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!
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.
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!)
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!
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!
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.
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!
Thanks for taking a look at my post! I hope you’ll share your own textile projects, WIPs, and/or sources of inspiration below.