My latest learning experiment: tapestry with fine handspun

I have been learning to spin for the last six months and recently have had my try at a Turkish spindle.

Yesterday was the day I started weaving. I am making a piece with multiple 2 x 6 inch panels. The fleece was a small bit of a rainbow fleece we dyed in a Maggie Casey spinning class last spring. I stuffed the fleece in a bag and forgot about it until I was cleaning my office a few weeks ago. Out it came.

I sorted the fleece into a gradation of colors, hand carded it into a rainbow of rolags, and spun it on my tiny Turkish spindle.

Yesterday I dug out my 6-dent large Hokett loom and warped up. I don't know how many panels there will be as I want to use the whole gradation in order. But I think it will be at least six. I finished the first two yesterday. All of the yarn is my handspun except for the deep purple and black accents which are silk.

Here it is in photos.

I am astounded at how lovely the hand is. There isn't any comparing it to my other work. I like my tapestries to be flexible and fluid--like a piece of fabric. Tapestry IS fabric after all. But this handspun exceeds my wildest expectations. It is soft and feels divine. I love the little bloom the surface has and I can't wait to spin more. You can see that the single in the first piece (to the left in the photo above) was thinner than in the second one. With time, I am sure I can learn to keep it consistent for a whole project.

I love how the dyed-in-the-fleece fiber changes color in subtle ways all the time. I strive for this variation in my hand-dyed yarns, but with this method of yarn creation, the options are so much greater.

Fiber: White/gray local corriedale fleece scoured by Maggie Casey. Rainbow dyed with acid wool dyes.

Prep: Carded with hand cards after sorting by value

Spinning: Turkish spindle by Jenkins woodworking. This particular spindle was a very special gift from the master of spinning for tapestry, Sarah Swett. Best. Gift. Ever.
Size of single was inconsistent. More practice needed by spinner. Weft finished.

Weaving: Intermediate (9 x 10 inch) Hokett loom at 6 dents per inch. Doubled the warp for 12 epi. 20/6 cotton seine twine warp. Tapestry technique including eccentric outline. Double half-hitch used for header. I wanted to use wool warp but didn't have any small enough for this sett and this weft.

Other fiber: 60/2 and 30/2 silk from Red Fish.