Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dovetails in Tapestry Weaving

It's possible that people familiar with tapestry weaving technique will understand the technical gibberish in this post. If those who are NOT familiar are able to follow all this, I'd love to know! If not, just enjoy the pictures...:)

My latest blocks of weaving are of the dovetail technique. This is where you alternate colors at each joining edge within the piece.  I had a little trouble with doing dovetails properly at first, but eventually I got the hang of it and opted not to take any of the problem areas out, I just kept weaving. This is a practice tapestry, after all... learn from mistakes and keep the mistakes in so maybe I can learn from them.

Once I got the hang of how to do the dovetailing, I was able to see which yarn needed to be woven where, it's not something I could easily explain. What I did notice is that sometimes you just weave plain because the warp at the edge was down and sometimes one color gets woven in ONE space over the neighboring color & another time the OTHER color will get woven over the next. I'll do a few more rows of dovetail before moving on to interlocks and will pay attention to one or two sections to follow what is happening.

You might notice that one of the sections wasn't straight: this was kind of intentional, as I wanted to try to even the blocks out. I didn't count properly. Another thing I noticed: I was supposed to put in 6 blocks for this and the last section, but somehow managed to mess up the math so I was doing 5. No biggie.. again: practice tapestry... I noticed it when I was starting to put in the 2nd group of 5 blocks. If it was for a specific design, I would have taken out the 5 and fixed it to be 6, but if it was for something specific, I probably would have had a cartoon behind it an not have made the mistake...

At first I had trouble doing the dovetails in the right order, then I got the hang of alternating colors so one color would be on top of the other at each edge. This was something I determined based on observation. I was having a little trouble keeping track because of the wefts travelling in different directions, so observation was the key here.

Weft travelling direction:
The mustard & pink yarns are travelling in the same direction, oops.  I'm still not clear why it is important for the  wefts to be travelling in opposite directions from their neighbor wefts: the over/under sequence works out either way, the only hassel is if the wefts are travelling in the same direction, it's a LITTLE bit harder to see what to do without looking underneath to see which warp gets which weft... or maybe it would be easier if they were all travelling in the same direction. This is something I still need to learn.

 Next up: interlocks... after that, I'll play with hatching, or maybe I'll move on so that I can learn more about soumak so that I can move on to the image I want to work on.  

I think the next time I warp the Crisp loom, I may set it up so that it doesn't use a continuous warp unless I have a reason for a rotating/full warp. It would be a bit of a waste if I wanted to cut something down when there's still a lot of room to weave... we'll see how that goes!

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