Weave Beyond Your Momentum

Do you remember that I said the background is less interesting to weave? I take that back! Blending these colors and forming the shapes is no less interesting than weaving the lizard. The green anole is the featured subject, filled with detail and many minute color changes. Weaving that lizard was a skill stretcher! But as I continue, I am weaving details of a different kind. The background is a log, not easily recognizable. It’s like looking at wood grain patterns through a magnifying glass. I’m hopeful everything in the final image will fit together when we see it from a distance.

Four-shaft tapestry. Shading and texture.

Color, shading, and texture work together to make the surface appear uneven. Some areas look as if they are raised, and others, especially the dark places, look like they are indented.

Detail of lizard tapestry.

After about three more warp advancements, the lizard and his green toes will be nowhere to be seen.

Four-shaft tapestry. Glimakra Ideal.

Little by little…

View of the tapestry in the direction it will hang.

Standing on a chair, I get a view of the tapestry in the direction it will hang. This is only one slice of the tapestry image, but it helps me imagine what the finished piece will be like.

Continue. I don’t want to lose momentum just because I finally made it through the hardest part. Keep going, being faithful to what you know to do. Faithful to what you know is true. Don’t be fooled by compelling, convincing, and subtle messages that divert from the truth. Continue walking by faith, trusting the outline, the cartoon, that the Grand Weaver prepared for us. It will all fit together when we see it from heaven’s eternity. That’s real hope.

May you keep your momentum.

In faith,
Karen

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My Loom Is a Pipe Organ

Threading twelve shafts in three blocks is like having three four-shaft looms all in one. The three simple block patterns can be arranged in various ways, giving me infinite design options for these towels. There will be no two alike. Double weave gives us crisp lines between colors, producing amazing cloth! This is another instance where weaving on this Glimåkra Standard feels like sitting at a big pipe organ, where glorious color patterns are the music of the loom.

Twelve-shaft double weave. Endless possibilities!

Exciting color combinations!

All this with only four colors! The magic of double weave.

First towel on the warp has multiple weft color changes.

Squares in double weave hand towels.

Second towel has squares and fewer weft color changes.

Cottolin towels on the loom in doubleweave!

As the first towel wraps around the cloth beam, the second towel nears its hem.

Faith. Faith in the powerful working of God is like exploring the possibilities of handweaving. You know the systems are in place for something amazing, but you find it takes a lifetime to discover all the glorious wonders. Double weave is just a glimpse of that glory. I have faith that there is Oh so much more. Likewise, our faith in God is an ongoing discovery of his works and his ways. With every glimpse of his glory and goodness, we know there is Oh so much more. Eternity won’t be long enough… And maybe heaven will be filled with music that explodes in color.

May you know the thrill of discovery.

With faith,
Karen

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  • Betsy says:

    Those are works of art! I’d be thinking of framing one.

    And you had me looking at the Glimakra price list, wondering how much it would take to expand my Standard to 12 shafts. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Besty, The first three towels will go to my daughter. There should be enough warp after that for one more towel, or table runner, or maybe a framed piece. That’s a great idea. Thanks!

      You can do almost as much with 8 shafts. But, I have to admit 12 shafts is nice.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Annie says:

    Love these colors, Karen! And the variety of the patterns is amazing! I can’t wait to learn Doubleweave. Your daughter will treasure these and I expect everyone in Chile will want a pair as well.

    I am looking forward to seeing you on the 6th.

  • Janet Hageman says:

    Karen, These towels look amazing! Did you pre-plan the patterning for each towel, or are you “winging it” as you weave?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Janet, For the pattern on the first towel I was making it up as I went. After that, I got out some graph paper and crayons and planned it out. Having a plan saves quite a bit of time at the loom. It’s fun to create different patterns.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

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Warp Chain Optimist

Is there a better picture of optimism than a warp chain? Especially warp chains that are sitting on the loom bench ready to become something! Anticipation electrifies the weaving space because fabric-making is about to happen!

Warp chains for a spaced repp rag rug.

Four bouts of 12/6 cotton rug warp for spaced rep rag rugs. The warp is eight meters long.

The Glimåkra Ideal is getting dressed for weaving rag rugs. Hooray! And the Glimåkra Standard is getting dressed for double weave baby blankets. I keep a regular cycle of weaving, cutting off, and starting over.

Warp chains of 8/2 cotton for baby blankets.

Three bouts of 8/2 cotton for double weave baby blankets, gifts for friends. The warp is three meters long.

Dress the loom. Weave a sample. Plan the next project and order supplies. Weave what’s on the loom to the finish line. Cut off. Do the finishing work. Wind the warp for the next project, and put the warp chain(s) on the loom bench. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Every beginning has an end. Every warp. Every life. And even every day comes to an end. What will I make of that warp? This life? This day? Our life is a mere shadow, fading quickly. To honor our Grand Weaver, we want to value every day we’ve been given. And when our hope and trust is in Him, we know the fabric he is weaving will last forever.

May you value this day you’ve been given.

Happy weaving,
Karen

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Another Classic Swedish Weave

Monksbelt is up next, another classic Swedish weave. I’m thrilled! This time I am weaving yardage, without knowing exactly how the fabric will be used. I planned this project while the rya rag rug was still on the loom; and I’m eager to get started!

Winding warp on Glimåkra warping reel.

Glimåkra warping reel not only accelerates the warpwinding process, it makes it downright fun! This is the first of four bouts of unbleached 16/2 cotton. 760 warp ends in all.

Winding the warp is a rewarding part of the process. When I wind a warp, it goes directly to a ready-and-waiting loom. So, this is a declaration of a new beginning. It is also the anticipation of future rewards. The final reward is long-lasting–a useful length of colorful handwoven fabric.

Look for rewards that will last. We get side-tracked if we look only for immediate satisfaction, or short-term success. The long view brings perspective that cannot be seen in quick snapshots. I don’t have to know exactly how things will look in the future. I can enjoy the stage of the process I am in right now. Ultimately, though, I await the finished cloth. Keeping that reward in mind brings purpose to each step along the way. The eternal reward that heaven holds for us fills each season here with meaning.

May you enjoy many rewarding experiences.

On purpose,
Karen

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Zebra Warp

I changed my mind. A long zebra warp (formerly known as black and white) will not be boring. When I come to the end I’m certain I will wish I had an even longer warp. The first few picks are already amazing. Design possibilities are flying through my mind!

Zebra warp on Glimakra Ideal loom.

Zebra warp has taken over my Glimåkra Ideal loom. There are 10 1/2 meters (11 1/2 yards) of thick and thin threads.

This is plain weave. But here, the plain weave is transformed with thick and thin threads–in warp and weft. Combining thick (doubled 22/2 cottolin) and thin (30/2 cotton) gives me two blocks to work with. I am using two shuttles, one of which is a double bobbin shuttle. As always, weaving feels like magic. All I do is dress the loom and throw the shuttles, and exquisite cloth magically appears!

Black and white towels on the loom.

First few picks reveal interesting design options. Leveling string across the beginning of the warp eliminates the need to weave scrap yarn to spread the warp.

Black and white towels on the loom. Karen Isenhower

First towel has a border design–one element that sets a handwoven towel apart.

God’s faithfulness is like a long zebra warp. It doesn’t seem elaborate or noticeably fancy. It’s been there forever. His faithfulness is known among the angels and all of heaven. God’s faithful love is as constant as day and night. We take notice when we see beauty appear, like kindness from a stranger, or love from a friend, or inner peace from doing the right thing. As the shuttles of life traverse the threads, the evidence of God’s faithful love is revealed. Always and forever.

May you enjoy endless design possibilities.

Happy weaving,
Karen

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