Have enough Colors of Yarn?

I don’t want to tell you how many different colors I have of wool yarn. Most of it is 6/2 Tuna and 6/1 Fårö, but I have a good collection of other wool yarns, too. If it’s wool, I include it in my tapestry weaving. I have all of it arranged according to a 5-step value scale.

Yarn butterfly is equivalent to about 4 strands of 6/2 Tuna. I’m composing a color in the medium-dark value range.

If I combine the colors of wool just right, I can make the exact color I need for a tapestry detail. This is the challenge on which I thrive. There are never enough colors. Or, so it seems. The truth is, I have more than enough color options. Besides, for tapestry, the exact hue of a color is not nearly as important as the value of a color in relation to the colors around it.

Tapestry in progress. I carefully select yarns, mostly according to color value.
The cart beside the loom holds all the possible colors I may need for this Figs and Coffee small tapestry. I stop frequently to evaluate the colors and the value contrasts in the weaving.

The Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth, Creator of color, makes himself known. Take a look outside. Everywhere we look there is more color than we know how to express. So, in our humble attempts to make yarn butterflies in exact colors, we are showing that we are indeed made in our Creator’s image.

May you see all the color around you.

Your friend,
Karen

Looms Have Personality and Year in Review Video

How do you keep five floor looms busy? You sit at them, one loom at a time. Each loom has its own personality. Or, just maybe, the personality of the loom is more about how the loom makes me feel when I’m active with the loom to turn threads into cloth.

The 120cm Glimåkra Standard Vertical Countermarch is my Queen of Looms.
Now: Spaced Rep rag rugs. Two more rugs on this warp.
Next: Jämtlandsdräll (Crackle) rag rugs

The 100cm Glimåkra Ideal Horizontal Countermarch is my Workhorse of Looms.
Now: Empty
Next: Pictorial Tapestry (subject matter to be determined)

The 70cm Isenhower Little Horizontal Countermarch is my Princess of Looms.
Now: Pictorial Tapestry sampler. Currently, “Figs and Coffee.”
Next: unknown

The 120cm Glimåkra Standard Horizontal Countermarch with Myrehed Combination Drawloom Attachment is my Gentle Giant of Looms.
Now: Being dressed for cottolin/linen napkins in 6-shaft broken twill
Next: unknown

The 70cm Glimåkra Julia Horizontal Countermarch is my Cinderella of Looms.
Now: Two-block broken twill cottolin/linen placemats
Next: Fabric for a stylish cape, using a vintage sewing pattern

Let’s take a look back to see how these looms showed their personalities in 2022!

What personality does your loom(s) have?

May your heart and soul flourish in the new year.

Happy Weaving New Year,
Karen

Dive in – Be Immersed in Color and Yarn

I started this warp as a place to test some tapestry techniques. I have studied, practiced, and evaluated my own results from techniques used by various tapestry artists. What I have learned is that I prefer the techniques that I am already familiar with, that I learned from my friend Joanne Hall. I am ready to dive in one more time on this warp to refine my own approach to pictorial tapestry weaving.

Tapestry tests and samples are on this warp. My mind is made up. I’m ready to start again.

This little hand-built loom has been sitting idle long enough. It’s time to start again. Starting takes courage. The cartoon is almost ready. Soon, this little loom will be back in action as my favorite place to be immersed in color and yarn.

Piecing pages together to make the cartoon. Only a few more adjustments are needed in the cartoon. The cartoon is being developed from a recent watercolor sketch of morning coffee and fresh figs.

May you start as soon as you can.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

Cowgirl Band Weaving

Remember the rigid heddles for band weaving that Steve made for me? (See Process Review: Heddles and Bands) Soft maple, Spanish cedar, and walnut. Steve says they are missing the “cuteness factor.” So, what does he do? He makes a cowgirl heddle out of cherry that is cute as can be!

Miss Cherry Cutie has a warp of 8/2 cotton and 22/2 cottolin, mixed in an asymmetrical design. Steve converted a little sett tool into a shuttle by bevelling the long edge and carving the sides into curves to hold the wrapped thread.

Well, Miss Cherry Cutie wants to flip over while weaving. A little quilter’s clip on the bottom adds just enough weight. Problem solved. Now Steve wants to make one that has more weight on the bottom half.

Quilter’s clip at the bottom gives Miss Cherry Cutie the balance she needs to stay upright while weaving.
Quilter’s clip serves a dual purpose. Besides adding weight for balance while weaving, the clip holds everything together nicely. I can drop this small bundle in a bag, and add a belt and a band lock, and off we go!

Here comes Miss Cutey II in Spanish cedar, with a longer skirt. She doesn’t tip all the way, but she does lean this way and that. The clip helps her, too. Conclusion? The shorter version, with the clip, is more compact and is our favorite design.

Miss Cutie II has a petticoat that hangs below her skirt. This extra length makes her a bit more stable than Miss Cherry Cutie. I cut Miss Cherry Cutie’s warp in half to give Miss Cutie II a warp. These are the same threads, but arranged in a more symmetrical order. She has her own sett tool shuttle, too.
Miss Cutie II also benefits from the added weight of a quilter’s clip.

Look who shows up! Miss Cutie III in Spanish cedar. It’s time for a band weaving party, y’all!

Miss Cutie III shows up unexpected. She waits to be threaded with a few ends from the thrums of the Priceless Monksbelt Runner. (See Process Review: Priceless Monksbelt and Video.)
Facedown for threading, Miss Cutie III receives the 16/2 cotton threads for her warp. This warp has five doubled pattern threads.
Threaded and ready for a 5-thread pick-up pattern.
Narrow band, with a subtle zigzag pattern.
Back of band has soft floats in triangular shapes.

Persistence comes from having an end in mind. Prayer is like that. We know our heavenly Father hears us when we pray. We know his outcome is good. Faith compels us to persist in prayer. As we do, the Lord guides our heart to align with his will. All the while, he works behind the scenes to bring his answer, which is better than anything.

May you persist as needed.

In his time,
Karen

Process Review: Heddles and Bands

Band weaving is a simple activity that helps you notice the little things. You see how each thread falls into place. How the thread turns the selvedge corner just so. How the pattern threads stand proud in floats or hide in subtle patterns. I enjoy practicing my skills as a band weaver. And more so, now that Steve has turned his attention to making band heddles for me.

Workshop at Contemporary Handweavers of Texas Conference 2019 got me started with weaving patterned bands on a rigid heddle.
First heddle by Steve is made from Soft Maple. Band has 21 ends (with 5 pattern threads, doubled). 8/2 cotton and 22/2 cottolin.
Heddle made from Spanish Cedar. Wood-burned top represents the Texas Hill Country hills that we enjoy. Band has 45 ends (with 5 pattern threads, doubled), using the heddle’s full width. 8/2 cotton and 22/2 cottolin.
Walnut band heddle in the making.
Torgenrud, H. (2015). Norwegian pick-up bandweaving. Schiffer Publishing; Foulkes, S. (2018). Weaving Patterned Bands. How to Create and Design with 5, 7, and 9 Pattern Threads. Schiffer Publishing; Neumüller, K. (2021). Simple Weave. (Language: Swedish). Natur & Kultur, Stockholm.

Pictures in the following slideshow video tell more of the story.

Edited: Steve has compiled photo documentation of how he made my Spanish Cedar and Walnut heddles. Click HERE to send me an email requesting a PDF copy of Making a Band Heddle.

May you take time to notice the little things.

Love,
Karen