It pays to check your work. I have reached a new level of experience in distributing patterns shafts. I know how to do it backwards and forwards now. Literally. Unfortunately, I moved almost all of the pattern shafts before noticing that the spacing between units is not quite right. Uh oh! So, one by one, I reversed the distribution of pattern shafts to get back to the point of error—the very beginning. The reverse move was …more complicated.
Lesson learned:Check my work. I am off by only one unit of threads. That small miss, however, is enough to sabotage the whole project if not corrected. The sooner I check my work against the master plan the better. Fortunately, everything at the loom is fixable. It’s never too late to start again.
The sooner I check my life against God’s master plan the better. Fortunately, everything is forgivable. It’s never too late to start again.
It’s good for a handweaver to flow in creativity. That’s where designs, colors, and out-of-the-box thinking thrive. Add the virtue of persistence, and those creative ideas become tangible articles of cloth. Making things takes more persistence than it does creativity.
Threadingpattern heddles is a repetitive task that I enjoy. I find greater joy, though, in the actual weaving phase of the project. That is when I get to sit at this marvelous instrument and challenge my hands and feet to work together to make the glorious sounds of a loom producing patterned cloth. It does take persistence to get to that point. Even when weaving, my focus is on the outcome – creative napkins for our family meals. The end purpose not only drives my persistence to the finish line, it brings enjoyment to each necessary task along the way.
You and I are God’s creative work. He is persistent in the forming of our character, desiring to weave the image of Christ in us. His end purpose brings meaning to all the steps it takes to complete the fabric. Imagine his enjoyment every time we allow his hands to do each necessary task.
I am constantly improving my methods of operating the drawloom. I pull and release draw handles and draw cords, check for errors, and throw the shuttle for each unit of threads (six times per unit with the current setup). Everything is in order. And, while I’m actively absorbed with this mental and physical choreography, I experience freedom from every other care.
These snowflake patterns are delightful to weave. There is enough consistency with the border pattern shafts to make it simple. And there is enough (planned) random snowflakes using single units and pattern shafts to keep it engaging. All I have to do is follow the graphed chart. As I weave, the snowflakes emerge, as if by magic. But it’s not really magic, is it?
If you believe in Jesus you must walk with him. And as you do, you come to know the truth. Truth is found by walking in it. The pattern on the chart is true, and gives direction. The delight comes as we see the real-time results emerge in our own hearts. That’s freedom in its purest form.
Snow in Texas Hill Country is minimal. To make up for it, I am putting together a virtual snowstorm—four Christmas Snowflake towels on the drawloom. Each towel has three large snowflakes at the bottom and top borders. The body of the towel has delicate snowflake crystals drifting to the ground.
Starting with Selbu Mittens: Discover the Rich history of a Norwegian Knitting Tradition, by Anne Bårdsgård, I transpose Nordic star patterns into drawloom graphed designs. Affinity Designer (graphic design software) takes the place of graph paper for me. Being vector graphic design, it enables me to make changes without having to start over. I can easily move, separate, copy, and/or transform elements as I work through a design. I print out exactly what I need, scaled up in size without losing clarity, in a format that enhances my ability to make the right moves at the combination drawloom.
We have a faithful designer. Our Grand Weaver creates his image in us. He moves, separates, copies, and transforms elements in our lives until his image clearly shows. It takes a lifetime. The Lord is faithful. Since he has brought us this far, let us also be found faithful to him, conforming to his image.
I have questions galore as I begin a new warp on the combination drawloom. Is this the best sett for these threads? How are my sheds? What will orange-ey weft colors do on this pewter and blue warp? Is the image of this first design better face up, or face down? How can I include a couple extra colors in the design? The loom is set up with 45 pattern shafts and 148 single units. I’m eager to begin!
Sampling at the beginning of the warp gives me answers. The sett is good—18 ends per centimeter, with 16/2 cotton in 6-shaftirregular satin. After some tweaking, the sheds are good—and all the treadles touch the floor when the optimum shed is reached. The weft colors look good—better than expected. And, definitely, the jam jars need to be face down—so, I reverse the image in Affinity Designer on the computer and print out a new chart. I can sneak in some extra colors with narrow weft stripes—beginning and ending borders. I’m ready to roll! New kitchen towels in various designs are moving forward! First up…Peach Jam Jars.
~It is a joy to have you visit with me every week! It is time for my annual pause for the month of July. I’ll see you back here on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.~
Until then, may the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.