What Will You Finish Weaving this Year?

I am this close to the end of the rug… This series of double-binding rag rugs has been super fun! The question is: What’s next? I think I can squeeze out one more (short) rug on the warp after this one. Will I be able to do the final cutting off before the year’s end? I’m going to try! But then, what after that? I have some ideas… Perhaps I’ll start a new pictorial tapestry on this Ideal.

Measurement tape shows how close this rug is to its final picks.
View under the breast beam shows the rug being rolled up on the cloth beam.
I never cease to be amazed at the possibilities of a weave structure as simple as four-shaft double binding.

We are this close to the end of the year. Is there a project you still hope to complete before this year’s end? Share what it is in the comments.

May you enjoy every moment.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

What a Little Yellow Can Do

It’s an ordinary double-binding rag rag in many ways. Standard draft, normal 12/6 cotton rug warp, weaving with two shuttles. Honestly, though, I’m thinking of it as art for the floor. With that in mind, I have a yellow stripe going across the rug. It’s a line of contrast to draw the eye. As the brief glimpse of yellow weaves under the intermittent blocks of red I am satisfied. My plans on paper have revealed themselves on the loom. Something unexpected draws the eye. And I get excited all over again!

Design element at the 1/3 mark.
Yellow stripe makes its way across the rug “under” the red blocks.
Double binding lets me play with design. By changing the color of weft on the shuttles at strategic times, I can create an eye-catching element in the rug. Art for the floor.

Expect the unexpected.

May you find satisfying ways to express creativity.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Tie the Rug Warp Back On

I’m at fresh starting place. After finishing another double binding rag rug, I have tied the rug warp back on. I’m ready for a new variation in this rag rug series of block designs. Rug warp lets me stop and start. Cut off and tie back on. It’s as simple as that.

Hem at the end of the second rug is woven in plain weave with narrow fabric strips for weft.
Off the loom for a first glance.
Warp ends have been tied in knots and trimmed. Hand hemming fini\shes the rug.
Second rug of the series.
After tying the warp back on, I start the third rug in the series.

May your progress be observable over a span of time.

Happy weaving,
Karen

Tried and True: Cheater Bar

UPDATE: I no longer use the cheater bar, as it could put too much force on the loom parts. Instead, I loosen the front ratchet first, and then I am able to loosen the back ratchet.

I have a tool that makes me stronger than I naturally am. Warp tension is extremely tight on my loom when I am weaving rugs. After advancing the warp, and locking the pawl on the cloth beam, I tighten the ratchet on the warp beam as much as I can. Then, I put all my weight into tightening the cloth beam. And then, with a bit of oomph, I lean into the handles on that cloth beam wheel to turn it one more notch on the ratchet. I pat myself on the back for exhibiting such strength. But wait, I have just created a problem. The next time I need to advance the warp, I’m not nearly strong enough to release those front and back pawls.

Meet my simplest tool: The Cheater Bar.

Cheater Bar is PVC pipe to use as a lever.
PVC pipe, 1 1/4″ x 24″

With this amazing helper, I can safely release even the most extremely tight warp tension. (But NEVER use the Cheater Bar to tighten the warp.)

Slip the end of the pipe over a handle on the ratchet wheel.
Force of the lever makes it easy to release the ratchet. CAUTION! Do not use the lever to tighten the warp beam or cloth beam. You could easily tighten it more than the loom is made to handle.

I never knew I could be this strong. Celebrate the moment! (A play on words. Steve tells me “moment” is a physics term that has to do with a force’s tendency to cause something to rotate about a specific point or axis.)

Good tools make hard things easier.

May you find strength you didn’t know you had.

Happy weaving,
Karen

Double-Binding Is My Framework for Floor Art

I can make an ordinary rug. But it’s more exciting to weave something extraordinary. That’s what I like about making rag rugs. I can infuse them with beautiful patterns and colors. Double binding, in particular, gives me a useful framework for my “floor art.”

Double binding is a framework for creating art for the floor.

The thing I like about double binding is the way two consecutive wefts overlap and interchange in the shed. As the blocks change, the weft on top and the weft underneath change places. Most double-binding rugs, including the ones I have made previously, are simple checkerboard designs. The threading pattern you see here has significantly more block changes than usual. What began as a “what if?” has opened up a new dimension of rag-rug weaving for me! This opens the door to extraordinary.

Each row has two interchanging wefts.
Red stripe is the mid point for this double-binding rag rug bath mat.

God made you for purpose. It’s no accident that you are endowed with certain skills. When our skills and desires merge in meaningful ways, we enjoy a sense of purpose. Whether it’s weaving, singing, or growing seeds, do what you were made to do. And let all you do point to the glory of your Maker. When he made you, he had extraordinary in mind!

May you live out the purpose for which you were made.

Happy Weaving,
Karen