Rebecca Mezoff wrote about a Christmas tree “weave-along” this fall. OK. Cool. I can do that. I’ll riff on Norwegian tapestry and use it as a sample in an upcoming billedvev class. Then, seemingly instantly (although I’m sure it was weeks later), she posted something along the lines of, “People, are you done yet? Send me photos.” I hadn’t even started! But now I am done. Merry Christmas!
Below are weaving notes about the project. It is very fun to see all the Christmas tree variants, included i Rebecca Mezoff’s blog here, “Holiday Weaving (December 17, 2017)“.
One of the aspects of Rebecca’s challenge was to use variegated sock yarn as the background. Serendipitously, I purchased a skein of sock yarn on sale at a beautiful yarn shop, Norwegian Spirit, in the Bergen, Norway, train station this summer. The blue Sandnes Garn – Robust looked like a good color to have on hand to add to sky in a tapestry.
Rebecca’s original pattern used a graphically appealing triangle tree, but I decided to use the shape I remember learning as a young child, the typical jagged-line triangle. For parts of the tree I planned to use patterns found in the costumes of virgins in the very common “Wise and Foolish Virgins” Norwegian billedvev coverlets. That’s what I did, but the tree was a bit small to execute much detail; for example, I only used three triangles on the bottom part of my tree.
I added a star shape found in many old billedvev pieces. Look at the stars on the stag and in the background of this detail from a coverlet.
I’ve also seen stars with one more line in them, and that is the type I wove with the Christmas tree.
I found the bouncy, air-filled sock yarn very easy to work with; you just have to be sure not to stretch it much, as it is very elastic. Without adequate bubbling it would surely draw in at the edges. Look how different the sock yarn is in diameter than the white Harrisville Highland yarn. Yet they seemed equal when woven in.
Although I don’t like my tapestries (or most any woven pieces) hung on a stick, I tried it in this case. After all, it’s a tree. A small stick, an interesting stick, but…no. I still don’t like sticks. To me, it just made it look sort of small, and “crafty” rather than elegant.
I searched through my box of frames and found a desktop frame, and mounted the tapestry tree to a lightly padded, linen-covered back. I think it looks better. It can join the annual Christmas-time mantel tableau of important objects.