My grandmother made a sweet little pinafore that my sisters and I wore when we were babies–each in our own time. Several years ago I came across that simple little “apron,” and made a pattern from it. My first granddaughter received the little pinafore from me almost six years ago, made from fabric I wove on my rigid heddle loom. Now, this little pink and green pinafore is being handed down to my expectant daughter, for her little baby girl, due this summer. And her baby will have the prettiest handwoven burping towel (or light little blanket) any baby has ever had. Nothing is too good for a grandbaby, right?
I want to give something more important than things to my grandchildren. I want to give them the stories of the wonders God has performed in my lifetime. The stories that connect one generation to another. The stories that are woven from ancient stories. Pass down the ancient stories. Weave the threads that the child can wear for life.
May your children’s children remember your stories.
For the most part, I am designing this monksbelt at the loom. Even so, I have guidelines regarding color order, sequence of tabby and pattern colors, and treadling order. Each time I remove the temple, I make mental notes for the upcoming segment. When I advance the warp, I step back to get a better idea of where I’ve been, and where I want to go.
The challenging part is the weftrep tabby. I make a high arch with the tabby weft, and change sheds before beating the weft in. Inconsistency shows up as streaks, especially with darker weft, like the blue tabby I’m on now. When it seems like too much effort to get it right, I have to remember that I am not just making yardage; I am developing skills and habits for successful weaving.
It takes planning and caring to build a home. It takes wisdom. Homes are built with wisdom. It’s like designing at the loom. We can’t see into the future, but we can set guidelines that help us make a good design. There is always a challenging part, in every stage. All the more reason for consistency in our convictions. Home is not just a place. Home is where we learn to love.
My two-treadle Glimåkra band loom is called into action. I don’t have to add hanging tabs for the towels that I am weaving on the Ideal loom. But I want to. A little band weaving here and there, and I will have this special detail ready for the towels when they come off the loom. (Watch me weave on the band loom in the video below.)
Put the end loop of the warp on the warp beamtie-on bar. Insert lease sticks in the cross. Tie the sticks together; or tape them together with masking tape.
Remove tie around lease cross. Hold the warp taut with the left hand while winding on with the right hand. Insert warping slats around the beam the first time around, and then every other time around after that.
Wind on until the beginning of the warp is a few inches in front of the heddles.
Tie or tape the lease sticks to the back beam. Cut the loops at the front end of the warp.
Thread the heddles, alternating between the heddles on the right and on the left.
Hold the warp taut and depress each treadle to check for any crossed threads.
Tie the warp onto the front tie-on bar.
Tighten the tension; wind your shuttle; and weave to your heart’s content! (A short cardboard quill can be used as a shuttle.)
May you go the extra mile to add special little details.
I almost kept going. But something was off. Maybe the tabby hadn’t been beaten in as tight between the lavender pattern picks. In that case, a few more rows would obscure the slight difference. I did not want to undo; and wishful thinking tempted me to avoid taking a closer look. Sensibility won, though. I did stop to examine the cloth.
Even under close inspection, my eyes could not identify the error. I struggled to see the fine details. Magnifying glass to the rescue! Magnification revealed two extra tabby picks. Aha! Two fine threads out of place are enough to throw off the pattern. If not corrected, this errant line across the finished cloth would draw the attention of every eye. Knowing precisely where the error is gives me courage to face the necessary operation. Snip, snip, snip. Undo. Fresh start.
An honest report tells it like it is. When we are trusting the Lord, we have courage to stop and examine errors, bypassing wishful thinking. Faith is like a magnifying glass that enables us to see clearly. Courage comes alive through the eyes of faith. The difficult and painful process of undoing errors and making corrections is worth it when you consider the high value of the finished fabric.
May you catch your errors while they can be undone.
Thick and thin in color. The appeal for me is that something so simple can look so complex. How can plain weavedo this? By having thick and thin threads that alternate in a certain way. Add color, and the options multiply!
For the thin thread, I use 30/2 cotton. This very thin thread has a big impact on the fabric design. Strategically placed in the warp, it helps define the two blocks. Repeating the thin thread in a weft sequence is what produces a block change while weaving. The thin threads are integral to the design, yet they will barely be noticed after the fabric is wet-finished.
It is fascinating how much impact little things have. Character is revealed in the verylittle things. It’s the special touch you add, the extra time you give, the kind thoughts you think. It’s how you are at home, doing ordinary things for your family. It’s who you are, what you are thinking, and what you are doing. …when no one is noticing. These are the little things that tell who we are at the core. Faithful in little; faithful in much.