Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Moon Is The Number 18

OK - so I'm nearing the end of my first sampler ... in the process of completing the 'landscape' part. I decided to base my landscape design very loosely on a tarot card - you wouldn't guess, but it was inspired by The Moon :P


The edges will be in black, so I can practise sewing slits - though I will also need to do that on the edges of my circle too. I'm finding that I'm enjoying 'eccentric weft' rather than weaving to right angles of the warp. It's just something I'm automatically comfortable with ... though I realise that the whole tapestry can't be made up of weird angled stitching! I've also realised that heavy black outlining seems to be a 'Michelle' thing to do, as I do that in most of my needlepoint designs.

Yesterday Anita and I visited Bev, a fantastic tapestry artist and weaver. If I get stuck I'll go to her for a class or two, since just talking to her for a few minutes taught me so much! She weaves on both the front and back warps, using the floor to join them together, and seemed surprised that I was only weaving on the top warps! No wonder my sampler is chunky ... I'll try that next time.

I'm also excited by the advice that more experienced tapestry artists have been giving me - so if any of you are reading this, thank you! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Steppin' and Hitchin'

No, they aren't dance moves ... they're the latest techniques I have been learning on my sampler!

I finished the (rather dodgy) circle, then started hatching:


I think the wool is too chunky - I have warped up in accordance with the instructions, with 12/18 seine twine, and used 8 x 2-ply yarn strands in keeping with the instruction that the weft should loosely fit in between 2 warps. But I think my work would look a lot neater with finer warp spacing and less strands. Also, my tension is all over the place - it has stabilised now, but started at 16cm wide, and is now 15cm! Ooooops :P

While I'm learning a lot in this sampler (which, I guess, is the point!), I'm not happy with how it's turning out. Though the due date is looming (pun not intended), if I get time I'm going to do a miniature, finer sampler to send with it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weaving Part 2

Yesterday I spent a lot of time learning stepping and weaving a circle. It took me a while to figure out the former, as I found it challenging getting to terms with weaving separate blocks with different colours, and found myself mixing up my unders and overs :P

Next was weaving a circle. What I'm finding difficult is making sure the different colours are even. I started off doing exactly the same amount of rows in each colour, but when they are packed / beated down, they are difficult to count. So I just worked visually, and they seem to look good so far!

Is that wrong? If any weavers are reading this, please feel free to criticise!


The textbook instructions aren't very comprehensive, so at the moment I'm relying on the only book I could get hold of at the library - Kirsten Glasbrook's 'Tapestry Weaving'. I have ordered a secondhand copy of Tadek Beutlich's 'The Technique Of Woven Tapestry' from the US, so hopefully it will arrive soon. Hopefully I'm on the right track, since I've been having a few of those 'I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING!' moments :P

Needlepoint ...

Yes, I'm still needlepointing ... well, I can't weave in front of the telly!

The lime leopard-print kit is on hold, since I've run out of green ... my gorgeous friend Anita and I will be visiting Melbourne in March, so I'll go to the Victorian Tapestry Workshop to stock up.

At the moment, I'm working on a needlepoint of Erzulie Dantor's veve for Anita's altar:


Sunday, February 14, 2010

La Sirene

As promised, here is a pic of the small La Sirene needlepoint I finished:

Michelle Learns To Weave ...

So ... Thursday night I taught myself how to weave! I spent a while looking through my books with a perplexed look on my face, too scared to actually start ... but after a while I stopped procrastinating and warped up the frame:

Next I had to put in the 'floor', then 3 rows of waste yarn. I discovered that I prefer using bobbins rather than 'butterflies' of yarn, which I found too cumbersome. In the picture below I'm starting the 'double half-hitches' - a process I found quite difficult to learn, as my textbook only gave me one 'how-to' diagram, without a picture of what they are supposed to look like when finished ... so hopefully I've got it right!

I was getting the hang of weaving, once I realised that beating the weft down would hide the warp threads!

And here I'm practising changing colours randomly:

So now I'm feeling more confident ... I guess I'll find out whether I'm on the right track when I hand in my first assignment!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hot Aftershave Bop

Unfortunately, the stable internet is still not forthcoming ... guess AdamMax is not all it's cracked up to be ... but then again, it leaves me more time for stitching :P

I will post a pic soon of the needlepoint I am very close to finishing - it is another La Sirene design, this time for my little friend Lily.

I've also just received my course information for the Diploma Of Tapestry, which I am studying via correspondence through SW TAFE in Warrnambool. I've just ordered seine twine and tapestry bobbins, and already have a weaving frame - not sure quite what to do with them when they arrive, but I guess I'd better figure it out, as my first sampler is due March 15! Very exciting times ahead :)

I'll post pics as I go along ...