Monday, April 14, 2014

Online class sampler as well as some info on how to choose yarn.

I am so pleased by the great response I've had to my online beginning tapestry techniques class. I have had loads of good questions and that is great! If you're looking for more information about what we'll do in the class, I thought I'd post a couple photos of some of the things we'll be working on.

Here is a sampler that one of my class testers wove while working through the material in Part 1. There are a thousand permutations of this that you may come up with if you followed the instructions I give. This is but one path! (It is more than 2 feet long, but she did a lot of practicing. You may not reach this length yourself.)

At the end of Part 1, there are some ideas for weaving small pieces using the techniques we just learned. These come in the form of some suggested designs which you can modify or you can use the ones I provide to further practice your techniques. so you may end up weaving a great deal, or if you have a handle on the techniques, you may be done after you do something like the sampler below.

These samplers do not show the practice exercises you are encouraged to try at the end of the class. I want to hold off on showing photos of those so you can think about what you want to weave as you work. Of course when you get there, I'm happy to help if you get stuck with the design or colors!

And on to YARN!

Speaking of colors, the other issue is weft yarn. This can be a stumbling block when weaving tapestry in the United States. There are many suggested yarns in a handout you have access too immediately when you register for the class. I use Harrisville Highland yarn and I do recommend that for this class if you don't have anything already that you can use. You need at least three colors and I would recommend getting up to eight for a variety.

One way to start when you have to choose colors for a project is to think about what your favorite colors are. I'll use my favorite color, purple, as an example. I might choose one purple from the Harrisville Designs website (look for the knitting yarn section--you want to get Harrisville Highland in the skeins available there).

So say I choose the color Hyacinth as my primary color. 
Here is the Hyacinth:

I am going to choose a few analogous colors to go with it--or colors that are next to purple on the color wheel. So I also like the lighter blue/purple color Iris:
 Now I want to add a little variety. I am looking for a complimentary color which is one on the opposite side of the color wheel to add a little spice (I probably wouldn't use this color in large amounts in a finished piece, but in a sampler it could create some interesting contrasts). I am going to choose an orangish-red, Topaz:
Three colors is the bare minimum for doing this class. If I have a little more yarn budget, I would expand this selection somewhat. I would like to add a seagreen sort of color to mix with the blue and purple choices. I am going to choose Aegean:

Now I feel like I have a good blue and purple component. I want to add something very dark for an accent or to create a sort of background color that brighter colors will pop forward from. I am going to choose black for this (though I almost chose the deep red Teak color):

And I feel like these colors are pretty dark and want to add one more color to lighten it up. I am going to choose another purple, but a very light one, Lilac:

Since I love yarn, I could go on all day, but if my budget says stop here, these are the six I will choose.

You should start with whatever color you love the most, choose some colors that are close to it on the color wheel and then look at whether they are all really dark and make sure to include a light one or vice versa. And of course if you are adept at color use and want to do something totally different from what I'm suggesting here, go for it! This is only one idea if you're stuck with what yarn to buy. Another great way to choose colors is to google different fashion color palettes. They change with the season and there are always gorgeous ones. Matching those colors with the yarn available is another challenge, but it is a place to start.

I suggest at least 3 of the 3.5 ounce skeins of Harrisville Highland for the first part of the class. This probably won't be enough yarn to get you through all three parts if you are taking them all however. So you might want to expand that selection to 5 to 8 colors total. This will probably be enough yarn unless you weave a whole lot (like my tester did in the first sampler above).