Sunday, 30 August 2020

Weaving in the time of COVID

 What’s on my loom?

Being a bit distractable it often happens that I end up working on more than one thing at the time, never mind the knitting project that waits for bouts of TV watching. I have just finished a largish black piece using leather (40x60 cm). It was very enjoyable weaving that, I loved the way the rug yarn worked with boucle mohair and lurex weaving yarns. Now to work out how to hang it…..

At the moment I am working on a small white tapestry that is at a sett much finer than I usually use and it is slowly, very slowly, progressing. I am not the most patient person in the world, and as I work as well I like to feel I am achieving something in my spare time, which is why I usually work on something a bit more chunky that builds up more quickly (‘quick’ is a relative term in tapestry weaving to say the least!). Although the fineness of the white tapestry is interesting, it is quite flawed - I have been using homespun yarn mainly, all manner of fibres in the weft, but mainly wool and silk. Homespun can at times be uneven and so it splays out the warp and has surprisingly made the piece wider as the weaving progresses, rather than narrowing which is the most common problem in tapestry weaving).  And if I think about the weaving speed, or lack thereof, this piece is quite testing: weaving for say, 3-4 hours in the afternoon on this piece which is about 21 cm wide I manage just about 3-4 cm across its width – so either I am a slow weaver or the thing just demands a different way of thinking about making. The making process itself becomes the thing, I can’t force it or become too impatient for it to be finished.

To move things on a bit I am therefore also weaving a sample in greens with a bit of blue, brown and purple at a more sensible sett. I am quite excited about this, as it is in preparation for something large.