|The whole weaving form showing the tail section|
and green holding stitches still in place
The tail section of the weaving form is temporary and has the warp attached by holding stitches on the underside. There is a row of holding stitches along each side of the body that keep the warp threads in position on the curved surface.
I finished weaving the tail and removed the holding stitches and snipped off that part of the weaving form. Next I will insert the ends of the tail wire into the pocket along the back of the bird and attache the wire to the edge of the woven tail with more wool of the same colour. Once I had woven down the sides as far as the green stitches I was able to remove these stitches. The new woven fabric is now holding the warp threads in the correct position.Meanwhile I have been making sparrows' legs with my new jig. I wrap the leg wires onto the jig, position extra lengths of wire for toes, hold them with temporary clips so that I can wrap the permanent wire around the ankles. Once the legs are off the jig, I bend the four toes outward. Thin strips of white florists' tape hold the toes in position and build up the thickened knobbly shapes of the toes and legs. I bend the claws down and clip them to the right length and finally paint the legs with acrylic paint. The wire extending downwards from the bottom of the feet will be what holds the bird onto its wooden perch. The triangle of wire at the top of the legs will be inserted into the specially made pocket on the underside of the bird and be held in place by the weaving.