A hemstitched edge deserves twisted fringe. You have to overlook the amount of time it takes to put this finishing touch on your handwoven articles (often as much, or more, time than it took to weave the cloth in the first place). You do it because you care about the end result. The hemstitching and fringe are the mat and frame for your work of art. Begin well and finish well.
This is a lesson for raising children and letting them go, too. You weave for years, give time-consuming attention to the finishing touches while they are in your hands, and then you let them go. Wedding in four days!
Have you ever experienced a chain of events, where the dominos start falling, and you just try to keep up? That is the story of this shawl. My daughter got engaged, so I bought a dress to wear at her wedding. The dress is sleeveless, so I wanted a shawl to wear over my shoulders. Not knowing where to find a matching shawl, I decided to weave one. To weave a shawl, I had to finish weaving these towels that were on the loom, plan the draft for a shawl, and order thread.
The excitement of dressing the loom, trying out weft color options, weaving the delicate huck lace pattern, twisting fringe, wet finishing the cloth, and waiting for the wet cloth to dry, is all intensified because of the meaning of the event where I will wear the shawl. The shawl, itself, is a minor player that will serve best if it is not even noticed. The attention will be on Melody and Eddie as they pledge their love and faithfulness to each other, embracing companionship for a lifetime. Three weeks to go!
Honestly, I didn’t know it would come out dotted. If I wanted dotted cloth, I could use surface design, like paint, embroidery, or beading. Instead, I got the pleasant surprise of dots that are woven into the fabric itself!
These shawls have a dark coral warp. The unwashed piece on the left is the one I intend to wear to my daughter’s wedding. You can see the light coral weft in the little weft floats of the huck lace. The other two pieces have a hot pink weft, which gives the cloth a (difficult to photograph) pink-ish coral color. The one in the center was hand washed. Notice that the pink weft floats are barely distinguishable from the rest of the fabric. The piece on the right was washed on the gentle cycle in the washing machine (omitting the spin cycle). Look at the pink dots! They were there all along, but they became subtle, but noticeable, punctuation marks in the cloth through agitation in the washing machine.
Like the dots that are woven into this fabric, truth is woven into our universe. Truth is. And truth is discoverable. It is there all along, but we don’t always understand it or see it. Sometimes, it is when we go through life’s agitations that truth rises to the surface as a pleasant surprise.
Easter brings fun things to mind. Spring colors, decorated eggs, pretty dresses. Speaking of pretty dresses, in just one month I will wear my mother-of-the-bride dress, with this handwoven shawl on my shoulders. I am finishing the edge of the shawl with hemstitching on the loom. The hemstitching is decorative, but also has a practical purpose–it secures the warpends and keeps the cloth from unraveling. If all goes as planned, twisted fringe will hang from the hem-stitched edge.
Forgiveness, the truest demonstration of love, is the ultimate security. Do you see how forgiveness serves as a finishing edge that gives beauty and definition to real life? When you know you are forgiven, you are secure in knowing you are loved. To be forgiven–that’s the gift, the meaning, the wonder of Easter. This is love. God so loved the world that he offered forgiveness.
Four cones should be plenty to wind a warp for two huck lace shawls. I knew it would be close, but not THIS close! With several rounds to go on the warping reel, one cone emptied out, and then another, and then another. I finished with just a tiny bit of thread left on one cone. That’s about how I feel about motherhood right now.
When I held our baby girl for the first time so many years ago, wedding bells were in the far distant future. Plenty of time for this baby to be a little girl, and eventually grow up. Of course, Melody will always belong in our family; and now we’ll have another son who belongs, too. But when she walks down the aisle in May, this stage of parenthood is finished. Yes, we have had enough time, but it still seems too short. Shouldn’t there be more thread on the cone?
The greatest sense of belonging comes from being a daughter or son of the most loving Father. He promises to walk with us through every stage. And with his heavenly perspective, he always seems to know exactly how much thread we will need.
May you make the best of your relationships with the time you have.