Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Purple Tapestry

My tapestries tend to progress rather slowly. This picture was taken a couple months ago. I've finally finally finished the purple section.

I got several bags of short pieces of alpaca wool at a studio garage sale. I have no idea how the person was card weaving with this because I would keep my tension too high but apparently they did. They saved all the loom waste and that was what I bought. The yarn was sorted by color scheme.

I decided to make a free flowing (meaning not rigidly planned) tapestry. My intention is to make a tote bag from it. I'm more or less happy with how the main piece has turned out. Now I've woven in some plastic bag filler and will weave a shorter section that will be cut in half and used as the sides. When that's done I'll inkle weave some straps and that's probably when you'll hear about this project again.

I found it interesting that the sides wanted to bow outward rather than inward. Normally on a tapestry you have to watch the edges don't get pulled in too tight. If you keep pulling each row just a bit too snug then your weaving will start to deform. It's rather the same as trying to maintain an even width on an inkle loom.

For this piece, since I was dealing with 4 to 8 inch scraps, I decided to let the ends hang out of each row. I'm planning on making this a fringe on the top of the bag. Because of this, the end warps started being pushed out after about six inches of weaving. It was a simple fix though. When your edges pull in all you can do is unweave and redo it. Not so here. I just took a couple of the loose ends and tied the warp back to straight. I did this every couple inches and it's worked out fine.

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