How Much Further Can I Weave With a Longer Quill?

How much more thread will a 13cm quill hold than an 11cm quill? In other words, how much further can I weave with the longer quill? I decided to do a simple test to find out. Which size quill should I use for the rest of this project?

Red threads give me precise start and stop points for measuring how far I could weave with one quill. I will pull the red threads out when I cut the fabric from the loom.

First, I mark the beginning of the 11cm quill with a short red thread woven through a few ends on the same row as the first row of weft from that quill. I weave off the thread from that quill and weave in another short red thread on the final row of the quill, putting the second red thread directly above the first red thread. Now, I can measure the distance that the quill’s weft covered the warp, minus the gray weft stripe. I repeat the test with another quill so I can average the difference, if any. I find that both quills cover exactly 6 cm of warp. How’s that for consistency in winding my quills?

I started with 11cm quills because that is the size that fits the shuttle I wanted to use.

Time to test the 13cm quill. I do this exactly the same way, including the repeat test. The result? The 13cm quill covers 7.2 cm of warp. So there is 1.2 cm difference between the shorter quill and the longer quill.

Each quill measured twice. This view is from below the breast beam since I forgot to take a photo before I advanced the warp. This perspective also gives a view of more of the M’s and O’s cloth and the potential for specially-made curtains.

I have a total of 8.6 meters to weave on this curtain fabric (about 1.5 meters already woven). That means winding about 143 quills (11cm), or 119 quills (13cm). Not much difference, really. Still, I’m in favor of winding 24 fewer quills of 24/2 cotton. Aren’t you?

May the math work in your favor.

Happy Weaving, Karen

Weaving Is Stretching Me

This warp is a triple challenge! 1. Full width (110 cm), 2. Fine threads (24/2 cotton), and 3. Unevenly-spaced narrow stripes. Three hours to wind the warp. Three hours to pre-sley and beam the warp. Seventeen hours to thread heddles, sley the reed, tie on the warp, and tie up the treadles. Why invest this much time and embrace this much difficulty?

1,984 ends have been threaded in heddles, and now are being sleyed through the 90/10 reed. Careful checking and re-checking all through the processes helps prevent errors.
It is a good feeling when all the ends are finally in their places.

Why embrace this challenge? Because I see what no one else sees. I see the curtains that are specially designed for our remodeled bathroom. I understand the draft, the threads, the stripes, and everything that works together in a certain way. I see it. Though not yet visible, I could see it before I started. And so, all the challenges become part of the story, and I’m determined to keep going. I aim to finish strong.

After all is set up, the first testing I do is with shuttles. Which shuttle is best for sending all the way across this wide warp? The medium Glimåkra boat shuttle that holds 11 cm quills is the winner, not the longest, largest, and heaviest shuttles.
Seeing the beauty of this cloth solidifies the hope of seeing special curtains gracing our bathroom windows.
What begins as an M’s and O’s draft for kitchen towels in Väv Magazine, and expands with pictures in a Malin Selander book, and grows with my imagination, is now visible on the loom!
The two biggest challenges that remain: 1. Filling quills. It takes a while to fill a quill with this fine thread. It doesn’t take long at all to empty the quill as I weave. 2. This wide warp stretches my arms to my full arm-length reach. It’s good to be stretched! 🙂

This is a picture of faith. Faith acts on things not seen by others. Faith sees what is not yet visible. With faith in Jesus Christ, all the challenges become part of the story. We go the duration because we have a view of the finished work.

May your challenges stretch your faith in a good way.

Giving Thanks,
Karen

Dressing the Standard Looks Like a Mess

It is my husband’s idea for me to make handwoven curtains for the windows in our newly renovated master bathroom. Now that I have had time to think about it, I think it’s a great idea. Fortunately, the yellow rug warp on the Glimåkra Standard is still sitting on the loom bench, so I am putting it aside temporarily in order to put this bathroom-curtains warp on the loom.

Winding a warp of 24/2 unbleached cotton.
Looks like a mess. Pre-sley the reed to spread the warp. Two sets of lease sticks. Narrow gray stripes of 16/2 cotton are inserted between the unbleached ends. Somehow, it all works out…
All the end loops are on the back tie-on bar, and ends from two lease sticks have been transferred to one set of lease sticks. Ready to beam the warp!
Just about set to beam.
My usual two-pound weights are just right for most of the warp bouts, but I need a one-pound weight (large coffee mug) for one smaller bout, and two 1/2-pound weights (tube of thread in a small bag) for the small bouts of gray warp ends. Whew! Is it all going to work??
Now…everything is ready!
It’s working. Just look at that beautiful warp!

I have 1,984 ends to thread and sley. Then, I will be weaving almost full width! It’s exciting!

May you gain order out of a mess.

Happy Weaving,

Karen

Bright Yellow Rug Warp?

Finally, one bright yellow tube of rug warp is coming off the shelf! Bright yellow is subdued by pairing it with tan, making a creamy neutral warp for my next set of rag rugs. I bought the tube of yellow 12/6 cotton for half price on a clearance sale a few years ago. What was I thinking? I haven’t used yellow in a rug warp before, but it looks like this is going to work.

Winding a warp on the warping reel is my kind of fun. This warp chain is ready to take to the loom.
Warp is brought to the loom in three bouts. This series of rag rugs will be an exploration of Jamtlandsdräll.

Keep an ongoing conversation with the Lord. Sometimes it takes a while for us to understand the direction he has for us. It’s like looking at that yellow tube of thread, until finally you gain the courage to take it off the shelf. Right then, you notice the tan thread. The answer has been there all along.

May you enjoy a good long conversation.

With you,
Karen

Is it a Rug or Is it Art?

Spaced rep rag rugs are off the loom! Follow the pictures to see how they came out, and the surprising thing I am doing with one of them. (It was Steve’s idea.)

Short piece at end of warp gives opportunity for exploring design ideas. Specifically, I am changing weft colors separately from changes of treadling pattern.
Cloth beam satisfaction.
Reverse side is always seen first.
Fascinated with how new fabric folds like ribbons on the floor, and how the warping slats look like a game of Pick-up Sticks.
Still looking at the reverse side. Loom cleanup begins.
After cutting off, the piece undergoes finishing. First, I tie warp ends into knots, which takes me about 2 hours per rug. Then I hand hem the rug using 12/6 cotton rug warp. And finally, I give the rug a good steam pressing, which helps even things out, shrink things together a bit, and makes the rug lay flat.
One warp, four rugs. First small rug (not seen) went to my friend Nancy at a Christmas gift exchange. Last small rug (from the end of the warp) has an irregular repeating pattern. The two longer rugs have a place in our home. Did I say “rug?”
If you hang a rag rug on the wall it becomes art. If you hang it on the massive stone fireplace it makes a house a home.

Be different in a good way. Be set apart from things that entertain the world. Find your pleasure in things that please the Lord—like creativity, beauty, and love poured into your home.

May you express yourself in positive ways.

God bless your home,
Karen