My first tapestry.

loom96For so long I have been drooling over beautiful tapestries that I keep seeing and even started searching for one for the house. They are so gorgeous and intricate that I was convinced I couldn’t make one for myself. Normally I am all about taking on a project but this one looked pretty intimidating. So I kept looking online to buy one instead. Unfortunately for the size I wanted for the particular spot I had already picked out, I just couldn’t swing the price. They were upwards of 100 dollars. After completing one I can understand why, and it isn’t because it was difficult. If anything it was so simple I was shocked. But they can be time-consuming depending on the size.

Now if you are a knitter like me you will love this project even more because you can use ALL that spare yarn that you have leftover from other projects. The tiny wound up balls that are too small for most projects but you just can’t imagine throwing away. Bonus, your saving even more money by not buying any more yarn! I only had to buy two things for this tapestry. I bought a one pound roll of some off white yarn and a roll of crochet thread. Everything else I had lying around, even the stuff to make the loom itself!loom204loom203 loom202loom48

MAKING THE LOOM – 

My darling husband had no clue what this was as he was making it. To the point were it was hysterical. I just kind of described what I was looking for and he went with it. He kept trying to make it perfect saying “don’t you want it to look nice if it is going to go on the wall?!”. It was so hard to try to explain over and over again while laughing that this is the tool that will make what is going on the wall, not what actually goes on the wall itself. I don’t think it was until I was half way finished with the tapestry that he had any clue at all what it was.

To get started cut four pieces of wood so they are 2 feet long and about 1 inch thick, or your own desired size, and lay them out on the floor. loom2  If this looks like the size you want, wood glue and screw together each corner.loom5On two parallel sides measure out and mark every 1″ and hammer a nail about half way down into each of those marks. loom9

SETTING UP FOR YOUR TAPESTRY – 

You can use any kind of yarn you have lying around but I chose to use crochet thread. It is a little tougher and felt more durable. I also didn’t feel it would stretch as much.

Position your loom so that if you’re looking at it you have a row of nails along the bottom and along the top. Tie a knot around the bottom left nail with the end of your thread.loom13 Take the rest of the ball of thread and start to go around each nail rotating from top to bottom until you have gone around every nail. loom14 Tie off the thread tightly on the last nail. Trying not to create any slack.loom15

WEAVING – 

Thread the yarn you want to start with into a large needle and begin by weaving the yarn left to right, going over a line of thread and then under a line of thread, and then over and then under until you have gone all the way across the loom.loom19Then weave in the opposite direction (right to left) rotating how you wove the yarn in the previous row. If you went over a piece of thread last time then make sure you are going under it now and vis versa.

Every time you complete a line make sure to push it down towards the bottom so they are tightly pushed together.loom21You can now add as many colors or rows as you want! Each time you start and end a new piece of yarn let the ends of it hang down on either side until your finished. Then you can weave them each into the back of the tapestry.loom81

ADDING TO YOUR TAPESTRY – 

You can weave the whole tapestry just by going over and under each piece of thread. But there is also a bunch of other cool stuff you can do. The look of the tapestry can change just by weaving with two or three pieces of yarn at the same time opposed to just one or if you do something as simple as going over two pieces of thread and then under two pieces of thread instead of every other. There are a world of options, which makes these so much fun. Here are a few of the things that I used in my tapestry.

WEAVING WITH BRAIDS –

I braided three pieces of yarn together before hand and then used that to weave into my tapestry.loom225

MAKING TASSELS –

In the middle of weaving I decided that I wanted tassels, and I wanted them everywhere. So I started by adding them to the bottom.

Cut the length of the tassel that you want. Make sure to double it because it will be folded in half. Each of my tassels have 6 pieces of yarn. Then cut, cut, cut. This part takes forever. Especially if you have as many tassels as me. Once you have cut enough yarn grab the amount of pieces that you want in your tassel.

Fold the tassel in half and place the folded side under the piece of thread you are making the tassel on. Then string the unfolded end of the tassel around the thread and through the loop. Keep adding them until you have as many as you want! loom226

CREATING A BRAID –

To make a thicker braid I used three pieces of yarn. Count to the right four lines of thread and weave your yarn from the front to the back. Count three pieces of thread to the left from that place and weave back through coming from the back to the front. Keep repeating that pattern. Four lines over and then three lines back. Keep going until you finish the entire row. Go back and wrap the end of the yarn you started with to the back of the tapestry and weave it in for a finished look on the starting side. loom210Then reverse it coming back. Now go to the left four strands and then to the right three.  loom220

 

MAKING LOOPS –

Weave a row like you normally would. Before you push it down grab a dowel rod, pencil, or anything that is as long as your tapestry (and also the desired thickness for your loops). I used a knitting needle and found it very easy to pick up the yarn.

Pick up the yarn by going underneath it and pulling up. Do this wherever it is woven in the front of your thread. So every other strand. Once you have done the entire row keep your needle in place while you weave the next row over top of it. Once that row is finished you can remove the needle and use it to pick up the loops in the newest row. Keep going until you have made as many rows as you like. Push them tightly down and then continue with your tapestry.

Go back after the loops are in place nice and tight and start to pull them out with a needle. This will get all the slack from the back side and make the loops more defined in the front. loom221loom55

 

FINISHING –

Once you are satisfied with your tapestry take a long look and make sure that all of the rows are straight and tightly pushed together. If so, get ready to cut it off the loom. Cut each thread from the loom separately and tie them together in pairs. Once they are tied off, use your needle to weave them into the back of the tapestry so they don’t show in the front.  loom85After all the ends are tucked away into the back all that is left is tying your tapestry to a stick or dowel rod and getting it ready to hang on the wall.

Use a needle to thread some of your crochet thread through each of the tied off strands and then around your dowel rod. Repeat this with all of the tied of strands.

Then tie a strand or thread or yarn around each side of your dowel rod or stick so that you can hang it on the wall!loom205

 

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