Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Color Gradation for Tapestry

I taught a new class at Intermountain Weaver's Conference in Durango last weekend.  The conference was July 21-24 at Fort Lewis College.  I greatly enjoyed teaching this class.  I had wonderful students and we learned a lot about structural techniques for mixing color in tapestry as well as a little bit of color theory.

Prepping an example for the class...

Dyed yarn.  We had many discussions about where to get tapestry yarn.  I dye my own because it is so difficult to find gradations to purchase commercially (and because I like dyeing). For people who don't want to dye their own yarn, finding more than a couple values in one hue is difficult!
Some student examples...    
Use of blocks to grade color.

Pick and pick on doubled warps...

We had two rigid heddle looms in the class.  I never would have advocated using this loom for tapestry, but I have to admit that the tension was significantly better than I expected it to be.

We also had a couple Archie Brennan style looms in the class which get a great tension although they can be difficult to get a shed on.  One student had modified her loom with a shedding mechanism, though she still had to use a shedding stick due to the narrow width of her top copper pipe (not this loom).

There was one table loom made by Mountain Loom Company.  I was surprised that this loom held an excellent tension which has not been my experience with table looms.  There was a Wolf Pup and the rest of the looms were Mirrix.

One student designed this great transparency exercise with two circles (this is the back--due to the Mirrix warp wrapping around, I couldn't photograph the front of this example).

We went over to see the Fiber Celebrated show and look at a couple pieces I had there.

Fort Lewis College is a great place for a fiber conference.  The vendor hall was marvelous, the IWC board members kept the whole thing running smoothly, and the cafeteria actually did make me gluten-free food.

The juried show Fiber Celebrated 2011 also opened during the conference.  You can see my blog post about that show HERE.

There was also a non-juried show at the conference and I've posted some photos of that HERE.

Lastly, I was a little surprised to see the advertising for the Swedish singles yarn that James Koehler used as it seemed to imply that the proceeds somehow had something to do with James...  In reality the vendor was just trying to sell an overstock that James left behind.


  1. Great pictures! I thought about driving up just to look around, but it's just too darn hot here to think about anything, so I had a vicarious vacation just now. I have a question about those "memorial" yarns pictured. What are they? I'm always looking for singles that I might like.

  2. Sherri, Glimakra ordered something like 700 pounds of the Faro Swedish singles for James so they'd have enough when he needed it and then he died. They have an overstock so they are using the fact that they bought it for him to try to sell it. They ARE selling it at their cost--a huge discount.


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