As well as painting and drawing on canvas I have always loved all forms of creating art be it on wood, glass or metal. I have painted on silk to make a decorative scarf, upholstery, curtains and furniture. I am very much a fan of the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau.
One craft I have always wanted to try is tapestry weaving, telling a story or making art with fibre. A few years ago I found a book in the local library 'Tapestry Weaving' by Kirsten Glasbrook that I found very inspiring. Now I decided was the time to see if I could weave. I bought a copy of Glasbrook's book and started looking at simple frame looms to experiment with tapestry weaving.
Well this Christmas, much to my delight and surprise, my husband bought me a little loom; a Schacht 15" Cricket rigid heddle weaving loom. At first I was a little thrown by the presence of a heddle and the complexity as I thought, of learning to weave with one.
Nothing could be further from the truth - it's fun! As I soon learned with my first practice weaving. I used yarn won in one of those mystery gift exchanges about a year ago. I had almost forgotten about the what I considered 'ugly' yarn. So I pulled it out thinking it would be less wasteful than buying new.
So after warping the loom with my husband's help I was ready to weave, it didn't really matter what, just learning to set up, weave the weft evenly and have good edges. The ugly wool actually wove up a nice tweedy pattern, almost a 70's look.
The process of weaving cloth and watching it grow is quite relaxing and exciting at the same time. I can see that I will want to experiment with different warps and wefts to make different patterned cloth. Not just tapestry art with fiber.
Eventually I finished the sample piece when it was about 18'' long and tied off the warp leaving a 1.5" fringe each end. Approximately 7"" wide it made a small runner for the top of a bookcase/storage unit.
The actual yarn used here is possibly an acrylic or wool/acrylic mix. There were no labels on any of the balls. I think I might make some table mats with the rest of the yarn.
After completing my first project of getting to know the loom I could hardly wait to start my first tapestry my head full of ideas for different designs and playing with colour! A different technique to learn as with tapestry weaving only the weft threads show. More of that in my next post on making my first tapestry wall hanging.