Friday, December 21, 2012

Making tapestry butterflies

I have been teaching workshops for a couple years now and I have noticed that one thing I am asked to demonstrate in every workshop over and over is making tapestry butterflies. There are many methods for holding the yarn while you are weaving a tapestry, but the cheapest is the butterfly because it requires no extra tools.

People get frustrated when their butterflies end up in knots, so pay attention to my tips in the video to avoid this.



And if you don't like butterflies, people use other things to hold the yarn. The tool most frequently used for holding yarn while weaving tapestry are tapestry bobbins. Kathe Todd-Hooker is an expert in different kinds of tapestry bobbins. This page on her store website shows clearly the different kinds of bobbins used. Kathe knows a lot about bobbins, so ask her which ones you need for the kind of tapestry you do! You can see her blog HERE.
Kathe Todd-Hooker sells these bobbins at Fine Fiber Press

I have also seen people use little plastic clips made to hold yarn colors while doing stranded color knitting or embroidery.  Like these!
One of my students loves these. They are definitely inexpensive, but if you are doing large tapestries, they definitely don't hold enough yarn.

My personal preference?  The butterfly.

10 comments:

  1. One of the things Rachel Brown taught me was how to make a butterfly with a ball winder. Basically, you are using the ball winder to hold the inside tail and then wrap the outside end to hold it. As I told her at the time, that one tip was worth the time I spent weaving for her - a lot of other things to add to that list but this is one of the ones I use the most along with the method you described for weaving vertical lines up a warp thread (Koehler's method).

    Enjoy your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't weave tapestry, but always have odds and ends that get butterflied. Will definitely be securing them this way in future. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Rebecca, for this video. I love the idea of 'stacking' the wraps so as not to knot.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I second Bonnie's comment. I never thought to stack the wraps. Please keep those tips coming.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Enjoyed your video Rebecca. Butterflies are definitely better when stacked!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yesterday I was walking around Walmart trying to find something that might work for bobbins and I said to myself, "why not just try butterflies"? My normal method of using a length similar to what one might use for needlepoint won't work on a larger loom, need more yarn... so I'll trybutterflies.. thanks for the video! Jessica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are certainly cheaper! Some people use little plastic flat "bobbins" which are extremely cheap and are probably sold at craft stores like Michaels (maybe 5 inches long with a cut-out in the middle to hold the yarn)... those are the people who can't stand the butterfly tangling. For me, the butterflies are much faster to make and they don't tangle enough for me to bother with any kind of bobbin.

      Delete
  7. This is exactly what I have been looking for. I have just started weaving and was looking for something to help me. This is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad it helps! There is another way to make them which I need to make a video about for my online class. I'll try to remember to put it on YouTube also.

      Delete