Process not product. Travel weaving.

Process not product. Travel weaving.

Emily was off speaking at a conference on the east coast last weekend and I decided to take myself camping. I loaded up the car with all my favorite bits of camping gear, a cooler of random stuff that was in the frig, and looms + yarn. I had multiple small projects in process and somehow I thought three days in the woods was going to be enough to finish all of them.

Instead, I started a new one.

This little idea was in my tapestry diary idea book and I decided to weave it while testing out this new Handywoman loom.* The piece is called The Beckys and it is about the way I mostly see myself versus how someone else in my life sees me. I’m pretty much the eternal optimist, so you can guess which side is the one I think expresses something about me.** The yarn is wool and silk from weaversbazaar with 20/6 cotton seine twine warp. The campground is pure Colorado.

Untangled: A Crafty Sheep's Guide to Tapestry Weaving

Untangled: A Crafty Sheep's Guide to Tapestry Weaving

Untangled: A Crafty Sheep’s Guide to Tapestry Weaving has been several years in the making. The idea came from a student in a workshop I taught at the Michigan League of Handweavers Conference in 2015. Marg heard me describing yet another little trick I like to use when weaving tapestry and she said I should write a book about those tips. So I did.

I happen to know a fantastic children’s book illustrator, Molly McNeece, who was interested in the project. Molly is my first cousin and this project has become a wonderful collaboration. The book is dedicated to our grandmother, Marian Mezoff, who encouraged us to be artists when we were kids.

Visiting The Lady and the Unicorn

Visiting The Lady and the Unicorn

I was lucky enough to be able to join a tapestry tour of France with Cresside Collette in May. Fittingly, the first place we visited was the Musée de Moyen Age* in Paris to see The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries (La Dame a la licorne). Unfortunately most of the museum was closed for renovations and I was disappointed we couldn’t see the Life of St. Stephen tapestry. But I was grateful that the Unicorn tapestries were on display and suspect they are a major draw for this museum. They are displayed in a one large room. Each of the six tapestries is between about 3.5 and 4.5 meters square.

There are six known tapestries in this series. They were probably woven around 1500 and were discovered in the mid-19th century in the château de Boussac in central France. They were in poor condition and the Musée de Moyen Age (the Cluny) purchased them in 1882. The tapestries were commissioned by the Le Viste family whose coat of arms is seen in each of the tapestries. A set of tapestries as fine as these would have cost a literal fortune and only someone with great wealth could have afforded them.

Wet feet and weaving in the woods with a new yarn

Wet feet and weaving in the woods with a new yarn

Life gets too busy too often and I forget to sit still sometimes. One of my favorite things to do is go backpacking. I think I like it mostly because it is so simple. A few bits of gear, some food, a good pair of trail runners, and the all-important bug repellant and I can spend time in the woods. Last weekend I went up to the Rawah Wilderness in Northern Colorado for three days. It rained much of the time. There has been so much snow in Colorado this year that not only was I camping next to snow banks, but the ground everywhere was mush… and of course the mosquitos love all the water.