I found a subject for my next transparency. It’s a prickly pear cactus in Texas hill country. Weaving this cactus is a fantastic experience! I started with a photograph, from which I made a cartoon. And I have an outline that shows where to place each color. It’s all based on the timeless beauty of colors in nature. I’m hopeful that when light shines through the final woven transparency we will see a likeness of the original cactus.
Make a Cartoon
Crop and enlarge the photo. (I use Acrobat Reader to enlarge and print in multiple pages, and then tape the pages together.)
Outline the main lines of the picture.
Turn the enlarged picture over and draw the traced lines on the back to have the reverse image. (This transparency is woven from the back.)
Trace the line drawing onto a piece of buckram to use as the cartoon.
Draw a vertical dashed line down the center of the buckram cartoon.
Pin the cartoon under the weaving, lining up the center line on the cartoon with the center warpend. Move the pins, one at a time, before advancing the warp each time.
Use the photograph to select yarn colors for the transparency. (I used the iPad to view the photo, and selected sixteen shades of 20/2 Mora wool.)
Sort the yarn by hues. (I used my iPhone camera black-and-white setting to help in the sorting.) Sorting by hues helps me blend similar-hued colors, and shows me the contrasts that will help define the picture.
Assign a number to each yarn color.
Make the enlarged outline into a color-by-number sheet by designating a color or blend of colors for each section. (I taped this sheet to the wall beside my loom, to use as a color guide. The iPad photo also serves as a reference.)
Virtues are timeless. Virtues are like colors that blend together to weave a masterpiece. When we let the Grand Weaver lay in the weft, these are the colors that appear as light shines through His woven transparency: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And when this occurs, it shows that we are made in His image.
May the next leg of your journey be a fantastic experience.
I’ll meet you back here on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017.
In the meantime, I hope you investigate claims of Jesus. Take time with people. Keep weaving. And the same for me.
Head over to Instagram to stay in touch with my daily journey.
My rag rugs start with leftovers. It is a great place to begin. By leftovers, I mean fabric strips that are left from previous projects. Unlike many traditional rag rugs that are made from recycled fabrics, I use all new cotton yardage for my rag rugs. I only buy more fabric when my supply starts to run low, or when I need a specific color that I don’t have in my supply. That’s the difference between a stash and a supply. A stash is for keeping and admiring. A supply is for using up with a purpose. A stash grows without limits. A supply is replenished in relation to the need.
I have to be careful about treating my things, my time, and my ideas as my stash. For me to keep and admire. It’s better to be a giver. The generous have an endless supply. They never wonder about having “enough.” Generosity is a virtue. Those who are enriched by God can always be generous, since he is faithful to replenish the supply.
I am happily dressing my two looms at the same time. First, windonewarp, and then the other. Beam a warp on the big loom (Glimåkra Standard); and then, on the baby loom (Glimåkra Ideal). Thread the big loom; thread the baby loom. Back and forth. Soon, two looms will be ready!
Both looms are being dressed for rag rugs. Rag rug heaven! The big loom is threaded for double binding, using eight shafts. The baby loom has four-shaft rosepath threading. I am eager to get everything tied up so I can weave!
There’s an order to things in the universe, like there’s an order to dressing the looms. It matters how we live. It makes sense to live according to the way the Grand Weaver set things up. God knows who we are and what we need. And he provides the threads, like integrity, and other virtues, that are spun by his own hand. The individual pattern comes to life when the threads he has woven in our inner being become our outward expression. And we know the Weaver enjoys the work of his hands.
My band loom has been sitting idle for months with a partially-woven warp. As soon as I cut the black and white towels from the loom it occurred to me that I had not yet woven their hanging tabs. I am eager to put on a new black and white band warp to weave these towel loops; but first, I must weave off the existing band. (You originally saw this band in Weave the Portable Way.)
What had been sitting for months is finished in a day. And the black and white warp is on the loom before day’s end. What made the difference? Why is it suddenly easy to finish something that had been lagging for months? One word. Decision. (Some of the towels on which these hanging tabs will adorn are in Quiet Friday: Thick and Thin and in Even Better After.)
All our important actions derive from purposeful decisions. And my best decisions shape the course of my life in a positive way. You can choose the direction you travel. When you choose to walk the path of virtue, the path before you becomes more and more clear. Finding the motivation to do the right thing often comes down to making a firm decision. As a result, we are able to remove the old, and move on to weaving today’s important task.
This pattern is not as complicated as it looks. Remember, this is plain weave with only twotreadles. How can plain weave look so intricate? Using two sizes of threads does the trick. Really, it’s that simple.
The treadling is the easiest it can be. The shuttles, on the other hand, are more complicated. With two shuttles, you must interlock wefts around the outer warpends. When the order of the shuttles is reversed every few centimeters, as it is here, it keeps you on your toes. And then there is the double bobbin shuttle. Are you able to wind two quills that have nearly equal amounts of thread? Not to mention catching a shuttle that has two quills unwinding.
We look at the detail and busyness around us and see our lives as intricately complicated. But zoom out and take the view from heaven. From that perspective, a thousand years goes by in one day. Humans come and go, generation after generation. My seemingly complex life is simple plain weave with the grand weaver skillfully throwing the shuttles to make meaningful patterns. Let this breath of time that we call life leave a mark of virtue that lasts for generations.
May you leave a lasting impact for the good of others.