It took me seven years of study, practice, and mistakes to complete this rigorous Swedish weaving curriculum! You have been with me through much of it right here. I’m talking about The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila Lundell. I made it through the book, sequentially, page by page, warp by warp. 43 warps in all! Remember the blue 12-shaftdouble-weave blanket I had on the loom in June? That is the final project in the book.
In the short video below, each completed project is presented in order in our Texas hill country home. Watch to the end to see the blue blanket in all its finished glory.
For nitty-gritty details, check out The Big Book of Weaving tab at the top of the page.
Getting lost and absorbed in the whole process of weaving.
V. Favorite project: Old-Fashioned Weaving / Monksbelt (at 4:46 in the video)
Are we determined students of heavenly things? Oh, to know God’s will! Study what’s written, don’t lose heart, eyes on the prize, no option besides completion through Jesus Christ. One life dedicated to know him. Day by day, warp by warp, the Grand Weaver teaches us. We can know God’s will.
Five days of weaving, learning many new things. It’s a wonderland of sights and sounds, colors, textures, fabric, looms, tools. The people I get to enjoy this with are as much a treasure as the skills I develop. Becky Ashenden’s cheerful teaching style makes the experience fun, and she stretches us to our limits so that we leave knowing more than when we came.
Here is a small sampling of my week. I’ll show you more after I get home.
Finish the finishing, please. I always have a pile of handwovens that need finishing. Don’t you? The finishing smorgasbord includes repairing skipped threads (unintentional floats), securing ends, fringe treatments, hemming, wet finishing, pressing, adding hanging tabs, embellishments, and more. You know you are finally finished when your handiwork is being used and enjoyed.
1. Twisted fringe on bamboo huck lace small tablecloth. This cloth covered an heirloom table, becoming the altar, at Melody’s wedding. (This short piece was at the end of the warp after weaving two shawls.) You can see the shawls HERE, and twisting the fringe HERE.
2. Added hanging tabs to handtowels. Installed Ikea rod with basket and hooks to hang handwoven handtowels in the powder room. (When you need tabs for towels, it helps to have a collection of inkle and band loombands.) You can see the most recent towels HERE – I kept one of the eight for myself; the rest became gifts.
3. Untangled the fringe of alpaca/tencel throw. (A wet finishing nightmare I don’t care to repeat.) You can see what it looked like before washing HERE.
4. Hand-stitched rolled hem on Swedish lace tablecloth. (I may use this as a curtain for my weaving studio window, hung on rings with clips, on a rod.) HERE are the long curtain panels that hang on windows in my home.
5. Hemmed small sample piece to carry around with me when I have a cup of coffee. (I grab this re-usable “scrap” instead of a paper napkin or paper towel. It also doubles as a coaster wherever I happen to sit down.) The original M’s and O’s towels are HERE; and HERE you can see what I mean about carrying my coffee cup around with me.
6. Replaced nylon cord on handwoven Roman shades with a cord I wove on my band loom. (The “temporary” nylon cord stayed more than a year. We now enjoy seeing this on our kitchen door every day, finally fully finished.) The only place I have a picture of the original nylon cord, and of the fabric on the loom for the Roman shades is in my Projects on Weavolution HERE. (I’m not sure if you can see it without logging in to the site.)
May you reduce your finishing pile (I know you have one).
Finally! The Swedish lace curtains are hung…Yippee! However,…I came really, really close to cutting the finished material in the wrong place, about eight inches too short. Gasp! I had sewn the top casing and ruffle, and had carefully measured for the placement of the hem. But in my enthusiasm to finish, I got confused when it came to the final cut. Fortunately, I decided to put my scissors down and measure one. more. time. Catastrophe avoided!
Decisions come every day, big and small. How do you make decisions? Luck, make a guess, have a feeling? Luck isn’t dependable, guessing is risky, and feelings change with the weather. Like my near mishap with the curtain fabric, we could be one decision away from a huge mistake.
If we pay attention, Lady Wisdom’s invitation is heard at every decision point. We face decisions that are far more important than where to cut the fabric. There are plans for the future, and crossroads in life, as well as daily choices. Wisdom creates building blocks for future decisions. One wise decision leads to another, and then another. And before you know it, you have sunlight streaming through the fabric you’ve created.
If you are interested in how the fabric was made for these curtains, you may enjoy this post, and other posts in the category, yardage: curtains.
Windows fascinate me. I even have a Pinterest board, Houses and Windows, because I enjoy images of windows. The windows in this cloth capture me! The fun part was seeing it happen. When I cut the cloth from the loom, I could immediately see the windows begin to form as the threads started relaxing. After letting the cloth rest a few days, the windows appeared even more. But the WOW happened when I gently kneaded the fabric in warm water, and hung it to dry. Seeing these handwoven lace windows made me silly with childish excitement!
(Compare these open windows with this before picture, while the fabric was still on the loom.)
What if we are little houses, and our soul has windows? Shall I keep the curtains closed, so no one can see in? But then, I can’t see out, either.
When I think of our grand weaver, and how he is so close by, I imagine him looking out those windows with me. He is not distant, but near. He stays involved, pointing out things he sees. Making the common and ordinary into articles of wonder and beauty. Stiff pieces of thread with a vague shape become wide open windows where the refreshing breeze blows through.