Drawloom Rag Rug Color Transition

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!

Rag rug on the drawloom. Color transition.
Transitioning from one color to the next.

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.

Drawloom rag rug.
View of the underside of the rug as it goes from the breast beam to the knee beam.
Single unit drawloom rag rug.
Draw cords are arranged by tens, alternating black cords and white cords. I pull the cords as they correspond to the prepared chart hanging at the left side of the loom.

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.

May you have hope that lasts.

Love,
Karen

Single-Unit Boldness

Doing something bold is a dramatic way to end the year. I have added 200 single-unit draw 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.

Journey in Pictures:

Setting up single-unit draw cords.
Setting up single-unit draw cords.
Setting up single-unit draw cords on the drawloom.
Getting set up for the drawloom.
Lift heddles and lanyard clips.
Lift heddles for the single-unit drawloom.
Attaching lift heddles to single-unit draw cords.
Single-unit reed is sleyed.
Lanyard clips on the drawloom. Process pics.
Placing the single-unit reed on the drawloom.
Pattern heddles in position. Drawloom process pics.
Setting up single-unit draw cords.
Drawloom almost ready for weaving! Process pics.

May you take a bold step into the new year.

In with the new,
Karen

Wary Weaving

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.

Beginning the bunny in the large pictorial tapestry.
First pick of brown for the bunny’s nose.

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 sample warp 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.

Color changes are outlined on the tapestry cartoon.
Color changes are outlined on the cartoon with colored pencil.
Pictorial tapestry in progress. "Siblings"
Ari and Lucia, two of my grandchildren, in a moment of childhood wonder. This tapestry tries to capture that wonder.

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.

May you step into a worthwhile challenge.

With you,
Karen

Quiet Friday: Tapestry in Transition

There is no room for timidity at the loom. It takes courage to dismantle a loom that has a tapestry on 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 butterfly wefts 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.

Almost at the halfway mark on this tapestry.
Five more centimeters will be halfway! The “6” is sixty centimeters.

Lizard tapestry. Top of the head almost finished.
Finishing up the top of the head.

Lizard tapestry. Progress!
Lizard is making himself at home.

May you see the rewards of your courage.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Quiet Friday: Linen Chair Seats

This week I crossed something off my Weaving Bucket List: Use handwoven fabric to upholster chairs. Remember the color-and-weave linen fabric? It’s part of my collection of fabrics designed specifically for our Texas hill country home. I covered four barstool seats with this linen upholstery fabric!

Handwoven linen upholstery fabric.

Weaving the fabric is the easy part. But I’m a newbie at upholstering. As such, using my “precious” handwoven cloth is unnerving. But I was fortunate enough to receive terrific advice and encouragement from friends, including one who conferred on my behalf with professional upholsterers she knows. And another friend generously loaned her power staple gun to me. I also referred to a book (Matthew Haly’s Book of Upholstery, by Matthew Haly) that I picked up a few years ago in hopes that I might someday reach this item on my bucket list.

Testing handwoven fabric for chair seats.

Trying out handwoven fabric for chair seats.

Removing staples, to re-cover the seat.

Covering seats with batting and muslin.

Reupholstering chair seats. Muslin first.

Handwoven linen upholstery fabric. Covering chair seats.

Handwoven linen upholstery for chair seats.

Backing the upholstered chair seats. Handwoven upholstery.

Upholstery backing in place. Handwoven upholstery project.

Finished handwoven linen chair seat! Ta da!

Underside of re-covered chair seats.

Four newly upholstered chair seats. Handwoven Upholstery.

Handwoven linen upholstery. Newly covered chair seats.

Newly covered chair seats. Handwoven Linen!

I count this as practice and a first step of experience. Eventually, I may work up the courage to reupholster our eight dining room chairs. Hmm… the thought of getting to design the fabric makes that challenge rather appealing.

May you cross something off your bucket list.

Your amateur upholsterer,
Karen