Gryphon Tapestry–done!

We finished the tapestry this weekend! We’re still pretty obsessed with it, and want to share.

We finished weaving on Thursday night, closing in the last bit of wing around the shoulder.

For the most part, I had been working top to bottom while esqg worked bottom to top; however, for this last part, we divided it into horizontal sections (the arms; the belly; the horizontal wing feathers; the feather tips) and coordinated the closing of the gap for each. The constraints of space, in combination with the coordination task, entailed various extreme measures, including esqg’s stitch-by-stitch plan of the lower claws, and my schematization of the wings in rows 1-12 (with my 1 equal to esqg’s 12, for added excitement).

And then the last stitches were set in place (cramped in some places and loose in others, despite our continuing efforts to keep the lines straight) and we had before us a completed double tapestry!

It’s amazing, really, how different a tapestry looks when it’s done than when there’s even a little bit left to be woven. All the mistakes you remember making fade into insignificance before the perfection of the whole. And despite the many compromises and rash judgements made in production, there’s a sort of magical determinism about it–as though it could never have been any other way. Esqg interjects: we always joke about how the creature is going to come to life when we finish weaving.

Then came the Ordeal of the Paranoid Knots. We had to cut the tapestry in half along the space we’d left for it, and although spare string was generously allotted in the middle, as the curve grew steeper at the top and bottom the space between the two tapestries shrank to millimeters. Hence: Paranoid Knots. We tied off every raw edge in the middle of the tapestry before cutting it out. I’m not going to describe the process–I don’t want to write about it any more than you’d want to read about it. Fortunately, our experience with the Dragon Tapestry had taught us that similar precautions were unnecessary at the edges where the warp threads ran through the frame.

esqg was moving out this weekend, and her sewing kit had gone back to Princeton. Fortunately, silkspinner was in town to help her move, and she had brought a pair of tiny embroidery scissors. With those, along with some sharp kitchen knives, we hacked our tapestries out of the frame and separated them.

After that, it remained only to line the tapestry (with green cloth) and edge it with (very green) ribbon. Fortunately, we were able to call upon the benevolent assistance of the costuming guru of the UtenEva LARP–silkspinner, once again. We sewed a couple of ribbon loops to the top, and the project was complete!