Tag Archives: weaving idea

Guest Post: Make a Tapestry Diary with Janette Meetze

Meetze, Arrowmont- July 31 2012Most people get started with Tapestry weaving by making a small sampler or two, but what is the next step on the journey to learning how to weave tapestry? There is a fairly large gap between that first small sampler and being able to use tapestry as a way to express yourself as a weaver. Why not try getting started on a daily practice that will help you focus on learning techniques while also providing an opportunity to become comfortable expressing yourself with the tapestry process, one day and one small space at a time?

My first suggestion would be to start small. Maybe you will set up your loom and just start on the first day available or maybe you will think about how you want to proceed and start the following month, making a commitment to weave everyday for a small amount of time over the period of one month. There is no right way or wrong way. It is a diary, so it is all about you.

If you are new to tapestry weaving consider making a narrow warp, about three to four inches wide so that you can weave all the way across for each days practice. Perhaps you will want to separate each day with a pass of a specific color. A illustrated tapestry book with clear photos or diagrams would also be useful in providing ideas about how to proceed.

If you have more experience with tapestry you might want to devote the month to a specific tapestry technique like hatching, pick and pick variations or shape making. Consider this type of approach similar to how you might go about learning to play a musical instrument, a small amount of time devoted each day. Soon you will find that your hands are moving with more confidence and that ideas flow more freely when you are actively engaged in making.

My first tapestry diary began in June of 2012 in a class with Tommye Scanlin at Arrowmont School in Tennessee. After the week of class I drove home and started weaving a small space representing my day, everyday; a special occasion , a patch of color, or a symbol. The first one covered the last week in June and all of July 2012, it was about 5 inches wide and sett at 8 threads per inch. Then I wove another for the month of August, and the third covered September through December 2012. There is a freedom in not having to make all the decisions about the entire design ahead of time that allows you to experiment and learn while also accomplishing something personal and meaningful.

By the time 2013 came around I was ready to establish some rules to help me focus on a daily practice that would encompass the entire year. Because they are rules you set for your self they can easily be changed to suit your needs as the year progresses, but having some guidelines does help with getting started. My first yearly diary was warped at 7 inches wide at 8 threads to the inch and my rule was to confine myself to a rectangle space for each day of 1 inch by 2 inches. I established a repeating pattern of horizontal and vertical rectangles for each week. Each month was separated by a number for the month and some pick and pick tapestry technique and I decided to explore the color palette of some new yarns that I wanted to become better acquainted with. Since I had to warp more than once to get the length needed for the entire year I chose to work the project in three panels of four months each.


By the end of the year I had a substantial Tapestry Diary Triptych made up of small rectangles for each day. Even though I had kept the space for each day small there were still days when I could not find the 15 to 30 minutes it took to weave the day, or days when I was away from home and my loom. I decided to make up those days one way or another as I was able. Other solutions to this situation might be to weave a solid color to represent days away from your loom, there are many options.


This year I am weaving another tapestry diary and continuing to learn and grow in my tapestry weaving through this simple process of daily practice. If you would like to learn more about weaving tapestry diaries and other weavers using this practice please refer to an article I wrote for the American Tapestry Alliance on the subject, http://americantapestryalliance.org/education/educational-articles/ There you will find work by other tapestry weavers such as Tommye Scanlin who was the first to use the phrase “tapestry diary” and has been weaving them for several years now. I also follow along with my tapestry diary adventures on my blog, Common Threads.

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Janette Meetze lives and weaves in Bixby, Oklahoma. More information about her tapestry diaries, her Fiber Studio classes and supplies can be found on her blog, Common Threads.


Artisan Spotlight: Joanne Hall

julia-joanne-cmWe’re pleased to feature acclaimed instructor Joanne Hall on today’s blog post. Joanne is a weaver, teacher & author of Tying up the Countermarch Loom , Learning to Warp your Loom and Mexican Tapestry Weaving. She has a masters degree in Textile Design from the University of Minnesota. After teaching at the University of Montana and Cal Poly, she started the Elkhorn Weaving Studio where she weaves and teaches weaving as well as distribute looms and weaving supplies throughout the U.S and Canada.

Joanne will be returning to the Woolery this fall to teach Beginner’s Tapestry Weaving, a 3-day workshop which will cover the basics of tapestry weaving. We took a few minutes to chat with Joanne about weaving and her upcoming class with us. Enjoy! 

When and how did you learn  to weave?

I studied textiles at the University of Minnesota and I began teaching weaving at the University of Montana in 1971.  Later I traveled to teach weaving workshops for guilds, for conferences, art centers and for weaving shops.  Most of the workshops are tapestry weaving, but I also teach many different weaving techniques with a specialty in Swedish design.

What are your favorite weaving projects?

Today I weave mostly for the workshops I teach.  In the early 90s I purchased a drawloom and began weaving images which reflect my Swedish heritage.  After a couple years I purchased another drawloom and I teach classes in damask and other drawloom weaves.

Do you do any other crafts?

If you call fishing a craft, I do that on my time off.

Beginning weavers may feel intimidated by tapestry weaving techniques. Tell us about the workshop you have planned at The Woolery for this November – what can they look forward to learning from you?

Beginners are always welcome in my classes.  I like beginners and I can always find the time to help someone who need some extra time.  I like small classes with time to weave and that gives me time to work individually with each weaver.

Tapestry class Day 2For tapestry, I start beginners on a frame loom, as the techniques are easier to learn on a small scale.  In some longer workshops we then weave on looms with treadles, which let your hands be free to weave. Most of the tapestries I wove for galleries and for commissions were large and so they were woven on a large four shaft floor loom with a hanging beater and treadles.

Here is a tapestry sampler I wove while weaving along with students in a two day beginning tapestry class.  We start at the bottom where you can see some very basic stripes, diagonals and vertical shapes.  On the top, each weaver works from a simple cartoon.  In this case, I wove a pear, which was from a cartoon in an older Swedish tapestry weaving book.

Here are a few more of my tapestries.  The Snapdragons tapestry is a small tapestry woven in plain weave.  It is from the flowers in my mother-in-law’s garden.Snapdragons

Poppies is a larger tapestry woven from the flowers in my garden.  It is woven on a four shaft floor loom with a rosepath threading.  It is a technique I developed for weaving large tapestries.


We look forward to exploring tapestry weaving with Joanne this fall – we hope you’ll join us!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Wee Weaving + Artisan Spotlight: Meet Norman Veech

Summer is winding down and before you know it, the kids will be heading back to school. Now is the perfect time to master the art of small weaving projects you can take on-the-go! Schacht has several fun projects using woven squares created on their Zoom Loom:


Pincushions, Infinity Scarf and Slipper patterns are all available for free on the Schacht website.

Artisan Spotlight: Meet Norman Veech

normanveach Norman Veech is a local prolific rug weaver who brought us this handwoven Alpaca rug a few months ago. We’re going to frame it for the shop!

Norman is a kind and compassionate man who has been coming in our shop since we moved it to Kentucky. He took up weaving about 6-7 years ago when he needed something to do while going through chemotherapy treatments. His wife taught him how to weave on a little loom purchased at a flea market, and he liked it so much that he has continued to weave ever since!

Since then, he has traded up to using floor looms to create placemats, table runners and blankets in addition to his favorite project, rugs. Norman isn’t focused on production weaving, but rather weaves for the enjoyment and relaxation the craft provides. Occasionally, he can be found selling his rugs at nearby flea markets and craft festivals such as the Finchville Fall Festival next month.

Many thanks to Norman for allowing us to share his story with our blog readers this month!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Handspun Heaven

Many handspinners raced to the Tour de Fleece finish line on Sunday with several beautiful skeins of handspun yarn added to their stash. Below are just a few from Team Woolery – click here to view more in our Ravelry group!


Do you find yourself wondering what to make with your handspun creations? We have a few suggestions in today’s blog post, and there are also some great reference books such as the Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs or Spin to Weave to come to your rescue! 

We’ve come across some lovely weaving projects using handspun yarns on Weavolution recently – below are just a few ideas to inspire you!


L-R: Sofa Pillows, Saori Scarf, Twill Blanket, Ruana.

For handspinning knitters, Knittyspin is a really excellent source for free patterns – you can view all of their pattern archives here!


Ravelry is another great source for patterns and inspiration. If you’ve only spun a small amount yardage-wise, look for small projects such as scarves, hats, mitts, or baby items:


L-R: One Row Handspun Scarf, Handspun Slouch Hat, Handspun Fingerless Gloves, Crochet Handspun Baby Socks.  

You can also mix small amounts of your handspun with a commercially available yarn for colorwork and stripes, or use it as an accent edging on a special project. Finally, if you’ve spun enough to make a sweater or socks, there are patterns for that, too!


L: Handspun Sweater; R: Simple Handspun Socks.

Plus, you can always sub in your handspun yarn for any pattern if you are able to calculate WPI correctly. Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry, we’ve got an easy video tutorial on our YouTube Channel!

Now that you have a little inspiration, we can’t wait to see what you’ll create with your handspun yarns. Happy Spinning!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team


Spring Crafting, Spring Cleaning!

In our last blog post, we shared some of our favorite inspirational projects for revamping your home décor this season. If you’d rather embark on a little Spring Crafting instead of Spring Cleaning, here are some creative ways to accomplish both at the same time, guilt-free!

April showers may bring May flowers, but they also bring muddy feet to your doorstep.  Here is a simple tutorial showing how to recycle old t-shirts into a fashionable and functional (not to mention, machine washable!) crocheted rug. Of course, a woven rug is another option to try: by choosing thick, sturdy yarns in ‘spring-y’ colors, you can add your own personal touch to your front door. In fact, there are plenty of ways to dress up your doorstep using colorful, easy-care yarns, whether your weave, knit, crochet or rug hook. Below are just a few of our favorite ideas for spring!

Organize your life with easy-to-make knit or crochet baskets! Baskets are a great way to use up leftover yarn in your stash, but you can also be strategic in your color choice by using cones of yarn to create matching sets or color-coding your world by using an assortment of yarn colors. Smaller sizes are perfect for holding small trinkets or craft supplies, while larger sizes can house your yarn collection, toys, reusable tote bags, or any number of items that need to be contained!

Save money and the planet by making your own reusable floor sweeper covers! Choose machine washable yarns in bright colors to create an array of color choices to make you smile. You can find lots of easy patterns to knit or crochet on Ravelry, many of which are free. Reusable towels and scrubbers can also be knit, crocheted, or woven, and are an excellent way to save money and the planet!

Here’s one more spring cleaning tip to try: Eucalan wool wash does double duty; here is a video tutorial from Youtube which uses Eucalan to freshen up curtains and drapes for spring!

For more crafty inspiration, click here to view our Welcome Spring inspiration board on Pinterest!

All the best,

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Centerpiece Solution + Black Friday Sales!

Every holiday is a chance to get crafty. This week many of us will throw open our homes and welcome friends and family. This got us to thinking about the good ‘ol centerpiece. A centerpiece can’t be too tall or you can’t see Aunt Sue and it can’t be too big or there is no room for the food!

Handwoven Centerpiece

A handwoven mat, yarn buddie, ball of yarn, and peg loom roses make a just right statement for your table.

Here is our answer to the perfect holiday table adornment. It started with the Yarn Buddie and a ball of yarn.  Looking at it made us think that if we could decorate it somehow then we would have the perfectly-sized piece for the table. Ah, ha–pegloom woven roses!

These are quite simple to make and are a great way to use up little bits of yarn. Make a 4-inch square for a rose, or a 2-inch square for a rosebud. Fold the square in half and then in half again and fold around a wire stem. Use floral tape to adhere the rose to the stem. Quick, easy, effective.  Now that’s crafty.


To kick start the holidays we are having a big blowout Black Friday sale by offering FREE SHIPPING* on any order over $100, plus great specials! Black Friday sale going on now until 10:00 A.M. Saturday, November 26. All Black Friday Specials listed on The Woolery Black Friday Specials page.  (*Free shipping on most products, some manufacturers restrictions apply. Continental U.S. Only.)

Black Friday Speicals!

Shop from the comfort of your own home!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Woolery.  We are thankful for all the creative people in our lives, especially our customers.

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team