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

Drawloom – Snow Falling

Snow in Texas Hill Country is minimal. To make up for it, I am putting together a virtual snowstorm—four Christmas Snowflake towels on the drawloom. Each towel has three large snowflakes at the bottom and top borders. The body of the towel has delicate snowflake crystals drifting to the ground.

Nordic star pattern used for Christmas Snowflake towels. Towel begins with a broad brush of red along the lower border.

Starting with Selbu Mittens: Discover the Rich history of a Norwegian Knitting Tradition, by Anne Bårdsgård, I transpose Nordic star patterns into drawloom graphed designs. Affinity Designer (graphic design software) takes the place of graph paper for me. Being vector graphic design, it enables me to make changes without having to start over. I can easily move, separate, copy, and/or transform elements as I work through a design. I print out exactly what I need, scaled up in size without losing clarity, in a format that enhances my ability to make the right moves at the combination drawloom.

Single unit draw cords, held in place on the hook bar, form the snow crystals in the body of the towel. The three large snowflakes at the bottom border are made using pattern shafts. The simple side borders also use pattern shafts.
In Affinity Designer I am able to separate, copy, and move elements of the large snowflake design. These individual elements become the scattered snowflakes and little snow crystals that are “drifting down” the body of the towel.
Snowfall in Texas Hill Country.

We have a faithful designer. Our Grand Weaver creates his image in us. He moves, separates, copies, and transforms elements in our lives until his image clearly shows. It takes a lifetime. The Lord is faithful. Since he has brought us this far, let us also be found faithful to him, conforming to his image.

May you see how far you’ve come.

Many blessings,
Karen

Typical Questions for a New Warp

I have questions galore as I begin a new warp on the combination drawloom. Is this the best sett for these threads? How are my sheds? What will orange-ey weft colors do on this pewter and blue warp? Is the image of this first design better face up, or face down? How can I include a couple extra colors in the design? The loom is set up with 45 pattern shafts and 148 single units. I’m eager to begin!

Combo drawloom with 45 pattern shafts and 148 single units.
New drawloom warp.
Myrehed Combo Drawloom attachment.

Sampling at the beginning of the warp gives me answers. The sett is good—18 ends per centimeter, with 16/2 cotton in 6-shaft irregular satin. After some tweaking, the sheds are good—and all the treadles touch the floor when the optimum shed is reached. The weft colors look good—better than expected. And, definitely, the jam jars need to be face down—so, I reverse the image in Affinity Designer on the computer and print out a new chart. I can sneak in some extra colors with narrow weft stripes—beginning and ending borders. I’m ready to roll! New kitchen towels in various designs are moving forward! First up…Peach Jam Jars.

Testing colors on new drawloom warp.
Mirror shows reversed side of drawloom fabric.
Jam Jars drawloom pattern.
Design is reversed for the drawloom.
Testing patterns and colors on new drawloom warp.
Beginning first towel on drawloom warp.
Ready - Sett - Go! New towels on the drawloom.

~It is a joy to have you visit with me every week! It is time for my annual pause for the month of July. I’ll see you back here on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.~

Until then, may the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.

May your questions get answered.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Tried and True: How to Count to Three – and Other Weaving Tips

We weavers are resourceful. We enjoy finding solutions that make our time at the loom more efficient, while raising the quality of our weaving. We’ve done some of these little tricks so much we don’t think about them anymore. And then, some innovations are things we think up on the spot because necessity, as you know, is the mother of invention.

Keep Count

Necessity: Keep from losing my place with treadling repeats.
Solution: A strip of blue painter’s tape with “3 2 1” and a rubber band, placed on the breast beam. Move the rubber band on the tape (from right to left) to track repeats.

Weaving tips - low tech solutions.
I need help counting to 3 when it comes to treadling repeats. On the Glimåkra Standard loom, I am able to loosen the warp enough to lift the breast beam so I can put a rubber band on it. Without a removable breast beam, one could use a separate small piece of tape instead of a rubber band to keep track.
Keep track of repeats. Blog post with tips and tricks.
Low tech solution for keeping track.

Shuttle Catch

Necessity: Keep from fumbling the catch, having to reposition the shuttle in my hand to send it back across the warp.
Solution: Keep my eye on the shuttle. If I turn my head to watch the movement of the shuttle, my catching and throwing improves immediately. This makes my selvedges improve, too.

Weaving tips and tricks. Easy tip on how to catch the shuttle perfectly.
It is easy to throw and catch the shuttle without actually looking at your hands. I have to consciously remember to turn my head to follow the shuttle with my eyes.

Leave No Trace

Necessity: Keep from leaving slightly perceptible lines in the woven cloth that reveal every time I stop to move the temple and advance the warp.
Solution: When it is almost time to advance the warp, I move the temple and then weave one or more pattern sequence(s) before advancing the warp. This helps me leave no trace of starting and stopping.

Tips and tricks for the weaving loom.
Almost ready to advance the warp, I remove the temple and reposition the pins on my guide tape. Then, I put the temple back on, near the fell line.
Tips about when to advance the warp.
After moving the temple, I weave one or more complete treadling sequences before advancing the warp.
Three simple weaving tips for efficiency and quality!
After advancing the warp, I know exactly where I left off because of my tape-and-rubber-band counter. My eyes are on the shuttle to continue this segment of weaving.

Do you have a simple tip that improves your efficiency and/or quality at the loom? Please share in the comments.

May you notice what you’re doing.

Happy Weaving,
Karen