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.
I have 1,984 ends to thread and sley. Then, I will be weaving almost full width! It’s exciting!
When guests come through our front door, this stately 120cm Glimåkra Standard Countermarch loom is the first thing they see. Many folks have never seen a weaving loom. “That looks so complicated,” they say.
The appeal of a Swedish countermarch loom is its simplicity. Pieces of wood, held together with a few wedges, form the frame for an efficient system of synchronized moving parts. “Step on a treadle and see what happens,” I tell them. When you move one part, something else moves, which then causes other parts to move. Now you can send a shuttle through an opening in the threads and weave cloth. “Wow! That’s amazing,” they say. I smile and think, “Yes, it is.” It may be complex, but it’s not complicated.
The world looks complicated. What does God in heaven see when he looks on us? Does he see a complicated mess? God sees us through his eyes of love. We’ve all gone our own messy ways. He loved us anyway and gave his son Jesus to save us from our selfish ways. He appeals to us with this simplicity: say yes to Jesus and no to self. This one move sets things in motion and changes everything! God’s world may be complex, but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
There are four pairs of overlapping warp chains, with stripes to line up. I created a mess. A few options to consider: 1. Give up. 2. Weave it as is, destroying the design. 3. Use two sets of lease sticks, and expect problems with threading (2,064 ends). 4. Transfer all ends to a single set of lease sticks, arranging threads in order for each stripe.
Option 4 seems the riskiest. If I lose the cross while transferring threads, I have an even bigger mess. It’s all or nothing. Go for it! Fortunately, my apprentice, Juliana, arrives in the nick of time to give me a hand.
It worked! All the threads are successfully transferred to one pair of lease sticks. What a relief! I can beam the warp knowing that all is well. A beautiful double weave throw is imminent.
We all have made a mess of our lives, and we know it. We hear of options to fix things, but one seems the riskiest: Transfer everything to God. But what if I mess that up, too? There’s good news. God transfers us. When we place our trust in Jesus Christ, God transfers us from our messy state to his good order. And the result is a weaving that showcases his workmanship—a beautiful you.
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.
My small tapestries are a mess of threads on the back. I weave from the back, so I get used to seeing the mess. I admire the tapestry weavers who sew all the weft tails in. Front and back, the tapestry is finished and clean. So, I am sewing in the weft tails on this little Lucia patch.
Sometimes we hit a patch in life that is filled with a mess of troubles. Take troubles to the Lord. He hears when we call. The Lord answers every little prayer. Each little trouble is taken care of, step by step. When the finished tapestry is revealed, we see that He knows our name. And a bit of every one of the messy threads is woven into our back story. Front and back, the tapestry is finished and clean.