Trying tapestry weaving

Tapestry loomI’ve been trying out tapestry weaving. Inspired by the wonderful, large tapestries we saw at the Hoxa Tapestry Gallery, Orkney some years ago, my dear husband made me a small weaving frame when we got home. It has lain unused ever since.

I would love to be able to create something like Bridget Riley’s Arrest 3 waves. I’ve started with a simpler design though, while I get the hang of the tapestry weaving technique. I’m trying to suggest rolling hills. The process is quite relaxing, meditative even.

I’ve warped this mini loom with linen yarn and I’m using a steel ruler as a shuttle to weave with wool tapisserie yarns that are meant for embroidery.

Weaving with a rulerLike so many of the craft materials I use today, I’ve had both the warp and weft yarns for decades. As far as I can remember, I bought the linen to warp an inkle loom I made. That has never been used in anger either, maybe I’ll get around to it one day soon if the weaving bug bites.

Tapestry weavingThe bamboo skewer is keeping one of the sheds open, and I found a plastic “spork” in the back of a drawer which I’m using to beat down the wefts. At the moment I’m just making up the design as I go rather than working from a cartoon held behind the warps. That’s probably a mistake and I may well pull out what I’ve done. The effort won’t be wasted though, I’m slowly getting a more even tension and learning how to change colours without leaving obvious holes.

The blocked Flaum

My Flaum cardigan has, as I hoped, become much softer and fluffier after drying on the blocking mat.

Flaum cardigan


After washing and blocking


I’ve worn it a few times, and convinced myself that the sleeves need to be lengthened. Fortunately, I have 20g of yarn left and that should be enough.

I blocked the sleeves quite hard to widen them because I didn’t want them too clingy and skinny-ribbed. The predictable result is that they have shortened a bit and are now bracelet length rather than the wrist length I prefer. I shall have to unpick the laboriously worked tubular cast-offs and then wash and block just the new cuffs. I’m putting off the task, but I know I must knuckle down and do it or I never will.




About yorkshirecrafter

I live and work in West Yorkshire.  I've always enjoyed crafts of all types, from woodwork to lace-making.  I also enjoy anything mathematical, which makes knitting a favourite pastime, especially complicated designs.  I've been advising businesses and industry on environmental matters for 30 years and also have an interest in green living, especially where it saves me money. I live with my husband and our Maine Coon in a 100-year-old cottage that constantly needs something doing to it.  Fortunately, I enjoy DIY too.
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2 Responses to Trying tapestry weaving

  1. It looks like you’re off to a great start with your adventures in tapestry weaving.

    I have a Flaum sitting in my pile of wips, where it’s been languishing for over a year. Seeing your beautiful version has made me think I should dig it out and start working on it again.

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