Mar 26, 20181567 views

Weaving a Tapestry: Start to Finish

Here We Go!
So I know this is the knitting community, but in the spirit of all things fiber arts, I thought I’d share my latest weaving project. I wove this tapestry over the course of two weeks on random evenings and weekends. I’m excited to gift it to two of my friends, who recently bought their first home together. Hoping it can warm up those new walls!
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About the Loom
For this project, I used the Lisa frame loom by Louet (massdrop.com/buy/lisa-frame-loom-by-louet). Y’ALL. I can’t say enough good things about this loom. It’s the fourth loom I’ve ever woven on and by far the most fun to use. The others I have at home are the Melissa & Doug multi-craft loom (great for beginners), the Lost Pond Looms Kingfisher (for biiiig tapestries and rugs), and the little hand loom from Ellen Bruxvoort at Fibrous ATX (for necklaces, coasters, and other small pieces).
What I love most about the Lisa loom is that the warp notches are super close together, which allows you to play around with intricate details. The frame sets up in about 30 seconds and the height is quickly adjustable. I also like that the warp threads sit above the frame (rather than flush with it, like the Melissa & Doug loom). Plus, the rubber stoppers at the top and bottom make it easy to lean the loom against a wall or coffee table without it falling, so you can work at different angles.
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Materials
Stash buster! This is probably the first project I didn’t buy a single new skein for. Instead, I landed on a color scheme within my existing yarn supply: shades of primary—red, yellow, blue—with some room for weirdness, like speckled gray and black-and-white stripes. This tapestry features some of my very favorite fiber, including botanical-dyed thread I brought home from Peru, fluffy merino wool my friend brought me from Iceland, bamboo silk thread from Japan, and yarn I dyed myself using avocado pits. (I would’ve never guessed avocado would yield that mellow salmon pink!)
Process
Going into it, I knew I wanted this weaving to be a color and texture party, so triangles, roving, and dangling loops were going to be part of the mix. I drew a quick sketch of the general picture in my head, then gave myself the freedom to go off book. It was a meditative experience to let myself get abstract, find a groove, and just go with the flow. Here are a few progress shots—don’t mind the inconsistent lighting!
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Finishing & Details
Once the tapestry was off the loom, I tied off the bottom warp and used the top to mount it to a piece of wood. This part’s always pretty tedious, but it’s exciting to be in the home stretch!
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Finally…
Here it is, coming in at about 23 by 17 inches. At the time of writing, this weaving is already carefully packed away for the trip to my friends’ new house. I’ll try to add some photos of how it looks hung up in their space.
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Weaving Resources
I picked up my first loom about two years ago. Back then, I thought of weaving as a very traditional slow craft (I kept picturing those complicated floor looms the size of baby grand pianos). But pretty quickly, I realized there are so many different tools, techniques, and styles out there, and different weavers and weaving communities put their own stamp on this age-old craft.
Because weaving has seen a resurgence lately, particularly on the kinds of frame looms I learned on, it has a huge presence on Instagram. Search #weaversofinstagram or #weaverfever, and you’re bound to find artists around the world who inspire you, like @janelle_pietrzak (instagram.com/janelle_pietrzak) and @meghanshimek (instagram.com/meghanshimek). One of my favorites is Lindsey Campbell at @hellohydrangea (instagram.com/hellohydrangea). Along with making beautiful textiles of her own, she’s put together some seriously user-friendly online classes (hellohydrangea.com/weaving-classes). I took the intermediate class just to learn her special method of stick mounting, and it didn’t disappoint!
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Thanks for taking a look at my post! I hope you’ll share your own textile projects, WIPs, and/or sources of inspiration below.
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Ladydee59, Maria Violet Belan-Crawford, and 59 others
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What a beautiful tapestry. I have always wanted to try it but I make so many different things I am afraid to start another. If I fall in love with anything else I will be in divorce court. I don’t have anymore room in my car or trunk to hold stuff. I need a workshop. But back on topic. This is lovely. Please keep sharing.
Love your weaving! I have a Majacraft rigid heddle loom for things like shawls and scarves, and a couple of gorgeous Mini tapestry looms by Hokett Would works. If only I had time to use them! (I dye yarn and fiber for my online shop, and knit, crochet and spin.) you've made me even more keen to find some weaving time!
StitchpunkNZ
Sounds like you have an impressive setup over there! Admittedly, my weaving days are few and far between now. It's such a big time commitment that it takes some psyching up to get going, but once I start I get laser-focused until the project is done. Would love to learn to spin!
I loved what you came up with. After reading this post, I am inspired to try weaving. When I was in Italy, I visited a place that taught people to weave. I would have to stay 6 months to learn everything. The tapestrys were very large but beautiful. I didn’t try it. I taught myself to sew, quilt, crochet, still working on knitting. I make landscape art quilts. It would be fun to add weaving!Mo#1
Mormor9
Yes, try it! I'd love to see what you make. That class in Italy sounds fascinating. When I visited Peru last year, I took a one-day weaving workshop from a school that also teaches more comprehensive, months-long classes. Would be great to study those traditional techniques for a longer period someday. They're infinitely more complex than the frame-loom weaving I do, which I found quite easy to pick up through a little bit of online reading and trial and error.
Love!
Superflychild
Thank you!!
thanks for sharing - what you made is a work of art!!
CaddoP
Wow, thank you! That's so kind of you to say :)
Love it!!
Kasplus1
Thank you! :D
Whoa. I'm not really into weaving at all but this is incredible! Great guide and pictures with a stellar finished product! So cool!!
livingspeedbump
Thank you! :)))
This is incredible! And thank you for the links, I've always wanted to get into weaving, now might be the time!
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Haha yeah that tends to be how I learn as well! I've been going through the hydrangea website, this is an incredible resource. I've got time at the makerspace tonight, going to see if I can scrounge some material and laser cut some pieces for a starter loom so I can start playing around with this this weekend :D
lisasaurus
Making your own loom! Awesome! Have fun!
This is awesome! Love all your work on IG as well <3 We should do a weave night!
XiK
Thanks Xi! And yes! Wine 'n' weave night invite coming soon ;)
Gorgeous! You're really inspiring me to open up that beginner kit I got off Massdrop last year and finally try and get started with weaving.
Liz
Thank you! :D And omg, that kit looks amazing! I think you can also make little tassel-y pillowcases with it, which is something I've always wanted to try.
That is amazing! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!
SandyLucas
Thanks Sandy! :D