What These Warp Chains Tell Me

Rag rugs are up next on the Glimåkra Standard. I’m filled with anticipation. Oh, to have the momentum of this hanging beater at my fingertips again. I’m drawn to the simple power of the hanging beater, which is perfect for rug weaving. I already have a place for these rugs in my home once they are woven. So, let’s get going!

First of three bouts. Brick and Bittersweet are wound together, and Unbleached and Umber (a dark green that is almost black) are wound together.
I secure the end by pulling a loop up under the wound threads, so I can count the ends of the last group in this bout.
Finished winding the third bout. Before cutting off and tying the final pair of ends, I did a visual check of the counted ends at the cross.

The draft is “Den Vackraste” from Älskade Trasmattor, by Hallgren and Hallén, p.87, to which I added some width. I plan to start with a short sample rug to test wefts and check for size. I am winding the 12/6 cotton warp in three bouts. These long, heavy warp chains tell me I’m now on an unstoppable trek that will result in rugs on the floor!

As each bout is wound, I place it in order through the beater, with the tied cross on the other side of the beater.
Anticipation!

Until I wind the warp, the rag rugs I’d like to see are merely good intentions. Warp chains placed in order through the beater, though, are a picture of expectation. I have put enough warps on the loom to know with confidence that the rag rugs I anticipate will, indeed, become reality. Faith has that kind of expectation. Faith activates your prayer. The simple power of faith is in believing that the Lord Jesus hears your prayer and that he is able to do what is right for you.

May your intentions become reality.

No holding back,
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

Tapestry Story

It’s as if every row ends with a cliffhanger, and I want to see what will happen next. I know the end of the story, but I’m still eager to see how it plays out. This is how I experience tapestry weaving. I linger here as long as I can. When I do walk away from the loom, I’m already anticipating the next time I get to do this.

Butterfly wing. This second butterfly image shows more detail than the first butterfly image on this warp (which is now beginning to touch the cloth beam).
Cart with balls of wool yarn sits beside the loom for making new yarn butterflies as I go.

I use a cartoon of reduced size as a color reference for making butterflies. A black-and-white version shows me value contrasts. I twist strands of yarn together to find a specific hue and value. Each new butterfly becomes integral to the cliffhanger story. At the loom, my thoughts are fully engaged in the details of this story.

I combine various wool yarns until I find the right combination for the color I want to add to the tapestry. The thickness of each bundle of strands for a butterfly is approximately equivalent to the thickness of 4 strands of Borgs 6/2 Tuna wool yarn.
Every row brings new excitement.
Reduced-size cartoon helps me find the needed hue (color) and intensity (relative brightness or dullness) for yarn butterflies. The black-and-white version helps me see the value (range of light to dark as seen on a gray scale) in comparison to neighboring values.

When I pray, my thoughts are fully engaged in the details of life. Prayer answers our heavenly Father’s invitation to come and be alone with him. He listens as we talk to him about our life’s cliffhangers. Prayer is so much more than making requests. It’s about consulting with our Father to gain his heavenly point of view for the tapestry he is creating. When we see the strands come together just so, we know our life’s story is in the Grand Weaver’s hands.

May your cliffhangers have happy endings.

Your friend,
Karen

Weave a Melody

I am finishing up a few meaningful (surprise) gifts for certain dearly-loved individuals. Christmas presents. Shhhh… The drawloom part represents untold hours at the loom. The band-loom part is the blink of an eye in comparison.

Cutting off midway so I can easily continue weaving.
Still enough warp for four more towels. I follow Amy Blair’s instructions for this maneuver: A Way to Cut Off the Loom Mid-Warp. This makes it possible to resume weaving with little fuss.
A few new towels from the drawloom.
First few pieces are being removed for finishing as gifts.

For the band, I am using the same blue and gray 16/2 cotton that is in the drawloom warp. I quickly wind a very narrow warp the shortest distance possible on my warping reel—116 centimeters. It’s a snap to beam it on the band loom, thread it, and start weaving. In no time at all, while listening to Christmas carols, I’m at the end of the warp, and cutting off the new woven band. Wouldn’t it be sweet to tie up every gift with a handwoven band? This band, however, will be inside the wrapping, as an embellishment on the gifts.

Glimakra band loom - threading.
Glimåkra two-treadle band loom. Set up is a breeze.
Glimakra 2-treadle band loom.
Band weaving begins with 8/2 cotton for weft. I quickly decide that the finer thread of 16/2 cotton is what I prefer.
Christmas carols and jingle bells while weaving on the band loom.
Jingle bells add festive cheer to the left hand coordination of band loom weaving, while Christmas carols ring out in the house.
Band loom - hanging tabs for handwoven towels.
Plenty!
Band woven on Glimakra band loom.
Perfect embellishment for the gifts that will soon be wrapped.

Melodies are an embellishment of the heart. They can arise in a few moments, yet they are connected to heart-filled sentiments that have taken years to develop. In this Christmas season, songs that are prayers become gifts for the newborn King Jesus. Prayers as songs and songs as prayers open our hearts to worship (adore) the Lord. “O Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

A melody-filled Christmas to you,
Karen

Step Back to See Your Tapestry Details

The contours of the face are more evident now that the lips are in place. Every cartoon line requires decisions. Shift the color at this warp end?…or, one over? Does this butterfly have too much pink?…maybe it needs more pink? The portrait image happens almost invisibly, thread by thread.

Four-shaft tapestry.
Tapestry detail.
Tapestry portrait.
Tapestry portrait.

I step back often so I can see what I am weaving. Up close, the details are obscure. I step up on the loom bench (very carefully, holding on to the top of the loom) and look through the back end of my binoculars. A distant view of the tapestry comes into focus. It’s encouraging! I can clearly see that the details are working out.

Tapestry portrait in progress.
View from a distance.
Portrait tapestry in progress.
Looking through the back end of the binoculars gives a distant view. I’m looking for distinct lines of contrast and smooth transitions.

We may be too close to our own circumstances to see the details clearly. We make decision after decision, and we hope against hope that things will turn out okay. How can we know what is right? Step away to pray. Slip away with the Lord Jesus to get His view on things. Only when we consult a higher view can we see the bigger tapestry that the Grand Weaver is creating. Prayer, as a conversation with the Lord, helps us see that the details are working out according to his purpose.

May your details become clear.

With purpose,
Karen