It’s the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate 21st-24th and as a member of the British Tapestry Group I was asked if I could help out on their stand and was delighted to be able to do so – I’ll be there on the on the Saturday and Sunday, on E10 – so do pop by and say hello if you’re coming along.
With all I’ve got on my plate I had been stressing quite a bit so when they asked if I’d like to contribute a tapestry to their display I said thanks but no thanks, I had nothing of a suitable size and of course wouldn’t be able to make something in time.
But then a couple of days passed some of which I spent sketching and as often happens in Freethonia, a really stoopid idea came into my head. I had three shop/gallery orders to fill, I had to host an evening of gin-ridden harpies (and inevitable hangover to deal with), do my grown up job and get The Hanging Tree finished. What the hell, let’s design and weave a tapestry for the Knitting and Stitching Show too, and just for fun, let’s leave it until the last minute!
The most detailed areas were the eyes and lips and I thought they would work better vertically. I’ve wanted to get over my phobia of weaving on one warp and so decided it would be heavily outlined. I couldn’t find too much information out there to guide me but think I got there in the end. I really like the tapestries of Amanda Gizzi and this is a technique she uses a lot. I also used eccentric wefts for the first time and love them.
There wasn’t much blending on the bobbins, because of time I couldn’t do samples, but the hand dyed yarns did offer some inherent variation and interest. It was such a pleasure weaving discreet areas, I didn’t keep ending up in the wrong shed. It was also such a tonic to work with colour. I think this was just the break I needed from The Hanging Tree. I really got to know my upright loom Doris but suspect I have been spoilt rotten by her treadles – such a joy compared to the leashes.
There’s a lot I would have changed if time allowed. I don’t like the white for the skin, I would have planned the colours of the hair better, and there’s too much forehead. The outlining has added additional weft and I think this has caused a wee bit of buckling in some areas; but all these can be fixed with time and practise. It’s so easy to see the flaws in something rather than the successes. Until a couple of months ago I never thought I could draw let alone do something like this. My head is now buzzing with ideas. I feel there is nothing I can’t at least try.
So that’s been my last six days, helped along by Doctor Who re-runs, the encouragement of friends and lots of tea. Tonight I am having a well deserved rest, and hope to see you at the weekend x