Designing at the Loom

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.

Monksbelt with Faro wool pattern weft.
Two tabby picks of blue 16/2 cotton are between each Fårö wool pattern pick. Purple wool weft is carried up the selvedge a short distance under the blue wool weft .

The challenging part is the weft rep 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.

Saturated colors bring high contrast to the monksbelt pattern.
The intensity of saturated colors provide high contrast. Lavendar wool appears gray when deep purple and dark blue are introduced.

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.

May your home be your family’s favorite place.


2 thoughts on “Designing at the Loom

  1. Your selvedges look wonderful! I have a temple and I will have to try using it on my next project. What is your plan for the yardage? It’s going to be luscious.

    1. Hi Debbie, Thank you! Selvedges always have a weaver’s attention, don’t they? It’s the paradox of trying to improve selvedges, while resisting fiddling with them.

      Using a temple is standard weaving procedure for me. I feel lost without one.

      This time, I have no immediate plan for the fabric. I wanted the freedom to weave and let the design take me where it will. After it comes off the loom I will decide what it’s good for. Or, I’ll put it away, and find it later when I need some fabric, and this happens to be perfect! That sounds like fun to me.


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