Let it Snow! Drawloom Treasures

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.

Making loops from a handwoven band for hanging the banners. First, I zigzag to secure ends, and then cut the strips apart.
Handwoven linen band is cut into segments.
Loops are machine-stitched to back of banner hem with two rows of straight basting stitches (easy to remove later).

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.

Ready for display!

Raise banners of joy to celebrate. Glory to the newborn King.

Merry Christmas!

May you celebrate from the heart.

Glad tidings of Christ’s birth,
Karen

Elegant Linen at the Top

Linen puts elegance in the picture. That’s why I am using 16/2 linen to make hanging loops for my three Christmas Snowflake banners. Before I hang the festive banners, though, I am embracing Thanksgiving. More than a food-filled holiday, Givingthanks is a treasure-filled way of living.

Short warping sticks on the warp beam of the Glimåkra Band Loom help the linen warp threads wind on with even tension. Blue basket underneath catches the warping sticks as they fall when I advance the warp.
Band made with 16/2 linen, warp and weft, is a sturdy band. The saturated blue shows off the glimmering luster of linen.
I like to weave as far as I possibly can, sometimes squeezing the last few weft picks through an increasingly smaller shed. Until it is nearly impossible to do one more pick.
Weaving to the end.
Cutting off reveals a lustrous woven band, perfect for the Christmas Snowflake Banners.

Our heavenly Father’s faithfulness is displayed like a banner in our lives when we attach the elegance of a thankful heart to everything we encounter. This season of gratitude extends for a lifetime.

Christmas Snowflake Banners, woven on the drawloom. Each banner will have three or more loops at the top edge, through which a rod will be inserted for suspending the festive banners for display.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give him thanks. Praise his name. For the LORD is good. His loyal love endures, and he is faithful through all generations.

May you overflow with thanks.

Thankful for you,
Karen

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

Weave a Melody

I am finishing up a few meaningful (surprise) gifts for certain dearly-loved individuals. Christmas presents. Shhhh… The drawloom part represents untold hours at the loom. The band-loom part is the blink of an eye in comparison.

Cutting off midway so I can easily continue weaving.
Still enough warp for four more towels. I follow Amy Blair’s instructions for this maneuver: A Way to Cut Off the Loom Mid-Warp. This makes it possible to resume weaving with little fuss.
A few new towels from the drawloom.
First few pieces are being removed for finishing as gifts.

For the band, I am using the same blue and gray 16/2 cotton that is in the drawloom warp. I quickly wind a very narrow warp the shortest distance possible on my warping reel—116 centimeters. It’s a snap to beam it on the band loom, thread it, and start weaving. In no time at all, while listening to Christmas carols, I’m at the end of the warp, and cutting off the new woven band. Wouldn’t it be sweet to tie up every gift with a handwoven band? This band, however, will be inside the wrapping, as an embellishment on the gifts.

Glimakra band loom - threading.
Glimåkra two-treadle band loom. Set up is a breeze.
Glimakra 2-treadle band loom.
Band weaving begins with 8/2 cotton for weft. I quickly decide that the finer thread of 16/2 cotton is what I prefer.
Christmas carols and jingle bells while weaving on the band loom.
Jingle bells add festive cheer to the left hand coordination of band loom weaving, while Christmas carols ring out in the house.
Band loom - hanging tabs for handwoven towels.
Plenty!
Band woven on Glimakra band loom.
Perfect embellishment for the gifts that will soon be wrapped.

Melodies are an embellishment of the heart. They can arise in a few moments, yet they are connected to heart-filled sentiments that have taken years to develop. In this Christmas season, songs that are prayers become gifts for the newborn King Jesus. Prayers as songs and songs as prayers open our hearts to worship (adore) the Lord. “O Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

A melody-filled Christmas to you,
Karen

Process Review: Jubilation Bath Towels

Jubilation Bath Towels are completed, just in time for Christmas! They go with the Jubilation Hand Towels I wove earlier this year, named with my father in mind. (See Process Review: Jubilation Hand Towels.) Nothing deterred my father from deep abiding joy. These bath towels are a tribute, as well, to my husband’s patience. He requested handwoven bath towels a few years ago. Laughably, my first eager attempt resulted in towels scratchy enough to be used as sandpaper back scratchers. Now, finally, we have absorbent and soft handwoven cottolin bath towels suitable for my Prince Charming.

Cottolin bath set. Handwoven bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths.
Jubilation Bath Set. Four bath towels, four hand towels, two wash cloths. Cottolin warp and weft. Six-shaft broken and reverse twill.

Don’t you love it when the end of the warp yields bonus results? Just enough warp to make a pair of wash cloths, in which every one of the seven colors of quills was emptied. Hurrah!

Handwoven bath towel set. Glimakra Standard loom.
Cottolin bath towel set, soft and absorbent. All quills were emptied off in the final length of warp, making colorful wash cloths.

Enjoy the start-to-finish process with me in this slideshow video:

May jubilation reside in your home.

With the joy of celebrating Christ’s birth,
Karen