I love love the book Heidi. Idyllic and full of the joys and pains of that sweet girl, I always loved being transported to the carefree way of life on the Alps. But this post isn’t just about the book Heidi, but about how I began to create a weaving inspired by the childhood novel. I haven’t seen many people weaving with an illustrative or landscape design in mind, so I thought it would be fun to share how I went about designing and making this book inspired wall hanging.
I started weaving just before Amelia was born, back in October of 2015, thanks to the very first We Make Collective kit. I never expected to love it the way I do, but I was quickly addiced! I spent a while trying out techniques and playing with colour, and my second large weaving looked like this. After having it up on my wall for probably a few months, it suddenly struck me that it could be the moors from Wuthering Heights- and from there sparked the idea to consciously create a collection of literary weavings. As a lifelong bookworm, an English literature graduate and loving a creative outlet it has been the perfect combination of things!
This is the travel loom I got in my kit, plus my beautiful edition of Heidi which was inspiring my design, along with some beautiful handspun yarn skeins from Wallflower Weavings which feature in the mountains.
When I was thinking about book inspired weavings, this one came to me instantly for some reason. I could just picture the snow topped mountains, and that beautiful sunset over the mountain plains strewn with flowers. First I sketched and painted the idea in my sketchbook, then drew out my rough pattern onto paper.
Beautiful alpaca yarn gave me my first green field followed by lovely yarn from Sophie of Wallflower Weavings. Weaving is very time consuming and rhythmical, and it took me a long time of stopping and starting to make my way up to the snow topped mountains with yarn from Spindle and Skein, the firs, and finally the sunset sky. Different blocks of colour, and varying techniquest through grandfather’s cabin create the different basic shapes, but it’s the final touches which make the most difference, although they take just as long as the initial weaving.
The whole process takes a lot of patience and a lot of time- I’m usually impatient to see the end result but weaving is very relaxing and therapeutic so I am learning to enjoy the process. It’s so satisfying to see something come from some balls of yarn to an actual thing that I’ve made. So utterly different to painting but I love both.
Here it is, almost finished. At this point I thought I might try to embroider some flowers on, but after a failed attempt and several days musing I finally decided to crochet some little flowers to add on. I left the hanging strands on a whim as I loved the extra dimension they gave the piece. It was such a fun process with my very first literary wall hanging- working out exactly how to translate the picture in my head through yarn and weaving as well as practising my techniques further. I completely love it- which you would hope after so many hours spent on something- and really hope that others love it as much as I do.
So there you have it- my first book-inspired weaving. You can find the whole new collection of literary wall hangings, all inspired by classic children’s literature in the shop! Each one is one of a kind and so there will only be one chance!
Perfect inspiration for a little one’s room, a really special gift for a bookworm or for your own decorating delight. I’m pondering the idea of eventually offering patterns for some of my weaving designs so that people could try making their own- what do you think?
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