Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tapestry Diary update

My take on the tapestry diary practice has always been that it should be flexible enough to accommodate one's life as it unfolds.  Certainly, you lay out certain ground rules or at least expectations for how you want to approach this period of daily weaving, but in my view those rules ought to be provisional.

For me, this year's diary entails weaving a horizontal stripe each morning, inspired by the color of the sky when I first see it that day.  If I get up really early, the stripe might be really dark and show the moon.  On days when I am away from the loom or simply can't get to it, I weave a half-pass of orange.  If there are several days away, that might become an orange stripe.  At the end of the each month I weave the abbreviation for that month (Jan, Feb, Mar, etc.).

My intention is that while my weaving of course climbs up the warp vertically, the finished diary will be displayed horizontally, like a long scroll.  The horizontal stripes will become verticals, and the names of the month will read vertically.  Somehow this feels more like a walk along a timeline to me.

Molly Elkind, Tapestry Diary 2018, January-March.  
Here's where I stopped before we packed up in Georgia and moved to New Mexico.  As luck would have it, I was just about out of warp on my Mirrix anyway. So it was a natural time to cut off in a couple respects.  (For those inquiring minds out there, I used 12/6 grey cotton seine twine, 10 epi, 5 inches wide.)

(Yes, the weaving draws in quite a bit over the course of those three months.  Might have something to do with putting up a solo show, planning my husband's retirement party, and downsizing/packing up to move in that time span.  I might have been a little . . .  tense.)

And then there were about three weeks during the move and the unpacking when I didn't weave at all.  When I started up again, I wove several passes in orange, to indicate those three weeks without weaving in April.  When I warped up the loom to resume the diary it seemed appropriate to warp it at 7" wide.  Because the sky is bigger here. Otherwise I'm using the same seine twine and sett as before.

I realize this size change will pose a small challenge when I go to join up the sections later--there will be a jump in height (in the horizontal orientation) and some extra warp ends to hide.  But that's OK.  The move was a big change in my life, and it seems right that the shape of the diary reflects that. 
So here's where it stands this morning.

Molly Elkind, Tapestry Diary 2018, April - mid-May.  
I continue to feel as if I learn and grow thanks to the tapestry diary practice.  If this sounds like something you'd like to explore, I'm teaching a 3-hour class at Convergence on Friday, July 6 called Plan Your Tapestry Diary.  This is a pencil-and-paper class with a very manageable supply list (um, pencil and paper) and supply fee ($2 for handouts).  It's not too late to register.  Click here.   Hope to see you in Reno!


  1. Hi Molly - this is brilliant! I have been drawn to weaving a diary but couldn't think how to start or what to weave... I really like the idea of a stripe every day and I think I may simply weave a stripe based on the weather (plenty of variation here in the UK ��) It would be fun to explore these daily diary ideas at your class - but its a bit far away for me... Thanks for the inspiration!!! Cheers, Helen

    1. Helen, I’m so glad you found this helpful! I agree that the weather and one’s natural surroundings never fail to inspire. Good luck with your diary. Come back and post a pic once you’re underway.