Touch of Quality

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.

Tied back on after cutting off sample rug.
Midway on the first section of the rug. Two more full pattern repeats will follow.
Tidy selvedges. The fabric weft is turned under twice and pulled snugly against the outer warp ends.
After a series of weft stripes the second pattern repeat is being woven with red fabric strips for weft.

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.

May your hands keep the end in mind.

Love,
Karen

Budding Weavers

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!”

Grandson makes potholders with "Designer Colors."
My grandson gravitates toward the bag of loops called “Designer Colors.”
Never too many grandkid-made potholders!
Never too many grandkid-made potholders!
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!

Eight-year-old weaver on the Glimakra Julia loom. 2-block twill.
Budding weaver at the 8-shaft Julia countermarch loom. Weaving linen in a 2-block twill.
Message from grandson to his grandmother.
Ah, grandson, I certainly will teach you more. I love you, too , Lola

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.

Potholder loom and a 5-year-old.
This child favors the loops of “Bright Colors.”
Making a potholder. Budding weaver.
“All by myself.”

May you spread your joys to the next generation.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Sneak Out to the Drawloom

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.

Six ground shafts on the drawloom. Threading.
Pattern heddles have been threaded. Ground heddles are being threaded. 888 16/2 cotton ends on six ground shafts.
Getting ready to tie on the warp on the combo drawloom.
Moving the reed and threaded ground shafts to the front of the loom is tricky. Having a second pair of hands (Steve’s) definitely helps.

148 single unit lift 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.

Getting the drawloom ready to weave.
I like to tie all the ends into small sections (about 1 inch at the reed) first. Then I tie them on the front tie-on bar, starting right of center, and then alternate left, right, and so on.

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!

May you see like a child.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Two Kinds of Dressing

Before everyone arrives for our Thanksgiving family gathering, I am making pie crust for the pecan pie, dough for my “famous” cranberry bread, and doing the prep to make Gram’s turkey dressing. Each family is bringing their contributions to the meal (feast). Thanksgiving Day is a flurry of activity with too many cooks in the kitchen—just how we like it! And sitting at the table with the feast before us, we give thanks. Thanks to each other, and to our Creator. We are blessed!

Making perfect pecan pie for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving feast prep. It takes two pastry chefs to make the perfect pecan pie.

And before everyone arrives I also manage to sley the reed on the Standard. A different kind of dressing—loom dressing.

Sleying the reed.
Two ends per dent in a 45/10 metric reed.

Sleying the reed.
I sit “inside” the loom on my loom bench to sley the reed.

Next step - tying on!
After the reed is sleyed, I remove the loom bench, lower the shafts, and move the countermarch to the front of the loom. Then, I place the reed in the beater and make sure it is centered. Next step–tying on!

Fresh warp on the back beam. Magical!
Getting dressed. Oh the beauty of a fresh warp going over the back beam! Magical.

A feast for the eyes and hands and heart. Thankful indeed!

May you give thanks,
Karen

Weave Every Day

I like to weave every day. At least a little bit.

This week, though, I have more important things to do, like playing outside and having pillow pallet parties with grandsons. Do you know how demanding full time motherhood is? I’ve done it, but that was eons ago. Diaper changes, giggles and tears, and squabbling. And forgetting.

Outside

Pillow pallet party

Read with me!

At the park

Way up high

But I did get my big Glimåkra Freja tapestry frame warped…And a header woven…And I wove the first few picks of the tapestry. That’s what nap times are good for.

Tapestry frame

Tapestry frame

Tapestry frame

Little children quickly forget the offense that started a squabble. After nap time, they’re off, giggling together again. Forgiveness forgets. Have you ever had a squabble with God? We’ve all been there. When God forgave us he smudged out the long list of all our offenses. And then he nailed it to the cross of Christ, our squabbles forever forgotten. And in the resulting quiet that’s like a restful nap time, our Lord weaves his image in us.

May your squabbles be few.

Forgiven,
Karen