In 2017 I starting dabbling in tapestry weaving. I started with smaller lap looms to create wall hangings for my home, and to experiment with fibers in a new way. Create a series of weavings every six months or so, but then March of 2020 hit, and I found complete solace in the ease and motion of weaving. Getting lost in the rhythm, the vast uninhibited creative outlet weaving provides an enormous stress relief.
One thing many people find challenging is getting starting. Choosing yarns for your weavings, and figuring out how to incorporate those into the piece. We are here to help! Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started choosing yarns and how we use them in our weavings.
We have made this part pretty easy for you! Every other month we are putting together weaving bundles, carefully curated to give you options and versatility. Full skeins, that are ready to wind up and get on the loom. This is a great option for beginners and non beginners a like. Having a head start on the creative bit helps you become more inspired, saves time, and allows you to focus on technique. Whenever I see another maker creating weaving bundles (especially if they include hand dyed yarn) I jump at the chance.
If your not into bundles, and need some weaving stash enhancements, here is what else we have to offer, and what techniques we love to use them for.
Left or Top // Echoview Rug Yarn : When I think of Rug yarn, I think of scratchy acrylic yarns fit for stomping my boots on. But Echoview Rug Yarn is soft, silky, and bouncy. I love it for Sumac and Loops or any big texture you trying to achieve.
Center // Cotton Rope Yarn : Typically a macramé yarn, cotton rope has made its way into the weaving world. I love to use the 3 and 4mm for Egyptian Knots any Twill stitch. The 5mm is soft and silky, fraying apart easily for some super lush Fringe/Rya Knots.
Right or Bottom// Squish Bulky : Squish Bulky is hand dyed here at Farmer's Daughter Fibers. We LOVE it for weaving because it has the thickness to work quickly (I typically double it) on the loom and you get that hand dyed ultra loveliness that adds a professional look to your weavings. I use Squish Bulky for just about everything on my weavings; Tabby, Rya Knots, Sumac, Loops, and Shapes.
Left or Top // Sandnes Garn : Sandnes Garn is a favorite here at FDF. Very affordable without loosing the integrity of quality yarns. A Scandinavian company who knows how to do things right. Any of the bases are terrific filler for Tabby or to create Shapes. I especially love Fritids Garn because it's like a little baby roving yarn. For me anything that is similar to roving and has a loose ply is ideal for my weavings.
Center // Foxy Lady : Your probably wondering why a Silk/Merino Fingering weight yarn is on my list. But there is something about Foxy Lady's silky shine and the hand dyed attributes that keeps me coming back. I always triple the Foxy (see below on manipulating the thickness of your yarn) which makes it closer to a Worsted/Aran Weight. I love Foxy Lady for Rya Knots, Tabby, Sumac, and finishing with the Hem Stitch.
Right or Bottom // Glacial Super Chunky : Close to the Rug Yarn, Glacial Super Chunky is another in house dyed yarn. All I can say is it makes the most BEAUTIFUL Sumac!
Manipulating the Thickness of Yarn
Since texture is so prominent in tapestry weaving, I often like to thicken up yarns that are under a bulky weight. To do this, I wind my yarn into a normal ball. Then I take a small kitchen scale and plop my yarn on it. Divide however many grams your skein is by three. Now wind your yarn into 3 equal balls of that weight, making sure to leave the center yarn out and easily accessible. Next take those 3 yarns and wind them together, making one big boy ball. This will save you time so you don't have to triple your yarns as you go.
The Basic Techniques
Now that you have picked your yarns, you can plan your weave. This weaving is a sample of a few of some basic techniques that you will use again and again in tapestry weaving. Below we have broken down what yarns were used in each technique.
Planning Your Weaving
Please don't mind my chicken scratch drawings! I am a much better fiber artist than fine artist. After I decide a yarn palette, my next step is to make a plan on what direction I am going to take my weaving in. The drawing above is the basic teaching weave I used. Typically, I go through my massive Pinterest collection, gathering inspiration, and finding techniques I might want to use. From there I will lay out my fibers, deciding what will look best for each part of the weaving. While I don't follow this plan to a tee, it is nice to have an idea of where things are going to go. Weavings usually have a mind of their own, and if you are listening they will tell you where they want to go.
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“Weavings usually have a mind of their own, and if you are listening they will tell you where they want to go.”
I’m keeping this quote close. I haven’t woven in so many years and it is the feeling I have been searching for a long time. Just love it.
Candice, has been amazing to see you grow in your weaving endeavors. You have done some very nice weavings that anyone would be proud to have hanging in their home. They just keep getting better and better. Always look forward to seeing what the next one will be.