When Things Don’t Make Sense

I may not be a math or science expert, but I’m pretty smart, and can figure most things out. If I get stumped, I keep trying until I find the answer — usually.

handwoven rosepath band
For this turned Rosepath design, threads are sleyed unevenly through the 15-dent-per-inch reed, meaning the number of threads per dent varies across the width of the band.

I tried, but just could not understand the instructions for sleying the reed for this Rosepath Band. I did my best, but the start of the weaving revealed I didn’t get it right. When I examined the threads that were bunching up, I saw my error. Aha! The once confusing instructions now made perfect sense! In life, when we don’t understand the instructions, or can’t make sense of why things happen, our impulse is to question the instruction-giver.

I removed those first few inches of weaving, untied, re-sleyed correctly, re-tied, and then began weaving again. Beautiful! Once I got a fresh perspective of the instructions, everything fell into place. We have the false notion that the instruction-giver for the universe is like us, when he’s so much greater. His instructions are written with love, through a perspective that’s far above our humanity. And the results are beautiful!

May you enjoy instructions that make perfect sense — most of the time.

Still learning,

Quiet Friday


handwoven rosepath band
Most of the intricacy is achieved through detailed arrangement of warp threads, using a turned rosepath draft. The design comes alive like magic as it’s woven with a rosepath treadling pattern.


threading draft for handwoven rosepath band
Weaving draft with complex threading pattern is hanging in view for constant reference while threading.


stabilize shafts for handwoven Rosepath band
Cords from the back of the loom to the front keep the shafts stable, made necessary by the very narrow weaving width.


handwoven rosepath band selvedges
First little bit is rough at the edges, but being my second attempt at starting, I’m simply thrilled it’s working! (First attempt had to be un-woven, un-tied, re-sleyed, and re-tied. Whew!)


handwoven rosepath band
First yard woven. Six to go.


weighted pattern threads for handwoven rosepath band
Slat separates the pattern threads (which weave in at a lesser rate of take-up than the plain weave threads) at the warp beam, and is drawn down with elastic cords. View is from the back of the loom.


handwoven rosepath band
Weaving is progressing rhythmically. The taut band makes a nice deep musical pitch when “plucked” on its way to the cloth beam. (I find it hard to resist making music.)


Handwoven rosepath band on cloth beam
Woven band follows its path to wind around the cloth beam, layer upon layer.

Quietly yours,


Indirect, Irreversible, and Impossible

The easiest and shortest route isn’t always the best path out of trouble. When I want to change negative behavior, I start out trying really hard; but when my effort meets resistance, I tend to go back to old habits.

removing Texsolv heddles
Texsolv heddles, tied into groups of 50, before removing them from the shaft bars

I removed all the excess heddles left from the warp rep rug. 2,760 heddles, reduced to 274. We want to improve, making positive changes in our behavior, but are we willing to remove the heddles that supported our old ways? The heddles that once served us well are now in the way. It’s silly, but we keep some of the familiar old ways, just in case we want to go back into trouble…

In the ancient story about rescuing people from slavery in Egypt, God chose a path for the escaping Israelites that was indirect, irreversible, and impossible. God opened up the Red Sea for the people to cross, and then closed it back up. He essentially eliminated a return route to captivity. If we let him, I’m sure he’ll close off our return route, too. It may be not be the easiest path, but freedom is never easy, is it?

May you find courage to leave old ways behind for good.

(I can hardly wait until Friday to show you what I’m weaving now! Hint: It has to do with Rosepath–my favorite Scandinavian motif.)

That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to it

Everyone has a unique story. Most of us are engaged in our own narrative, watching the chapters go by. Discovering the meaning in our personal story is a lifelong pursuit. Where do I fit?… Who am I meant to be?… Do I add value anywhere?…

handwoven warp rep rug
After many hours of planning, warping, weaving, and finishing, this warp rep rug is ready to be put to use!

The colors and graphic boldness of this design won’t fit just any ol’ room. But don’t worry! This rug will be perfect for one special room, and we’ll all exclaim, This rug was made for this very place! Don’t we all hope to say that about ourselves? I was made for this… I’m in my sweet spot… My life is making a difference…

If I’m in a story, surely there is an author! When I delve into the author’s story, I end up finding where I belong. My story is being written within a much, much bigger story–one that I can base my life on. (Handweaving is one element in this current chapter of my story; and for that, I’m incredibly grateful.)

May you find your sweet spot in the bigger story.

Sing with Me

When you finish weaving a rug, you are not quite finished. It is exciting to cut it off the loom, but the new handwoven rug isn’t ready for use until you do something to secure the cut ends.

warp rep rug hem
Trimmed, folded, and pressed hems are stitched securely, and then pressed again, making a tidy, completely flat finished edge.

I stitched the hems on this rug with my trusty old Bernina, making this a rug that will last. Music is like that–it helps us stitch down important thoughts. Putting words to music makes the words last. A song preserves meaningful ideas the same way stitching secures this carefully prepared hem.

You probably have a melody in your own heart just waiting to be heard. Maybe you have an old childhood song or hymn from the past (pause right now and take a moment to remember…), or maybe it’s a song you just made up for the fun of it. Either way, let those stitched-down words come to life with singing! (Sometimes news of current events is hard to bear. It’s in times like these that we need the continuity of a true song more than ever.)

May your heart find its song today.