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Weekend Tapestry Cuff Experiment

Inspired again finally.  Inspired in that way that you can’t wait to wake up so you can return to the experiment with nice new day light.

So this was the idea:  to make four tapestry weavings to turn into tapestry cuffs using a brass cuff as a base.  I have thus far succeeded in making one that I like that is a few posts down in this blog.  I wanted to experiment with a different warp sett and different materials so see what would work.  The previous cuff was woven at 14 ends per inch.  For this experiment I put two warps on the loom at 10 ends per inch.  There was enough warp to weave two bracelets and then rotate them to the back to weave two more.

The results were:

The left piece is made entirely from a commercially dyed and spun worsted weight yarn.  The second piece was made from hand-spun/hand-dyed silk, perle cotton, commercially spun/hand-dyed silk and some novelty railroad ribbon yarn.  The third piece was made from hand-spun/hand-dyed wool and a little bit of hand-spun/hand-dyed silk.  The last piece was made from commercially dyed and spun worsted weight yarn and some rayon ribbon yarn.
I turned the far left piece into a cuff and this is the result:  
I haven’t bothered to “finish” it yet with beads because I think I dislike it although it is starting to grow on me.  It just seems too thick, too much like a something you would wear to stay warm!  However, I love the colors.  At first I literally threw it in the trash until I realized that I had to show you my failures as well as my successes!  But this morning, a day later and not quite as judgmental, I am thinking maybe I will do some bead work on it just for fun and to see if I can even out the edges and make it presentable and maybe even wearable.  But certainly I will resist throwing it in the trash again.
Next piece:
After not liking the previous results too much, I didn’t bother to turn this one into anything.  Also, it was a bit short.  Actually, all of them were a bit short so I had to rearrange the weft a bit off the loom to make them a little longer.  I had woven them about six and a half inches long.  They need to be SEVEN inches long on the loom to be the right size when taken off the loom.  That does NOT include the headers which can be any length you want from about a quarter of an inch to a half an inch.  They get folded over so do not count in the final measurement.
I am going to go to the fourth piece now:
All I can say is:  DULL.  Also too short and I didn’t think it was worth messing with.  It didn’t “speak to me” at all.  I think in the future I would use thinner hand-spun wool and mix it up more with the hand-spun/hand-dyed silk which has a lot more of that very necessary shine.  Otherwise, again, it looks like something to keep you warm more than beautiful.  Jewelry is supposed to be about beauty.
Now for the final one:
What does she have that the others lack?  She’s not as bulky; her colors are bright with a lot of shine and depth; the novelty yarn works and gives it texture and interest; she’s delicate on your wrist even though she’s quite wide (inch and a half).
So this is the direction I am going in.  I need to dye and spin some more silk, gather up some other delicate yarns and experiment with more of these cuffs.  I like the sett of ten ends per inch.  I double up a lot of the yarns.  In fact, the method is to start with two yarns and then eliminate one of them and replace it so that you have this gradual shift in color and not just bold stripes.  All the yarns were woven from edge to edge.  I would like to experiment a little with shapes and maybe some designs, although just letting the yarn speak for itself worked pretty well.  I also want to add a stone to the middle and maybe some beads before attaching to the brass cuff.  Right now the only beads are the ones I used to embellish the sides (necessary to cover up the stitches and give it a nice finish).
Back to the loom!

3 Responses to Weekend Tapestry Cuff Experiment

  1. goodquillhunting - Reply

    July 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I think they are all beautiful, but I for sure see what you do in the last one that you ended up liking. I sure hope you never throw things away again, I can see potential in all of them! They may be too short for the brass cuff, but you could put them on top of leather like I did my beading ones, and then use double snaps, add beads and still super cute! Of course, if one is not to be bothered, I know someone who could be bothered ;)
    Keep them coming, I love! Can't wait to try my own!

  2. Robbie - Reply

    July 20, 2010 at 12:11 am

    The cuffs are great! You've been looking at them too long and too close! They're wonderful!

  3. Studio Z - Reply

    July 24, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    What inspiration! Love the color shift idea! I have seen that in a fanastic knitted piece so it makes sense that it would be equally beautiful (if not more stunning) in weaving!!! Thanks so much for posting this!

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