When You Misread the Threading Draft

What if you finish tying up the loom, eight shafts and eight treadles, having beamed, threaded, and sleyed 2,064 ends, and the first thing you see when you step on the treadles is… that you misunderstood the threading draft? Do you undo everything and re-thread? Not likely, if it took you eleven-and-a-half hours to do the threading in the first place. I am taking a deep breath. Time to walk away and think. Maybe I can adjust the tie-up, or maybe I can use it as is—a serendipitous design. Should I laugh or cry? My idea to serve my loved ones with handwoven gifts (See Weaving a Gift) is getting off to a rough start.

Double weave throw. Warp is tied on.
Warp is tied on. Ready to tie up the treadles.
Tie-up completed for eight shafts and eight treadles.
Lamms are connected. Treadle cords are positioned. Treadles are tied up. Eight shafts and eight treadles.
Double weave throw.
This view should show solid dark plum all the way across.
Double weave throw on the loom.
This view should show stripes of solid colors, not two-color stripes, with solid bands of dark plum in between.

Serve. I want to offer my best, especially when I’m making a gift for someone dear to me. It helps to look beyond the person, though, and realize my true service is to the Lord. Heart, soul, mind, and hands. I bring my misunderstandings and missteps of the heart to my Master Weaver, who has taken it on himself to make things right. And I’m reminded that as I serve someone with my weaving hands, the true gift is love. This double weave throw will be a reminder of that.

May you recover from your mistakes.


UPDATE: I have had a chance to put the draft on Fiberworks weaving software and work with it to adjust the tie-up. I think I found a solution. Stay tuned!

Quality Rug Warp

After a few weeks of having to refrain from weaving, I am thankful that there was warp to weave one more rug. The quality of warp thread matters because it is the core of the rug. Never underestimate the value of good, strong warp thread for weaving rag rugs.

Rosepath rag rug almost complete!
First hem is going around the cloth beam. Weaving is almost complete!

I like to use 12/6 cotton from Bockens. This rug warp is a six-strand thread with high twist. The smooth, nearly-unbreakable thread enables me to ratchet up the tension on the warp. That high tension helps produce sturdy, tightly packed rugs with tidy selvedges. Knowing you are making a rug that will last is a very satisfying and enjoyable weaving experience.

Cutting off never gets old!
Cutting off never gets old.
Rosepath rag rug just finished. Karen Isenhower
Ta da! Hems are folded under for the picture. As soon as the hems are stitched, this rosepath rag rug will have its Etsy photoshoot.

With finishing nearly complete, this rag rug will be enjoyed on the floor of someone’s home. Most people aren’t aware of the structural elements of a rag rug, but they do notice quality in the finished work. People, too, have an inner core–the heart. The heart matters. The strength of our inward framework determines our outward attitudes and actions. Since true quality is found in a life that serves others, most everything comes down to a matter of the heart.

May your quality of life be noticeable.

Happy weaving,

Shuttles at Work

With a flick of the wrist, the shuttle glides across the warp. The curved, narrow end of a traditional Swedish boat shuttle slides right into my hand. This dice weave uses one shuttle for the plain weave background, and a second shuttle for the pattern weft.

Dice weave on the loom, with the luster of linen in the warp and weft.
Dice weave with 16/2 linen warp and weft. The blue plain weave weft and the brown pattern weft are woven on alternating picks in the pattern blocks.

From my bin of shuttles I choose the ones best suited for the warp that is on the loom. When a shuttle fits my hand, as the Swedish ones do, that’s even better. As the weaver, I am usually the only one who sees the shuttles at work, but that makes them no less important. The one purpose of a weaving shuttle is to carry weft thread across the warp, by the weaver’s hand.

How do you find your purpose? Discover your calling by putting others first. Like most people, I would rather put my own self first. But our grand weaver calls us to be last. He calls us to be servants of each other. In that role where we carry the thread without being noticed, we do our most important work. And that is where we finally find our great value in the weaver’s hands.

May your shuttles glide effortlessly.

On purpose,