Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Way of Starting a Tapestry

I thought it would be fun to document how I worked through the development of this tapestry. I posted the original photos that I took in the spring at the Bozeman Creek Trail earlier and from them I did several drawings. In this final drawing, I changed everything so that the design would be weavable and the drawing was simplified so I could follow it as a cartoon.

The size of the drawing and the amount of detail that it had, made me think that it would be better woven larger than the 9"x12" size of my sketchbook so I wanted to double the size of my cartoon and see if that looked about right to me. I know I could have taken it to a copy shop and had it done there but I like enlarging with a grid and I can also correct any problems that come from enlarging right on the spot. I just feel like I have more control this way. I used some waterproof ink on a plastic page protector to make a one inch grid that I could lay over my drawing. In this case I didn't want to draw the grid directly on the drawing in case I wanted to do a different rate of enlargement.

On a larger piece of paper, I drew out a grid with two inch squares and then drew in the design from the smaller grid to the larger one following the squares. This upsizing seemed just right for me to weave in the detail that I wanted without having to change my usual sett of 8 epi so I was very happy with it and now I had my cartoon.

After warping my Mirrix loom with some Davidson's Old Mill wool warp, I selected the colors I needed. I had mostly everything I wanted but had to spin some sky blues and the deep gold/tans for the path. I probably won't use all these colors but it is often hard to predict what I will need until I am weaving. I don't color in my cartoon or have too much of a color plan ahead of time because I like to do that while I'm weaving. It just makes it more interesting to me to not have all the details planned ahead of time.

These yarns are all handspun and are several natural and dyed colors blended on the drumcarder before spinning which might be a little difficult to see in the photo.

So far I have a little more than 4" of 22" woven. Maybe as there is a little more weaving done, the colors will photograph better but you can get the idea from this.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Emerald Lake

On Saturday, we went on my annual birthday hike. This year we went to Emerald Lake which is a new trail for us. I've wanted to go here for a couple of years but we hadn't gotten around to it. This is a 10 mile hike and usually we do 4-5 mile hikes or shorter so we have some time and energy to do something else on a Saturday. This was a pretty hard hike since there is a 2000 ft. elevation gain and it was warm, even in the mountains. But when we got there and saw this beautiful alpine lake, it was all worth it.

This is the first view of it as we came up and then as we walked around the lake, there was this view.

I was able to take a lot of photos which I can use to make drawings and future tapestries. There hasn't been much weaving going on this week but I have a great excuse. My kids got me a digital camera! It was just an amazing surprise and so sweet of them. I still can't almost believe it and I've wanted one for awhile now. I know I do have the best kids but I knew that before this. I'm not that quick with learning electronic stuff but either this is just pretty easy and there are good instructions with the camera or I'm motivated enough to keep at it and so I'm figuring it out but this is the first time I've used a digital camera ever.

I took this photo from our deck yesterday and today I loaded the camera software and learned how to download the photos. So from now on, I will have a lot more photos on my blog which will make it more interesting. But I think even more importantly, it will be a great resource for me to draw from these photos and increase both my drawing skills and improve my tapestry cartoons. I am just so excited!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Warped the Loom

The tapestry loom is warped and ready to go! The Mirrix looms are easy to warp but when putting on any continuous warp, you just have to hope and pray the phone doesn't ring or some other interruption comes up. But I was lucky yesterday and I got through it smoothly. There is still spinning to be done for colors that I need right after the hem so I will probably try to spin them up before weaving the hem. As in the last tapestry, this one will be woven vertically because it has strong vertical lines with trees again. I hope I can get the spinning done by Monday so I can start to weave early next week.

It already feels like August is flying by and it is only the 3rd. I am going to be a vendor at the Quilting in the Country event again this year and have a variety of odds and ends to finish up before that happens on Aug. 26th. I have a good inventory for the day and I'm trying not to rush to start and finish some things just so I have more and there is time to do that. I have a tendency to complicate things just because there is time to do more and then I get stressed out for no really good reason.

At the thrift store last Saturday, I found 3 wonderful cookbooks. I am pretty much a cookbook addict and love to bake. Two of these are more recent Moosewood cookbooks; huge, thick paperbacks and the other is Beard on Bread. Baking breads is my favorite but this book has the added bonus of beautiful illustrations by Karl Stuecklen. He calls them action drawings and they do show the steps in various bread baking techniques and the yummy looking finished product. I'm not sure why it is so fun to read cookbooks since I only try a small portion of the recipes but I must not be the only one because so many new ones come out every year.

Thanks, Leigh. When I have a problem with something on the computer, I just assume that I did it wrong so it was nice to think it might have been Blogger and not me.