Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Forest Wallhanging

I've had this idea hanging around my brain for awhile and started on the sample last fall. It took me awhile to think about how to do it and there are still some things that I wish I could either figure out still or think of a better way to get an effect. My objective was to do a weaving that was basically tapestry but the warp would show and there would be dramatic slits so that I could show a woods scene and have depth and a sense of light.

The warp on these are mostly handspun wool with some cotton mixed in if it was a color I wanted. If the yarn was thin, I doubled it as warp end and it is a pretty varied mix of plies and singles and colors sett at 9 epi. The finished piece is 21" x 18".
On the sample, when I wanted a slit opening to be wider, I drew in the weaving part which was the tree trunk and that just made wider slits. That worked ok but on the second one, I didn't tighten up on any of the woven areas and just left blank warp. When I took the weaving off the loom, I tucked the uncovered warps back into the weaving with a needle and this worked better. Next time I do this, I'll use an all wool warp because wool works sticks to itself better and is easier to work back into the weaving and stays put. I steamed the piece heavily with an iron and press cloth when it was finished.

This is a detail of the work. You can see that I used a lot of colors and types of yarn.

When I took the weaving off the loom, I turned under the top and bottom edges to accommodate dowel rods to stabilize the hanging. It is pretty light weight on its own. I knew that what was behind it would be an issue but I didn't realize how much until I held it against our antique white walls and saw it needed a better color. And you can see on the sample that the white doesn't help it out very much. I pulled out my fabric scraps not thinking there was anything useful there but hoping to get an idea of what would work. I had this fabric I used left from another project. It was the exact size I needed and I just turned under the edges. I only had 2 choices of how the watercolor darker parts of the fabric showed through because there was just the right size of cloth and I thought it worked perfectly this way. I could have shopped for hours for the right thing and not found anything that worked so well. And then I would have agonized on how to place the background so this was one of those very happy coincidences that happen every now and then.

This is the first sample I did.

I need to find some fabric backing for it since I think that even though it was meant to be a sample, it turned out pretty well. Now I'm thinking that my next experiments will be trying to some sort of doublewoven weaving so that as I weave the front tree panel, I can weave it a background as I go and I'm also considering something similar using supplementary warp on my tapestry loom. Not sure which one will be first to try.

My inspiration were a number of photos like these woods that I took when I was in Washington last summer and then I did a number of drawings from them.

These are a couple of my new amigurumi. The bunny was on the last blog but insisted on appearing again since after all, it is his season.

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