You may remember that I recently returned from a visit to The Philippines. It may not surprise you that I am always on the lookout for interesting textiles, and especially handwoven fabrics. I don’t mean to do that; it just happens… Well, when I met sweet Beth at the Sunday market, I felt like I hit the jackpot! Beth and I had a common language – Handweaving!(She speaks fine English, too, of course; but you know what I mean.)
I tried to gather a few pictures of textiles that you would enjoy seeing.
If you don’t have time to look at all the textile pictures today, at least scroll down and see my little granddaughter carrying her big umbrella on the way to the market. Umbrellas are always in season in Metropolitan Manila. For the rain in the rainy season (our visit), and for shielding your skin from the sun all the rest of the time. (You can always come back later and finish looking at the rest of the pictures. Smile.)
A warp that has not been properly wound on at the start will be full of problems every inch of the way, compromising the quality of the finished cloth. One thing that helps ensure an evenly wound warp is tension. I lay warp chains on the floor in front of the loom, weighted down with bricks and walking weights. The weights provide resistance for winding the warp over the back beam onto the warp beam, giving tight and even tension. People need tension, too.
Given a choice, I would like no tension, thank you. Just give me some slack. Do you know that the tension you and I would rather avoid could be the very thing that makes us shine?
Tension is uncomfortable, stretches our limits, and can bring out the worst in us. It tests us. But testing has positive results. Our maker knows that. His testing of our hearts reveals our true identity by confirming our deeply held convictions. Any loose or broken threads hidden in the warp become apparent, so they can be repaired or replaced. And we are made ready for the rest of the weaving.
May you find gold and silver threads shining in your warp as you become refined through testing.
Your friend, Karen
Have you ever been refined through tension?
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Steve and I just returned from visiting our son, daughter-in-law, and our adorable three-year-old granddaughter in The Philippines. So, I was away from my floor looms for a couple weeks! But thanks to my husband, I have a miniature tapestry loom that works perfectly for travel. About the size of an iPad, it is small enough that I can weave on the go, even on an airplane.
Why not take along knitting, crochet, or tatting, you ask? I agree, that would be sensible; but I am a weaver, and I would rather weave.
Your creator has a meaningful role for you that is perfectly suited for your skills. Wouldn’t it be silly for me to try to use this frame loom to swing at a tennis ball, or strum it like a guitar? Steve made this loom specifically for me to weave small tapestries. This simple frame works beautifully for that purpose, giving credit to its maker. When we find that satisfying role that allows us to practice using our gifts to their best advantage, it reflects well on our maker.
This little tapestry is a simple representation of a silver-haired lady wearing a pink blouse and turquoise-rimmed glasses. Hmm…, could be me! The imperfections in the weaving might also represent my own shortcomings. The good news is that there is more to life than my physical existence. (Click here to see the beginning of this little tapestry weaving.)
By taking care of our physical bodies, we promote health and well-being; and we gain necessary strength to face what comes. In the same way, I want to take care of my inner person. Taking in nourishment for my soul, exercising my faith, and finding the creator’s rest. That’s life.
In choosing a fabric to line these linen bags I am making, I find that the color of the lining makes a difference in the outcome. Different lining colors change how the linen looks. I decided on a blue satin lining that is similar in shade to the blue of the linen warp. Other colors seem to compete with the iridescence of the handwoven cloth. Once again, what is on the inside matters, and influences what is seen on the outside. The same can be said for people, right?
Faith in the master weaver is the lining that shows through the fabric of one’s life. A stance of faith creates an inner calm that carries you through every storm and every celebration. It is the color that shines through.