Quiet Friday: Family, Food, and Fabric

Thanksgiving. What is a family gathering without food? We have our traditions, like turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie. We also have some recently discovered favorites, like pomegranate seeds and pecan pie. Even for a reluctant cook like me, the hustle and bustle of preparing the Thanksgiving meal with more-than-usual pairs of hands in the kitchen is heart-warming. Making memories with love is a thread that weaves the fabric of our family together. I am grateful.

Steaming dinner rolls wrapped in handwoven cotton towel. Simple plain weave takes on elegance in this color-and-weave effect using thick and thin threads.

Steaming dinner rolls, just out of the oven, are wrapped in a handwoven cotton towel. Thanks to my daughter, Melody, and her cooking timeline, we knew just when to put the rolls in the oven. The towel is simple plain weave that takes on elegance in this color-and-weave effect using thick and thin threads.

Turned rosepath ribbon and classic point twill hand towel for serving pomegranate seeds.

Antique family bowl with pomegranate seeds, on classic cottolin hand towel in point twill, with turned rosepath ribbon at the side.

Eight shaft two block twill Tencel scarf sets off the perfect brined and roasted turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

Brined and Roasted Turkey, prepared by my daughter-in-law, Lindsay, was one of the best we have ever eaten. Eight-shaft two block twill Tencel scarf completes the presentation.

Decorative band woven on band loom, reinforced weft table runner, and Frozen Cranberry Salad - on our festive table!

Decorative band woven on my band loom playfully dresses up the reinforced weft table runner, which is made with narrow strips of cotton fabric for weft. Frozen Cranberry Salad is a traditional favorite for our family.

Handwoven eight-shaft two block twill cloth holds special Pecan Pie with braided-edged crust. Perfect finale for Thanksgiving dinner.

My other daughter-in-law, Marie, created the braided edge for this pecan pie. Superb! The eight-shaft two block twill cloth matches the Roman shades that hang from my kitchen door, made from the same warp.

May you make memories that feed your soul.

Happy Giving Thanks Day,
Karen

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Thanks Giving

Loved ones are filling my home this week, so why not include them in weaving endeavors? My son Daniel took the challenge to create a Thanksgiving image on graph paper that I could weave in Bound Rosepath. A turkey pilgrim!

Bound Rosepath turkey pilgrims with black hats.

Five shuttles carry the colors of Brage wool yarn for this bound rosepath weave on a 16/3 linen warp. Look at the orange to see the turkey pilgrims with black hats.

Give thanks. Pilgrims, turkeys, families, generations of freedom. The American story handed down through the ages.

  • Give thanks for the food.
  • Give thanks for the blessings.
  • Give thanks for your family coming together from near and far.
  • Give thanks to your family.
  • Give thanks to your friends.

But above all, oh, give thanks to our creator, for he is good; for his love goes on and on and on without end.

May your thankful heart ring with joy.

Thankful,
Karen

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The Secret to Making Lattice Fringe

First, a short tutorial for tying perfect lattice fringe, and then some thoughts about keeping our eyes open to reality. I decided to tie three rows of knots with this fringe for a pretty lattice effect, knowing the results are worth the time it takes.

How to Tie Lattice Fringe – Step-by-Step Tutorial

Supplies:

  • 7/8″ (2 cm) blue rigid foam insulation (mine is Dow Styrofoam Residential Sheathing Insulation, found at The Home Depot or Lowes), cut to 32 x 36″ (81 x 91 cm) (This great idea came from Thrums, one of my favorite weaving blogs.)
  • 16 straight pins
  • 7/8″ (2 cm) warping slat (or template of desired width)

1. The first row of overhand knots has been tied. (More detail HERE.) Lay the fabric over the foam board, with the fringe laying toward you at the front of the board.

How to add lattice fringe to a row of knotted fringe. Step-by-step tutorial with pics.

 

2. Place a straight pin through the top thread of each of several knots in a row, into the foam board under the fabric.

Lattice Fringe Tutorial. Step-by-step, with pics.

 

3. Use warping slat (or other template) as as spacing guide for the second row of knots. Lay warping slat flat, and place it flush against the row of pins. Using the width of the warping slat as a spacer, place a pin in the second row just below the slat, at the point where the knot will be formed.

Lattice Fringe Tutorial. Step-by-step with pics.

 

4. Remove warping slat. Loosely tie an overhand knot below the just-placed pin in the second row, leaving the center of the knot wide open.

Overhand knot in lattice fringe tutorial. Step-by-step with pics.

 

5. Insert another pin through the center of the knot just a fraction below the point of the first pin.

Making Lattice Fringe. Step-by-step tutorial with pics.

 

6. Slowly pull the knot to cinch it up to the point of the second pin.

Cinching the knot for lattice fringe. Tutorial with pics.

 

7. Holding the knot firmly between the fingers of one hand, with your other hand gently tug each strand of the knot to its full length.

Making lattice fringe - tutorial with pics.

 

8. Continue tying knots across the entire row.

First row of lattice fringe. Tutorial step-by-step with pics.

 

9. Repeat the process to add another row of knots.

Tutorial for Making Lattice Fringe. Step-by-step with pics.

 

My confidence in my ability to tie these knots can drift into careless thinking. Maybe I’m good enough at this that I can leave out some steps. Do I really need that guide stick for spacing the rows? I think I can eyeball it. Pulling each strand to close the knot takes too much time. Why don’t I just skip that part? And soon, I am blind to the haphazard results I am creating. Pride is like that. In relationships and in life circumstances, though, the consequences are more severe than in fringe-tying.

Pride keeps me from seeing my own vulnerabilities. Pride puts me in harm’s way because it blinds me to the reality of my own shortcomings, and makes me think I’m above it all. I want to keep my eyes open to my need to learn and grow. Who wants to drift into haphazard results in life? Not I. Not you, either?

May you never be blind to the things that matter.

Feeling vulnerable,
Karen

5 Comments

  • Barbara says:

    Too many days I think I can skip my alone time with God. I’m doing OK, I say to myself, and I have a lot to do today. As I was going through a stack of papers the other day, I came across something I typed up and printed out in large letters to remind myself… something you said, Karen…”No excuses, no exceptions, non-negotiable.” Thanks for helping me keep my focus on what really matters.

    • Karen says:

      It is interesting how we can fool ourselves. Sure, we can coast for a while, but then we risk becoming numb to the things that hold value and meaning. “No excuses, no exceptions, non-negotiable” is something I still repeat to myself. I’m glad that is still helpful to you, too, after all this time.

  • […] 3. Untangled the fringe of alpaca/tencel throw. (A wet finishing nightmare I don’t care to repeat.) You can see what it looked like before washing HERE. […]

  • Gaby says:

    peut-on avoir la description en français svp merci

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You Thought You Were Finished?

Tying the fringe into careful overhand knots is taking longer than the time it took to weave the three-yard-plus length of fabric. I would rather just do the weaving part. But without clearly defining the edges of the woven cloth by securing the ends, the whole fabric is at risk of unravelling. (To view this alpaca/Tencel throw on the loom, click HERE and HERE.)  We form distinct edges on our life’s fabric through the interactions we have with people around us.

Tying fringe on handwoven lace weave alpaca shawl.

Each knot of six warp ends were carefully tied around a straight pin, snuggling the knot right up to the edge of the fabric. As the knot is tied, I gentle pull each strand individually, which secures the knot and gives an even finish.

With relationships, it is tempting to take the easy way out. Quicker, painless, and less stressful. But it is the challenges from other people that help define who we are. Without the clarity of knowing what we stand for, we are at risk of falling for anything. Don’t avoid the often tedious work of making sure all your ends are secure.

Our challenges to each other sharpen us, finishing us for a greater purpose. Like iron sharpening iron, it is the abrasion that sharpens us, defines our edges, and brings the point of our lives into focus. All those loose ends tied into knots–ahh, the process is worth it.

May your finishing edges be as beautiful as you are.

With a few more loose ends,
Karen

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The Best Kind of Thankfulness

Rosepath (Rosengång) is a motif that shows up frequently in Scandinavian textiles. I love seeing rosepath in any setting, but rosepath is at its best, arguably, when it is used for borders and accents on otherwise ordinary cloth. This four-shaft rosepath is well-suited for rag rugs, giving delightful visual results. Because it uses two ski shuttles and fancy footwork on the treadles, I must be deliberately attentive. (Click HERE to view my other Rosepath projects.) If there is to be a positive motif in the fabric of our lives, we must be deliberate about that, as well.

Rosepath rag rug on the loom.

The characteristic dot in the rosepath motif is clearly visible in the high-contrast red/tan accent. The dot is still visible, but not as obvious in the lower-contrast mottled green/tan accent.

People want to be remembered. Stop for a minute and think about the people you are connected with–family members, friends, co-workers, acquaintances. Think about how thankful you are for them. Thankfulness is an outstanding motif. Not just thankful for what people give you or do for you, but simply thankful that they are here.

One of the best ways to love someone is to remember them when you’re talking with the creator, thanking him for putting them in your life. Thinking thankful thoughts is nice, but deliberately thanking the one who makes it possible is even better. That thankfulness shows up as the defining motif in all our interactions with the people we’ve been given to love.

May your thankful heart be the delightful motif that others see.

Thankful for you,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Leigh Ellis says:

    Hi, Karen,
    What a wonderful post. The best and most amazing thing about gratitude is the more grateful we are, the more people and things God puts in our lives to be grateful for!i am thankful for having you in my life,

  • Pam says:

    Thank you Karen for your thoughtful insights and reminder of how important it is to be thankful for the people God places in our lives and to pray for them. I agree with Leigh “The best and most amazing thing about gratitude is the more grateful we are, the more people and things God puts in our lives to be grateful for”

    • Karen says:

      You are welcome, Pam. We need reminders from each other to remain grateful. Leigh and you make a good point – gratitude opens the door for us to have more to be thankful for. Maybe gratitude opens our eyes, in a way, to see more of the good things God is doing.

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