I started this warp as a place to test some tapestry techniques. I have studied, practiced, and evaluated my own results from techniques used by various tapestry artists. What I have learned is that I prefer the techniques that I am already familiar with, that I learned from my friend Joanne Hall. I am ready to dive in one more time on this warp to refine my own approach to pictorial tapestry weaving.
This little hand-built loom has been sitting idle long enough. It’s time to start again. Starting takes courage. The cartoon is almost ready. Soon, this little loom will be back in action as my favorite place to be immersed in color and yarn.
This is a huge project. Four shades of blue from dark to light span the nearly one-and-a-half-meter-long rug. I have reached the final color-transition section. I am eagerly awaiting the day this rug will be rolled out!
My measuring ribbon shows me where to make the color changes. I alternate two weft colors (C and D) through the transition area to blend the hues. All the while, I stop after every half-unit of four picks to manage the draw cords. A graphed chart tells me exactly which of the 164 draw cords to pull or release. In this way the graphic designs are woven into the rug, row by row. I weave in quiet, allowing me to put full attention on each move.
We need hope in these unsettling times. Jesus invites us to admit our fears and failures, and put our trust in him, and follow him. And this is the message Jesus gives his followers: I am always with you. The Lord gives strength and courage. As our Grand Weaver, he has his full attention on us. So be strong and take courage.
Doing something bold is a dramatic way to end the year. I have added 200 single-unitdraw cords to the drawloom. The bold thing is that I am using lanyard clips. This changes the usual process of setting up the draw cords, so I’m making some of it up as I go.
First, I sleyed the cords through the single-unit reed (used for spacing the draw cords). Next, I put a one-inch lanyard clip on every lift heddle. Now, one at a time, in order, I attach a lift heddle to a pattern unit, and then clip the lift heddle to the draw cord. Repeat 200 times. (I picked up the clever tip about lanyard clips online from Su Butler, who has, admittedly, a different type of drawloom setup than what I have.)
When this drawloom rag rug project is finished, I should be able to unclip the draw cords from the pattern units, leave the draw cords in place on the loom, and start fresh for the next project. Progress through the new year will reveal whether this bold action is a good idea…or not.
Sugar Pie has been waiting in the wings. Now, his nose wriggles up to the fell line. The day that Ari and Lucia went with me to visit my neighbor, their attention went to the cute furry thing in the rabbit hutch. At first, the bunny was wary, but before long, Sugar Pie was nibbling carrot slivers from Lucia’s hand.
Now, I’m the wary one. The rabbit will make or break this tapestry. I made notes when I wove the rabbit on a narrow samplewarp several weeks ago. With careful review of my notes, I am inching forward, giving attention to value contrasts that shape and define the animal. The good news is that when I reach the end of Sugar Pie’s soft, furry back, I will be at the tapestry’s finish line.
In trying times, our senses are heightened. Will we flourish, or merely squeak by? In all the confusion, where is clarity? In the chaos, where do we find calm? The Lord extends an open hand. The open hand is an invitation. Come and taste. Trust. Find deep satisfaction that reaches the soul. Courageously inch up to the greatest challenge of your life.
There is no room for timidity at the loom. It takes courage to dismantle a loom that has a tapestryon it. Dismantling and reassembling a loom doesn’t scare me. But taking a loom apart in the middle of a cherished project? That’s another question altogether. The hardest part was the waiting in between. You can imagine my mix of emotions through the tapestry transition—up, down, and every which way! And then, the moment of truth…Finally…When the warp is evenly tensioned, and the butterflywefts make their first pass through. The lizard has been awakened. Hallelujah!
This slideshow video takes you through the steps of taking the loom down…And putting it up again.
Weaving continues now as if there had been no interruption.