Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Thursday, 16 April 2015

It's In The Bag: Suggestions for a Travelling Tapestry Kit

A friend and I like to get together for communal fibre work. She weaves miniature cut pile rugs while I weave tapestry. I don't drive and looms are heavy, so for many years, I've carried around a makeup bag set up for weaving (and sometimes, spinning or knitting). I've been inspired by the recent rounds of photos in which artists display what's in their drawing kits and thought I'd show you what hides in my weaving bag.  Here's a photo of the bag, a zippered case with handles, cloth exterior with two large zippered plastic pouches inside. The exterior of the bag measures about 10 inches x 13 inches x 3 inches and it expands when packed:

The bag, opened and packed to go:

I've pared the contents down to my essentials, but the case holds a lot of materials and tools. At the moment, I'm working on my Don George loom, about 10 inches x 10 inches in total size, and the maximum size for this bag. In the photo below, you can also see a small cardboard bag loom, for sampling and plain good fun. The lower right side shows my collection of combs, wooden tapestry needles, a small zippered hand spun, hand woven bag which holds the combs and tapestry needles, an old knitting needle which I sometimes use as a shedding device, a dental pick for packing and lifting sections of weaving and scissors with blunt ends so they don't snag the tapestry or my yarns. Above that are my design tools: a tiny sketchbook, matchbook sized kit of drawing pencils, a permanent marker, a black pen and an old, old small format tapestry weaving book which I sometimes use to refresh my memory on weaving techniques. There are also a couple of spindles, including a toy wheel spindle which I made for travelling and a teeny, tiny Snyder turkish spindle which is really impractical, but impossibly cute, perfect for those times when I feel like yarn doodling. Next to the gold spindle is a container of coloured pencils, with a sharpener in the top:

Not shown are the yarns I use for weaving and my spinning fibres. They go in the bag last, as padding for everything else. Filled to capacity, the tapestry kit weighs under 2 pounds, so it's light and easy to carry. If we're heading out in our camper, I toss in a box of watercolour paints,a pad of watercolour paper and I'm good to go for a couple of weeks.

So, there you are: "Have weaving, will travel." If you have travelling tricks of your own to share, I'd love to hear about them. Thanks to Janette Meetze, a tapestry weaver who inspires me with her lovely, detailed sketches and whose work was the motivation for this post.



  1. Wow Deborah, what a cool idea. Love your travelling tapestry bag and that little tapestry in progress is looking good! I have got a traveling ( Plein Aire project) too. It is on an inkle loom so a little larger but we are on a similar path.l

  2. This is great! It is fun to see what people use to carry their tools. Wish I was this organized... you may inspire me to create something like this myself.

  3. Thanks, Rebecca! I've been a bag lady for a long time. There's a kit for something in every corner of my house.