Your Weaving Story: Dianne Robertson

We want to hear YOUR weaving story! If you'd be interested in sharing with the Mirrix community, send an email to elena@mirrixlooms.com and tell us more!

 

When/how did you first get into tapestry weaving? What/who inspired you to begin weaving?
I was visiting a friend in Flagstaff, AZ a few years ago. While waiting for him to finish up work at his store, I walked across the street to the local library. Their Southwest section included a book on Navajo weaving. After reading the book for an hour I was hooked! I researched tapestry looms and bought a 32-inch Joni loom which has been great for rugs and wall hangings.

bird pillowBird pillow - cotton seine warp, wool weft, mostly using Cascade 220, which works great for tapestry, 16x16 inches

What made you decide to choose a Mirrix?
Quality and durability. The loom was a fairly substantial outlay for me at the time, but it’s turned out to be a great investment.

Were you self-taught or did you take classes? I’m self-taught. Step by step instructions in Nancy Harvey's Tapestry Weaving are thorough and easy to follow. I did take a workshop last summer.

striped rugArea rug 28x48 inches after blocking, NZ wool warp and weft, colored yarns are scraps of wool and cotton left over from other projects.

How would you describe your weaving aesthetic?
Color blending and designs that are not too busy. Last summer I did a lot of solar dyeing with plants and lichens. It was fun to create a simple design that showed off the different colors.

tapestry on loom
"Yard" tapestry - wall hanging 24x30 inches - simple design to showcase rug yarn dyed with leaves, roots and flowers in the yard - there's about a dozen shades of yellow in there.


Do you weave on any other looms? What are they?
I have a Kromski rigid heddle loom, a 50-pack of tablet weaving cards, and a sprang loom. (I was able to successfully complete a sprang project on the Mirrix, but unfortunately forgot to take pictures).

fish tapestry being woven

fish tapestry Fish pillow - cotton seine warp, wool weft, 20x20 inches

What are your favorite yarns to weave with?
Hifa tapestry yarn is wonderful but expensive. Among non-tapestry yarns, I like Cascade 220 non-superwash wool. The plies divide easily, are durable, and pack down firmly at 8-10 wpi. The divided plies work well for color-blending. I’ve had good success with it for wall hangings and cushion covers. It’s probably not durable enough for rugs.

tapestry on loom
tapestry wall hanging
Wall hanging 24x25 inches, cotton seine twine, wool warp - my first attempt at a wall hanging on the Joni loom

 

Tell us a little bit about the Ravenstail twining and how you did that on your Mirrix Loom: 
I used the Mirrix as a supportive frame, so it wasn’t technically done on the loom. You’ll notice in the picture I hung the warp on a dowel. I then placed the dowel in the concave area of the wooden clips and tied it to the loom. Hope that makes sense. Warp in traditional Ravenstail twining is free-hanging and tensioned, so warping the Mirrix in the normal manner would not work for this project.

tapestry weaving on loom
Ravenstail (traditional Alaskan native) twining 26x30 inches. I removed the shedding device and used the loom as a weaving frame.

 

7 comments

Elise Kampfer

The dyes and designs really impressed me. So creative and pretty, I think you’ve got an amazing talent for a weaver that is self-taught. Power to you and everybody who wants to try new things.

Linda

Great idea to create natural dyes from plants in your yard, Dianne. You must be making some fun, and surprising discoveries as well as expanding the palette for color blending.You do beautiful work.

Dianne Robertson

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments. Marion, when you split the Cascade 220 plies, stand or put a weight on one end of your yarn so you can use tension while pulling apart. That avoids the strands getting tangled around each other.

Lauryn Kalina

Beautiful work! Your passion shows in the art!

Janet Austin

Wow! Lovely work, very impressed with your first effort and that you are self taught, given the technical excellence of your work.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published