I have an ample stash of handwoven bands. Still, I am making a new handwoven band that is “just right” for the strap on a simple shoulder bag I am making from a rag rug remnant. I pull several near-empty tubes of 12/6 cotton rug warp from the shelves to wind a five-meter warp. I enjoy finding bits of rug warp that can work together—all left over from various rag rug projects.
I warp the band loom and start weaving. Ah, what a pleasure to make a specific strap for a specific bag! And all of it from what I have on hand. It’s a picture of the way love takes odds and ends like you and me, and finds a way to make us fit together.
It’s like preparing a simple meal for family. You figure out what you have, you scrape together what you can, and you spend time in the kitchen to put it all together. It’s not fancy, nor is it perfect. But it’s good. Love, after all, is the primary ingredient for a good family meal. Love is the primary ingredient for a lot of good things, isn’t it?
Handwoven remnants (aka scraps) do not get thrown away. Every scrap is good for something. Some scraps are so unusual it takes an extra dose of creativity to find a use for them.
This remnant of blue wool fabric is something I wove a few years ago during my Big Book of Weaving adventure. This structure uses a weft-cord technique, which creates interesting ridges in the fabric. The original project is a simple handbag. The remaining fabric has been buried in a box of remnants. Until now.
I had a great idea to make a bench cushion for my Julia loom from this unusual remnant. Guess what? All those ridges are not so comfortable to sit on (fortunately, I tested it first). My next idea, though, is a success! The blue bumpy scrap makes a nice lumbar pillow, adding special comfort to the rocking chair that belonged to my great grandmother.
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!
How do you keep five floor looms busy? You sit at them, one loom at a time. Each loom has its own personality. Or, just maybe, the personality of the loom is more about how the loom makes me feel when I’m active with the loom to turn threads into cloth.
The 100cm Glimåkra Ideal Horizontal Countermarch is my Workhorse of Looms. Now: Empty Next: Pictorial Tapestry (subject matter to be determined)
The 70cm Isenhower Little Horizontal Countermarch is my Princess of Looms. Now: Pictorial Tapestry sampler. Currently, “Figs and Coffee.” Next: unknown
The 120cm Glimåkra Standard Horizontal Countermarch with Myrehed Combination Drawloom Attachment is my Gentle Giant of Looms. Now: Being dressed for cottolin/linen napkins in 6-shaftbroken twill Next: unknown
The 70cm Glimåkra Julia Horizontal Countermarch is my Cinderella of Looms. Now: Two-block broken twill cottolin/linen placemats Next: Fabric for a stylish cape, using a vintage sewing pattern
Let’s take a look back to see how these looms showed their personalities in 2022!
Let it snow indoors! New Christmas snowflake banners are suspended up high, above our kitchen counter, facing our open living room. The three mostly-blue banners hang in mid-air so they can be viewed from either side. These are lasting treasures from the drawloom that I can bring out year after year. They’ll never get old.
Christmas is new every year. There are new sights and sounds that add to the season. The message of Christmas is the same as always, though, that God loved us in this way—he sent his Son Jesus to be born into our world so that whoever believes in him may be born into God’s family. The newness is in God’s mercy, new every morning.
Raise banners of joy to celebrate. Glory to the newborn King.