My mother taught me to notice and enjoy beauty. I think that is why I find so much enjoyment at the weaving loom. The interplay of colors and materials never ceases to amaze me. I am often delighted as I see the woven material forming under my shuttle, feeling more like an observer than a performer. So, it was with great pleasure that I got to show my mom my weaving looms when she came to Texas for Melody’s wedding. I put this rug warp on the loom with that special visit in mind. Thanks for everything, Mom!
May you make fond memories with those you love.
(While I’m busy hemming these rugs, please visit my Etsy Shop to see more rosepath rag rugs.)
The goal is to weave a firm selvedge on a rag rug. This is especially challenging when the weave changes, like it does with this rug. Plain weave in a single color, a lone weft in a contrasting color, rosepath with tabby in between, and plain weave with alternating colors. It helps to have a few guiding principles.
A few guidelines for weaving firm rag rug selvedges:
1. Make sure the weft going into the shed catches the outermost warpend. If needed, manipulate the outermost warp end up or down to make this happen.
2. When using two shuttles, start the second shuttle going in the same direction as the first shuttle.
3. When using two shuttles, be sure to catch the “idle” weft at the selvedge by crossing over or under it with the “working” weft.
4. Turn the fabric strip under twice at the selvedge.
5. Pull the weft snug at the selvedge. (A tight warp tension helps with this.)
I can handle any rag rug selvedge if I pay attention to these guidelines. Similarly, are there guiding principles that help us maneuver the daily challenges of life?
Following God’s ways gives needed structure to our days on this earth. His faithful guidance is that of a loving father. By practicing his principles we can be mentally prepared for action, emotionally stable, and spiritually focused. And we find we are well able to handle all of life’s twists and turns.
Each rug is unique. Knowing what the possibilities are with a rosepaththreading, I sketch a plan on graph paper. I pull colors from my stash of fabrics, adding, mixing, and removing, until the compilation is just right. My intention is to create a rag rug that will be noticed.
I start with a confident plan, but I will not see the results until the rug finally comes off the loom and is flat on the floor. I am hopeful, but there is still uncertainty. Do you ever feel that way about talking to God? It should be easy to pray, but how can we know if we are really getting through?
The Lord hears prayers. His willingness to hear is greater than my ability to express myself. When I take the fabric scraps of my life and arrange them in a pattern that pleases him, he notices. And he hears my inadequate sentences. As each woven rug rolls onto the cloth beam, what I do see gives me hope for the end results. Though my view is incomplete, every glimpse of answered prayer gives assurance that the Lord notices this weaving I call life.
May you get a glimpse of what you hope to see.
(One more rug to go on this warp! Soon you will see these rag rugs in my Etsy Shop!)
At the risk of telling you something you already know, I am going to show two ways I use rubber bands in my weaving studio. Yes, rubber bands. Simple, to the point of being simplistic. But I sheepishly admit, I didn’t know to do these things until I saw someone else do them; and then I expanded (pun intended) their practices to suit the way I like to work.
1. While it is common to put a rubber band on one treadle to act as a marker for your feet, I find it helpful to put rubber bands on two treadles for even greater efficiency. I put one rubber band on the first pattern treadle, and a second rubber band on the third pattern treadle. My feet never have to guess where to step. (With the rosepathtie-up for the rag rugs on the Glimakra Ideal loom, there are two plain weave treadles on the right, and then four pattern treadles. The rya weaving on the Glimakra Standard loom has one treadle on the right that lifts the warpends for the rya knots, and four pattern treadles.)
2. Rubber band the thread label around the tube of thread. This is the simplest way to keep track of fiber information–fiber content, weight, color number, brand. I also cut a short length of the thread and stick it to the sticky side of the label. This helps me get the labels back on the correct tubes, especially when using several threads of different colors.
May you find simple solutions to do what you do better.
Many variables are possible on this rosepaththreading, but I find creative freedom by imposing certain limitations for the design of the rag rugs. The overall design concept gives me direction for arranging colors and setting a treadling pattern for each rug.
How many times have I gone off track, only to realize that I didn’t really get on a track in the first place? When I start without clear intentions, I set myself up for inconsistent results (HERE is one example). This is true for weaving rugs and for dealing with people. If I determine to live by a standard of kindness, those clear intentions will shape how I speak and act.
We can protect relationships with kindness, which is at the heart of love. The greatest enemies to love are biting words, a sharp wit at someone else’s expense, and shading of the truth. Who wants to be on the receiving end of that? Self-imposed limitations on our words open up creative expressions of kindness. The beauty that is formed by these sincere expressions is a beauty that stands out, being different from the norm; and it’s a beauty that endures.
May you experience someone else’s kindness today.
Come check out my new Etsy! Just click on the Etsy Shop page above. Let me know what you think.