Week 5: Adventures with Gracie’s Bottom

Tapestry bobbins

I am working in one of the lighter areas of East Riddlesden Hall but if it is overcast outside it does get quite grim – one day I couldn’t even tell one ball of yarn from the other! Even so, I finally got going on the red skirt and was weaving like a demon, feeling pretty damn smug if truth be told. And then the sun came out – and I could see what I was doing. Gracie’s bottom was full of blotches and streaks. It was clear where one bobbin ended and another began. To some extent it is inevitable with the yarns all being hand-dyed – I just wish I had seen it earlier! Slowly on Wednesday I began to accept all that work was going to have to come out.

bottom before and after

It took a goodly while to cut it all out, being careful not to cut through the warps. But it was the right thing to do. if I am not a perfectionist, I have no right to sit in front of a loom. It took a few days to begin re-weaving it, this time hatching the different bobbins and fortunately the blotches have gone. The red dress is such a huge area of the tapestry it simply had to be right. One wants some variation, that’s the reason for dyeing it the way I do but there is a balance to be struck. And although hatching is a slower process it is actually making the weaving more enjoyable and interesting.


She is really taking shape, she is becoming the tapestry I saw in my head, and that, to be honest, kinda blows my mind. It will be a bit weird weaving her face and having her watch me working on her over the next few months but we are very nearly at that point.


We’ve had some really lovely visitors this week and I am getting much more used to being an ‘exhibit’. I’m used to working on my own, and so it has been a real c-change for me, having to have conversations throughout the day. I am also managing without putting my rope up and cutting off the area, in fact I only needed it once, when I had to concentrate cutting out Gracie’s bottom. I am also beginning to accept that however many ‘please don’t touch signs’ I put on her, folk just can’t help themselves having a fondle!

I do love her muchly and I am really proud of her. Anyway, I have started a board on Pinterest if anyone is interested.

Tapestry bobbins

Do you remember I mentioned in the mornings the more feathery inhabitants of East Riddlesden queue up outside the door to the tearooms for their breakfast? Well I finally got a pic – to me it looks like a scene from a Hitchcock movie – but also kinda cute! Right, I have a lasagne to pop in the oven. Mind you I have been having a bit of a hankering of late for a bit of duck with a nice rich port or cherry sauce…



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