Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mid February and a Red Dirt Valentine

It is mid February and time to catch up with the 2014 Tapestry Diary project.

Here is an overview as of today. Most of February so far I have been repeating some of the techniques already tried. I have found once I use them three times or so I am able to use them pretty freely.

A detail of the beginning of the month shows that I have used the twill with ground weave, displaced hachures and triangles with continuous wefts a few more times.

In this detail of the middle of the month the joining method I am using is visible.

I chose sample 57, page 28 of the Rossing book , The Threads Course in Tapestry. It is a closed sumac which climbs between the monthly columns every two passes. It is making a nice firm join and in a contrasting color adds a slightly textured design element of its own.

On the 14th the heart shape in the color of the red dirt hills in parts of Oklahoma is my valentine for the year.

On the 15th I tried something new from TCT ( The Threads Course In Tapestry), numbers 53 and 54 from page 27. Still working with displaced hachures, this sample has quite a stepped appearance as it climbs up the warp. I started out with the dark weft covering three warps as in #54 and then changed to two warps for the dark weft as in #53. In this way I can make a diminishing shape which fits my purpose nicely. I like the way this path zigzags up the hill and want to continue to experiment with this technique as the month progresses.

One more detail showing how January and February are coming together.

Most of the month so far was dedicated to finishing The Mango Hunters and I have appreciated having the TD to keep me weaving everyday.

I have one more small tapestry to finish before I move on to new cartoons and new tapestries. This one is on my 16 inch Mirrix and most of the tapestry is on the back side right now.

It has been awhile since I caught up with this one here. This is the end of the Sheep Breed Sampler. It has been a great demonstration project to take to shows for the past year or so but I am ready to finish it and start a fresh demo project.

The other day I drew a new ending for the sampler with an appearance of my Border Collie, Laddie. I attached it to the existing cartoon with double stick tape. I may need to trim him down a bit as he seems  very large in proportion to his sheep but I am sure Laddie would approve.

This sampler has a different handspun breed of wool for each sheep represented and I will talk about some of the different breeds when I finish. It is my firm intention not to draw any new cartoons until this too enters the collection of finished projects in 2014! This has been a very instructive project and a chance to experiment with many different types of wools used as tapestry yarns. I will be following up with it soon.


  1. Please let me impose on you yet again, Janette. Have you documented somewhere the principles on which you weave the Tapestry Diary? I note you say that you get comfortable with a technique after you've tried it three times in the diary. Do you have a set size for each entry, or a cartoon - or do you just free-wheel? Whichever, the results are quite delightful!

    1. Misha, I started talking about plans for the 2014 TD in the Jan 1st post,, and have been mentioning it often since then. I don't use cartoons for my TD work but I do start with a general plan. In some of the back posts I showed some sketches and talked of the basic plan for this year. I find this year is more interesting if I don't have a set size for everyday so I am using different shapes and heights but all of them have a curve of one kind or another this year. I am trying out some new techniques from the Rossing book but I don't do that everyday. When I do try a new to me technique I try to repeat it several times so that I can make it my own and also that seems to make for a better overall design.

      Basically I start out with a general plan for the TD at the beginning of the year and then let that evolve where it may. One of the great things about the TD is that it is a completely personal journey and so my theme for the year is also a woven path through the year. It has been fun so far and I am packing in some learning by using the Rossing book to try some new things. Thanks for your interest.

    2. Thanks for that Janette. I too have acquired the Rossing book - it came a couple of weeks ago and has already been useful in some of my current stuff.

    3. I am glad to hear that Misha. Weave on!

  2. Janette,
    Congratulations on your amazing progress in terms of finished tapestries but even more, in terms of a developing tapestry artist! Your work so evidently continues to evolve and your daily practice has so obviously propelled you to new levels of achievement! If you take a breath and turn around to look at life before the TDs, its astonishing how far you have come! Hats off to you - weave on, dear friend!!

    1. Margaret, thanks for noticing, I do think I have made some progress. It is a good idea to step back and take a breath now and then!