Do You Think about Weaving?

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 rosepath draft 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-shaft satin variation with three-shaft twill. There’s a lot of thinking going on around here.

Opening a box of weaving supplies is always exciting! Warp thread, weft thread, more 6″ quills, and one more set of 4-shaft shaft holders and pins.
Linen for weft. There is always room for a few more tubes of linen.
Warp chains of 22/2 cottolin are placed through the beater. I have added enough shafts and upper and lower lamms to have eight of each. Just about ready to beam the warp. Reed leaning against the wall will be used for spreading the warp, so it doesn’t matter that it is a bit long for this little Julia loom.

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.

May you have an idea of what comes next.

Happy planning,

Process Review: Butterfly Wing

Butterfly wing is flittering away. This butterfly study is complete. I still have warp on the loom, so cutting off has to wait. There are one or two more pictorial tapestry studies yet to come. Stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy the visual review in the slideshow video at the end of this post.

Weaving a tapestry.
Windowed corner is a good place to weave a butterfly wing.
Making wool butterflies for tapestry.
Making butterflies of yarn for the butterfly wing pictorial tapestry. My yarn gets spread out in the process, always grouped by color value.

This study reinforces several important concepts for me.

Tapestry study.
Rolled the warp back a bit to be able to view the complete Butterfly Wing tapestry study.
  • Warp sett determines the amount of detail the cartoon can include.
  • Edges in the design are defined by using high contrast in color values.
  • Solid tapestry techniques, such as meet and separate, provide a good foundation for confident weaving.

Above all, take your time and enjoy the process, grateful for the opportunity.

May your studies be fruitful.


Step Back to See Your Tapestry Details

The contours of the face are more evident now that the lips are in place. Every cartoon line requires decisions. Shift the color at this warp end?…or, one over? Does this butterfly have too much pink?…maybe it needs more pink? The portrait image happens almost invisibly, thread by thread.

Four-shaft tapestry.
Tapestry detail.
Tapestry portrait.
Tapestry portrait.

I step back often so I can see what I am weaving. Up close, the details are obscure. I step up on the loom bench (very carefully, holding on to the top of the loom) and look through the back end of my binoculars. A distant view of the tapestry comes into focus. It’s encouraging! I can clearly see that the details are working out.

Tapestry portrait in progress.
View from a distance.
Portrait tapestry in progress.
Looking through the back end of the binoculars gives a distant view. I’m looking for distinct lines of contrast and smooth transitions.

We may be too close to our own circumstances to see the details clearly. We make decision after decision, and we hope against hope that things will turn out okay. How can we know what is right? Step away to pray. Slip away with the Lord Jesus to get His view on things. Only when we consult a higher view can we see the bigger tapestry that the Grand Weaver is creating. Prayer, as a conversation with the Lord, helps us see that the details are working out according to his purpose.

May your details become clear.

With purpose,

Unroll the Cloth Beam of 2020 – Year in Review Video

Every year my weaving journey is peppered with notable highlights. Here are seven such highlights from 2020: 1. Siblings Tapestry, complete and hanging in our living room. 2. Joanne Hall (my weaving mentor and friend) visited our home in February (while in Texas for her Swedish Art Weaves workshop). 3. New 8-shaft Glimakra Julia countermarch loom. 4. My favorite fabric of the year, Jämtlandsdräll in 6/2 Tuna, woven on the brand-new Julia. 5. Rag rugs woven on the drawloom. 6. Studio tour on Zoom for the San Antonio Handweaver’s Guild In November. 7. Handwoven Christmas tree skirt with Nativity appliqué from handwoven remnants.

Pictorial 4-shaft tapestry.
Last year began with completion of this Siblings tapestry.
Jamtlandsdrall on the Julia with 4 shafts.
Favorite cloth of the year. Jämtlandsdräll on the new Julia.

2021 is beginning with the start of a new pictorial tapestry, an empty loom waiting for a new warp, and a drawloom warp that is near its finish line. Plus, two other looms that are mid-project. I am not expecting any dull moments around here. Thank you for joining me in this ongoing adventure.

Four-shaft pictorial tapestry weaving.
Tapestry for the new year. I am starting with practice weaving for certain sections of the planned tapestry. You can see a pair of eyes on the cartoon under the warp threads.

Unroll the cloth beam with me and go back through time to recall the Warped for Good projects of 2020:

God completes what he begins. My prayer for you is that his finishing work will secure any loose ends.

May you see how far you’ve come.

Happy New Year, friends,

Drawloom Rag Rug Color Transition

This is a huge project. Four shades of blue from dark to light span the nearly one-and-a-half-meter-long rug. I have reached the final color-transition section. I am eagerly awaiting the day this rug will be rolled out!

Rag rug on the drawloom. Color transition.
Transitioning from one color to the next.

My measuring ribbon shows me where to make the color changes. I alternate two weft colors (C and D) through the transition area to blend the hues. All the while, I stop after every half-unit of four picks to manage the draw cords. A graphed chart tells me exactly which of the 164 draw cords to pull or release. In this way the graphic designs are woven into the rug, row by row. I weave in quiet, allowing me to put full attention on each move.

Drawloom rag rug.
View of the underside of the rug as it goes from the breast beam to the knee beam.
Single unit drawloom rag rug.
Draw cords are arranged by tens, alternating black cords and white cords. I pull the cords as they correspond to the prepared chart hanging at the left side of the loom.

We need hope in these unsettling times. Jesus invites us to admit our fears and failures, and put our trust in him, and follow him. And this is the message Jesus gives his followers: I am always with you. The Lord gives strength and courage. As our Grand Weaver, he has his full attention on us. So be strong and take courage.

May you have hope that lasts.