I hope you enjoyed this sort of tutorial/project inspiration post. I plan to add more art yarn to the shop as I can, right now my current and only wheel (Kromski Sonata with a Jumbo Flyer) can only hold about 2 ounces of art yarn, so for the moment the size of my skeins is limited. I am currently saving to purchase a new wheel made to create art yarn so I can make some big crazy skeins for you guys. The wheel I'm looking at can hold around 2 lbs (compared to my current measly 2 ounces....sheesh!!) of yarn, so I can make some big ol' skeins for those wanting to weave rugs and such.
Before getting a new wheel, I would like to get a drum carder so I can blend my own pretty art batts so the spinners out there will have something they can use from my shop, and to spin into some pretty, luxury yarns. These tools definitely are not cheap though, so it may be a while depending on sales and such before I can afford to get these.
If any of you spinners out there have a drum carder you'd recommend, I haven't decided on one yet so I would definitely love to hear input from others who have tried them before. I would like something that can make at least 4 ounce batts, and can withstand some texture so not too fine.
If you are looking for some textured yarn, check my handspun over in my shop to see if I have what you're looking for. I regularly update my shop with both handspun yarns and hand-dyed, millspun yarns. Inventory is constantly changing, and no two batches are the same. Most handspun skeins are one of a kind and not repeated. I also sell some Weaver's Yarn Packs if you're looking for a little yarn sample pack that is great to tapestry weaving, these are all unique so check the listings to learn more.
To weave this tapestry, I started out with a 65 gram skein of art yarn (shown below) This yarn is a hand-carded blend of merino, recycled sari silk and silk noil for extra texture and was corespun on my Kromski Sonata wheel.
If you have been following me on Instagram and Facebook, you may have seen that I recently learned corespinning on my wheel and have a newfound love for art yarn! I consider art yarn to be anything random and crazy with lots of texture, handspun and completely unpredictable and one of a kind. I LOVE weaving with art yarn, because it is so simple and the yarn really speaks for itself, even just with a plain weave technique.
For this 13.5" x 7" weaving (the woven portion, not counting fringe and hanging string) I used 39 grams of the yarn, and still have quite a bit left over that could be used in future weaving.
For the warp, I used a lace weight, hand-dyed tonal coral colored merino wool yarn. A thin warp will be hidden by the thick texture of the art yarn used in the weft. But you could always be crazy and use a thick yarn as the warp too if you'd like the warp to show, or reverse it by using art yarn for the warp and a thin yarn for the weft. All depends on the look you want to achieve. I started weaving higher up on the loom since my loom is pretty tall (check out WoodCreekLooms on Etsy if you'd like to check out where I got mine, I have their large loom in a walnut stain) and left 6" of weft to make a little fringe at the bottom. The warp was spaced about a half inch apart.
I used a plain weave technique, just weaving in and out across the rows. I broke the yarn off into smaller lengths so it could fit through the shed, and wove those ends in as I went. I did this about three times through the piece. I recently discovered the joy of weaving ends in as you go, because if you're anything like me you probably hate weaving those ends in at the end. I still have a "finished" weaving from February right now, which I'm totally in love with, but just haven't worked up the patience to sit down and finish weaving in those ends and attaching it to a dowel.
The dowel I used for this was cut, sanded and hand stained a deep walnut color. I get those long wooden sticks from the craft store (they're super cheap, I think it was about $1 for a yard at Joann) and cut it down to the size right for my weaving, then I finish it by hand and allow to dry completely before tying the weaving to it.
It's not shown, but I also like to sew on a little canvas strip to the back of my pieces with my signature and the month/year it was completed. That way I can see my progression in weaving over time, and if it is given or bought by others they have a little artists' signature that adds a real art gallery sort of feel to it.
Amanda J. French
Fiber artist from Louisville, KY. Professionally, I spend my days spinning one of a kind yarns from wool and recycled fibers, and weaving with them. Other hobbies include; yoga, fitness, painting, studying languages, and knitting.