Four down, eight to go. It doesn’t take long to weave a placemat.
I weave a two-pick stripe between placemats. The stripe is always in the red or orange family of colors (unless the item being woven is red or orange). The red stripe is my cutting line, and two picks helps me cut on the straight and narrow. I once got confused about where to separate two towels that I had woven, and I cut in the wrong place. Yikes! That’s when I instituted the red thread rule.
Our lifetime has a distinct red thread rule. A true beginning and end. Life is brief. It doesn’t take long to weave a placemat. But while it’s on the loom, it has the weaver’s full attention. And so also, the Grand Weaver is attentive to all the threads of your life.
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…
On the Road Again was a special challenge issued to members of the San Antonio Handweavers Guild last fall: Pair up (by random selection) with another guild member. Learn where that individual would like to travel and make a handwoven bag that suits her or his needs. I learned that my On-the-Road-Again partner, Donna, is a world traveler and uses small makeup bags to organize her carry-ons. Likewise, I informed Donna that I like small bags that I can use to hold my travel weaving when Steve and I go camping in our Casita travel trailer. Our guild met last week and we got to unveil our special gifts to each other. I had the smart idea to present the bags nested inside each other. Imagine my surprise when I found that Donna had the same smart idea. What fun!
My contribution for Donna is three small zippered bags, and a linen washcloth to take with her on her travels.
Donna’s thoughtful exchange couldn’t be more perfect – three small zippered bags, and a drawstring bag to hold them all together. I have my band-weaving supplies in the bags, ready for my camping trip with Steve in a few days!
Even through randomwarp stripes you can see an ordered pattern in the cloth. Linen sitting on the shelf is begging to be used, even though the tubes are partly emptied. So, why not make some linen wash cloths to use every day?
The weave structure is a classic two-block broken twill, symmetrically threaded across the warp. The asymmetry of the warp stripes is out of sync with the precise threading symmetry in the block weave structure. And, asymmetrical patches of weft are out of step with a strict treadling sequence. The chaos of leftover-linen warp and weft threads has me holding my breath, wondering how this will turn out. Yet, as I weave, the surprise after surprise that appears on the loom fills me with delight. These humble linen wash cloths will yield textile pleasure for years to come.
The Grand Weaver breaks through chaos to reveal his beautiful plan. Despite the hardships we endure in this world, the structure threaded into the Grand Weaver’s fabric holds it all together. He brings our random stripes of emptiness into harmony with his project plan. We find continual delight as we see the surprising glory of his master plan. Jesus, with his deliberate stripes, comes to wash us clean.
Handwoven textiles help make our house a home. Home is where the heart is. And our home is where the art of the heart is. The most recent addition is a linen runner for our dining room table. I also wove a small table mat from the same warp. Linne Runner, design by Joanne Hall. 16/2 linen warp and weft, 8-shaft two-block broken twill. Glimåkra Julia countermarch loom.
Watch the process for creating this runner from beginning to end in this short slideshow video: