When in Doubt...
with watercolor and gouache.
My friend Jodi made the teensy travel paint sets.
Sharon, Vermont is not too bad.
Needles, Yarn and Fabric
My attitude, however,
needed a small adjustment.
Unlike The Strawberry Quilt
whose repair trajectory was clear,
this tattered remnant
of someone's long ago handwork
some casual side project
to be whipped off
while I thought about other things.
that I put away my hand dyed fabric scraps,
forget about imposing my design ideas,
abandon all thought of covering or subverting its aggressive symmetry,
I learned that it is okay
to stabilize the actual holes
I am also allowed to strengthen the weakest diamonds,
but after that,
nothing can be hidden.
my ancient collection of
(rather than hand spun yarn),
as mending material
as long as I use stitches
that keep the tatters in view.
I'm not usually a corner person,
preferring swirls and curves
to hard edges.
it takes this this into consideration
as long as there is no nonsense about patching.
the underlying structure.
Though not averse to a bit of embellishment,
this quilt is proud of its wear and tear.
As well it should be.
The time came to leave long before I was finished
and the quilt wanted to stay home,
but I expect a warm welcome when I return.
and look forward to a lot more serious stitching.
Hand Spun Tapestry Weft part 2
For 25 years
my tapestry weft
a singles yarn,
wraps per inch
and 1800 ish
yards per pound.
Long staple fibers give structural integrity
to the softly spun yarn;
low twist allows lustrous scales to shine.
I weave with
two strands of this yarn
(together but not plied),
on a wool warp of
800 - 1000
yards per pound
at a sett
of 8 e.p.i.,
give my finished tapestries a particular body and drape
They also impart a somewhat hairy surface,
which adds an impressionistic touch.
Sometimes, however, a hairy surface
interferes with clarity of shape
and a singles spun from medium staple fibers
with less surface activity
seems to work better.
And recently I've been exploring plied yarn --
yarn with spring and internal energy
never intended for tapestry,
like the leftovers from this project.
I've also been weaving tapestry
with yarn I didn't even nspin.
The differences are huge,
at least to me,
Not only do bouncy plied yarns require careful handling
(important to keep them super relaxed in the shed),
but the surface is weirdly smooth,
particularly with the commercially spun yarn.
The light reflection
is also different.
and the shapes
With these yarns I've been doing less color blending in the shed,
and mostly weaving with one strand at a time,
which in turn has led to a preference for a closer sett (9 - 10 epi)
and smaller tapestries.
It's all so interseting--
alive with possibility.
Sarah C Swett