Gryphon tapestry: claws, wingtips and diagram

Elisabeth,  silkspinner and I have made progress on the gryphon tapestry!

We found a small picture of a gryphon online, scaled it up so that it was low-resolution, and traced outlines onto graph paper.  We taped enough graph paper together to make a diagram to scale, and scaled up the beginning diagram by the low-tech method of drawing in nine squares what originally was in one.  Then we used a lot of our imagination to fill in some details on the main diagram; there may be too many details to cover in the tapestry, but given what we know of the techniques of the last one we think we should be able to manage.  We have not yet had the perseverance to reproduce our single gryphon in mirror image on the other side, so we now have half a diagram taped to the back of the tapestry.  Still, it can be used!


The two pictures here don’t quite fit together; my photography skills are currently limited by my cell phone’s camera.

lowerdiagramWe bought a variegated yarn for the background color, so that it varies between dull green, blue-green, and blonde.  We have three levels of shading for the “lion” hindquarters, and three for the eagle, as well as gold and black.  When weaving the dragon tapestry we had trouble finding all our threads of the right thickness, so we ended up with some five-ply threads that we had to re-ply (in pieces) into three-ply thread.  This time we shouldn’t have to do much of that, though the black thread will have to be divided up.

In the past week or so Elisabeth and I began weaving, leaving a gap of one bare warp thread for the divide between the two halves, and making sure the halves are woven at the same rate.  Today, we brought it with us to New York, and this afternoon silkspinner joined us in working on it!  Elisabeth started the tips of the wings today, but so far they’re hard to see because the “eagle green” color (a yarn handspun by silkspinner herself) is as dark as parts of the background.  Meanwhile silkspinner and I struggled through the first rows of the hind claws and tail.  I copied what she did, some of which you can see here:

lowerdivide1Here you can see the wood frame and warp threads where they appear in the middle of the divide.  Since this is the edge, the curve of the divide is especially steep.   The overwhelming majority of the color in this picture is supplied by the variegated background thread, but towards the top you can see the bottom of the claws in gold, the lion color, and the lion-shadow color.  The splotch of lion to the right is the bottom scoop of the tail.  So far we’re at 20 rows on the bottom and 21 at the top!