The Bayeux Tapestry is an amazing textile that has survived almost 1000 years. Made from wool yarn on a linen background (actually, it is an embroidery, not a tapestry, but the name just stuck, so thats what everyone calls it!), it gives a pictoral history of the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066. It is 20" high and 230' long. It has survived the French Revolution, and two world wars, and it is displayed in the town of Bayeux, in northern France.
I have been facinated (some might say obsessed) with the tapestry ever since I discovered it in a children's book when my kids were small. My first interest was in it's composition, wool and linen, and that it has survived so long, but I got more and more interested in the historical event that is depicted. As far as I know, it is the only embroidery of it's kind and scale, relating the events of a single year in a cartoon format, so that even the illiterate masses could learn about an important event in history.
A dream came true for me last summer, when I got to go to Bayeux and see the tapestry for myself. It is displayed at eye level, behind glass, so you can literally put your nose right up to it and look at the stitches!
I have always wanted to hook it, and I guess seeing it in person gave me the inspiration I needed. It was hard to pick just one panel, there is so much history in each part of it, but I really liked the horses in the tapestry, and the panel I chose included a visit that William of Normandy and his posse made to Mont Ste. Michele in Brittany, France. We got to see that monument on our trip last summer too, so I thought it might be fun to focus on that section.
My adaptation is done to scale, but rug hooking can't be as detailed as embroidery, so I had to "suggest" detail, and try to present the style as best as I could. If I wanted to make the rug the same detail as the embroidery it would have had to be much bigger! I left the background bare, so the linen would show, like in the tapestry. I embroidered the latin words and the sand in the lower right corner, and the rest is hooked with a worsted weight yarn.
The rug is displayed above our bed in the master bedroom.
If you would like to take a crack at hooking the Bayeux Tapestry for yourself, click here! Do you have a rug you would like to see featured on this website? E-mail me! It can be a rug you've hooked, inherited, treasure-hunted, whatever, we love to hear the stories. If your rug is featured, you will receive your choice of a free half-yard of linen (26"x36") or our "I'm a Hooker and Proud of it" tote bag!