Sunday, March 3, 2013

LouElla Gets Dressed

Yesterday I posted on Loomy Tunes that I was threading LouElla, the tapestry loom.  This morning, I sleyed the reed, which is so much easier than sleying a floor loom's reed!  It's just a stand-up job, right at eye level, so enjoyable!
  What to weave next was not so easy.  I had to think about it for a while.  I busted out my new watercolors and a photo I found in Garden Design magazine of a field of poppies and got to work.  I love watercolors!  I'm not very good yet, but I do so love the way the color moves and mixes!  I had to keep Leo from drinking the water as I worked, but I had a good time.
  As I looked at the finished picture, I realized I was going to have to weave it rotated 90 degrees, because of all the flower stems.  I put the painting on a music stand next to the loom, then finished tying the warp onto the cloth beam.
  The tension seems to be holding fine, and I won't need to advance for a little while, so I can do without the part Allan is making to replace a broken part that is on the brake.  I am making a lot of this warping process up as I go along, because the only information I could find on warping a tapestry loom on line is for the Mirrex looms, or for Archie Brennan's copper pipe looms.  I see some looms that look like mine, but not enough similar to be able to copy the process.  So, I warped it like a floor loom, including spacing the warp threads with fat scraps. I used fleece strips left over from the last shag rug, and it seemed to work fine.  I finished the edge with some embroidery floss, just as Tommye McClure Scanlin taught us in that tapestry class in October.
first line
  Wind bobbins.
  Wonder if I have enough colors.
I want a "frame" around the finished picture, so I started easy, with some gray.  I wove a few lines of the gray, started up the sides with some more, then plunged in with color.  I feel as though I've forgotten everything I learned, and then, bit by bit, it comes back.  I'm so worried about making a mistake that my neck and shoulders are really tense.  I've decided to stop for the day and think about it some more.

Where I stopped for the day

I've made a nice cup of tea and might sit down to knit for a while, but earlier, when I took another break from the tapestry, I wound a black chenille warp for Jenny, naked loom that she is.  I made it 120 threads, about 10 inches wide, and ten yards, so I should be able to get three long scarves out of it.  I'm thinking overshot, each scarf a different colorway.  What about this dyed carpet warp for weft?  Kind of cheerful, no? And I have a green-blue colorway that'll look good, too.  And then, maybe all those bobbins of bubble gum-mint left over from the green and purple chenille scarves.  Oh, the fun we'll have!


LA said...

What a great way to cheer up this gray day!!!! You've gotten so much done on your tapestry...those poppies will be perfect.

SpinZen said...

"...not very good, yet"? It's gorgeous! I can't wait to see how your watercolor looks in fiber!!!

Tina J said...

Looks like you are filling up your day with all the right ingredients! The tapestry looks great! I would 't have a clue!