My husband and I coined the word “lapkin” when our children were young. Lap + napkin = lapkin. We wanted our children to learn the courtesy of placing a napkin on their lap when they were seated for a meal. “Lapkin check!” was a fun game we made of it. The armadillo on the drawloom is a lapkin, if I ever saw one. This thirsty cloth will soak up any drips and spills, smeary hands, or messy mouths that come in contact with it.
Armadillo is the first of a dozen critters that will parade across this loom. Armadillo napkin is the only one of its kind. I’m certain of that. (Fox is up next.)
Lapkins give us a discreet way to stay tidy at the table. Armadillo, however, doesn’t intend to stay discreet. I’m pretty certain of that, too.
I have never woven napkins because napkins that are used get soiled. Why spend time weaving something you have to be so careful about? That is about to change. I am dressing the drawloom for napkins!
The napkins I have in mind are family-friendly napkins for all ages. They will get soiled, of course. They are made with grandchildren in mind–Cottolin warp and linen weft. I have a fun design for each napkin. And we’ll be ready to wipe any messy mouth. Napkins are made to get soiled.
Wisdom is marked by a sense of calm. There is no dread of something ruining the day. If a little (or big) person soils a napkin, so be it. That will just serve to add a bit of history to the cloth. With a little wisdom, I’ll remain undisturbed.
Repeat good practices to form good habits. Since weaving is filled with repetition I try to be attentive to the effects of my techniques. With every touch of my hand – picking up a shuttle, straightening a line of weft, tightening the ratchet just so after advancing the warp – I have the end in mind. Quality is the goal. Consistency is the key. And, consistency emerges from good habits.
With every touch of our Grand Weaver’s hand, he has the end in mind. Little children were brought to Jesus for him to lay his hands on them and pray. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And he placed his hands on them… Consistency is the key. Jesus welcomes all who come to him with childlike faith. His consistency emerges out of his goodness.
Remember potholder looms? I made many such potholders when I was young. It is a natural entry point for a budding weaver. My eight-year-old grandson has mastered potholders. He is ready for a bigger challenge. I ask, “Would you like to try weaving on a floor loom?” Wide-eyed, he says, “Yes!”
Sit here. Practice moving your feet on the treadles: Right foot 1-2-3-4; 1-2-3-4; left foot 5-6-7-8; 5-6-7-8. (Can you do it without looking at your feet?) Hold the shuttle in your right hand, and send it across the top of the warp over to your left hand. Practice gliding the shuttle back and forth on top of the warp several times to get the hang of it. Okay, I think you’re ready! Let’s do it!
Within a few minutes he is weaving unassisted. Ahh, the joy of seeing someone take pleasure in making cloth—especially, when that someone is your grandchild!
And now, the potholder loom grabs the attention of another grandchild. “Let me do it myself,” she says, like a typical five-year-old. The cycle repeats itself, and Lola (that’s me) smiles.
Two of my looms are getting the lion’s share of my attention right now. That doesn’t keep me from sneaking out to the drawloom, though, for an hour here, an hour there. Those hours add up. I have everything threaded and sleyed. The reed is in the beater now, and I’m tying on the warp.
148 single unitlift heddles and 45 pattern shafts are waiting in the wings. I’m setting up the combination drawloom again for maximum flexibility in designing. That also means I’ll have abundant possibilities for weaving. Oh, what exuberant escapades await! This anticipation keeps me skipping down the path of preparation, ever so steadily, as I dream of entering that magical world of drawloom weaving once again.
There is a door into an invisible kingdom. You may have seen it as a child. The door to God’s invisible kingdom is open. With childlike trust we give our heart to Jesus and his kingdom comes alive. In the here and now, as our preparation continues, we are ever mindful of the abundant existence of the ever after. What exuberance awaits!