Saturday, August 04, 2018

Tapestry sampler

I finished weaving a tapestry sampler a while ago (June 5, to be exact), but I had to return the book the design came from to the library (after renewing it five times). Then someone else checked it out, so I ended up purchasing a used copy (Rigid Heddle Weaving, by Karen Swanson). I wanted to make sure I had the sections labeled correctly before posting, hence the delay.

Plain weave

Plain weave in two colors (vertical stripes)

The book is actually about how to use a rigid heddle with a backstrap loom, but I decided I could make the sampler on my Ashford rigid heddle loom. That was true, more or less, but per usual, I learned a lot in the process. For one thing, I had the yarn specified in the pattern, but not the 5-dent heddle, so I warped up my 7.5-dent one with 8/4 carpet warp. Alas, that did not work well with the rug yarn. While contemplating how to resolve that issue, Liz Gipson gave me the idea of using worsted weight yarn instead. I have a lot of naturally dyed Lamb's Pride worsted, in colors I don't wear, so that fit the bill perfectly.

Pile weave - flossa

Pile weave, loop flossa

Pile weave, rya

Tapestry weaving is weft-faced, so the weft must be beaten down to cover the warp. This cannot be done with the heddle. Initially, I used the shuttle from my inkle loom because it has a beveled edge, but was too short to do the entire width of the piece. Eventually I ordered some swords from the Woolery, which made things go much easier.

Tapestry, split weave (bottom) and clasp weave (top). Rolling under on the bottom is soumak.

Another problem I encountered was losing the shed as the amount of fabric on the front beam grew. I tried compensating for that by adding weights to the warp, but that didn't really help. Toward the end, it was a real struggle to insert the weft. Maintaining even selvages while learning something new is a challenge, too, leading me to reweave a significant amount.

Trying to maintain tension

Curve form - "cartoon"

Curve form - split weave

The darker yarn was dyed with walnut. The lighter yarn is pomegranate, pomegranate and tumeric, and tumeric. Some of the color changes between the light colors were a bit abrupt, but don't show a lot. Or look like part of the plan.

Weft twining (bottom), weft chaining (middle), leno (top)

Top sample is brocade

Despite how slow the weaving went, I really enjoyed tapestry weaving. It's much more interesting than simple weaving. My plan is to do more of it.

1 comment:

Mereknits said...

I think you have done incredibly well. I need to get my loom back out and get something on it. I am never very creative but it is still fun to do.