. My design supplies go in a small shoulder bag with watercolors, sketchbooks etc. With these two bags I could set up a little studio space and was set!
Got out my sketchbook and watercolors and came up with my design. I’ve been sketching trees and leaves lately so decided on stylized leaves. Next to warp my little loom and prepare my weft yarns. I did bring the little spinner thing that I got from Rebecca Mezoff to un ply my Harrisville yarns. BUT… my design called for black and I forgot that while I needed to un ply the blue and green yarn, I needed to double the black and didn’t bring enough… You can see where I ran out of black yarn in the image above!!! Always something!!!!
I did have more black at home and was able to finish!!! So all is well with one part of my world, at least…
Well, I’ve taken the little looms class and attended the little looms workshop in the mountains of Colorado- both with Rebecca Mezoff. I’ve done a number of small tapestries on my Hokett looms and felt I knew what I was doing enough to sign up for the Unjuried Small Format Tapestry Exhibition through the American Tapestry Alliance. I worked on my design, did some samples on my 8 epi Hokett and ordered yarns from Harrisville. I thought I had simplified my design and thought Harrisville would be good as I do know I’m a beginner. WELL, the real world works to keep me humble. I still like my design, but should have explored more ways to do the veins in the leaves. There are slits all over the place to the point of making it unstable. I’ll try stitching them but…
Anyway, here’s my process – I do still like my design and will rework it after I pick my self up… I may do a series – I like the simple concept of friendship and nature. I call this one, “Have a Cup of Tea with Me”.
I had a watercolor sketch that I had done of leaves in a jar and liked it’s spring like quality and colors. I selected my colors based on it and ordered them – it was exciting when they arrived!!! Much of my work is with low chroma colors so these bright hues were a big deal for me!
I knew the watercolor was beyond my abilities as this was my first real tapestry so I redrew it, cropping in and eventually cropped in a lot more. I wanted this to be a friendly, cosy, spring like design, so the jar changed to the suggestion of a cup of tea. I then scanned the color sketch and redrew it in Illustrator to flatten it and to simplify it even more. Once sized, that became my cartoon.
I made samples. First, testing how yarns could mix to extend the colors I have, then adjusting the values of the greens to get the feeling of the tea cup under the leaves and finally exploring various angles I could achieve. I considered weaving this side ways, and perhaps I should have but I thought I could get away with a vertical design as I wanted the texture to be vertical and not horizontal.
Finally I got started. I had warped my new loom when I got it to make sure I understood how. I didn’t use the shedding device as I used my fingers and it doesn’t seem to make a very large shed anyway. Also when I attached the cartoon to the back it made the shedding device unusable. I attached it with some bag clips from my kitchen – need to research how others do this. I re did section after section as I began to understand how the weft packed down – think I might be packing too hard??? My main problem was the vein lines in the leaves. My original design didn’t have them but I felt they were important to describe the leaves. I tried different blues (limited to the blues I have) and eccentric lines, and wrapping a single warp yarn. I ended up using anything that seemed to work – resulting is a fabric with too many slits. I thought I could stitch the slits but there is a problem with the wrapped warps – perhaps if I had stitched as I went along…but I didn’t. When it lies flat the problem doesn’t show but when I took it off the loom…
So, I have a lot to learn and I learned a lot.
Rebecca Mezoff has had a Valentine challenge for the past two years. And for the past two years I have been late but did get them done in February…
They were fun to do – used my Hokett loom and realized each time I incorporated my handspun. (Not the red and purple.) I still am working on curves and still have a long ways to go… but when I cut a warp off this little loom I put a new one on so it’s there waiting for me.
Thought I’d end up getting a Mirrix loom but not for a year or so – then when I joined ATA I saw that I’d get 10% off if I got one within three months – so I figured I needed to see how it went sooner but then I saw they were having a 20% off on the one I wanted…so my cheap little heart spent money to save money… and guess what came today!!!
In the mean time I thought I’d review basics as I know more in my brain than in my fingers and while I’d like to experiment with my 6 epi loom at 12 epi, I was still waiting for 20/6 warp which has not been available for several months – so I warped up my 8 epi and experimented with different wefts etc.
Been experimenting with Harrisville Highlands yarn and planning to place an order as I’m weak on spring colors – yellows, greens etc.
About 30 min after the Mirrix came I got an email from The Woolery that my 20/6 warp has been shipped. Opps – with this warp I want finer Weavers Bazaar yarn….. What’s a girl to do???
ATA ( American Tapestry Alliance) had an interesting event last week. A Blog Tour! Over a period of days we were invited to visit a selection of artist blogs (and one Instagram video) where posts were posted for the event. It was very fun, informative and inspirational! If you left a comment, posted an image and/or entered their small tapestry exhibition you were eligible to win a prize.
I commented, posted and entered and won a prize!!! A goodie bag from Halycon Yarn in Maine. I have purchased yarn from them in the past and visited them this summer with Holly. Can’t wait to see what’s in it. Not only that, my post (an image of my sketchbook with designs for my “She Howled at the Moon” tapestry) was used in the final days to promote the event. I’m taking both of these events as signs from the universe that I may be on a right tract…. Always looking for signs—don’t know if that good or bad but I do it! So, I’m currently a happy camper.
With all this said, now I have to get my act together and design and weave a small tapestry. Would like to use my 6 dent Hokett at 12 epi, but waiting for warp, so… I might use my 8epi or… and here’s the big OR… Years ago (years and years) Bob made me a beautiful tapestry loom and I have never even warped it as my life took different twists and turns. It’s time for it to stop being Decorative.
So, I’m researching how to warp this loom, checking my warps, and thinking how much I can accomplish before March. Might also warp up the 8 epi Hokett just in case! Then working on my designs.
At the same time I’ve had some thoughts on combining my stitching with my poetry, but that’s a post for another day!
Haven’t posted in a while – holidays take their toll on my own work. Did get our cards designed and sent and tried to work on the little holiday project Rebecca suggested… but didn’t get started until after New Years so I decided to use a winter theme instead of a Christmas one. I got out my pen and made sketches of a simple moon lit scene, found yarns among my stash and warped my 6 dent Hokett loom at 12 epi.
I was excited as I liked my design and was eager to work on curves with eccentric wefts. BUT… in my excitement I worked on the new skills and seem to have forgotten my old ones – as a result my weaving pulls in and I’m not a happy camper!
This was to be titled “She dances by the light of the moon” but has been changed to “She howls at the moon”!