My band loom has been sitting idle for a few weeks. Instead of continuing to walk wistfully by, I decided to do something about it. On a whim, I pulled colors of cottolin thread off the shelf. Within an hour the band loom was dressed and I was happily weaving. Finally! Why did I wait so long to put a warp on this loom? Do you ever avoid something, and then later realize the task is easier than you thought it would be?
I used my warping reel to wind the five-yard warp. After tying the lease cross, and adding a few choke ties to secure the warp, I took it to the band loom and wound it on. Easy! Sitting at the band loom, sending the little shuttle back and forth, beating with the band knife to the rhythm of the treadles… it’s music; and it’s serene. Voicing our needs to our maker is something we think we do not have time for. We avoid this one simple connection that makes a difference.
Heartfelt prayer is our vital connection with God. He hears our prayer of need. Let us not fool ourselves to think it takes too much time or effort for this connection. The reward is too great to miss.
I love threading the heddles! It allows me to touch every single thread with my fingers. I guide each thread through a heddle on one of four shafts. Threaded heddles set the stage for the motion of cloth-making. Each thread has its own path, yet groups of threads function together as a unit. Kind of like a friendship network.
I double-check my threading as I go. As I finish each section, I immediately go back through the bundle thread-by-thread to verify that each thread is inserted accurately. This effort on the front end is worth it. With every warp thread in its proper place, the design in the fabric is assured, even before the weaving begins. A friendship network is like that. Each person has their own path, and when those paths are aligned and given common purpose, the individuals form connections that make a friendship fabric.
Connection with our grand weaver gives us a friendship network with each other–a skillfully woven fabric. The beauty of this created fabric is that it reflects the heart of the maker. Each individual thread, aligned with the others in interesting patterns, becomes an essential part of the finished cloth.
How many people get to have a handmade article right under their feet? You come in from the world, with your feet dusty and weary; you look down, and the rug says, “Welcome home.”
After the weaving is complete, the only thing left is finishing. For rags rugs, that means securing the warpends, and finishing the ends with fringe or stitched hems. I prefer the look of hems over fringe, so my rugs usually have turned-under hems (occasionally, I do a bound hem, but I’ll save that for another time). The hem area is woven with narrower strips (about 1/4 in. or 1/2 cm) than the rest of the rag rug, to make it less bulky for turning under, and it lays nice and flat on the floor. Ah, rosepath rag rugs, I shall truly miss seeing you on the loom!
May weary feet find your home to be a welcoming place.
You see the bare warp. How will the finished towels look? We won’t know until the weft is chosen. I will hold an audition for colors and fibers in my stash, and find the most worthy candidates. Questioning and testing in this way, by sampling, helps me discover the best possible options, before committing to the whole 7 1/2 yards (6.8 meters).
Apparently, human beings are hard-wired for discovery. We like to search things out, understand, and discover hidden treasures of insight and knowledge. Why is that? Why is a weaver interested in figuring out which weft color will show off a warp to its best advantage? We all seem to be made with built-in questions…
We are created to find our maker, to discover who he is and what he is about. Surely, this accounts for our endless quest for answers about everything. In searching for the answers to the deepest questions, we feel our way toward our creator. And we find him waiting for us with open arms. He’s been near all along.
And the winner is… Drum roll, please… Color wrapping #5, will you please stand up! (Click HERE to see what the commotion is about. Be sure to scroll down to read the comments.) Thank you for your vote. It made me feel good that my first choice received the most votes; and my second choice, #3, received important votes, as well. My husband’s first choice, #2, also received a vote. So, we all win! Yay! (It is not too late for you to leave your opinion. We’d love to know what you think.)
May your questions lead you to joyful discoveries.
What would you do with nine colors of 16/2 cotton thread? Play with color, I hope! I have hand towels in mind, in a subtle three-shaft twill weave. I challenged myself to create a pleasing arrangement of stripes for the warp. Hmm, should I use a Fibonacci number sequence…or evenly-spaced stripes? Random color order…or planned color order? I came up with several possible color arrangements; each one is unique. You and I are colorful and unique, too.
I love considering the options at the start of a project in order to have the best results in the end. Maybe our grand weaver is like that, too. “This person will be given a subtle arrangement of colors, evenly spaced; that person will have more intense colors, passionately vibrant. This other person will be given a large stroke of turquoise, because my world needs more turquoise.”
The grand weaver has designed you with certain colors as a gift to you–for you to enjoy life. The way to take full advantage of that gift is by using your colors to serve others. First, receive the gift with open hands. And then, whenever possible, give your gift away.
Which of the five arrangements of stripes in the picture appeals to you the most? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments! I am curious to see if the one I decided on receives any votes.