Snowflakes Made of Thread

This is the fourth and final towel in my Snowflake series. Right now in Texas hill country it is extremely hot and dry, so these few gentle snowflakes are a welcome sight, even if only made of thread. We look forward to cooler days and moisture from the heavens.

Concluding the lower border of the towel. Warp is 16/2 cotton. Weft is half-bleached 16/1 line linen, except for the wide blue border, which is 16/2 line linen, and narrow 16/1 linen red stripe.

This Myrehed combination drawloom attachment functions as a thread lifter. When I pull a draw handle for a pattern shaft, a series of thread units are raised. When I pull a draw cord for a single unit, one unit of threads is raised. I am using 45 pattern shafts for the repeated snowflake border designs on these towels. The center area of each towel has small and large snowflake designs at varying intervals. These irregular designs are created using 148 single units. It’s because of all those lifted warp ends that we can create woven snowflakes.

Temple in position. Three pulled draw handles lift thread units at the side borders. Several pulled single-unit draw cords (black cords and white cords) lift single units for an off-center large snowflake design.
Lifted warp ends.

We expect to have worries in this life. Daily needs come as repeated patterns. Other disturbances come at irregular intervals. Worry is eliminated in God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom has a worry lifter–Jesus. He invites us to give him our worries and trust him to care for us. Imagine the one-of-a-kind design that emerges when worries are lifted!

May your worries fade away.

In living hope,
Karen,

Combination Drawloom – Simple and Engaging

I am constantly improving my methods of operating the drawloom. I pull and release draw handles and draw cords, check for errors, and throw the shuttle for each unit of threads (six times per unit with the current setup). Everything is in order. And, while I’m actively absorbed with this mental and physical choreography, I experience freedom from every other care.

Hem of towel is bleached 16/1 linen weft, and then green 16/2 linen weft. The pattern area of the towel is woven with royal blue 16/1 linen weft.
Solid row of pattern across the warp requires that all pattern shaft draw handles are pulled. It always seems thrilling to me to see all the handles down at once!
Lower border of the towel is the easy part. Pattern shafts are used for making a repeated pattern, and no single unit cords are involved.
Pattern shaft draw handles are now relegated to the side borders. The center body of the towel uses single unit draw cords to create non-repeated pattern. The single units give me freedom to design a (planned) random snowfall expression.
Snowflake Towel 01 is wrapping around the cloth beam. Snowflake Towel 02 is going over the knee beam. Snowflake Towel 03 is being woven. Snowflake Towel 04 will be the final towel on this warp. (But, who knows what I’ll be able to weave after that to the very end of the warp?)

These snowflake patterns are delightful to weave. There is enough consistency with the border pattern shafts to make it simple. And there is enough (planned) random snowflakes using single units and pattern shafts to keep it engaging. All I have to do is follow the graphed chart. As I weave, the snowflakes emerge, as if by magic. But it’s not really magic, is it?

Standard procedure is to always have a temple in place. I have rubber bands on the first and last draw handles for the side border pattern, and on the center handle for the border pattern (not pulled in this photo).
Everything works together! …for the good of the fabric being woven.
Sometimes one single unit is enough to make the next row of pattern.
I keep the chart at eye level and constantly refer to it. Closely following the chart is the only way I can hope to weave something worthwhile on the combination drawloom.

If you believe in Jesus you must walk with him. And as you do, you come to know the truth. Truth is found by walking in it. The pattern on the chart is true, and gives direction. The delight comes as we see the real-time results emerge in our own hearts. That’s freedom in its purest form.

May your search for truth bring freedom.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Process Review: Priceless Monksbelt and Video

Talk about exciting! When something has been on the loom this long it is indeed exciting when the back tie-on bar comes over the back beam. I finish weaving the final “bonus” towel. And then, I use up all the quills to make a little piece of scrap fabric (because scrap fabric is always better than leftover quills). And then! Then, I start my cutting-off checklist.

After all this time, the moment we’ve been waiting for is here!

After weaving a short scrap fabric with thread left on quills, it is time for cutting off the long monksbelt runner and two bonus towels.

I cut off the warp. And as I unroll the cloth, I am mesmerized by the tactile intricacy that passes through my fingers–Fårö wool for the pattern weft, and 16/2 cotton for slow-as-molasses weft rep ground cloth. Finishing proves to be the easiest and quickest part of this project. I like the crisp pristine state of the monksbelt runner, so I am not going to wet finish this article. I examine for errors (none found!), wet finish the two towels, hem the table runner and towels, and press. The Priceless Monksbelt Runner now graces our dining room table.

After the Priceless Monksbelt Runner I had enough warp to weave two bonus towels with monksbelt borders. In between the towels I did a small heart-shaped inlay just for play.
Two simple plain weave towels, with monksbelt borders. The tabby weft is 16/2 golden bleached linen. The coral pattern weft and green pattern weft is doubled 16/1 linen. The ecru center pattern weft is doubled 6/1 tow linen. Warp is 16/2 cotton. With only one washing so far, the towels still have a wonderful crisp linen hand.

The exceptional value of handwoven textiles makes your home a welcoming place. Time is one of our most valuable assets. That makes the textiles we create priceless!

Our dining table is just to the right as you walk through the front door of our home. May all who enter know they are welcome here!

Please enjoy this video review of weaving the Priceless Monksbelt Runner.

May the works of your hands bring exceptional value to your home.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Snow in Springtime at the Drawloom

This Myrehed combination drawloom continually fascinates me. It’s all about raising and lowering threads in a purposeful way. Pulling pattern-shaft draw handles for the borders is the easy part. The single units in the body of the towel, however, capture my focused attention. Consistent precision—that’s the secret to completion.

Single units of threads are raised by placing draw cords on the hook bar. The black cords and white cords are arranged in groups of ten. I mentally split each group of ten so I am focusing on five single units at a time.w
Side borders use fifteen pattern shafts. Each pattern-shaft draw handle raises units of threads across the warp. That enables me to pull handles for the pattern that shows up on both the right and left borders.

This second towel in the Snowfake series continues the theme of softly falling snow. Meanwhile, Texas bluebonnets, wine cups, varied bright yellow daisy-type flowers, and mealy blue sage are springing up through hard ground all over our backyard. And Thursday morning I spotted the first gaillardia bloom—previewing the next wave of color.

Texas bluebonnets were the first flowers to burst into bloom.
Myrehed Combination drawloom enables me to combine pattern shafts (8 draw handles are pulled here) and single units (several draw cords are pulled in this picture) in a single project. I truly enjoy all the variables!

I am acutely aware that you may be experiencing a lingering cold season, and may even yet have snow on the ground. I’m not just referring to weather and flowers. Real-life struggles. Let me assure you that spring is coming. Have faith in the one who raised Jesus from the dead. Your faith captures the Lord’s attention. He brings new life out of hard ground. And the white of falling snowflakes remains a pleasant reminder of his grace. For all who call on the name of Jesus, the grace of his forgiveness falls over us to make us clean, as white as softly falling snow.

May you see signs of new life.

Happy spring weaving,
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