Elegant Linen at the Top

Linen puts elegance in the picture. That’s why I am using 16/2 linen to make hanging loops for my three Christmas Snowflake banners. Before I hang the festive banners, though, I am embracing Thanksgiving. More than a food-filled holiday, Givingthanks is a treasure-filled way of living.

Short warping sticks on the warp beam of the Glimåkra Band Loom help the linen warp threads wind on with even tension. Blue basket underneath catches the warping sticks as they fall when I advance the warp.
Band made with 16/2 linen, warp and weft, is a sturdy band. The saturated blue shows off the glimmering luster of linen.
I like to weave as far as I possibly can, sometimes squeezing the last few weft picks through an increasingly smaller shed. Until it is nearly impossible to do one more pick.
Weaving to the end.
Cutting off reveals a lustrous woven band, perfect for the Christmas Snowflake Banners.

Our heavenly Father’s faithfulness is displayed like a banner in our lives when we attach the elegance of a thankful heart to everything we encounter. This season of gratitude extends for a lifetime.

Christmas Snowflake Banners, woven on the drawloom. Each banner will have three or more loops at the top edge, through which a rod will be inserted for suspending the festive banners for display.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give him thanks. Praise his name. For the LORD is good. His loyal love endures, and he is faithful through all generations.

May you overflow with thanks.

Thankful for you,
Karen

Process Review: Snowflake Banners

I reached the end of the drawloom warp on Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning, before Steve and I finished loading up the Casita travel trailer, I cut the warp off the loom. I grabbed a handful of thrums, chained them so they wouldn’t tangle, and threw the bundle into a small bag along with my cowgirl band heddle. And off we went for a short little getaway!

Relaxing under shade trees at the campground, I weave what I need for the four towels’ hanging tabs.

Steve is doing some wood carving. I tied my band warp to his chair. I doubled the 16/2 cotton warp threads in the cowgirl band heddle to make the band wide enough for towel hanging tabs.

Back home, after the towels are wet finished and hemmed, I have an “a-ha!” moment: Only one of these cloths shall be used as a towel. The other three cloths will serve as Christmas Snowflake banners.

There is some irony in the fact that I wove hanging tabs for these three cloths that have since been given an alternate purpose as celebratory Christmas banners.

Christmas Snowflake banners. Revisit the process with me, start to finish:

To see the towels from the first half of this warp, click here: Process Review: House and Home Towels. To see more about the cowgirl band heddle, click here: Cowgirl Band Weaving.

May you have “a-ha!” moments that change how you see things.

Love,
Karen

Process Review: Small Zippered Bags

On the Road Again was a special challenge issued to members of the San Antonio Handweavers Guild last fall: Pair up (by random selection) with another guild member. Learn where that individual would like to travel and make a handwoven bag that suits her or his needs. I learned that my On-the-Road-Again partner, Donna, is a world traveler and uses small makeup bags to organize her carry-ons. Likewise, I informed Donna that I like small bags that I can use to hold my travel weaving when Steve and I go camping in our Casita travel trailer. Our guild met last week and we got to unveil our special gifts to each other. I had the smart idea to present the bags nested inside each other. Imagine my surprise when I found that Donna had the same smart idea. What fun!

My contribution for Donna is three small zippered bags, and a linen washcloth to take with her on her travels.

Donna’s thoughtful exchange couldn’t be more perfect – three small zippered bags, and a drawstring bag to hold them all together. I have my band-weaving supplies in the bags, ready for my camping trip with Steve in a few days!

Give away your best as an expression of love.

May you be blessed to give and to receive.

Love,
Karen

Cowgirl Band Weaving

Remember the rigid heddles for band weaving that Steve made for me? (See Process Review: Heddles and Bands) Soft maple, Spanish cedar, and walnut. Steve says they are missing the “cuteness factor.” So, what does he do? He makes a cowgirl heddle out of cherry that is cute as can be!

Miss Cherry Cutie has a warp of 8/2 cotton and 22/2 cottolin, mixed in an asymmetrical design. Steve converted a little sett tool into a shuttle by bevelling the long edge and carving the sides into curves to hold the wrapped thread.

Well, Miss Cherry Cutie wants to flip over while weaving. A little quilter’s clip on the bottom adds just enough weight. Problem solved. Now Steve wants to make one that has more weight on the bottom half.

Quilter’s clip at the bottom gives Miss Cherry Cutie the balance she needs to stay upright while weaving.
Quilter’s clip serves a dual purpose. Besides adding weight for balance while weaving, the clip holds everything together nicely. I can drop this small bundle in a bag, and add a belt and a band lock, and off we go!

Here comes Miss Cutey II in Spanish cedar, with a longer skirt. She doesn’t tip all the way, but she does lean this way and that. The clip helps her, too. Conclusion? The shorter version, with the clip, is more compact and is our favorite design.

Miss Cutie II has a petticoat that hangs below her skirt. This extra length makes her a bit more stable than Miss Cherry Cutie. I cut Miss Cherry Cutie’s warp in half to give Miss Cutie II a warp. These are the same threads, but arranged in a more symmetrical order. She has her own sett tool shuttle, too.
Miss Cutie II also benefits from the added weight of a quilter’s clip.

Look who shows up! Miss Cutie III in Spanish cedar. It’s time for a band weaving party, y’all!

Miss Cutie III shows up unexpected. She waits to be threaded with a few ends from the thrums of the Priceless Monksbelt Runner. (See Process Review: Priceless Monksbelt and Video.)
Facedown for threading, Miss Cutie III receives the 16/2 cotton threads for her warp. This warp has five doubled pattern threads.
Threaded and ready for a 5-thread pick-up pattern.
Narrow band, with a subtle zigzag pattern.
Back of band has soft floats in triangular shapes.

Persistence comes from having an end in mind. Prayer is like that. We know our heavenly Father hears us when we pray. We know his outcome is good. Faith compels us to persist in prayer. As we do, the Lord guides our heart to align with his will. All the while, he works behind the scenes to bring his answer, which is better than anything.

May you persist as needed.

In his time,
Karen

Process Review: Heddles and Bands

Band weaving is a simple activity that helps you notice the little things. You see how each thread falls into place. How the thread turns the selvedge corner just so. How the pattern threads stand proud in floats or hide in subtle patterns. I enjoy practicing my skills as a band weaver. And more so, now that Steve has turned his attention to making band heddles for me.

Workshop at Contemporary Handweavers of Texas Conference 2019 got me started with weaving patterned bands on a rigid heddle.
First heddle by Steve is made from Soft Maple. Band has 21 ends (with 5 pattern threads, doubled). 8/2 cotton and 22/2 cottolin.
Heddle made from Spanish Cedar. Wood-burned top represents the Texas Hill Country hills that we enjoy. Band has 45 ends (with 5 pattern threads, doubled), using the heddle’s full width. 8/2 cotton and 22/2 cottolin.
Walnut band heddle in the making.
Torgenrud, H. (2015). Norwegian pick-up bandweaving. Schiffer Publishing; Foulkes, S. (2018). Weaving Patterned Bands. How to Create and Design with 5, 7, and 9 Pattern Threads. Schiffer Publishing; Neumüller, K. (2021). Simple Weave. (Language: Swedish). Natur & Kultur, Stockholm.

Pictures in the following slideshow video tell more of the story.

Edited: Steve has compiled photo documentation of how he made my Spanish Cedar and Walnut heddles. Click HERE to send me an email requesting a PDF copy of Making a Band Heddle.

May you take time to notice the little things.

Love,
Karen