To get the motivational kick in the butt for this tapestry adventure, I’ve signed up for the Tapestry Diary weave-along on Ravelry. I don’t have a plan, but isn’t that the whole point of a diary? Some freeform flowing shapes are probably what’s going to happen after going through and discarding a number of calculations and ideas involving squares or cartoons and various shapes and choices of yarn.
And it did make me go and warp up ALL the looms actually, as I’ve hinted already here. Subsequently finding all the flaws on both homemade looms, so they are being fixed after a bit of brainstorming and a visit to the lumber yard + farm machinery / ironmonger (I just LOVE that kind of stores) for doodads.
Anyway, I haven’t really gotten seriously started, but the February portion ended up as a commentary on the winter weather and view. Dark ploughed fields and half dead grass. I managed to get some structure for the furrows, even making them smaller at the top for a bit of perspective, but of course you can hardly see it with a dark brown yarn (My handspun Shetland from the SAL sweater).
And then I thought I might use this cartoon I made from an old photo of big brown pony to put in the middle of it all, year of the horse and that. Proper diary. 😉 I may however stretch his nose a little forward, as I think this has a slightly restrained feel to it – and the “canvas” is landscape format anyway.
And I just realized, tapestry and weaving is where I’m going to suffer the most with my varied colour choices. Because you can always mix your paints differently, photographed object are what they are unless you run them by Photoshop, but every time I come up with a new fiber image theme I need to get more yarn!! Ouch on the budget. I
need hope to get natural skeins by the kilo(s), so I can just dye to my heart’s content. Spinning for tapestry may happen eventually, but that also takes a toll on the time budget (and I don’t have a lot of longwools fiber stocked anyway). Especially if you want to do multi thread blending, meaning laceweight yarn or thinner, which takes forever to spin. Not logical if you’re trying to make the most of your playtime. Then spinning becomes tedious production and costs way more in hours than yarn to dye for. No, spinning is for the fun yarn.
I don’t know yet if I prefer the freeform invent as you go tapestry or the more traditional stringent method of designing first, I think perhaps the latter, because the diary has been giving me so much trouble, but maybe with experience it will change.
I’ve also spent an insane amount of time debating which project from my list to put on the rigid heddle loom first, redesigning some ideas endlessly (hello IC?), calculating yardage since I have only just enough or barely of some of the yarns. Discard, use other yarn, change design on FO? Especially the one project with insanely expensive linen yarn…
So I decided to just start with the ones that are definitely fixed to simply get more hands on experience, even if they’re not “timely”. I also realized, after dying the yarn and all for a specific project that needed the same warp and weft, THAT I HAD NOT TESTED IT FOR STRENGTH!! What an idjit. It’s 1 ply. It so drifts apart = broken warp threads all over for sure. And that was even for a mini-series of image-cloths! At least I remembered before getting started, so now I’m doing ONE test with a stronger warp in a similar colour, just to get it out of my hair (clasped weft), but I won’t get the multicolour warp I had planned, it has to be grey all over. I’m going to have to translate that idea to tapestry if I want to make it. Something with fog, trees and mountains in a very light, open cloth to then be embroidered. Well, later when I have other yarns, or in another medium. The dyed yarn will be used – somehow.
I have to keep saying to myself “This is a test, this is just the first”. Not so much the landscape in my head as simply an exercise in concave and convex, in using hands and paying attention to selvedges. It won’t be as open as all that either, this yarn is sticky.
Hopefully I’ll learn. Next week I may show you some of my homemade tools.
Technically it’s not tapestry, so what do we call it, pictorial weaving?