I have re-discovered an old love of mine this month. Tapestry Weaving.
Decades ago, I majored in textiles and photography (although you’d never guess from these photos!) in art school. I fell in love with tapestry weaving and did both small tapestries and large wall hangings using the rya method. I’ve long since lost track of the smaller tapestries, but the wall hangings still hang in my house (here’s one, pictured below).
In early January, I asked my husband if he would make me a small tapestry loom. I’m fortunate in that he is an excellent wood worker, has a shop here at home, and a huge supply of wood. I was even more fortunate that he said “yes” right away! After several email exchanges back and forth seeking advice from my friend Carol (a room mate from those college days that never gave up tapestry weaving) – we – or he – had a plan. Within just a couple of days, he had made me this sweet little tapestry loom:
To give you an idea of size, it’s photographed on an 18″ by 18″ tile.
I wasn’t quite sure where to even start, but I finally settled on using a photo of our (sometimes) pond. I add sometimes, because it’s totally dependent right now on whether the creeks are flowing. My husband wants desperately to revive it as a thriving water feature for the wildlife here, so it seemed fitting to make it come alive at least in wool as a way of saying “thank you”.
I made my cartoon, pulled out my entire stash from knitting shop days, and got started, with the help of a few reference books, and my friend Carol’s advice, of course.
Here are a few photos I took along the way of the progression.
And two days ago, I finished.
I discovered in tapestry weaving a part of me I have missed in ways I didn’t fully realize. I will always love knitting and can’t imagine it not being a part of me, but the creative process involved in tapestry weaving is something I’ve been longing for. It’s far from perfect, but I learned a lot. Like don’t use those knitting yarns! I can’t wait to get started on the next one.