Handweaver and 'cellist, married to Prince Charming, mother of three superheros and three superhero-in-loves, and Lola to nine little princes and princesses. Life is a handwoven treasure, filled with hidden melodies.
It’s an ordinarydouble-binding rag rag in many ways. Standard draft, normal 12/6 cotton rug warp, weaving with two shuttles. Honestly, though, I’m thinking of it as art for the floor. With that in mind, I have a yellow stripe going across the rug. It’s a line of contrast to draw the eye. As the brief glimpse of yellow weaves under the intermittent blocks of red I am satisfied. My plans on paper have revealed themselves on the loom. Something unexpected draws the eye. And I get excited all over again!
Expect the unexpected.
May you find satisfying ways to express creativity.
Pictorial tapestry on the floor loom requires a good working knowledge of basic tapestry techniques. Doing small tapestries on a tapestry frame loom, line by line, is one thing I do to hone these basic skills. I have finally reached the happy realizaton that I am no longer frustrated by meet and separate.
Meet and separate is a simple concept. It’s not hard to understand. Two butterflies come toward each other (meet) in one shed, and they move away from each other (separate) in the next shed. If you are working with only two butterflies — piece of cake! But when you need to add one more butterfly in a row you can find yourself in a pickle!
Resources that help me understand basic tapestry techniques, including meet and separate:
The Art of Tapestry Weaving, by Rebecca Mezoff
Tapestry Design Basics and Beyond, by Tommye McClure Scanlin
Tapestry Weaving, by Kirsten Glasbrook.
Workshops by Joanne Hall for weaving tapestry on a frame loom.
Meet and Separate strategies:
Add two butterflies at a time. Remove two butterflies at a time. (Easier said than done.)
Add one butterfly near where you are ending another butterfly.
Add a “two-headed” butterfly, with the two heads going in opposite directions.
If you must add or remove a single butterfly, expect to reset one or more other butterflies. (To reset a butterfly, cut it off and tuck in the tail, and then reverse its direction.)
Think ahead. You may find that the next row will need one more (or one less) butterfly, and the problem will resolve itself.
Every row is a game of strategy. Where is the best place to add in a new color butterfly? How can I add or remove a butterfly and cause the least disruption? It’s an intriguing puzzle. The frustrating part has become the fascinating part.
Repeat good practices to form good habits. Since weaving is filled with repetition I try to be attentive to the effects of my techniques. With every touch of my hand – picking up a shuttle, straightening a line of weft, tightening the ratchet just so after advancing the warp – I have the end in mind. Quality is the goal. Consistency is the key. And, consistency emerges from good habits.
With every touch of our Grand Weaver’s hand, he has the end in mind. Little children were brought to Jesus for him to lay his hands on them and pray. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And he placed his hands on them… Consistency is the key. Jesus welcomes all who come to him with childlike faith. His consistency emerges out of his goodness.
Nothing beats a new delivery of weaving supplies! Paper plans become active when tubes of thread arrive. First, the Julia is getting dressed, using plans I have written out for placemats. For the Ideal, I’m thinking of a new pictorial tapestry, with a rosepathdraft I’ve prepared for that. The imagined tapestry will move forward after I finish the double-binding rag rugs that are on that loom now. Another draft I’m working on is for the next drawloom project. I’m doing the math for napkins in a six-shaftsatin variation with three-shaft twill. There’s a lot of thinking going on around here.
Ideas come and go. But if I can put ideas on paper there’s a good chance they will become something. Everything begins with plans on paper.
Ski shuttles are a rag-rug weaver’s best friends. A few simple tips for using a ski shuttle make rag-rug weaving even that much more fun.
In the video below I tell you why I prefer Glimåkra ski shuttles, and how I wind the weft fabric on my shuttle. And I share two quick tips to make weaving with a ski shuttle a bit more manageable. If you are an experienced rag-rug weaver you probably already know these things. Watch to the end to see a short demo, plus a little blooper. Enjoy!