Gray Fox is showing his stride. That bushy tail is impressive. On the drawloom I get to determine exactly where that tail will swish. Where the tail crosses into the side border, I switch from pulling one pattern shaftdraw handle to pulling individual single unitdraw cords. That’s where the complexity of the combination drawloom really shines. It gives me extraordinary flexibility for weaving the designs I have in mind.
In some ways I think of the drawloom as a tool of simplicity. Despite the countless cords and shafts, every piece has a simple purpose. Each single unit draw cord, for example, simply lifts a single unit of 6 threads. That’s all it does. Complexity is a matter of perspective.
May you enjoy the simple things you find in complexity.
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.
Two-block broken twill is a soothing pattern to weave because of its regular rhythm. Even though this is eight shafts, it is not complicated. Simple is good.
Instead of assigning a different solid color to each placemat, I am using all four weft colors in each one. The colors are arranged in an order that gives the appearance of gradated color. 8/1 tow linen: blue, then green, then teal, then black; repeat, repeat, repeat. There is no set number of picks for each color. Instead, I am changing from one color to the next in an irregular fashion, letting each color softly flow into the next. Regular two-block pattern; irregular color changes.
Keep it simple. The Lord’s pattern for our lives is not complicated. The Lord goes before us. As we follow him, all those irregular changes that happen in our lives turn into a lovely display of softly flowing gradated color. We can rest in that. From this color to the next…
Spaced rep rag rugs have a graphic vibrancy that grabs my attention. Like regular rep weave, spaced rep is warp dominant. Unlike regular rep weave, the warp in spaced rep doesn’t completely cover the weft. That’s where rag weaving comes in, because the fabric-strip weft shows between the warps. The rag weft provides just enough color variation to satisfy a rag rug weaver like me.
The pattern for this rug comes from Älskade Trasmattor, by Hallgren and Hallén, p. 87. The threading has dark and light ends that alternate, with four distinct blocks (five, if you count the plain weave block). And thick weft (fabric strips) alternates with thin weft (12/6 cotton rug warp), with four different treadling sequences. All of these factors work together to make the geometric pattern in the rug. It sounds complicated. Truly, though, it is merely a collection of simple systems that all work together. And the possibilities are endless.
You are intricately and wonderfully made. To people who know you, no doubt, you look complicated. Your maker, however, knows your simple systems that all work together. The Lord knows you by name. His plan for you follows a masterful design. In the grand weaver’s hands, the possibilities are endless!
May the pattern of your life set you apart.
Happy Weaving, and welcome back to my studio, Karen
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.