Finally, one bright yellow tube of rug warp is coming off the shelf! Bright yellow is subdued by pairing it with tan, making a creamy neutral warp for my next set of rag rugs. I bought the tube of yellow 12/6 cotton for half price on a clearance sale a few years ago. What was I thinking? I haven’t used yellow in a rug warp before, but it looks like this is going to work.
Keep an ongoing conversation with the Lord. Sometimes it takes a while for us to understand the direction he has for us. It’s like looking at that yellow tube of thread, until finally you gain the courage to take it off the shelf. Right then, you notice the tan thread. The answer has been there all along.
I have an ample stash of handwoven bands. Still, I am making a new handwoven band that is “just right” for the strap on a simple shoulder bag I am making from a rag rug remnant. I pull several near-empty tubes of 12/6 cotton rug warp from the shelves to wind a five-meter warp. I enjoy finding bits of rug warp that can work together—all left over from various rag rug projects.
I warp the band loom and start weaving. Ah, what a pleasure to make a specific strap for a specific bag! And all of it from what I have on hand. It’s a picture of the way love takes odds and ends like you and me, and finds a way to make us fit together.
It’s like preparing a simple meal for family. You figure out what you have, you scrape together what you can, and you spend time in the kitchen to put it all together. It’s not fancy, nor is it perfect. But it’s good. Love, after all, is the primary ingredient for a good family meal. Love is the primary ingredient for a lot of good things, isn’t it?
I’ve been working on this spaced rep rag rug for a while. I should know what it looks like. So why does unrolling the cloth beam make me feel like a child on Christmas morning awaiting a surprise? It’s because I see only a small portion of the rug at any one time while I am weaving.
Not until I cut it off and see the whole rug unfurled on the floor do I really grasp the story this rug is telling. The surprise is pleasant. Threads and fabric strips, and a weaver’s hands (mine), have turned written plans into a compelling story to beautify our surroundings.
Our Grand Weaver excels at taking simple threads and odd pieces of cloth to create a lasting story. He weaves his plans into our lives to draw us nearer to himself. We see only short segments at a time. From beginning to end, though, our Lord’s skilled and scarred hands demonstrate his love to us. The finished work is more than we imagine.
UPDATE: I no longer use the cheater bar, as it could put too much force on the loom parts. Instead, I loosen the front ratchet first, and then I am able to loosen the back ratchet.
I have a tool that makes me stronger than I naturally am. Warp tension is extremely tight on my loom when I am weaving rugs. After advancing the warp, and locking the pawl on the cloth beam, I tighten the ratchet on the warp beam as much as I can. Then, I put all my weight into tightening the cloth beam. And then, with a bit of oomph, I lean into the handles on that cloth beam wheel to turn it one more notch on the ratchet. I pat myself on the back for exhibiting such strength. But wait, I have just created a problem. The next time I need to advance the warp, I’m not nearly strong enough to release those front and back pawls.
Meet my simplest tool: The Cheater Bar.
With this amazing helper, I can safely release even the most extremely tight warp tension. (But NEVER use the Cheater Bar to tighten the warp.)
I never knew I could be this strong. Celebrate the moment! (A play on words. Steve tells me “moment” is a physics term that has to do with a force’s tendency to cause something to rotate about a specific point or axis.)
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!
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!
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.