Creating a Tapestry Dream Pouch Necklace from start to finish
I have been creating small dream pouches for years now and each one is a beauty all of its own. I have taught an all day class with my own "Artful Spirit" students and we created them by pin-weaving with all kinds of fibers! The results were magical and the class was so much fun. I create them as the perfect gift for friends. A small pouch to place something "magical inside". It could be just a word, a small talisman object, a gemstone or just a keepsake ... for your knowledge only!
This time I decided to weave one using Claudia's amazing hand painted silks. I first used them when I wove the Eccentrive Weave Eyeglass case and fell in love with the kit she sent, and it included some of her hand dyed silks. I then wove six of the Tapestry Beaded Cuffs and ordered some more. I fell in love with the color and the textures, and how easily they wove at the 10 epi sett. The color range is simply stunning, I encourage you, if you haven't already to get some.
So in tradition with my weaving journal from last post, I started designing, sketching and deciding just how I wanted this pouch to turn out. I was working all the details out in my weaving journal, before heading to the loom. I just work better that way! I wanted to definitely use only Claudia's silks, and some beads as well. I played around with the sizes, and what I wanted to accomplish:
I decided on a finished size of approximately 2.5" wide, sett at 10 epi (using the same C-Lon Beading Cord for my warp that I had used for my Tapestry cuff bracelets). I chose a Sable colored warp. I needed some length for the fold over flap as well. I decided on a 6" length, which included a 2" flap foldover. I don't want my pouch to be overpowering in size, they are best created small to wear around the neck.
I am so glad I purchased the 10 dent coil package for my Mirrix, it comes in so handy for projects like this. Honestly, 10 dent is perfect for the C-Lon Beading Cord and the Silks!!! So I warped my Mirrix on a warm and sunny Wednesday afternoon; outside in the sunshine, ready for the project to get started! (I hope you take the time to bring your loom outside, it adds a whole different perspective to your weaving, I promise you!) Just 25 easy warp threads. I love the warping process as much as the weaving!
This has been such a fun project to work on so far. I decided to keep a piece of paper nearby so I can record my thoughts and any weaving tricks I learn along the way. The first thing I did was to create a small prototype with a bounty paper towel. I wanted to work out the size, where the flap would be, little weaving notes and where I wanted to add my beads along the way! I have picked it up many times during this process! (It's all part of the journey!)
Working with silk can be a little tricky, it is a very slick fiber. I do believe at the proper sett it is more manageable, and the 10epi is perfect. I looked through my silk stash (thanks to Claudia and Elena) and I chose as many colors as I could which had a purple blue color to them! I picked about seven gradations and started weaving away. I decided I would weave about 3/4" sections of each color and allow one to blend into the other. Mirrix sends their dyed silks on small plastic bobbin, which I used as my shuttle, it made it so easy! I put the bobbins on a small C Ring (from office max) to keep my color order for repeats. It's working quite well!
I weave from the backside, and I was extremely careful to weave each row with no draw-in, I wanted to keep my 2.5" weaving width. I was slow and deliberate, with each row I was enjoying the gradation of color changing. When adding beads, it is important to go slowly to make sure each bead lines up in between two warp threads. The process is a bit tedious, but so worth it. Elena has a great video on You Tube on how to weave with Fiber and Beads ... which I have watched over and over again. Here is the link so you can learn from the Master! I think it is so important as a Tapestry Weaver, to just slow yourself down, breathe in the creative moment and enjoy the weaving process. Too many times we are trying to "just finish" and we forget why we fell in love with art form in the first place! There is an amazing rhythm that takes place if you will only slow down to feel it!
So here is my progression so far: I am currently at 5" and about to put a second row of beads into the woven piece! Here is a peek on the loom so far:
My favorite time to weave is early morning, how about you? I love to weave with a small candle burning, a hot cup of coffee, the window open and listen to the birds singing outside. (Kinda sounds magical doesn't it????) Weaving is my morning ritual, and I have to admit, it is truly hard to break away from my loom and head to my day time job! In all things, balance is important! I hope you have set a weaving ritual for yourself and always make time for this amazing art form we love so much!
I will keep weaving on my pouch, and in my next blog post I will show you how I finish off the woven piece to create my Tapestry Woven Pouch Necklace. There will be a hand-sewn lining, some embellishments and of course ... a beaded necklace! So stay tuned, coming in May with all the finishing techniques to share with you!