My husband and I coined the word “lapkin” when our children were young. Lap + napkin = lapkin. We wanted our children to learn the courtesy of placing a napkin on their lap when they were seated for a meal. “Lapkin check!” was a fun game we made of it. The armadillo on the drawloom is a lapkin, if I ever saw one. This thirsty cloth will soak up any drips and spills, smeary hands, or messy mouths that come in contact with it.
Armadillo is the first of a dozen critters that will parade across this loom. Armadillo napkin is the only one of its kind. I’m certain of that. (Fox is up next.)
Lapkins give us a discreet way to stay tidy at the table. Armadillo, however, doesn’t intend to stay discreet. I’m pretty certain of that, too.
I have never woven napkins because napkins that are used get soiled. Why spend time weaving something you have to be so careful about? That is about to change. I am dressing the drawloom for napkins!
The napkins I have in mind are family-friendly napkins for all ages. They will get soiled, of course. They are made with grandchildren in mind–Cottolin warp and linen weft. I have a fun design for each napkin. And we’ll be ready to wipe any messy mouth. Napkins are made to get soiled.
Wisdom is marked by a sense of calm. There is no dread of something ruining the day. If a little (or big) person soils a napkin, so be it. That will just serve to add a bit of history to the cloth. With a little wisdom, I’ll remain undisturbed.
Remember potholder looms? I made many such potholders when I was young. It is a natural entry point for a budding weaver. My eight-year-old grandson has mastered potholders. He is ready for a bigger challenge. I ask, “Would you like to try weaving on a floor loom?” Wide-eyed, he says, “Yes!”
Sit here. Practice moving your feet on the treadles: Right foot 1-2-3-4; 1-2-3-4; left foot 5-6-7-8; 5-6-7-8. (Can you do it without looking at your feet?) Hold the shuttle in your right hand, and send it across the top of the warp over to your left hand. Practice gliding the shuttle back and forth on top of the warp several times to get the hang of it. Okay, I think you’re ready! Let’s do it!
Within a few minutes he is weaving unassisted. Ahh, the joy of seeing someone take pleasure in making cloth—especially, when that someone is your grandchild!
And now, the potholder loom grabs the attention of another grandchild. “Let me do it myself,” she says, like a typical five-year-old. The cycle repeats itself, and Lola (that’s me) smiles.
Our family celebrated a birth-day last week. Meet baby Isaac, our ninth grandchild! Also, this week, I am finishing up the pictorial scene of another celebrated birth-day. Each appliqué piece is stitched to the background, using various threads, needles, and simple embroidery stitches to help convey the details of this humble historical event.
Many firsts are represented in these handwoven scraps. My first floor loom project, first handwoven curtains, first 8-shaft weave, first linen warp, first drawloom piece, etc. There are some special family memories here, too—wedding gifts, baby wrap, housewarming… Humble beginnings and handwoven treasures generated by love.
Birth is a picture of the fullness of God’s grace. The birth of our ninth grandchild is as glorious as the birth of the first. Each new child brings yet-unwrapped gifts. The birth of baby Jesus is a picture of the fullness of God’s grace brought within reach of all. His humble beginnings, with manger bed and young parents, animals and stars watching—all so wondrous to ponder. Christ Jesus came into the world, to be wrapped in scraps of cloth! We are still unwrapping the gifts he brought to us from heaven—forgiveness, peace, and enduring joy. God with us, Immanuel.
Drum roll please… And now, I present to you: Siblings
The Siblingstapestry is a woven expression of personal meaning. The tapestry tells a story of a singular incident, almost hidden in the excitement of the occasion. Lucia grasps Ari’s wrist as they approach Sugar Pie, the bunny. In that moment I see something worth keeping—precious sibling love.
Please enjoy this short video of the process of weaving and finishing the Siblings tapestry.