I got off to a bad start with this towel. I ripped out the border and started over at least three times. Each time I fixed an error I made a new mistake. And if that wasn’t enough, all the undoing weakened two warpends, causing them to break. Ugh. Time to walk away and come back later.
I believe in persistence, but we need to recognize when to give up and stop trying so hard. Could my own insistence on progress get in the way of progress? Yes. Coming back rested, with unclenched hands, I found myself able to complete the task with ease. Where did all the difficulty go?
When I insist on my own way to overcome hardships in life, I don’t get very far. My frustrations blind me to my own errors. Relief comes when I acknowledge the limits of my efforts and put my trust in someone greater. The Lord multiplies what we put in his hands. Jesus once fed a crowd with the bread and fish from one person’s lunch basket. He starts with what we give him; and he increases it. As a result, when we come back to face the hardship, much to our surprise, we find our hands able.
I dream of doing four-shafttapestry with rosepaththreading on my floor loom. I’m not there yet. It is an ambitious goal. I am inching my way toward that goal by facing little problems on my tiny frame loom and working out solutions as I go. Learning to follow a cartoon is part of the process.
I derived the cartoon for this tapestry from a picture in a children’s book. The cartoon, held in place behind the warp threads, is my constant guide. As I make ongoing judgments about colors and other details, the cartoon keeps me on course and shows me the desired outcome.
Life is full of choices. If I purposely align myself with integrity, like a tapestry weaver following a cartoon, I have a guideline for decisions. But if I carelessly keep things in my path that tempt me, it’s like covering up parts of the cartoon with random post-it notes. The picture gets obscured. Our surroundings can set the stage for making good choices. And one good choice leads to another good choice. That’s the beauty of practicing with small things. When the time comes for four-shaft tapestry, I’ll be ready.
A vote of confidence from someone you look up to can make a world of difference. When I saw Joanne Hall’s exquisite towel made with thick and thin threads, I asked her, “Do you think I can weave something like that?” “Of course you can;” she replied without hesitation, “it’s plain weave.” Keep in mind that I was a complete novice on the floor loom; and I barely knew how to handle oneshuttle, much less two! I plunged into the ambitious project and came out with a winner! The blue and cream towel hangs on the oven door in my kitchen as a daily reminder of the powerful impact of an encouraging word. Thank you, Joanne!
Thick and thin is just as fascinating this time around. It is delightful to revisit a rewarding experience. Who knew that plain weave could be this much fun?
May you give a vote of confidence to someone who needs it.
Who knew you could do so much with black and white? The pattern for this third black and white towel differs from the first two. Each new towel is an opportunity to create a new pattern.
For the first four towels I am putting myself to the test, using only black and white weft. The color restriction turns out to be a designer’s advantage. It forces me to consider possibilities that I might have overlooked if I had allowed myself to include other colors. I get excited when I see ideas turn into cloth on the loom. It is still as delightful as it was the very first time I threw a shuttle. If you are a weaver, you know what I mean.
Here is an amazing thought: You can bring delight to God. It brings delight to the Lord when we trust in him completely. He knows the right plans, and knows when to stick with black and white, and when to throw in a splash of color. Think of his delight when we go along with his ideas, and the resulting woven cloth of our lives brings a smile to his face.
What do you do when you are away from your looms for a week? Portable weaving, of course. I thought about bringing my band loom, but fitting the band loom in the car turned out to be more of a hassle than it is worth. So the band loom stayed home.
I have my inkle loom with me instead, as well as my small tapestry frame. Steve is taking a woodcarving class from Dylan Goodson this week at the Texas Woodcarvers Guild Seminar; and while he is in class I am keeping my hands busy with portable weaving.