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

Snow in Springtime at the Drawloom

This Myrehed combination drawloom continually fascinates me. It’s all about raising and lowering threads in a purposeful way. Pulling pattern-shaft draw handles for the borders is the easy part. The single units in the body of the towel, however, capture my focused attention. Consistent precision—that’s the secret to completion.

Single units of threads are raised by placing draw cords on the hook bar. The black cords and white cords are arranged in groups of ten. I mentally split each group of ten so I am focusing on five single units at a time.w
Side borders use fifteen pattern shafts. Each pattern-shaft draw handle raises units of threads across the warp. That enables me to pull handles for the pattern that shows up on both the right and left borders.

This second towel in the Snowfake series continues the theme of softly falling snow. Meanwhile, Texas bluebonnets, wine cups, varied bright yellow daisy-type flowers, and mealy blue sage are springing up through hard ground all over our backyard. And Thursday morning I spotted the first gaillardia bloom—previewing the next wave of color.

Texas bluebonnets were the first flowers to burst into bloom.
Myrehed Combination drawloom enables me to combine pattern shafts (8 draw handles are pulled here) and single units (several draw cords are pulled in this picture) in a single project. I truly enjoy all the variables!

I am acutely aware that you may be experiencing a lingering cold season, and may even yet have snow on the ground. I’m not just referring to weather and flowers. Real-life struggles. Let me assure you that spring is coming. Have faith in the one who raised Jesus from the dead. Your faith captures the Lord’s attention. He brings new life out of hard ground. And the white of falling snowflakes remains a pleasant reminder of his grace. For all who call on the name of Jesus, the grace of his forgiveness falls over us to make us clean, as white as softly falling snow.

May you see signs of new life.

Happy spring weaving,
Karen

Monksbelt Surprise Ending

Monksbelt has been on the Glimåkra Standard for months. I expect the table runner to be fabulous when it finally comes off the loom, so I’m not complaining. The time spent weaving only adds to its worth. The runner is finished, so why not cut it off now and count the remaining warp as excess thrums? That shows how eager I am to put this monksbelt runner to use!

Long monksbelt runner is woven. End of warp has room for two plain weave towels with a monksbelt accent.
16/2 cotton warp. Coral 16/1 linen hem. Unbleached 16/2 linen ground weft. Coral 16/1 linen, doubled, outline pattern weft. Camel 6/1 tow linen, doubled, pattern weft.

The truth is, there is enough warp left for one, or maybe two, tea towels. After experimenting with several weft ideas, I am excited about weaving to the very end of the warp! Monksbelt gives us a surprise ending. A plain weave towel with a monksbelt border—this is a happy ending to a good long story.

May you keep going until the very end.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Drawloom – Snow Falling

Snow in Texas Hill Country is minimal. To make up for it, I am putting together a virtual snowstorm—four Christmas Snowflake towels on the drawloom. Each towel has three large snowflakes at the bottom and top borders. The body of the towel has delicate snowflake crystals drifting to the ground.

Nordic star pattern used for Christmas Snowflake towels. Towel begins with a broad brush of red along the lower border.

Starting with Selbu Mittens: Discover the Rich history of a Norwegian Knitting Tradition, by Anne Bårdsgård, I transpose Nordic star patterns into drawloom graphed designs. Affinity Designer (graphic design software) takes the place of graph paper for me. Being vector graphic design, it enables me to make changes without having to start over. I can easily move, separate, copy, and/or transform elements as I work through a design. I print out exactly what I need, scaled up in size without losing clarity, in a format that enhances my ability to make the right moves at the combination drawloom.

Single unit draw cords, held in place on the hook bar, form the snow crystals in the body of the towel. The three large snowflakes at the bottom border are made using pattern shafts. The simple side borders also use pattern shafts.
In Affinity Designer I am able to separate, copy, and move elements of the large snowflake design. These individual elements become the scattered snowflakes and little snow crystals that are “drifting down” the body of the towel.
Snowfall in Texas Hill Country.

We have a faithful designer. Our Grand Weaver creates his image in us. He moves, separates, copies, and transforms elements in our lives until his image clearly shows. It takes a lifetime. The Lord is faithful. Since he has brought us this far, let us also be found faithful to him, conforming to his image.

May you see how far you’ve come.

Many blessings,
Karen

Happy New Warp – Year in Review Video

The 2021 cloth is cut from the loom. Let’s unroll the year to see how it looks. I see cherished moments. Treasured memories. New friendships. Family relationships enjoyed. Mistakes made. A few heartbreaks. Sorrow and rejoicing are intertwined at times. Besides the finished fabric, there are a few odd remnants worth keeping in my heart. And, like most thrums, there are some things I am not going to hold on to.

Cloth beam on the Glimakra Julia. Linen dish cloths.
Final project of 2021. Linen dish cloths, with warp made from what was left on several tubes of linen. Glimåkra Julia, using 8 shafts, 8 treadles.
Glimakra Julia - linen dish cloths!
Good-bye, 2021. Nine linen dish cloths, plus one large blue rectangle at the end. Washing dishes has never looked so good!

Three weaving highlights: 1. Eye of the Beholdertapestry of my mom. The Lord used the making and finishing of this woven portrait to reiterate His nearness when I needed it most. 2. Siblings, tapestry from the previous year, earned the HGA (Handweavers Guild of America) Award at the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas Conference last summer. 3. The yellow huckaback three-tiered skirt, Tiers of Joy, ought to earn an achievement award. However, the real reward is a genuine sense of accomplishment through perseverance.

Rag rugs up next!
First warp of 2022. Glimåkra Ideal. Double-binding rag rugs coming up. Hooray!

Know when to let go. 2022 is a new warp on the loom. Some things from last year don’t belong. We have a fresh start with no room for complaints. Threads on the loom are rich with hope, ready for the intersection of thoughtful wonder and exploration. Look for results of tangible beauty.

Please enjoy looking back at the weaving journey of 2021 with me. I’m grateful to have you here, and look forward to more good times together!

The three highlights: Process Review: Eye of the Beholder, Siblings Tapestry and Process Video, Process Review: Tiers of Joy!

May you know what to hold, and what to let go.

Happy New Warp (Year),
Karen