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

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

Weaving Ideas – Year in Review Video

Everything starts with an idea. And some of those ideas become tangible expressions of dreams come true. Who knew that a simple idea in 2012 would lead to a seven-year exploration of weaving through The Big Book of Weaving? (See Weaving through The Big Book.) Who knew that weaving on a drawloom in 2016 at Homestead Fiber Crafts would plant the idea of weaving on a drawloom of my own? (see Quiet Friday: Day at the Drawloom.) And who knew that an idea in 2013 to write about my weaving journey, calling it Warped for Good, would bring friends like you to come and enjoy the journey with me? For these things and so much more, I am truly grateful.

Siblings Tapestry is 3 cm away from completion!
Siblings Tapestry is three centimeters away from completion.
Drawloom rag rug - single-unit.
Single-unit drawloom rag rug is ten centimeters into testing everything–draw cords, sheds, shuttles. After a few more adjustments the actual rag rug weaving will commence.

Your ideas are priceless. That’s because you are priceless. You were made in God’s image, with the ability to imagine wonderful intricacies through creative thinking. In fact, you began as God’s idea. As we walk with him, we become the tangible expression of his dream come true.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit here with me to reminisce over the past weaving year.

May this year bring your best ideas ever.

For you,
Karen

Weaving Basics

I love making bands! I started weaving bands in the 1980’s on my inkle loom; and more recently, I have been weaving bands on my Glimåkra two-treadle band loom, like these bands. Now, I am also learning to weave bands with a small rigid heddle. (The pattern for this Sámi band is from this book – not an affiliate link.)  There are rudiments of weaving that form a basis for understanding and developing skills. In the arena of faith, convictions are the rudiments that form a basis for learning and growing.

Rigid Heddle Band Weaving
Doubled 8/2 purple cotton thread forms the pattern, and single strands of 8/2 unbleached cotton are used for the background. Tools used are a rigid heddle, a shaped band knife, and a band lock.

  • Keep warp ends in order
  • Maintain even warp tension
  • Prepare your shuttle with carefully-wound weft
  • Pay attention to selvedges
  • Stay consistent with weft density
  • Follow a written draft, or a pattern passed down, or one committed to memory

Understanding these and other basics will give you a good foundation for any type of weaving, large or small. If I keep these essentials in mind as I practice, I have every hope that I will end up with something worthwhile.

Convictions of the heart form the basis for learning how to live in a meaningful way. When these convictions arise out of faith in our master weaver, they are accompanied with unfailing, unwavering, and unending hope. And hope assures that the journey is worthwhile.

May hope be your lifelong companion.

Reviewing the basics,
Karen