Handspun for Tapestry Weaving?

Rebecca Mezoff might be based in Fort Collins, Colorado, but she is sharing her passion for tapestry weaving all over the world. Coming from a family of weavers and later studying under tapestry artist James Koehler, Rebecca is well known for her contemporary tapestry work and instruction. She teaches in person around the United States and has developed a growing community of weavers through online workshops. She helps new tapestry weavers take their first steps (or picks, I should say) as well as guides those with more experience through techniques and color theory.

purple fiber

Rebecca spun a singles yarn to create a color gradation for tapestry weaving. Photo: Rebecca Mezoff.

Rebecca has been dyeing all of the yarns that she uses in her artwork for a while, but this summer she spent some time spinning for tapestry weaving. She learned to spin from Maggie Casey, co-owner of Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins in Boulder, Colorado. Maggie is beloved in the handspinning community as a gentle and skillful instructor, especially for beginning spinners. She even wrote a book about it: Start Spinning.

hokett loom

Hokett loom in action. Photo: Rebecca Mezoff.

You can follow Rebecca’s progress with her first tiny tapestry series on her blog. She has been spinning and weaving using small, portable tools while enjoying the end of the Colorado summer. But with fall comes Spinzilla! Rebecca has joined Team Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins and looks forward to further honing her spinning skills during the competition week of October 5‒11, 2015.

Rebecca tells us a bit more about her handspun tapestry series and the small Hokett looms that everyone seems to be talking about right now.

Tiny tapestries! Photo: Rebecca Mezoff.

Tiny tapestries! Photo: Rebecca Mezoff.

“I did the spinning on the Jenkins Lark Turkish spindle using a little bit of rainbow fleece I dyed in a Maggie Casey spinning class. I am going to mount all of these little tapestries in a line when they are finished. I don’t know yet how many there will be—probably ten or twelve.

“I did the weaving on a Hokett loom. This is a 6-dent-per-inch intermediate-size Hokett, which is 9 x 10 inches. What I like about these looms is they are completely portable and so easy to warp. I like to experiment with small-format things on them because they don’t seem at all intimidating. I can warp it in a matter of minutes. I do use them mostly for sampling, but I know several tapestry weavers who use them as their only loom. I carry a small one of these when I go backpacking also.

“I also like that Jim Hokett is a wonderful craftsman and a great guy. He makes everything himself and has been so accommodating. I mostly teach tapestry at 8 ends per inch and he only makes the looms in 6-dent now. But he agreed to continue making the 8-dent for me. They do come in three sizes, and I love that they are handcrafted wood made in New Mexico by an all-around, stand-up, good guy.”

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