Let's Talk about our Tapestry Study Group!

Hi Tapestry Weavers!  I thought it would be a good idea to bat around some ideas of what we want this study group to be before the beginning of February 1 st.

Since their are 20 members we may want to do different things within this group ! That's fine. Some people may want to study color, design, tapestry diary, joins, do a sampler from a book.  We might decide as a group to do a design and complete a small tapestry over, let's say 2-3 months  time . 

I am very interested in what you want to do! 

Let's Talk!

Cathie Beckman

 P.S. It's not too late to join:)


Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 12:32

I'm game for anything. I have done small tapestries, but would like anything to hone techniques and encourage me to weave daily.

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 14:10

I think for me doing small tapestry I can "make an attempt" to finish over a 2-3 month period would be best. This is mainly do to my limited time to work on projects and my slowness at it.











Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 16:28

I would like to become better at color blending, both in weft bundles and with using woven techniques across the web.  I am still stash weaving so I really want to use the yarn at hand so color work would be really helpful.  I am still playing with weft-interlock on my Hokett.  That is going pretty well.

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 17:20

I am also interested in color blending and using my stash. Also a discussion on the different types of yarns being offeed as "tapestry" yarns.

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 17:36

I'm a real novice at Tapestry and would appreciate any focus that appeals to others. I have a small Mirrix loom and warp yarn, but weft yarn, but not with a lot of variety. 

Posted on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 18:23

Color would be great! I've taken quite a few color workshops and love to use color in my work, so I could work something up if you want. Or we could follow a book with excercises, I could peruse my library. what books, if any do you have?

also let's see what others want to do too:)


Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 05:17

Hello, Nanci here.  

I recently retired and my husband and I moved to Santa Fe, NM and lucked into a home with a big room/closet/bath downstairs that I get to have for my sewing/weaving/knitting studio.  Have just about finished setting up my 43" Glimakra countermarch loom that I plan to use for all kinds of weaving.  


Am a newbie to weaving on that loom and a newbie to weaving, actually.  I took a tapestry class fifteen years ago, a southwest rug weaving class on a walking loom about five years ago and one beginning weaving class a couple of years ago.  I've only made a set of towels on the countermarch loom. I do also have a small Lillstina counterbalance loom which would be great for tapestry but I'm anxious to learn how to use my big loom so plan  to use it.  The counterbalance is still bubble wrapped and in the storage closet.


So. I'm open to learning anything.  I may be slow, partly because the countermarch is a new experience for me, and partly because of my general lack of weaving experience.  However, I have more time to learn now so that's a positive!


Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 12:58

Thanks for responding! I've heard from 6 of you, and there are 22 in the group. 

For those who want to work in studying color ie: weft bundling,color blending, and moving the color across the warp. Do you have a resource that you can use to learn these things, or do you want me to teach you?

Either one is great ! If I'm teaching you though, I kinda need to know, so, I can get organized:)

NanciElaine and Blevr, welcome to tapestry! Don't worry at all about your skill level or weather your stash will be large enough with lots of colors!

There is so much to learn in tapestry Right off the bat! Shape building how to place your wefts, there will be lots for you to do! I will help you and I know lots of folks in this group who I know will help you too:)

If you are looking for a good beginning book, Tapestry 101 by Kathe Todd-Hooker is my personal favorite. 

For those who don't want to study color and want to study something else,this is not a closed group! 

Study whatever you want ! Let us know what you're doing ! We will learn from everything that everyone else is working on.

this is also an open format for asking questions. If we can't come up with answers , I know several people in high places, lol, who I can ask!

so let's talk some more, what else do people want to do?


Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 13:21

As people are getting ready, some may be  purchasing books, or not:)

Let's Talk Favorite Books and why?

I already mentioned Tapestry 101 by Kathe Todd-Hooker. I have taken 5 workshops from her, 3 of them one on one. Lucky right? She is by far the best Tapestry technician I know of, plus incredibly talented! Her book has very clear illustrations. She takes you logically through a progression of the most simple to more complex ( not real complex) techniques. You can trust her, everything is correct. The book is spiral bound and black and white.

My other favorite book is Tapestry The New Generation, by Carol Russell. Great tapestry pictures. It too has clear instructions and good illustrations.

But between the 2 , 101 wins for me.

if you want to spring for it, there's an incredible DVD set by Archie Brennan and Susan Martin Maffei, undoubtedly at the forefront of contemporary tapestry and beloved teachers by many. It's a demo of Archie and Susan (?) explaining everything, from how to wind the bobbin and warping the loom, to joins, all of it. It's incredible . It also costs several hundred dollars,but if you think of it as a workshop at home. Not bad.

o.k. You're turn! 

Maybe more people will chime in:)

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 13:25

I'm new to Tapestry, I've taken a beginners class recently.  I do have 3 of Kathe Todd- Hookers books (all are good). I would like to learn more about joining, but am very open to learning anything at this point.

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 14:03

I am also fairly new to tapestry. I've taken Rebecca Mezoff's first online class and was thinking about reworking through those lessons to get a good review before I move onto anything else.

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 14:17

I don't mind if we work on colour, or joining, or ???? but I know, for me at least, that I'd like something structured. A plan to follow, perhaps, with (flexible) deadlines? If it's too open ended I'm afraid I will get lost along the way. It could lead by you, Cathie, or we could do a sampler based on one of the books mentioned: Kathe Todd-Hooker and Carol Russell both seem to be well respected. I do know that I get quite messed up when I have 3 or more bobbins working across a shed so that would be a could technique for me to work on. 

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 15:12

structured would probably work best.  If I am left to my own means, not much will get done:-) 


I have a couple of books:  Line in Tapestry by Todd-Hooker, Nancy Harvey's book and Carol Russell's.  I have tried working though some of the samplers in Harvey's and Russell's books but have never finished any of them, finishing a tapestry is always an issue for me.  I have been trying to weave tapestry on and off for probably 10 years and have one finished piece to show for it - right now there are three different samplers on three different looms.  Sometimes I think I just need a kick in the pants!  LOL


Sometime throughout our studies, I really want to work on color.  What Rebecca Mezoff does with color blending always knocks me for a loop.  I have been debating taking her on-line course, but the wallet just is not cooperating right now.


Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 15:27

Rebecca used to live in Santa Fe and apprenticed with James Koehler, the man I took my class with.  Unfortunately James passed away a few years ago and Rebecca moved to Fort Collins, CO.  I've thought about taking one of her classes.  Did you choose the online only class, where there is no input! Or the class that she moderates?

Posted on Tue, 01/26/2016 - 20:20


I took the Warp and Weft guided class. I enjoyed it and it was well done and Rebecca was quick to answer questions or comment on our work.  I would like to take the color gradation course and would probably take the guided version again. If I had a lot of tapestry weaving knowledge already, I would probably consider the self-directed class.

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 01:18

I know that Cathie will give you wonderful feedback and encouragemet.  And give lots of great suggestions.  She's quite an expert in all things weaving, tapestry being just one of those!

You might want to note the American Tapestry Alliance webpage as a good resource location as you delve into your study.  http://americantapestryalliance.org  

The menu at ATA's website has a strip near the top with pulldown options.  Links at Resources and Education might be particularly useful.  Of course, the Artist Pages links are totally inspirational.

Have a lovely tapestry time!

Tommye Scanlin

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 04:03

I will be teaching a tapestry workshop in Boulder for the Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins weaving shop.  I was surprised to see the Rebecca is in my class.  I look forward to getting to know her. 

If anyone is in the Boulder area this weekend, please do stop by.


Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 12:51

Tommye and Joanne, nice to hear from you! Stop by anytime! Tommye, thanks for mentioning ATA ! I also encourage everyone to check them out ! ATA has a lot to offer.

Rebecca's classes look fabulous! I'm taking her master class this summer in Vermont. I can't Wait!!!!!! I'm so excited to meet her and to study with her, I'm a fan of hers and the late James Koehler.

So Color Study. Let's  make our own outline ! I'll start and you can add



color gradation - dark to light, mélange,light to dark

hatching with color gradations

bobbin blending, 2 bobbins , 3 bobbins , and more!

with the above a look at hachure.

color with pick and pick.

color theory  - a series of 6 blocks , 3 in a row, 2 rows. Separated by a background of a very dark color  ( dK.brown,dk.grey, ) or a very light color, the more neutral you can get them the better. Ok, each block will have another block woven inside. The inside block, for all the blocks will be the same color. This color needs to be of medium value and medium saturation/ brilliance. The larger boxEs that surrounds the small boxes , will all change colors. You can use any color you wish. Light , dark, bright, subtle. Do not worry if the two colors go together. 

The goal of this excercise is to see the effect of color upon it's neighboring colors. You will be amazed by how the outer square effects the color , of the little square.

this is easy to do, though it sounds complicated, it's all slits, so you can see the color lay flat side by side. I can post a picture if you want to do it.


So are we off to a good start?Do you have a book with color exercises in it?Do you like this? Should we bag it ( feelings won't be hurt, promise!) or add to it?

I might have,  the Deb Menz book on color, I can't remember the name but I'll look today, I think it has some ex. On color.


Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 13:00

Thank you Tommye for your kind words. I was studying your tapestry of the rock wall last week on your website. It is remarkable ! Cathie

Another fabulous teacher of mine :)

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 16:32

You might have to explain a couple of terms for me:  chinè and mèlange.  I am not familar with those.  I am also very interested in color gradation. 

So I am in the process of finishing up my personal little exploration of weft-interlock and will be ready for color in February.

Posted on Wed, 01/27/2016 - 19:34

Although I am an accomplished weaver, I have never woven tapestry. I just purchase a 16" Mirrixx loom and am excited to get started. I am particularly interested in weaving fiber/bead bracelets and tapestry purses.


Posted on Thu, 01/28/2016 - 09:55

Nancyryan1,  Two of my tapestry looms are Mirrix looms. I think they are great and portable! I will be interested in seeing what you're doing because I haven't incorporated beads with my tapestry before. I'm intrigued! I have seen some lovely work in a Michigan exhibit last summer of cuffs with tapestry and beads. Do please post lots of photos and explain the process. Are you working with a book?

I am going to use my outline for my study. Anyone who wants to join me is welcome! Do all or part. I am going to save the chiné and mélange for a little later, that way we can dive right into the color gradation. 

I will explain the process today or tomorrow so you can get your stuff ready In case you want to follow along.

i will be travelling most of Feb., it came up rather suddenly, with my 92 year old father, step mom and my husband! I will be weaving tapestry posting pictures and answering questions as we travel and so will all of you! But I will not be posting on Monday or possibly Tuesday. 

So, I will post a welcome on Sunday ! Plus how to get started on the color study on Sunday.


Posted on Thu, 01/28/2016 - 14:37


PotterWeaver asked on an earlier post about favorite tapestry yarns. Now seems like a good time to talk about that in case anyone is purchasing although , I know a lot of people are working from their stash, please chime in with your favs!

mine are:

Alf yarns - Kathe Todd-Hooker, fine wool with a lovely sheen, many colors, because they are fine I can get lots of strands in a weft bundle to color blend. 

Australian Tapestry Yarns - Australian Tapestry Workshop, fine wool, many colors with 5 (?) gradations per color, again you can put lots in a weft bundle ( I put 4-6 sett at 8-10 epi , depends) for beautiful gradations and color blending. Comes from Australia but does not take long and no customs hassles.

Vevgarn - Norsk Fyord Fiber ( I think I have that right, I will double check!)owner Sidsel Moreb, who is a fabulous tap. Weaver. Lovely yarn a little heavier than the other two mentioned, I use it a lot, beautiful colors, can be un plied ( easily done ) to increase mixing with other colors. Gives a beautiful flat surface to the tapestry.

Yummy Yarns - Jeanette Meetze , this yarn is tightly twisted,thin, and has gorgeous ,rich colors. Gradations of 5 or 6 per color .little to middle sized balls, but it goes a long way!  Because of the tight twist it is slightly bumpy. my experience is the tap. Won't be a flat surface when you're done, depends what you're after.


please add your own! Curious minds want to know:)


Posted on Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:25

I have never woven with true "tapestry yarn".  I have been weaving my tapestries with rug wool of various weights that is in my stash.  I have looked into real tapestry yarn, but that is as far as I have gotten.  I found another source, http://www.weaversbazaar.com/ that looks really intesting to me - a really great range of colors within colors.  I have been tempted to get one of their color packs.  They do ship to the US, but that is all I know.  Has anyone purchased from them?

Years ago, I wove a color study blanket with Harrisville Shetland wool and I have leftover yarn from the kit.  I think that is what I am going to try with our color study.  It is finer than the rug wool that I have been using, so I should be able to blend easier.  This morning I cut off what I had on the Tissart and tied back on getting ready for the color study.  I have weft  yarn, I have a nicely tensioned warp, I am ready:-)  Lead the way Cathie!



Posted on Fri, 01/29/2016 - 07:43

Thereasc, your yarns sound great! I've picked up some nice yarns at garage sales from good discarded embroidery kits. The yarn in those are usually pretty colors and good quality :)

Once a fiber nut, like me, you can find it anywhere, lol !

EllenR - it's going to be fun!

Posted on Fri, 01/29/2016 - 14:26

Theresasc, I bought the undyed sampler pack a couple of years ago out of curiosity. It seems like nice yarn, but I haven't done much tapestry weaving so don't have a good frame of reference for comparison other than the Harrisville Highland I was using for my class. Shipping charges cost more than the yarn.

Posted on Fri, 01/29/2016 - 15:56

The local weaving store will order Harrisville for clients. Maybe yours will too, if you have one close to you or in your state, would bring shipping costs down, I imagine.

Posted on Fri, 01/29/2016 - 17:00

About sixteen years ago when I took the tapestry weaving class from James Koehler in Taos, NM, I bought a lot of tapestry yarn from Rachel Brown at Southwest Weaving.  I have two big storage tubs full of a wide variety of colors.  I just ordered the 2 ply wool tapestry warp from her granddaughter, Teresa Loveless.  Teresa and her husband Joe took over Southwest Weaving when her grandmother passed away.  They continue to sell hand dyed tapestry yarns so that may be annother source for buying yarns for some.



Posted on Fri, 01/29/2016 - 19:13

Cathie - my loom is brand new and not even out of the box yet. I will share my learning process with all of you so that us newbies can learn together and you accomplished tapestry weavers can offer suggestions. Excited about the process

Posted on Sat, 01/30/2016 - 08:22

NanciElaine, oh lucky you! Those are beautiful yarns! Good resource!

Nancyryan1, nothing like a new loom, right? When I first got my Mirrix , I went to the Mirrix website and printed out the instructions for warping the loom. Very helpful. There are also U Tube sites. 

I'm glad you're excited, looks like we have quite a few newbies! Yay!  Thanks for being willing to share your learning process ! We will of course help!


Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 08:29

Welcome Annie! Glad you're here. Do you have any tapestry books?

Tommye, Thank you so much for Sarah Swett's post ! Everyone, please try to read it, their are tremendous lessons in it concerning Value and Color , plus many other things. She's a fabulous Tapestry Artist !

Will write later today with pix:) Cathie

Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 17:21

A friend told me about taking pictures of yarns, then converting to black and white to find value - it is a sweet little tool to use.  I laid out my Harrisville Shetland yarns is a sort of color wheel and took 2 pictures, one color & one black & white.  I have printed them and will keep them with the yarns and hopefully this will be really help once I start weaving.

color wheel HD Shetlandcolor wheel HD Shetland b&w

This is how they pictures came out.


Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 17:54

Great exercise, Theresasc... if you take a peek at Sarah Swett's blog post you'll see she's talking about exactly that, among other things.  She has several examples included of her yarns and tapestries in both color and black & white.

I know all of you'll have a great time with Cathie and your tapestry study group in February!


Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 21:21

thanks for posting the link.  That was packed with really great information.  It is nice to be able to use technology to help with color and value - the ability to use the camera like that is great. 

Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 21:44

Welcome to the Tapestry Study Group!  As I mentioned before I'm traveling Monday and Tuesday so thought I'd post a day early here!

Whatever you choose to study , let us know what you are doing! Sharing discoveries, lessons learned, successes, problems, and photos ! 

I will be working on color and there are some other tapestry weavers in this group doing that too. 

Thereasc, please re-post your awesome color gradation here so everyone can see! I decided not to start a new thread do Feb. because there is such good info right here:) now some other pix

Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 22:12

Color and value study tools

These are my fav. Tools for color and value study. Color wheel, front and back, which also has a value scale on the front.( Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Dick Blick Art Supplies) another kind of value finder or grey scale. Plus Deb Menz's book, ColorWorks absolutely fabulous! Meant for fiber artists, color wheels, value finders, saturation charts, oodles of stuff. Can be found at Amazon, new and used. Those little threads I'll talk about later:)


Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 22:20

Color gradation violet

My loom with the color gradation on it in violet. The little threads above are how to graduate between the colors. Reading from right to left, using 4 strands in a weft bundle, 4 strands of original color, 3 orig. color + 1 new color, 2 orig color + 2 new color, 1 orig. color + 3 new color, 4 new color, good to go!


Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 22:33

Two gradations

if you want to try something really fun, try graduating to light in one color, do your regular color change to another hue ,light value ,and graduate to dark!

here's an example of colors and orders. See you Weds.! Have Fun! I think on Weds. I'll work on Chinés and Mélanges. If you need a good Tap Dictionary, go to Kathe Todd-Hooker blog Compendium, every word you can imagine:).  Cathie

 P.s. I'd probably do the violet on the bottom and the rusty/ pink on the top, because I would want the weight of the violet on the bottom. What do you think?

Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:17

I'm sorry that I will have to drop out of this study group. I've just returned home from holiday to find a message waiting informing me that I am scheduled for hip replacement surgery in 5 weeks. There is much to be done before then and I don't feel I can take on anything new. Good luck everyone, I'm sure it will be wonderful experience.

Posted on Sun, 01/31/2016 - 23:26

what news to come home to! I'm sorry you'll have to postpone your adventure into tapestry weaving! But we'll still be around in one form or another when you're  all better and settled down. In the meantime, I wish you the very best and smooth recovery !  Cathie

Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 15:30

I started yesterday with color gradations.  I am using 2/8 wool from my stash.  It is finer than the Harrisville Shetland I was going to use, so I am able to bundle more strands per butterfly, or in my case, bobbin.  I am basing this study out of The Tapestry Handbook by Carol Russell, page 102.  I made my bundles 3 yards long and started weaving across the width of my warp which is 9" and I was not able to get enough height woven before running out of yarn in the bundles.  So I took out what I had woven, and made up another set of bobbins, opposite of what I have started with.  So one half of the warp is dark going to light, the other half is light going to dark.

color gradations

I am using two colors with 6 ends to a strand.

Cathie, I smiled when I saw your post - we seem to be on the same wave length.  I really like your study in violets, very striking.  I think that I would love to get into your tapestry yarn stash:-)

I did look at Autralian Tapestry Workshop yarns.  How in the world do you decide colors?  There are so many.  I wish they had color packs, I like the idea of buying a series of colors.  That is why I keep looking at Weaver's Bazaar yarns.  I like the collections that they have put together, its just pulling the trigger on ordering.

Posted on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 15:42

I'm at the airport, but I had to take a peek! Theresac, I like how you've set up your study with opposite gradations. It will be interesting to see! I know what you mean about Weaver's Bazaar color packs. I haven't bought any yet.....but they are pretty irresistable! I have to work with what I have for awhile:) 

Posted on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 15:25

My first color gradation is done. I am pleased with how it came out.  This type of weaving is out of my norm - not weaving with a particular project in mind but weaving for the sake of what I am doing.  I usually weave to "make something".  Now I am going to have to go digging through my stash wool and see what else I can manage to come up with.  Doing color studies like this really show me how scattered my color choices are in my stash.

gradation no 1

Posted on Tue, 02/02/2016 - 17:47


I dug through my stash and found the bag of yarn that I had ordered from Weavers Bazaar. I though I would add a little more info for you. I received 50gm balls of undyed, mixed fleece:

18/2 #180000

7/2 #70000W

8/2 #80000

6/2 #60000

I also ordered a sample of 7/2 #70000B blue-faced leicester

and a skein of 2/7 Pure British Wool.

It all came to 27.67 GBP which converted to $48+ USD. I wish the exchange rate was more in our favor. I don't mind the yarn cost, but hate paying for shipping. I need to look into their surface shipping which should be a lot less, just more time involved.

In comparing the 7/2 yarn to Harrisville Highland and to Henry's Attic Crown Colony 2, the WB yarn is more consistently spun than the other two and has a silky feel to it. All of the WB yarns are very consistently spun. I also think the 7/2 has just a bit more of luster. They are slighty fuzzy yarns. I don't have any other yarns around to really compare the other sizes, but would be happy to try to answer any questions you have or take a picture. The blue-faced leicester is really nice yarn too. I do like the color collections that WB has. If I ever got serious about tapestry weaving, I would definitely think about ordering. I did dyeing for a number of years and really don't want to do it any more.

I just picked up a couple of mixed lots of Paternayan off Ebay to play with as I've never used it before.

Right now, I'm reviewing my classes from Rebecca's class and practicing techniques.