I truly enjoyed the Camp Mikel experience. My original intent in coming to the class was to learn enough about tapestry techniques to do the 3 samples required for HGA's COE in weaving. But now I think I'm hooked on tapestry.
I had Bob help me put tpgether 2 copper pipe frame looms since he's kind of selfish with his tools and I do not currently have a pipe cutter. I got the warp on OK and even make a half-way acceptible cartoon for a sampler. I have a gracious plenty worsted yarns suitable for tapestry and began this sampler while I wait for skeins of different yarns and color cards to arrive. One can never have too much yarn. I have several new and some new to me tapestry books than I have been studying too.
Now my question. Is it important to keep the weft yarns parallel when making passes? Most of the pictures show this but I am sure having trouble doing it. The yarns want to cross over each other when I make the bubble in the weft and tap them into place. I'm currently using 2 yarns in a weft bundle with a warp sett of 10 epi.
I wish it wasn't so far to come again as I would surely be there in February. I am planning on the May workshop. I have even postponed the breeding season so my lambs won't arrive until I get home. I long ago gave up on winter lambs in the frozen north. They don't seem to mind the cold but I sure do.
Thank you for all your help and guidance.
Sue Parker Bassett
I've copied Sue's inquiry from an email she sent me with her comments and question. It feels sooo goood to have a convert!
Crossing wefts--is it ok? As usual, it depends on what you want.
1. If you have two threads (say light gray and black) in the weft that are high contrast to one another and/or very different colors, like light yellow and dark green (this ischine, pronounced shee-nay), and would like to have a random distribution of those colors in an area, then just wind those 2 colors together and let them rip at random to give a really nice heather-like look. Two threads next to each other just seem to naturally twist around each other--depends on how they are pulled from the balls or cones.
2. If both weft threads are the same color, it doesn't matter if they cross.
3. If one thread is a light shade of a color and the other thread a bit lighter or bit deeper shade of the same color, then the random showing of the twisted shades will give the area more depth than if both weft threads are exactly the same color.
4. If you manipulate the 2 threads to stay parallel and they are contrasting colors, then you can create a look of the lighter color making a line and the darker color making a line--which you might want to do in a small area without adding 2 additional weft bobbins of one color for such a small area. Therefore, you'd have the chine surrounding 2 lines of the same contrasting colors. Is this clear as mud? This example is hard to explain--be a good thing to try. Like this: You've got black and white threads parallel to ea other. In the first shed lay the weft so the black is at the bottom and white at top. Change sheds, lay white at bottom and black at top. Next shed black on top, white on bottom and so on. Keep doing this and see what happens.
Personally, I'm too lazy to fool with too much weft manipulation unless it's a critical area. Hope this helps!
Thanks for the question and thanks for the answer, Pat!
It does make a visual difference if you put the wefts in parallel to each other rather than in a random (twisting here and there way). Good to experiment with and see what you like. The parallel way of laying in several wefts is more time consuming but if you like the effect then that time is well spent. Several tapestry artists use that method (Marcel Marois, for instance). Others use chine but without particular concern about the twisting of placement. Where the multiple wefts can give a problem is when one (or more) in a bundle get out of whack in that one (or more) get ahead of the others... in other words, the weft bundle doesn't stay together and you have to constantly pull the butterfly apart or unwind the bobbin to get them all to pull off at the same rate/length. Careful winding of not a too full bobbin helps to avoid that. But if something gets too loose (as happens!), deal with it when it happens and save grief!
All that being said, I don't particularly watch for parallel arrangement myself... unless there's a light/light or dark/dark stacking up of the placement of weft where I don't want it to happen. I watch how it goes into place and if there's an that stacking up I'll lift up the weft, rearrange the twist, then pack in again.