Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Indigo Llama

Here's my indigo llama resting on the loom. I did get some push out at the edge and some puckering. But all may disappear after finishing. Time will tell.

I think I will try a slightly wider warp spacing with two wefts or the same spacing as that above but with a design containing fewer vertical slits. First however, I will re-read my Tapestry 101 book for other thoughts to consider.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Van Gogh Palette

I wove a bit this morning on this ...did the mouth a couple of times and now am re-vamping the nose for perhaps the fifth time. Once those two parts are done the rest should be fairly easy. I'll take a picture when I am done. This is good practice for the next piece I am going to do.

The sun came out around noon today so I figured it would be a good dye day. One of the Guilds I belong to has an annual challenge. This year it is to be inspired by a Van Gogh painting and the year of my birth. It has to be at least half handwoven or handspun and not too big. Everyone has a different Van Gogh masterpiece. Mine is one of his vases of sunflowers.

I came up with a great design for a tapestry which would be best with a 12 epi sett...which needs a 12/6 warp. None of that in my stash...so a few phone calls and it is now in the mail. The design is fairly challenging...but more on that at a later date.

Not only did I not have the warp, I also did not have the right palette of weft. So a dye day was in order. And today seemed a perfect day since the morning fog burned off and there was sun! Here is a picture of the results of my efforts- the dyed yarn drying outside. There does seem to be a lot of yarn for a piece which is expected to be 12 by 14 inches!

I realized once I finished dyeing my base yarn which is a blueish grey silk, that I would never be able to get the right yellow in the sunflowers. I hunted around my stash and found a cone of an off white silk/cotton (70/30%) blend which I then dyed yellow, yellow orange and a pale seafoam. Now I think I have the right palette. Although, to make it easier to achieve the mottled effect I want in the background I may do a couple painted warps.

ps the fog is coming in

Friday, June 15, 2007

My Indigo Friend

I'm planning a small tapestry for my baby Shannock which needs to be done by October. Plenty of time. It has more detail than my previous pieces so I am contemplating a sett of 12 epi.

Normally I have been using 8 and sometimes 10 epi. The Kiss was done at 10 epi with 30/18 cotton seine and four strands of my dyed silk as weft.

Checking the 'literature' and the 'knowers of all tapestry knowledge' it seems a 30/18 is too thick for a 12 epi and may cause ridges or the edges may push out. Seems 12/6 is the consensus pick for my warp so I have order some from Weaving Southwest. They were quite nice on the phone, and said they would hopefully have it packed before the UPS guy showed up in the afternoon.

Since I have an empty loom I figured why not try a small piece with the 30/18 and a 12 sett and see how it comes out.

Last night I played around with photoshop and came up with a design which makes me happy and I warped up my loom this morning. This afternoon I started weaving. I am using double strands of weft.

I am actually using the silk I dyed in the indigo dye workshop I took last weekend plus a few other blues that I have. I only have a bit of the indigo yarn and as my Mother used to say...'better use it up'.

I have about an inch done...I think I will need to have about three or four inches done before I can opine on how well it's really working.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Windows to the Sierras has a home

I have been struggling to figure out where in our house to hang this... I had originally designed it to be viewed from ten feet away assuming you were about five and half feet tall. I had also assumed I would frame it around a 3 by 5 feet canvas so I had wove an extra three inches all around the tapestry so I could wrap it effectively. It also meant I didn't really have to have perfect edges...

Well, everyone seemed to think wrapping around the cansvas would be a waste and I should go with the larger size which is a bit large for the den. It has been hanging there for a month or so. It looks quite unattractive on a white wall. As the viewer, you are to imagine yourself in a log cabin looking out the window to the Sierras. That means log cabin walls...wood walls, perhaps knotted pine...at least something wood colored. Not white.

Well, the solution is at hand....I brought a bit of the wood ceiling down the wall. Oh yes, that blanket is history.

Friday, June 01, 2007

In Search of a Kiss

Here is my latest tapestry, In Search of a Kiss. It is part of our tapestries group project called Dots & Dessert.

The piece is not off the loom yet. I am letting it rest with loosened warps. I have it hanging on my studio door to see if there isn't a dot or two I might alter.

I am happy with the result. It is the image I saw in my brain. Nice when that happens....even more surprising when I consider it was woven from the front and upside down.

More later...