Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Meanwhile, back in the studio....

After I got the hems woven on both tapestries, I wove a row of soumak. This gives a lovely raised edge for the hem to turn under along, and the extra thickness of weft yarn there covers any warp that might peek through in the turning. I used yarns that will be used in the tapestry along those edges.

Now the tapestry weaving begins! I have gathered baskets of the colorful weft yarns I'll be using in the borders. Next I attached the cartoons I prepared yesterday behind the warp threads (which, you remember, are now tightly strung on the loom.)

The white stitching thread along the bottom edge of the dark woven space in the photo above is warp thread, which I have used to baste the cartoon to the weaving that has been done. It will be removed as I progress with the weaving.

You can see that stitching holding the cartoon to the side-by-side tapestries here, as well. As I weave up the warp, I will continue to stitch the cartoon to the woven tapestry about every inch or so, removing the basting below. My loom has a 'cartoon bar' which is adjustable, and is behind the weaving, holding the cartoon upright behind the loom so I can look through the warp and see the design that I will be weaving.

It is good to be working hard in the studio again. The only one not happy about it is Booker. He is not allowed in the studio, as his shedding is not really a wanted addition to the fiber I am using. He sits at the door to the studio, looking as mournful as he possibly can. So sad....

But I have a story to relate about pet hair:

When I had a tapestry go to Africa for a time on loan to an embassy through the Artists in Embassies program with the US State Department, the 'men in black' came to get the tapestry. After the allotted loan time (four years), they returned the tapestry to me. With it they gave me an official looking document , which was to state that it was being returned in the same state it had been taken in. The 'men in black' explained to me that inspection of the tapestry had disclosed 'animal hair of an unknown nature' within the fibers of the tapestry. As my dog and my cat and I stared back at them and grinned, they said all textiles coming back from Africa had to be checked for such things, and I had to agree to take the tapestry back with that understanding. Needless to say, I accepted it back. I am sure the 'animal hair of an unknown nature' was in it when they took it! It was either the spelsau from the wool I use, which is actually somewhat 'hairy'; dog hair which, in spite of my attempts to restrict it, goes everywhere; or cat hair, from my cat who thinks that tapestries are his personal rugs when I lay them out on the table for the finishing process.

However, I do not want to encourage the 'mixed fiber' look, so Booker will get plenty of practice on his sad look as these tapestries progress.


Anonymous said...

What are the horizontal needdles doing in the top picture? Holding the cartoon or doing something with the weft?


Vera L Hazelgrove said...

Kathy, I think it's very good of you to show your preparation for weaving tapestry in detail. Not only for beginners but also for weavers like me who work a different way and are curious to see how other weavers work.
Ohhh! remeber I have Karley (same breed dog), but I feel glad of her company in my studio. I vacuum my studio once a month and otherwise have given up worrying about dog hair and I usually come away fine.
Thanks for sharing and happy weaving! Vera & Karley

K Spoering said...

Lisa, I use T-pins at the sides to wrap the basting thread (that holds the cartoon on) around. That way, it is easy to remove the basting thread as I move up the weaving.

K Spoering said...

Vera, I used to let the dog in the studio, after all I can't keep the cat out! But when we got Booker, I decided the studio would be off-limits, for the most part. When it storms, he 'needs' to be close to me, so comes in and lays under the loom (in my way!). But my studio is so small, it is mostly a space issue. I keep yarns in baskets around my feet as I weave, and there is just no room for him. Plus the hair thing... he doesn't at all match what I'm weaving right now!