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

Who Gets the Jackrabbit Napkin? Drawloom Dilemma

Jackrabbit. This critter is one I would like to see more often. We call him “Jack,” or if there are two of them together, they are known in our family as “Jack and Jackylina.” The jackrabbit makes me smile because of his tall ears and mischievous-looking face. The nice thing is he doesn’t cause any mischief, like some of the other critters around here. He will sit completely still, without a twitch. I’m sure he wants you will think he’s a rock, and pass on by without noticing him. But if you get a little too close, he hops up and quickly dashes away.

When we have all twelve napkins at the dining room table for a family gathering, how will we decide who gets Jack the Jackrabbit? This one could be everyone’s favorite.

Teal blue linen weft. The jackrabbit is one of my favorite critters in our Texas Hill Country area. I like their humorous profile.
Just reached the halfway point on this jackrabbit image. This is all single-unit draw until I get beyond the area where the nose and feet are in the side borders. After that, the borders will be the simpler pattern-shaft draw.

As with the other critter napkins in this series, the borders at top and bottom, and some of the side borders, use the pattern shaft draw system. The jackrabbit in the center and the “broken borders” use the single unit draw system. I am very happy to weave with this Myrehed Combination Drawloom Attachment. The possibilities are endless…and fun!

Happy Weaving!

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

Handwoven Placemats on the Table!

Twelve green placemats are on the dining room table. Green 22/2 cottolin warp and 8/1 tow linen weft in four colors done in a two-block broken twill, woven on the Julia with eight shafts. I am deeply satisfied with the results. Now, all I need to do is to invite everyone over for a big family meal!

End of warp. Cutting off process begins.
Fabric unrolls from the cloth beam. Warping slats go every which way onto the treadles.
When I first unroll the cloth from a project that has been on the loom for a while, it is almost always “Love at first sight.” Then, I begin to question myself and wonder if the whole thing is a big mistake. The final stage is the most realistic and I am deeply satisfied with the results (usually).
Into the washing machine. The placemats have been cut apart, edges secured with the serger, and serger tails threaded back in. I carefully monitor the washing machine and remove the cloth before it hits a full spin cycle. Then, into the dryer it goes, just until damp, and then I press them till dry. This is a long time at the ironing board.
Twelve placemats ready to go! Machine hemmed and pressed.
The four linen weft colors give the placemats a softly graded look. Each one has the same two-block pattern, but each one is different because of the variance of the weft colors. Blue, green, teal, black.
Setting the table in the dining room.
Let’s eat!

I am lining things up to start my next big project that will grace our home. I’ll let you know as soon as I start winding the warp!

May you finish what you’ve started, no matter how long it takes.

Happy Weaving,

Karen

Look at that Cloth Beam!

There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing a cloth beam filled up with cloth. There are eleven placemats rolled up on there, plus one more stretching from the breast beam on down. All that’s left to do is cut them off, wash, hem, and press. We’ll have new placemats on our dining room table in no time. Yippee!

Twelve placemats are woven. Now it’s time for some pattern play at the end of the warp.
Empty quills at the end of a weaving project are such a happy sight! This is another reason I enjoy playtime at the end of every warp–I can use up thread on the quills.
Look at that cloth beam! Woo Hoo, cutting off will be fun. And hemming all those placemats…I don’t mind.

May your efforts bring satisfying results.

Happy Weaving,

Karen