I normally pin a measuring ribbon to the cloth being woven, moving the pins as I advance the warp. This rug is different. I am using a graph paper sketch; and beside each block on the sketch I have written the number of inches to weave. The tape measure that hangs at the end of my weaving bench makes it easy to follow the plan, measuring frequently as I go. This requires mindfulness as I weave, paying attention to the pattern.
I have the end in mind, and this may turn out to be my favorite rag rug ever! (Have I said that before?) It is true that my favorite thing to weave is usually that which is currently on the loom…
The Maker of heaven and earth is mindful of you. Cherishes you as his favorite. I know that seems incredible; but as a weaver, I understand it. When you create, you care about the process and the results. As the ones created, we find ourselves in his story. The living Creator God invites us to himself. So, we come to his studio to meet the Mastermind behind the marvelous creations.
It is time for wet finishing. As curious as I am to see how the linen fabric will emerge through the process, I still hesitate when it is time to put the fabric in the water. Fresh off the loom, the fabric is coarse and stiff, but it looks good! I know that the water, mild soap, and gentle washing machine agitation will absolutely change the character of the cloth. Wet finishing should change the cloth for the better… Finally, I look at my notes again from the wet finished sample piece, and gain the courage to put the linen fabric in the water…
Don’t hesitate to pray. Seek God when things are calm. Today is the best time to pray, when things are going well. Oh yes, there may be changes as a result of your prayers, but the changes are all good.
I have another rag rug warp on my Baby loom (Glimåkra 100cm Ideal), playing with the magic of double binding again, this time with four shafts and four treadles. Ten yards / nine meters of warp. I planned an additional twelve inches / 30.5cm between rugs for cutting off and tying back on, so I can cut each rug off as it is finished. Here is the first rug.
Small tapestry weaving has been added back to my evening routine. Tea and tapestry. This quieting-down practice closes my day. I missed that. I didn’t decide to stop my tapestry ritual; I just drifted away as life got complicated, a little at a time, until I wasn’t doing any tapestry at all.
I am weaving little mountains here–one little mountain each day. I let my imagination create scenes that are hidden from view. There are lush valleys between the peaks, and brush-covered hills too short to be seen. In the imaginary mountains, there are innumerable hiding places. I see myself slipping out of sight to sit on a quiet grassy slope next to a sparkling stream.
When life gets complicated and overwhelming, there is one thing we need. A safe place to hide. The Lord provides a hiding shelter in his presence to those who come to him. This is the place of safety. From our hiding place, we can see across the distance, make plans for the future, and rest up to continue our journey with strength–strength to cross one mountain at a time.
Do you remember this sturdy linen cloth, that I wove months ago, with the wonderful wool and linen rya? Yesterday I made it into a classy pillow. First, I fashioned the pillow cover, with invisible zipper, and all. Hollow by itself, the pillow cover needs an insert to be usable. So I made a muslin insert to fit, filled lightly. Now I have a cloud-soft rya pillow. (Read about weaving this fabric in Rya, Rya, How Does Your Garden Grow? and Now What Are You Counting?)
This new rya masterpiece makes a perfect lumbar pillow for the antique rocking chair in my living room. This was my great-grandmother’s chair. One thing I know about my great-grandmother is that she was a praying woman. I love to imagine that she rocked her babies in this chair, praying for them and for her future grand- and great-grand-children. She may have prayed for my life in advance.
I want to be more than what others see on the outside. I need the Lord on the inside. I yearn for God to hear me and for me to hear Him. Without that connection, life is hollow. Prayer is a two-way conversation. That ongoing conversation keeps me from being empty. When I am filled, I am at my best. Could that be an answer to my great-grandmother’s prayers?