Everything Is Fixable

Every now and then I forget where I left off. This happens when I get interrupted when I am not quite finished with a sequence at the end of a weaving session, or when I get interrupted when I am just getting started back on the loom. Often, the interruptions are my own thoughts going in different directions. The only loss is a few dozen weft threads that get pulled out one by one, plus the time it takes to pull them out and weave the right ones back in. Everything is fixable.

Sometimes it is necessary to backtrack. I was at a pause in weaving. When I came back to it I forgot to put in the gray weft stripe. Pulled out more rows than I wish, then resumed weaving, starting with the gray stripe.
No more troubles, just attentive weaving.
Still several meters to go on these bathroom curtains! 24/2 cotton, M’s and O’s, gray stripe is 16/2 cotton

I have come to the unfortunate realization that I am probably short on blue weft yarn and green weft yarn. This project is using yarn from my excess, and the warp yarn was measured out just so. I miscalculated on the weft yarn. My solution is to space the blue and the green weft stripes further apart. If I still run out of either color I will finish with the colors I do have. I may end up liking it better that way. Everything is fixable.

Blue weft at the front edge makes a lovely contrast with the poppy and the pumpkin warp colors.
Cart by the loom holds shuttles and yarn. You can see that I am using a 120 cm reed in a 70 cm loom. I can get away with it by having the loom in the corner of the room.
Winter wool indoors and spring blooms outdoors. Brage wool for an autumn/winter cape. Goose-eye twill on four shafts.

I did not imagine that one of the single-unit draw cords on the drawloom could snap in two while I am putting it on the hook bar. But it happened! Now what? I’m able to finish the 6-thread unit by tying a knot and maneuvering threads this way and that way. This is not acceptable for weaving the rest of the warp, however, nor even for the rest of this napkin. I just so happen to have a fancy clip that Steve brought to me a couple weeks ago, saying, “I thought you might be able to use this somewhere.” It is the perfect temporary fix for this shortened draw cord. I will replace the broken draw cord before starting the next critter napkin (roadrunner). Everything is fixable.

Wild turkey is running with his head cut off for a few days. The single-unit draw cord that raises the threads at the turkey’s chin snapped when I put it on the hook bar. I finished the 6-thread unit for that chin by tying a knot in the end of the draw cord. I need to make a permanent fix, though, because the knot makes the draw cord just a little too short.
As a temporary fix, I found a double caribiner clip that is just the right size to hold the draw cord. Before I start weaving the next critter, I will try to replace this broken draw cord with a new one.
Wild Turkey – finished!
Chart beside the loom shows my row-by-row plan for the image being woven.

Yesterday we enjoyed Easter, the day of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We are lost without Him, suffering from our own errors, miscalculations, and brokenness. The Heavenly Father raised Jesus from the dead to prove to us that Jesus is Lord. Everything is fixable in Him.

May you find the solution you need.

Your weaving friend, Karen

Wild Turkey and More

Three looms are active right now. The drawloom has the napkin project, with a wild turkey on this one.

Wild turkey feet and legs weave up quickly. There are only a few single unit draw cords to pull at a time, plus one pattern shaft draw handle for the side borders.
Wild turkey feathers require many more single unit draw cords. Even the borders at this place in the pattern are done with single units. The cast shadow on the loom from the bell that hangs in the window makes a funny face at this time of day. Could be a silly turkey face? 🙂

The Julia has the wool goose-eye twill fabric that I plan to use for making myself a simple winter cape. Next winter should be here soon enough.

Wool cape fabric in goose-eye twill.

Last but not the least at all is the Glimåkra Standard with curtains for our remodeled bathroom. This is a big project and I will be weaving on this for a while. M’s and O’s is enjoyable to weave. I like the counting for the squares and stripes, and the trading off of feet that this project gives me.

Curtain fabric in M’s and O’s is winding up on the cloth beam.

Happy Weaving,

Karen

Goose-Eye Squares in Wool

I like goose-eye twill. Do you? I’ve woven it in throws, towels, and rag rugs. I am not sure why this is such a pleasing pattern to me. Maybe because it speaks of classic simplicity.

Brage wool yarn is threaded in the heddles for goose-eye twill.
Testing the pattern. I want the goose-eye diamond to be “square,” so I will weave further to get a consistent beat. Then I will count how many rows it takes to make the diamonds “square.”

I have woven goose-eye twill with and without floating selvedges. This time is without. The advantage is that I can get a cleaner edge without floating selvedges. The disadvantage is that I can get messier edges without floating selvedges. It takes me a little practice to get the selvedges just right, catching some of the outer warp ends. After I get it down, the selvedges will be pretty tidy.

Squares of goose eyes make the overall pattern for this fabric that I hope to make into a small cape for myself. I am using yarn that I had on my shelf. The blue warp stripe is a little too loud for me, but it is what it is, so I’m going to make it work.

Persistence means you keep working at it until it works. And you overlook things (like the blue warp stripe) that it’s too late to change, and make the best of it. Persistence is a virtue when we persist with right things. Persist in faith. Persist in love. And always, persist in hope. Jesus waits for those who persist in leaning on him. Let’s lean in a little closer.

With faith, love, and hope,

Karen

How Much Further Can I Weave With a Longer Quill?

How much more thread will a 13cm quill hold than an 11cm quill? In other words, how much further can I weave with the longer quill? I decided to do a simple test to find out. Which size quill should I use for the rest of this project?

Red threads give me precise start and stop points for measuring how far I could weave with one quill. I will pull the red threads out when I cut the fabric from the loom.

First, I mark the beginning of the 11cm quill with a short red thread woven through a few ends on the same row as the first row of weft from that quill. I weave off the thread from that quill and weave in another short red thread on the final row of the quill, putting the second red thread directly above the first red thread. Now, I can measure the distance that the quill’s weft covered the warp, minus the gray weft stripe. I repeat the test with another quill so I can average the difference, if any. I find that both quills cover exactly 6 cm of warp. How’s that for consistency in winding my quills?

I started with 11cm quills because that is the size that fits the shuttle I wanted to use.

Time to test the 13cm quill. I do this exactly the same way, including the repeat test. The result? The 13cm quill covers 7.2 cm of warp. So there is 1.2 cm difference between the shorter quill and the longer quill.

Each quill measured twice. This view is from below the breast beam since I forgot to take a photo before I advanced the warp. This perspective also gives a view of more of the M’s and O’s cloth and the potential for specially-made curtains.

I have a total of 8.6 meters to weave on this curtain fabric (about 1.5 meters already woven). That means winding about 143 quills (11cm), or 119 quills (13cm). Not much difference, really. Still, I’m in favor of winding 24 fewer quills of 24/2 cotton. Aren’t you?

May the math work in your favor.

Happy Weaving, Karen

Extraordinary Animals on the Drawloom

Armadillo, fox, porcupine, jackrabbit, and deer are leading the critter parade. The twelve napkins will include the most common, the most interesting, and the most unusual animals that visit our backyard here in Texas Hill Country. The white-tailed deer are the most common, by far.

Feet first. The white-tailed buck is taller than he is wide, so his feet touch the bottom border. Pulled single-unit draw cords are seen on the hook bar pegs above the beater.
Just past the midway mark on this napkin, as seen on the measuring ribbon pinned on the side.
Having a large chart beside the loom helps me keep track of each row as the weaving progresses. One pattern shaft draw handle is pulled, which forms the pattern on the side borders. The single unit draw cords form the center image.

This white-tailed buck is one that Steve photographed on our property. I use Affinity Designer on my computer to turn a photo into a silhouette that I can use for my drawloom chart. It is a thrill to see the image emerge in the threads on the loom. From animal in our yard, to photo, to graphic chart, to threads on the loom! The common is made extraordinary.

The draw handles are pulled for the checkerboard pattern that goes across the bottom and top borders of the napkin.
Antlers of the buck reach nearly to the top border. Hem area is teal blue.
Before the buck, there is the jackrabbit. And before the jackrabbit is the porcupine. And the fox and armadillo before that are in hibernation on the cloth beam.

Even more extraordinary is what our Lord Jesus does with a common human like you or me who puts faith in him. As you look at the threads on his loom, you begin to see that it is his image being woven in you.

May your days be extraordinary.

Happy New Year,
Karen