Tapestry at Full Snail Speed

I am determined to have this off the loom before it’s time to move again. I know exactly how many “weaving days” I have left in this apartment. Steve’s retirement is just around the corner. His last day at work will be our last day here. And I know exactly how many centimeters I have left to weave on this piece. We already moved the loom once in the middle of this tapestry. Once is enough! I intend to make significant weaving progress every single day.

Measure tape shows progress on the tapestry weaving.

My measure tape shows that I have woven 80 centimeters. I will cross the finish line when I reach 125 centimeters.

Now that the image of the lizard is finished all the way to his toes, no more pretty green, blue, or red butterflies. I am removing anything that clutters my focus. Full (snail) speed ahead!

Weaving a lizard in four-shaft tapestry.

Lizard’s foot tries to grip the breast beam. There is no longer a need for butterflies in the lizard’s colors. Only the background log remains.

Weaving four-shaft tapestry on a Glimakra Ideal loom.

All the green, blue, and red butterflies have been removed. A simple color palette remains–white, yellow, tan, gray, brown, and black.

Faith is that kind of determination. Faith is more than thinking you believe something or someone. It’s pouring yourself into pure-hearted focus to trust fully in God. Faith is being so convinced that Jesus is the answer that you will stop at nothing to reach him. Where there’s that kind of will, there’s a way.

May you reach your most-pressing goal.

Your speedy snail,
Karen

6 Comments

  • Joyce Lowder says:

    Beautiful description of faith! Our strength comes from God and He helps us to persevere as we move toward the goal. TRUST is the fuel that keeps us forging ahead. God bless you as you reach this goal…and others, ahead for you. 🙂

  • Good morning Karen,
    ~ 2/3rds of the way complete with most of the kinks worked out. Nice place to be in. A firm foundation established. Everything in place to complete your tapestry.

    Kind regards,

    Nannette

  • Annie says:

    I hope the determination to reach your goal will not rob you of the joys of weaving, Karen. I can’t believe how the time is flying and how fast the move is coming. I know you looking forward to it, though.

    Thank you for sharing your rag rug process at the WOW meeting. I learned a great deal. I have your handout with my notes to reference when make my next one.

    I have no doubt that you will reach your goal.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Annie, It will take a lot to make me lose my joy in weaving. This tapestry weaving is a true pleasure, and when I’m at the loom I lose track of time and everything else. Unless something totally unexpected happens, I’m sure to meet my goal.

      I’m happy to hear you benefitted from the rag rug demo. I hope I get to see your next rag rug!

      Thanks friend,
      Karen

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Halfway Milestone

Halfway is a milestone when you are threading 2,064 ends. This double weave in two blocks has threading such that I can listen to podcasts without losing my place. It’s a long stretch to the halfway point.

Threading heddles, from right to left.

Threading heddles, going from right to left.

Before threading, I find the center of the warp and the group of ends that are just past center. I drape those ends on the back beam to mark the spot.

Threading 2064 ends. Halfway point is identified.

Center of the warp is identified. The ends just left of center mark the spot.

Threading heddles in my "playhouse" in the loom.

Sitting in my playhouse to thread the heddles. No hurry.

I’m excited to reach halfway in the threading! It’s a turning point. Now, while they are readily accessible, I position all of the shaft-to-lamm cords to hang down, right at the center of the warp where they belong.

Halfway finished threading heddles! Only 1,032 to go. :)

Half of the threading work is done! Only 1,032 ends to go. 🙂

Cords aligned at the center of the warp.

Center of the warp. Good time to align the cords that go from the lower shaft bars to the upper lamms.

Threading heddles for double weave on a Glimakra Standard loom.

Threading for the double weave throw continues, a few minutes here, an hour there, until all the ends are in heddles.

Have you ever reached a turning point in life, and knew it was time to position things? We try to be good and loving. But we’re never as good as we think. And we end up loving only the people we want to love. We have been separated from God. Our misdeeds push us away from him. Easter is resurrection, but before that is the cross of Christ. God so loved us that he closed the separation between us and him with the cross. That’s the turning point he offers to us, to set things right. Our part is to believe.

May you look forward to the second half.

With you,
Karen

6 Comments

  • Joyce Lowder says:

    Beautiful threads, skill to manage them….all from God. He IS the Master Weaver! Thanks for the connection to the Easter message; loved the words, “God so loved us that He closed the separation between us and Him with the cross.” Happy Easter! 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Good morning, Joyce,
      Letting the Master Weaver have his way in our lives is the best way to celebrate Easter.

      Happy Easter to you and yours,
      Karen

  • Beth Mullins says:

    Pretty, rich colors. It’s going to be beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beth, I’m hoping these colors will fit the bill for my daughter-in-law’s request for vibrant colors. I’m looking forward to seeing the woven effect!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Maggie says:

    Thank you,Karen, for this Holy Week reminder and have fun with the last half threading.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maggie, So much to be thankful for in this Holy Week! I’m looking forward to the relaxing time of completing this threading.

      All the best,
      Karen

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Monksbelt Grid

I think of monksbelt as a grid. The grid, created in the threading, has blocks that I get to fill in with color. The only thing I have to do is follow the treadling draft and keep the two shuttles in their proper order. The rest is play. It is amazing what you can do with nine pattern colors, several background colors, and a simple grid. 

Classic monksbelt with a modern look. Karen Isenhower

Swedish monksbelt has two blocks in the pattern. Ground weave and pattern colors are changed in irregular intervals, giving a modern look to a classic weave structure.

A grid is a framework, a structure, that gives boundaries to the space. We need a grid for coloring our decisions, for outlining our beliefs, and for drawing our convictions. Our hearts can be fooled, so don’t trust your heart to tell you what is right. What seems right may be wrong. We need a higher standard for forming the patterns of our life. It makes sense to stay with the grid that the Grand Weaver, our Maker, planned when he dressed the loom. Then, filling in the blocks with color is pure joy.

May you find colors that delight you.

With joy,
Karen

6 Comments

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In Time for Christmas – Or Not

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I am excited to have halvdräll up next on the big loom. Warp chains are white cottolin. The weft is white cottolin for the tabby, and red linen for the pattern. Red and white for Christmas. However, if it is not finished by December 25th, there’s always Valentines Day, right? I would love to have this table square ready for Christmas, but I am not willing to make shortcuts on quality to make that happen. It will be finished when it is finished.

Winding a white warp on the warping reel.

Warping reel is used to measure a warp of bleached 22/2 cottolin. A counting tie goes between every 50 ends.

White cottolin and red linen.

Red 16/1 linen pattern weft will add Christmas (or Valentine) flair to the bleached 22/2 cottolin.

Do you ever find yourself being controlled by circumstances instead of convictions? Convictions are firm beliefs that guide our actions. Convictions are like signposts on an unfamiliar path. It’s like having time-tested weaving techniques that help you navigate any new weaving adventure. In time for Christmas, or not.

May you stay on course. 

With Christmas in mind,
Karen

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What If it Is Not as You Expected?

The stamped fabric print is subtle and ethereal. The print goes through to the reverse side, too, which shows that the color is saturating the threads. Thankfully, there is more than just surface color, which means I can expect the woven-in print to last for the life of the fabric.

Printed warp on the loom.

View from below the woven fabric. The face of the fabric is seen rolling onto the cloth beam.

I had hoped for brighter colors, but with this fabric paint the intensity of color fades as the paint dries. And then, when the weft crosses the print it reduces the brightness even more, of course. That said, I am not disappointed. It is different from what I expected, but it will still make a pretty tiered skirt.

Stamped warp on the loom.

Stamped warp is transformed as it crosses the fell line.

Prayer can be different from what we expect, too. Believing and praying brings amazing results. It’s not always the results we had in mind, though. The truly amazing thing is this: The prayers of believing people are somehow combined with the power of God to bring about his will. It’s his good will that gets printed deep into the fabric of our lives. Disappointment gives way to thankfulness as we see results over time that are more than just color on the surface.

May your disappointments be few.

With you,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Cindie says:

    It’s quite beautiful. Have you thought about weaving a bit more warp faced if you want to keep the color more saturated? Not totally warp faced but a bit, using a very thin weft so you keep the drape of the finished fabric.

  • Liberty says:

    Hi Karen!

    This is just beautiful, I love the fact that it is subtle flowers. I wasn’t sure how it would look from your first post about it but came out great! Can’t wait to see your skirt!
    Liberty

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Liberty! I still have quite a bit of yardage to weave, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it works for the skirt I have in mind.

      Karen

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