How to Fix a Listening Problem

I maneuver this tiny band loom shuttle entirely with my left hand. Winding the shuttle properly is essential. If the thread is not wound tightly, loops of thread start slipping off the ends of the shuttle, which messes up everything. Good listening is like a well-wound shuttle, and is essential for the health of any relationship. Even when we want to listen better, it’s easy to fall into bad habits.

Glimakra Band Loom with hand-carved shuttle
Three sizes of linen thread are combined to weave a simple band on the band loom. Shuttle, hand-carved by my husband, is modeled after an old Swedish band loom shuttle.

Mrs. Isenhower, your son does not have a hearing problem, the audiologist informed me. Apparently, what he has is a listening problem. Ha ha! That seems funny now, years later. When it comes to listening, though, eight-year-old boys aren’t the only ones with a problem. My own viewpoint often stands in the way of hearing another. And in defense mode, I miss what another person says entirely.

If I listen with a humble heart, I am more interested in what you have to say than I am in my own opinions. Humility prepares the heart before a conversation, like carefully preparing that shuttle for the band loom, and smooths the way to truly hear.

May you hear something new as you practice listening today.

Learning to listen,

When Love Is Not Easy

With this big Swedish loom, it is easy for me to get a firm beat. I can swing that hanging beater like nobody’s business! But that doesn’t serve me well for this delicate fabric. The streaks in this cloth are evidence that I’m struggling to get a consistent light beat. It is easy to show love to someone who loves us back, and like swinging the beater on this loom, brings positive momentum we feel good about. But what about the times love isn’t easy? …when a gentle touch takes more effort?

Swedish lace curtains in the making.
Loosely woven fabric is good practice for beating the weft in evenly. The Swedish lace pattern “windows” will become more visible after the first washing.

Anyone can be nice to someone who is nice; but can we show kindness to someone we’re at odds with? Thoughtfulness to the ungrateful, love to people who won’t love back… Not easy! Gentleness toward those with rough edges? That is the test of love.

If I only love those who love me back, I haven’t learned love yet. Love belongs to the greatest and the least, the grateful and the ungrateful. It is demonstrated by the master weaver, whose skilled hand taps each thread in with consistent grace. Never underestimate the gentle strength of love.

May love find its way to you and from you.


Quiet Friday: Dressing the Loom

Enjoy some peace and quiet today.

Measuring warp ends on warping reel
Counting string at lease cross separates groups of warp ends while measuring warp on warping reel. (Click picture to enlarge)


Beaming the warp
Warp bouts, under tension, being beamed. Choke ties, which keep the threads from shifting, are removed as they move close to the breast beam.


Lease sticks across the warp
Pair of lease sticks across width of warp keep warp ends in the same order they were wound on the warping reel. (Click picture to enlarge)


Texsolv heddles being threaded
Each warp end is threaded through the eye of a heddle.


Sleying 22.5 dent per inch reed
After the heddles are threaded, each warp end is pulled through a dent in the reed. This warp has one end per dent. There are 22.5 dents per inch in this reed.


Warp tied to front tie-on bar
With the reed placed in the beater, one-inch sections of warp ends are smoothed out and tied onto the front tie-on bar.


Sitting under the warp
Like getting into a secret playhouse, I sit under the warp at the back of the loom to attach the lamms and tie up the treadles. This view is looking up from my secret hideout.


Perfect shed for weaving
After everything is tied up, the shaft holders removed, and the locking pin taken out, this makes me rejoice — A Perfect Shed!

Let the weaving begin! Come back soon to see the Swedish lace curtains being woven.

Quietly yours,


If at First You Don’t Succeed, Why Try Again?

Some of my weaving projects have been flops. Those pieces are tucked in a box, never to see the light of day. Putting my weaving progress out there on this blog feels uncomfortable. Here I am, calling these white threads curtains in advance, but it could turn out to be a big oops! — like bath mat material, or sandpaper (don’t ask Steve about the bath towels). I won’t be able to hide this in a box; because you, my dear friends, are watching me!

Loom threaded for Swedish lace curtains
Ends are threaded through the heddles in an arrangement that produces Swedish lace.

Every time I start a new blog post I face mild panic. What if I don’t have anything to say this time? And what if I can’t discover a new weaving metaphor? Yikes, it’s all so public!

Try, try again. It is possible to exert sweat and tears, but have nothing to show for it in the end. We’d rather not let anyone know. But the creator who sees us does notice, and never calls it failure. Surprisingly, he tells us to go farther out, take a bigger risk, be brave.

Go ahead, try again, he says.

If you say so,…  Okay, I will.

May you embrace the courage to try again, and find success waiting for you!

Willing to try,

Knot Happy?

A few knots tossed aside unwittingly ended up as a sad face.

knot happy face
This wasn’t intentional, really. It just happened.

Some days are like that. Life can be like that.

When I look closely, I see the intimate way the creator’s love is in the details. If I stand back for a broader perspective, I can see the majesty of his overall plan.

Surprisingly, with a new perspective, we can see a simple way to turn things around.

happy face with knots

Have a smiling kind of day,