You May Be Looking at the Under Side

This is not reversible cloth. The colors on the back look pretty, but the design is only on the top. Sometimes we judge our circumstances from the underneath side, not realizing there is a dazzling scene being formed above us.

Bound Rosepath, the pattern is being designed at the loom.

Each row of the design takes four picks, producing a weft-faced cloth. Each shuttle carries a different color; so, at times, there are five shuttles going across for one row. Instead of following a diagram, this time I am designing the pattern as I weave.

The bound rosepath (rosengĂ„ng) cloth develops slowly. My pace is about 35 millimeters (1.4 inches) per hour. I pay attention to every detail. Five shuttles, many color changes, careful turns at the selvedges. I get up to wind quills, to advance the warp, to repair broken linen warp ends, and to stand back for an overview. You cannot know all of the weaver’s work by looking at the reverse side. It is messy underneath.

We may not have a clear view of what our master weaver is doing, but we can see his consistency. And we have seen his masterful work in the past. Are you in a season that feels confusing? That is precisely when it makes sense to trust someone greater. Be one of the few in our day who sees the goodness of God with the eyes of trust. The finished cloth, the underside of which we see now, will one day be displayed by the maker, and all will be amazed!

May your fears fall away and your trust increase when you face uncertain times.

Believing is seeing,
Karen

6 Comments

  • Fran says:

    I think the first row is very beautiful, and I hope it has many repeats! Do you need 8 shafts to do it?
    You are not kidding about life challenges; I often have to close my eyes and just hang on, and trust it works out. Thanks Fran

    • Karen says:

      Fran,
      Surprisingly, this only requires four shafts and six treadles (two treadles for plain weave at the beginning and end). If you are interested, you can find the draft in “The Big Book of Weaving” by Laila Lundell, p. 122.
      It sounds like you have experienced some bumpy roads. I pray things will smooth out for you. In the meantime, keep trusting!

      And thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you like it.
      Karen

  • LS says:

    What a beautiful project! I am very interested in trying to make a rug like this – what is the sett for such work? What have you used for the warp?
    Thanks for any help you can provide!
    LS

  • Karen says:

    LS, Thank you for the kind compliment! This is very enjoyable to weave because it is fun to work with the colors and develop the images.
    I am not intending this as a rug, though it may be thick enough for that. My pieces will be much smaller than rug size. I suppose you could use this bound rosepath for a rug if you don’t mind that it has long-ish floats on the back.
    The sett is 10 epi, with a warp of 16/3 linen, unbleached. The weft I am using is Brage wool, 3,400 m/kg. This piece is 17.5 ” wide on the loom.

    Please keep me posted; and let me know if there is anything else I can help with.
    Happy Weaving!
    Karen

  • linda says:

    I’ve been at this, weaving, for 42 years. It’s all beautiful. I’m , and always have been in love with overshot and summer winter. I’m lucky enough to have become a Master Weaver and a sometimes teacher. I’d love to share if you’ll have me. I’ve found my 40 somethings aged children do NOT want my weaving, Quilting, or taylor made clothing from the hand woven. Surprise! I’m leaving them all a trunk full that will be hugs from grandma when I’m not here to wrap my physical arms around them.
    About 5 years ago there was an upswing in New England of weaving; now it’s knitting. I’ve found i can weave a sweater and knitt the cuffs faster than i can just knit one. heaver than a sweater, nbut lighter than a jacket.
    So you ran out of weft… did you consider rug yarn? WEBS sometimes has a sale on it and it’s not too pricy and great colors. I’m the opposite lots of weft, lots of warps wound, but no time or dextarity to get it on. My “funnest” weaving project is getting it to work then I’m bored. I’ll let some one else throw the shuttle. love, happiness, and joy, linda

    • Karen says:

      Dear Linda,

      Thank you for sharing your story! I can learn a lot from someone like you. Wow, a Master Weaver – that is a wonderful accomplishment! All your fabrics tell your story.

      All the best to you,
      Karen

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