After a solid hour of weaving, I have produced only two more inches (5 cm) of woven fabric. I am completely enthralled with the process, though, of this intriguing monksbelt weave. Some of the best things take the most time.
I long to feel the completed cloth in my hands. This weftrep monksbelt is new to me. I honestly don’t know how the hand and drape of the final cloth will be. There is nothing I can do but wait. And, at two inches (5 cm) per hour, that’s a long wait. But I won’t give up. I have enough experience at the loom to know that this is going to be a treasured piece…if I don’t get impatient and cut it off early.
Do you have a prayer waiting to be answered? Sometimes it takes a while. Does that mean that God didn’t hear, or that he doesn’t care? If we could see the invisible, I think we would see things being woven into place–at the right time, in the right way. Do not give up on God. Ask, seek, knock. And remember that our heavenly Father has good in mind for us.
I have forty-five shades of Fårö wool. That’s better than a giant box of crayons! Monksbelt and Fårö wool–is there anything better?! I have narrowed it down to nine colors. For the weftrepground weave, a few tubes of 16/2 cotton off my shelves will do nicely.
As always, I sample to see what works, and what doesn’t. I want a collection of colors that make a strong, but peaceful, statement. One misplaced color will spoil the effect. After trying various wool and cotton combinations, I see that the teal cotton must be removed. This color is welcome in other settings, but here it is out of place.
Faith is like a determined collection of colors that are meant for each other. Do not underestimate the power of faith. When lined up like close-knit friends, when put into action, when woven into the warp, it’s phenomenal! However, faith is strongest when fear is removed. Taking the teal out of the lineup makes all the difference. Now, I weave this with confidence, knowing it works. Have you heard the account of Jesus calming the storm? He told the wind and waves, “Be still.” Strength and peace. That’s the power of faith.
Two fingers gently test the resistance of the threads, from the center of the warp, moving outwards to the right, and to the left. This is how I evaluate the warp tension. I don’t rush; and I give the effort all my attention. Weftrep, where the ground weft almost completely covers the warp, is especially susceptible to hills and valleys from uneven warp tension. After I have made several tension adjustments, I tie on the leveling string. Next is tying uplamms and treadles, and winding quills. Then, the joy of weaving this monksbelt begins!
The ability to feel unevenness in warp tension is a learned practice. Being attentive is half the battle; and patience is the other half. Taking time on the front end reduces correction time after weaving has begun.
Skilled listening is a learned practice, too. Listening is more than hearing, isn’t it? Pay attention to how you listen. It matters. It takes a gentle touch to listen with a heart of understanding. When we listen with an unbending heart, we only hear what we want to hear. Patience on the front end results in fewer corrections later.