Ability Is Not Enough

I love a challenging project! It is marvelous to have something on the loom that takes effort, concentration, and problem-solving skills (as long as there aren’t too many problems to solve). This inlay rag rug project includes all of the above, and it’s on the big loom–my favorite. This is handweaving at its best!

Rya rag rug on the loom. Karen Isenhower
Rya knots slow the weaving process. Fabric strips are cut to a specific length and the cut pieces are hand-tied around pairs of warp ends.

I am constantly evaluating the pattern, and making needed adjustments with color in the background and with the rya, and spacing the rya knots. Is this working? Or not? Take out a few rows, try putting something different in, step back for a better overall view. Moving and thinking, and beating it in hard, like it should be for a rug. The momentum of the hanging beater makes the hard work easy. And fun.

Rug rug with rya knots on the loom.
Weft is firmly beaten in. The momentum of the hanging beater provides the strength I need to be able to tightly pack in the weft.

Ability by itself is not enough. Wisdom works with ability to produce craftsmanship of highest quality. Our Creator gives us insight that enhances our natural talents and learned skills. When wisdom partners with ability, creativity flourishes. And what a joy it is to be in the middle of that process.

May you excel in joyful creativity.

Very happy weaving,

7 thoughts on “Ability Is Not Enough

  1. Karen,
    Your rug is beautiful! I’m looking forward to seeing it when it is finished. Thank you for sharing your final thoughts in the last paragraph. What a blessing to have the awareness of where our true creativity comes from – AND our wisdom! 🙂 Blessings, Kris

    1. Good Morning, Kris,
      Having “the awareness of where our true creativity comes from” is a major factor in finding enjoyment in this weaving journey. Thanks for your input!


    1. Sharon, I am so pleased to have you share your thoughts! Our natural talents are gifts for sharing with others, right? If we keep them to ourselves, we really don’t have much chance to grow and develop.


  2. Karen: some of us don’t have that wonderful Swedish machine your doing your very creative rug on. sooooo for those of us with jack looms here is a hint to getting enough “umpha” to pack that weft in as tight as Karen’s. Get a 1″ square metal bar as long as your beater bar, drill holes in it to match the tightening screws that hold the reed in place, get new screws long enough to go through the beater bar and the metal bar. Now you can add weight on the back side of the beater bar and “umpha” to pack that weft nice and tight.
    I guess my true talent is sharing all the tricks I’ve learned over these 45 years of weaving. I don’t love the weaving, BUT I love the correcting and designing , Helping and sharing. LP&J linda

    1. Thanks for the hint on how to pack a tighter rug. I have a counterrible
      balance and it’s always a challenge. Definitely will have to add weight to my beater! linda 2 🙂

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