Progress on the Gryphon Tapestry

(an explanatory supplement to esqg’s recent pictures)

I’ve been working on the top (the eagle part); esqg on the bottom (the lion part).  I’ve been working on the wings, and (in the pictures esqg posted yesterday) am just about to start working on the head. Esqg, meanwhile, has been navigating a dense assortment of legs and tails, and has just finished the tuft of hair at the tip of each tail.

By measurement, we’re about a third of the way done (we’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time this week weaving). On the other hand, progress in inches is  likely to start slowing rapidly: I’ve had it pretty easy so far but once I get to the head, things will start to get, well, if not hairy, than at least very, very feathery.

The pictures also show the evolution of the s-shaped crack in the middle of the tapestry, which appears to be developing more or less according to plan. The plan is eventually to cut the tapestry in half along that crack (so that esqg and I each get a tapestry to keep), and hem each side with ribbon. I’m confident that we’ll be able to do this, but I’m starting to worry about exactly how. Experience with the dragon tapestry has shown that it’s safe to take a tapestry out of its frame: that is, you can cut the knots on the outside of the frame, and the warp threads won’t rebound backwards into the tapestry anywhere near far enough to risk unravelling the edges. In principal, this should be similar–and even easier, since once the tapestry is out of its frame, the threads won’t even be under tension. On the other hand, I think I hadn’t quite realized how very little margin there’s going to be at the edges of the tapestry. It will presumably be necessary to assure ourselves that the threads on the edge of the crack are well and truly locked to their warp threads before cutting anything.


This summer my sister brought me a large skein of wool from the Aran Islands, and as I was much in need of a scarf, I decided that the sensible course was to cable the living daylights out of it. Here’s the result, which I finished in late December.scarf2

It was knit on size eight needles and a single double pointed needle for the cabling. The wool is approximately sport weight and slightly heathered; I estimate there were roughly seven hundred yards thereof.  It still smelled quite strongly and pleasingly of lanolin when I began to work with it. The pattern can be found here: (Note that this pattern is copyrighted to its originator. I am very grateful to him or her for posting it so that others could use it, and am only posting my results with it here so that my friends can see.) The completed scarf is quite thick and measures 52 inches by 7 inches. Each pattern repeat is about 3 inches long. Here is a closer look at the pattern.scarf4

As you can see, there are ten strands to the design; the six middle strands work their way once across the diagram in the course of two pattern repeats. The temporarily outermost strands of the six also twist around themselves. The scarf is knit such that all cables are worked on the even-numbered rows of the sixteen-row pattern; the odd numbered rows are simply knit or purled as appropriate. At the start, a pattern repeat took about two hours to complete, but familiarity with the design allowed me to whittle that down to ninety minutes by the end of the scarf.

And now onward to the next project…