Holiday weaving!

I have seen some wonderful holiday projects this year. Thank you to everyone for participating in this holiday challenge. You can still get the instructions in THIS blog post if you have some holiday time to weave your own project. If you use social media, tag it with #holidaytapestry17. Email me your photo and I'll add it to this post. 

It is really fun to see the variety of weavings happening even with the same subject. Different yarns, different approaches, different weavers all mean the results vary widely. Isn't that reassuring for art-making? Your particular talents will result in something different from everyone else on the planet (it is true of life too I think).

Below is an example of the real reason I do these weave-alongs. I get to see the wonderful things people make, and sometimes people tell me what they were thinking and what materials they used. For example, Ruth sent this:

Hi Rebecca

Here’s my tree!

I used Highland and Shetland cause I had just got them for a non-tapestry project i’m working on. I only used one ply of the highland (blue - fishing swivel). It kept breaking so my back is a mess (haven’t finished weaving in ends yet). I wove from the back. My star is not great but I am quite pleased with it!! I have drawn in which i’m not pleased with!

I am really enjoying all your online courses and learning lots.

Merry Christmas!
— Ruth Hendren

Ruth Hendren, #holidaytapestry17

Jo Librizzi wove the bell and tree below and had this to say about them:

Hi Rebecca!

Finally finished the Holiday sock yarn project. The bell was first - I was concentrating so hard on meet and separate and keeping the sides straight that when I noticed (too late) that this tapestry wasn’t going to be a tree, it wanted to be a...well, maybe...a...a BELL! : ) So it became a little tapestry to ring in the new year, complete with festive beaded fringe.

Second try, this time with the cartoon to scale behind the warp, Tempe Yarn’s hand dyed sock yarn background and my rather rustic handspun yarn (with red nepps) for the tree. Didn’t think I would be able to weave a recognizable star and remembered that I had star-shaped nailheads from the ‘70’s. It was meant to be because I actually found them rather quickly neatly stored away. The star has little prongs on the back that go through the fabric and bend to fasten. Just the right size!

So thank you for a highly entertaining month in which I learned a great deal and ended up with a couple of presents!

Happy Holidays and a marvelous New Year!

— Jo Librizzi

Jo Librizzi, #holidaytapestry17

Jo Librizzi, #holidaytapestry17

Nadine Foster, #holidaytapestry17

Nadine Foster wove this lovely tree. She said it was her first completed project (Yay Nadine!!). She wove the tree first and then decorated it with stitching and buttons (which I wouldn't be surprised to find she made also).

Martina Mueller, LED tapestry tree

Martina wove a couple trees for this project. This one included real lights! She said it was slightly crazy, but I think it is fantastic. It is 12 epi, 20/6 Bockens warp with sock yarn and LED wire.

Sherri's tree turned out great! I love how you all were able to let go of the difficulty of weaving a star and just let it happen. This is another great example of that.

Rebecca, I just cut this off of my Hokett loom. I used sock yarn for the background and Malabrigo for the tree and I sewed the trim with tapestry yarn. The sock yarn was easy to use but it doesn’t have gripping power. I left the cut ends long and sewed each one in to prevent any loose surprises on the front. It was fun to work on.
— Sherri Mayben, California, USA

Sherri Mayben's holiday tree, #holidaytapestry17

Helen Smith wove the holiday tree project below. She said that she wove it on a Hokett loom at 8 epi. The background was Regia variegated sock yarn and the tree was some leftover wool. She said that, "The tree started weaving up a bit thin so I added a strand of maroon crochet cotton to it and it wove beautifully after that." She wove the garlands eccentrically with a lurex-type thread that was a little stretchy.

I have struggled with sock yarn myself. Much of it is superwash which means that all the scales have come off of it in a chemical process. So the wool doesn't have any grab to it anymore. Helen said about her sock yarn experiment, "The background was not easy to weave - the yarn was much too springy and rather easy to bash down - but the colours looked nice."

This was a great holiday project Rebecca - and now I want to try the same design but with “normal” tapestry yarns.  The best thing was learning about using commercial knitting yarn - it’s good to experience the reason WHY it’s not recommended for tapestry weaving 😀
— Helen Smith, U.K.

Helen Smith, #holidaytapestry17

I will have to agree with you on this one Helen. The more I've experimented with all kinds of sock yarns, the more I find that only a few of them feel firm enough for tapestry. And all of them are rather slippery and a bit difficult to manage. The colors are lovely, but I'm looking at dyeing my favorite tapestry yarns to get some interesting color combinations instead of using knitting yarn for weaving tapestry.

Marlena wove the tree below. She had this to say about it:

I was finally able to get to the little holiday project during flights to/from the UK last weekend. Just off the loom, still have to work in the ends and finish it off. Since we live in Texas I will make-believe the top decoration is a cowboy hat
— Marlena Rogers

Marlena Rogers' holiday tree

Below is a gallery of images. Click to enlarge, hover to show the caption. Arrows on each side of the page will appear to scroll.

Robbie LaFleur's Norwegian holiday tree, #holidaytapestry17

Robbie LaFleur finished her tree in time for Christmas Day including framing! She wrote a blog post about the process including why she chose the shapes she did which came from her specialty of Norwegian tapestry. Take a look at her blog post HERE.

After seeing a similar photo on my blog of my piano, Ellen sent me the one below... with Maximo Laura-inspired trees at the top and a bit of Joy from Jilly Edwards. Thanks Ellen!

Ellen Robertson, holiday weaving and piano duets with her family. JOY by Jilly Edwards, tapestry artist.

I wove a couple other holiday-themed pieces this month. I finished the Christmas bulb project I started in October.

Rebecca Mezoff, Hokett loom, 12 epi, wool sock yarn, 20/6 cotton seine twine warp, #holidaytapestry17

I still haven't finished this piece with trees that are just triangles and woven sideways. I wanted to demonstrate how different a form like this looks when woven the other way. I was surprised no one wove their holiday tree sideways (yet). I'll finish it this week. I made a mistake near the top of the weaving there and let myself put it down. Unweaving is definitely not my favorite thing.

Barbro Frimodig, "my own Västerbottensdräll"

And I'll send you off with this beautiful piece by Barbro Frimodig from Vallen, Skellefteå, Sweden, woven for this holiday challenge.