I’m happy when I find my weaving rhythm, and I’m almost there with this scarf. This alpaca yarn is a weaver’s dream. No warp ends are breaking, and the weft compliantly scoots into place. That means I can put most of my attention on other details.
This wavy 8-shaft twill has straight twill threading, which means the pattern is in the treadling. It’s not difficult treadling…once you get the hang of it. But, as usual, it takes practice. It is tricky to find and correct errors because of the subtle curve in the pattern. The more practice I get, the smoother the weaving goes, and the fewer errors I make. There is no shortcut to the kind of confidence that comes from attentive practice.
Did you know you are gifted? There are skills and insights that come easier for you than for other people. The gifts that God put in you, that are in your DNA, set you apart. Practice them to gain confidence. Put your attention on using your gifts. You may be surprised how much your gifts bless others. Finding your rhythm is worth the effort it takes. (And, on the subject of DNA, here’s an interesting perspective from Sarah H. Jackson, Textile Artist.)
May you unwrap your gifts.
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.
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.
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.
This is a stash-busting rug, using leftover cut strips from previous rugs. Like my other rag rugs, I start with a plan. Then, I get out my fabric and make my color selections. It’s plain rosepath, without tabby picks in between, perfect for a stash buster. Snip, snip, snip. Fabric snippets are taped to my idea sheet. These are my blueprints–weaving draft, treadling order, and idea sheet with fabric snippets. I am weaving!
I can, and do, make adjustments at the loom. But I keep one question in mind. Will my choices along the way fit with the overall design of the rug? My idea sheet serves as a guiding compass. It’s a reminder of the big picture that forms a cohesive design.
Guiding principles shape our lives and enable us to make wise decisions. A compass sets the course. Use a true compass. Live in a way that pleases God. This is a valid compass for all choices and decisions. The Grand Weaver has the comprehensive design. Amazingly, He weaves our leftover fabric strips into his design, and uses them to make something useful and beautiful.
May you see your part in the overall design.
The great thing about Texsolv heddles is that they are easy to move around. If you know how to tie them together, it is simple to add heddles, remove heddles, or switch heddles to different shafts. When I’m getting ready to thread the loom, I get my box of bundled heddles and put it on the cart right beside the loom. Then, I can easily add heddles if needed. And when threading is finished, I tie any unused heddles into bundles and put them in the heddle box, ready for the next project.
Tie Texsolv Heddle Bundles on One Shaft
- Step 1 Take a cord (I use my choke tie cords) through the heddles below the heddle eyes.
- Step 2 Wrap the cord one time around, below the heddle eyes.
- Step 3 Cross diagonally up with the cord, and take the cord through the heddles above the heddle eyes.
- Step 4 Wrap the cord one time around, above the heddle eyes.
- Step 5 Join the two ends of the cord with a bow knot.
Tie Texsolv Heddle Bundles on More than One Shaft
- Step 1 Take the cord through the heddles below the heddle eyes, right to left, one shaft at a time, front shaft to back shaft.
- Step 2 Take the end of the cord from the back shaft, and wrap the cord around one time through the heddles, below the heddle eyes, right to left, one shaft at a time, front shaft to back shaft.
- Step 3 Cross diagonally up with the cord, and take the cord through the heddles above the heddle eyes, from right to left, one shaft at a time, front shaft to back shaft.
- Steps 4 & 5 Wrap the cord one time around, above the heddle eyes, from right to left, one shaft at a time, front shaft to back shaft. Join the two ends of the cord with a bow knot.
Remove Heddles from Shafts
- Step 1 Remove shaft pin from the lower shafts, and slip the bottom of the heddles off the shafts. Replace the shaft pin.
- Step 2 Remove shaft pin from the upper shafts, and slip the top of the heddles off the shafts. Replace the shaft pin.
- Step 3 Place tied heddle bundles in the heddle box. Put the box away, ready for the next project.
May you always have enough heddles when and where you need them.
Autumn is the perfect time of year to plan alpaca scarves. This three-ply alpaca yarn is dreamy. The thing I love about winding a warp like this is the feel of the soft yarn as it goes through my fingers. This warp is going on the big loom for an eight-shaft wavy twill.
The first pass around the warping reel must be correct, which is why I measure the distance first with a guide string. After the first pass, I simply follow the correct path around until all 136 alpaca ends have been included. I am already starting to dream about the eventual soft and cozy scarves.
Following the path of the guide string is like having faith to follow Christ. Faith grows in good soil. And there is no better soil than Christ himself. I don’t yet see the scarves, but it’s not hard for me to imagine what they will be like. I have touched the yarn, and the completed warp chain is a sweet preview. When we see what Christ has completed, faith takes root and gives us reason to trust him for everything else.
May your roots grow down into good soil.