“Mid” marks the halfway point on every pre-measured tape I make. I like to know when I’m starting the second half of something. It’s a target before I reach it, and a passing milestone after I cross that line.
As I’m weaving this throw, my thoughts jump ahead. I will have a few skipped threads to fix, and spliced warpends to clip. I think about how I will hem the piece, and wash and dry it. In what special manner shall I present the finished throw to my beloved daughter-in-law? And, my mind goes to the twelve-shaftdouble weave towels for my daughter that are up next, with the flowery threads beckoning me from the shelves.
I’d like to know where I am in the span of my life. There is no “Mid” mark, though, is there? I’m not in charge of that measured tape. Faith in Christ, love, and perseverance—these form a foundation. A solid foundation is security for life. In this security, I think about what I need to repair and resolve and finish. And how to leave intangible gifts that outlive me. And I think about the glory that awaits. Imagine fabric of unbridled creativity in colors only heaven knows!
Rya knots and loops of threads look chaotic at first. These linen rya knots will never be tame, but that’s to be expected. Linen butterflies have created a swath of wild rya “flowers” planted in a smooth linen “lawn.”
Each section of rya starts with a butterfly made of several strands of linen in assorted weights and colors. I tie each rya knot on a pair of warpends, leaving a loop between knots. There are two to three passes of plain weave between each row of knots. When I finish a butterfly, I go back and clip all the loops. After the loops are cut, I trim the tops of the threads to even out the rya “flower garden.”
When things around us look a mess and don’t make sense, full of knots and loops, there is one thing we must do. Keep holding on to faith. Fight to keep your faith strong. Faith in Christ Jesus will carry you through uncertainty and will reveal the first ray of hope. The loops will be clipped, the threads will be trimmed. A garden of color will emerge. Faith waits for that.
I have started this tapestry sampler three times. The biggest problem was the header. I had so much draw-in that warpends were breaking at the selvedges. Cut off and tie back on. I knew what to do–bubble the weft. But again, the second time, I had too much draw-in. Maybe I can ease the width back out to where it should be… Nope. After several hours of weaving with beautiful linen butterflies, and breaking more warp ends, I gave up.
I carefully removed all of the linen weft, and took out all of the header. Start over. Again. I did what I should have done from the start. Bubble the weft MORE. It works! Now I have a great starting place for the tapestry weaving to flourish. Until I had a good header, I was wasting my time trying to make the tapestry work.
Words are like a header for our view of the world. Words shape our thinking. Listen carefully to test words, like you test food on your plate by tasting it before eating the whole thing. Test the words you hear. And only swallow what is right and good. If the header is good, your tapestry can flourish.
Cotton, linen, wool. Thick, thin, slick, rough, smooth, bumpy. Yarn comes in so many shapes and sizes. But, oh, it’s the colors that draw me in. I love a wall of yarn! I don’t need to have it all, I just want to look at it. Thread on tubes looks spectacular, piled up in cubbies. Yarn in skeins looks inviting. Yarn, thread, fiber… Whatever you want to call it, may I have just a little more, please?
Please come back next week for the lively conversation I had with Swedish weaving expert and founder of Vävstuga Weaving School, Becky Ashenden, in her living room. Find out what makes her tick!