All the rugs in the set are woven, and there is a little bit of warp left on the loom. Not enough for another rug. Now what? This is where the fun begins! I have some ideas to play out on the loom. End-of-Warp experiments yield fantastic results.
I arrange remaining weft fabric strips into piles of blue, green, red, and yellow/white. Double binding uses a sequence of dark and light wefts. So, I work through the color piles in order, starting with the blues for one pick, and then, going in reverse order, the yellows/whites for the next pick. The result is vertical columns of adjacent blocks that have the color order going in opposite directions, with the reds converging in the middle.
Cushion cover: Off the loom, I fold this attractive rag weave rectangle in half, short sides together, and machine-stitch the two long sides closed. The remaining open end has handwoven bands, from my ever-ready band stash, for tie closures. Voila! With a cushion inserted, I have a new seat cushion for driving the truck. It’s perfect!
First thing every morning I pour myself a really good cup of coffee. And before I pour that cup, I select a mug rug to put under my coffee mug. A handmade mug rug makes a good cup of coffee that much better. I like having a mug rug under my cup as I walk, to catch any drips. And then, the mug rug protects the table surface, as well. So, in the early morning, with hot coffee and mug rug in hand, I go sit in my favorite chair to read, think, and pray. And I sip my coffee, thankful for a new day.
I have made, acquired, and given away too many mug rugs to count. Here are a few favorites that I keep within daily reach.
May your handiwork show up as embellishments for daily living.
Remember potholder looms? I made many such potholders when I was young. It is a natural entry point for a budding weaver. My eight-year-old grandson has mastered potholders. He is ready for a bigger challenge. I ask, “Would you like to try weaving on a floor loom?” Wide-eyed, he says, “Yes!”
Sit here. Practice moving your feet on the treadles: Right foot 1-2-3-4; 1-2-3-4; left foot 5-6-7-8; 5-6-7-8. (Can you do it without looking at your feet?) Hold the shuttle in your right hand, and send it across the top of the warp over to your left hand. Practice gliding the shuttle back and forth on top of the warp several times to get the hang of it. Okay, I think you’re ready! Let’s do it!
Within a few minutes he is weaving unassisted. Ahh, the joy of seeing someone take pleasure in making cloth—especially, when that someone is your grandchild!
And now, the potholder loom grabs the attention of another grandchild. “Let me do it myself,” she says, like a typical five-year-old. The cycle repeats itself, and Lola (that’s me) smiles.
I like having a project on one of my looms that is within reach of any friend who drops by. This new warp on the Julia fits the bill. Since I am using up several nearly empty tubes of linen, I am giving this warp an irregular color sequence. That should be interesting in this very structured 8-shaft broken twill.
I am making dish cloths here. Linen dish cloths. Why not wash dishes with something interesting? I am eager to see what develops as I add weft colors. Anyone else who sits at this loom can choose their own mix of colors. I hope we get some wild combinations that bring a smile to the one whose hands are washing dishes.
God’s wisdom is a far reach for our human understanding. The complexity of his creation shows us how much we still don’t understand. How could we ever reach that far? Our best efforts are like irregularities in a well-structured cosmos. Good news! God put himself within our reach. He did it at his own expense—the cross of Christ. When we trust in Christ our wild threads are expertly woven into cloth that he can use. Some of our wild combinations probably make him smile.
Welcome back into my studio. I have been weaving, finishing, winding warps, and dressing looms. And spending time with friends. What better way to enjoy friends than to go on a floor-loom-weaving expedition together? Weaving Extravaganza at Homestead Fiber Crafts in Waco, Texas is the getaway. The looms are dressed and ready for us when we arrive. Abilities and experience are irrelevant. Anyone can do this!
From the projects available, I choose to weave a textured shawl. Keleen, a rigid heddle weaver (sitting at a floor loom this time), chooses to make fabric for an apron with a monksbelt border. Jan, who has never touched a loom until now, weaves natural-colored-cotton dish towels. Four hours pass in a flash, with weaving and camaraderie. We each complete our handwoven cloth. After returning home our fabrics are washed and finished, ready for use. My shimmering shawl is just right for a cool evening. Keleen’s fabric is soon to become an heirloom apron. And Jan’s first handwoven towels are drying dishes. Success!
Abilities and experience come in all shapes and sizes. Anyone who wants to learn, can. Your heart goes in the direction you turn it. The Lord sees your heart. He’s not looking for ability or experience. He reaches the heart that is turned toward him. That’s where his grace comes to life.