You Need a Boat Shuttle for This

A boat shuttle is clearly the best way to send weft thread across a 45-inch (114 cm) warp. The pleasing rhythm of weaving is possible because of this very simple tool. Even so, the shuttle is merely a vehicle for the thread. Music is another kind of vehicle.

Alpaca/Tencel throw on the loom. Plain weave, with lace weave squares.

Plain weave, with evenly-spaced lace weave squares. The alpaca/Tencel yarn is soft, yet very easy to work with.

I doubt there is a more effective vehicle for carrying a message than music. Surely you have noticed how ideas spread across the culture via songs, and how easily we retain words that are attached to a tune. Boat shuttles were invented because handweavers needed a way to send weft thread across a distance. Maybe music was invented because we needed a way to send messages that matter.

I would like to send a message across time and space. I’ll wrap the words around a quill, and insert it in the boat shuttle. And then, momentarily holding the shuttle just so, I’ll release the song with a flick of my wrist, sending the message to the one who means the most to me. A joyful pronouncement of my creator’s goodness and love, set to musical expression. Brings a smile from heaven, don’t you think? And as that shuttle continues, in the rhythm of the weaving, the thread of the simple song ends up leaving a pattern in the cloth.

May you have a reason to sing.

Making melody,


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