Eight Bouts Is Enough

A zillion threads—2,064 ends, to be exact. I wound the warp in four bouts. And then, …a sinking feeling! I had wound each bout with exactly half the ends needed. This double weave throw, almost the full weaving width of the loom, needs 1,032 more ends.

Winding a colorful warp.

Winding one bout of the warp.

One warp bout of several.

One bout.

Warp bouts.

Two bouts.

Warp bouts for double weave throw.

Three bouts.

Four warp bouts for double weave throw.

Four bouts. Not enough.

I had counted ends as if there were only one layer. I did all four bouts that way. Yikes! Now I am winding four more identical bouts. I will put the lease sticks through all eight bouts. Somehow. Thoughtful study of the details on my planning sheet would have prevented this major error. But I knew what I was doing, and could remember the important things. Or, so I thought. And I was eager to get started…

Winding a cotton warp.

Winding more warp bouts.

Double weave warp with 2,064 threads!

Eight warp bouts. Ready to begin dressing the loom.

Walk. How we walk through life matters. To walk in a manner pleasing to God we need to know what he wants, and give that our full attention. If I run ahead, eager for the next experience, and neglect to consult the Grand Weaver’s project notes, I’m asking for trouble. The vibrant-colored warp will still get on the loom, but this is called learning the hard way.

May you learn most things the easy way.

Learning,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Annie says:

    Oh, Karen! That is the hard way! Your perseverance is so admirable!

    I can definitely relate to this lesson in life and in weaving. It seems I frequently don’t pay enough attention to the Holy Spirit ‘s direction or pattern directions. One benefit of learning the hard way, though, is same mistakes are rarely made.

    I love all the colors I see. I am looking forward to seeing the work in progress.

    Have a blessed day, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Annie, Sometimes I wish I could go back a little in time and do it correctly from the start. With weaving, fortunately, if something can’t be undone it usually can be fixed. I don’t want all those threads to fail. I have too much invested in it—time and $.

      I think I can safely say I will never make this mistake again!

      Listening to the Holy Spirit’s directions is one of the most important lessons in life.

      Thanks so much for your input!
      Karen

  • Barb says:

    Your post is so timely! Something was wrong with my scarf project, it just didn’t look right. Eager to get going, I started weaving. It soon became apparent that the sett was wrong. Off it came & I re-sleyed. I read your post and thought I should read the draft & instructions again before I started weaving. It was an ‘aha’ moment, I was not treadling correctly either.

    Thank you for sharing your insights!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barb, These mistakes can happen so easily when we are eager to get started. They are just as easily avoided if we slow down enough to review our own information. Hopefully, we are learning to not make the same mistake again! We can be an encouragement to each other!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

Leave a Reply to Joyce Lowder Cancel reply


Weaving a Gift

For Christmas, I gave my daughter and two daughters-in-law a piece of paper with options for a custom handwoven article from me. This new project is the start of fulfilling those promises. Marie, my youngest son’s wife, chose a throw in vivid colors.

Christmas gifts to family members this year.

Each recipient gets to customize her gift. As maker, I retain design decisions and final color selections.

Opening a package with new tubes of thread is like Christmas all over again! This shipment brings the 8/2 cotton thread for Marie’s double weave throw, adding to what I already have on hand. From promise to conception of an idea, to collecting threads and dressing the loom, to weaving a gift—it goes from intangible to tangible. Threads turn into cloth!

New yarn shipment excitement!

My apprentice happens to be here when the package arrives! She shares the excitement with me of opening the package to see the new thread colors.

Vibrant colors for a new project on the loom!

Vibrant colors for Marie’s throw.

Love holds us together. Threads of love create a sustainable cloth of connected people. Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving, as an imitator of God. Not an imposter, who pretends to be god. But an imitator, like a loved child becomes an imitator of their dad. Consciously and subconsciously. Let the character of God become your character. And let the threads of love that he has woven in your life reach into lives he’s given you to touch. Let his promise to you become tangible cloth to others.

May you be wrapped in love today.

With love,
Karen

10 Comments

  • Lise says:

    I love your ideas for Xmas gifts. Can you share what the choices were and what you wove for the ladies?
    I make tote bags with groceries bags, it is one of my contributions to help save the planet.
    Baglady, Lise

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lise, I’m glad you asked! This current project is the first one of the gifts. I haven’t completed any of them yet. I will be sharing about each gift as I come to it through the course of this year.

      For this first one, the request is a throw, large, in vibrant colors. I’m excited to get it on the loom!

      I’m glad you have a meaningful way to use your weaving skills!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Angela says:

    What a wonderful idea!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angela, Thanks! It’s something I had been thinking about for a couple years. And now, it helps with the question, “what shall I weave next?”

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Maggie Ackerman says:

    I love this idea of letting the recipient choose what they’d like. Ok if I borrow your form idea?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maggie, I think it makes it fun for the gift giver and the recipient. You are very welcome to use any part of this that serves your needs. Have at it!

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Cherie Kessler says:

    Just want to say how very much I enjoy your blog, and how often I’ve used your “helps”….like the red thread between towels, the suggestions for ways to repair weavings that aren’t perfect. And the newest, unfortunately, a shorter way to remove weaving down to the fault by cutting…rather than unweaving! These, plus all your inspiration…I’m so happy when I open my emails and see an update! Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Oh Cherie, I wish I could give you a great big hug right now! Of all the reasons I have for writing in this space, one of my biggest hopes is that I can share something that will be of value to someone else. You have really touched me with your kind encouragement. Bless you!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • I may borrow your idea. I make dish towels every year for my girls, and one year i did something similar. I chose a darker teal warp and had each of them choose three of my yarn colors they each liked that would look nice with the warp. I did a monks belt threading and each towel turned out so different. It was a fun project. If you are interested, you can see the final photo of them in my blog here:
    http://jennybellairs.blogspot.com/2013/12/annual-christmas-towels.html

    I enjoy your blog posts and am glad I subscribe so I don’t miss any. Keep them coming!
    Jenny B

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenny, I like your idea, too, to let them choose the weft colors. Your monksbelt towels are stunning! It’s amazing what a range of effects are possible on one threading!

      Your word of encouragement means so much to me. Thank you, thank you!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

Leave a Reply to Joyce Lowder Cancel reply


Harmonized Weaving for the New Year

I have a grand idea for this new year! Put all three looms to work simultaneously to weave a coordinated set of textiles for the Texas hill country house. My Glimåkra Ideal loom and the little hand-built loom are bare and ready. Imagine the action! I’ll take you along as I wind warps, dress looms, and weave the harmonized threads. While I wait for ordered yarn, I am weaving the linen satin dräll towels that remain on the Glimåkra Standard loom. Soon, this loom will be bare and ready, too.

Linen towels in five-shaft satin dräll.

Beginning the third of six linen towels in five-shaft satin dräll. Two picks of red thread mark the cutting line between towels.

Before embarking on a new year of weaving adventures, though, I want to fully stop and count my blessings. And YOU are one of those amazing blessings. Thank you from my heart for being friends who share in this journey with me.

Take a look back with me through 2017!

Grateful for you,
Karen

20 Comments

  • Beth Mullins says:

    Great slide show! I so admire your work. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.
    Happy New Year, Karen!

  • JAN says:

    Good morning Karen!

    On this blustery cold day in New England, your presentation of your 2017 weaving projects, in review, was most welcome and inspiring. Currently I weave on a 12 harness Öxabäck.

    One question, what make and model sewing machine do you use?

    Unfortunately my Husqvarna 6030 appears to have seen it’s last days, so would appreciate knowing what modern machine works best for you, especially on heavier wovens, e.g. with use of rags (not necessarily rugs).

    Happy New Year,

    JAN

    • Karen says:

      Hi JAN, You weave on the Cadillac of looms, then, as I’ve been told! Wonderful!

      My sewing machine is my trusty 40-year-old simple Bernina. It does almost everything I need it to do, and I hope it never dies. Someday, I might add some sort of commercial sewing machine that can handle thicker and heavier things. I have sewn relatively thick seams on this machine; however, I must confess that I have also broken many needles in the process. I’ve never had a fancy computerized machine. I’m not sure I would know what to do with it.

      Happy New Year to you,
      Karen

      And bundle up. Brrr…

  • Linda says:

    Thank you for the lovely slide show! Happy New Year!

  • Enjoyed your slide show. It has been fun watching your projects develop this year. Your have a good eye for color.

  • ellen says:

    i am excited to see what comes next. i just bought a towel kit of yours from lunatic fringe. i am going to show my friend how to do this, before we go to vavstuga next fall.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ellen, Wow, so many exciting things on your horizon! Hooray to all of it, especially your upcoming experience at Vavstuga!

      Happy New Year,
      Karen

  • Nanette says:

    Beautiful slide show…and amazing productiveness. Do you have any “New Year’s resolutions” to suggest for those of us who seem to produce so little weaving despite good intentions and three looms? Do you weave all day every day? Do you not have other things you either want or must do? I really appreciate you taking the time to share all this weaving with others!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nanette, You are so sweet! My desire is to weave every day, but there are many days that other responsibilities keep me from the looms. It is rare that I spend more than one or two hours at the loom on any given day. The truth is, there are few things I would rather be doing than weaving.

      One thing that helps me is that I have a “revolving door” mindset with my looms. I don’t want to see my looms empty, so I keep a perpetual schedule of preparing for the next thing. When I have started the actual weaving on a loom, I sit down and plan the next project, and order the yarn. When the loom is empty, I wind the new warp. When I wind a warp, I take it immediately to the loom it is going to dress. And I can’t stop myself from weaving on a newly dressed loom!

      I’ve never had all three looms empty at one time, so my new grand idea of coordinating the three looms may also be my downfall. We shall see…

      Thanks so much for your gracious encouragement!
      Karen

  • Anonymous says:

    Karen, wow have you done a lot this past year, I am so happy that you have included us in your journey. Loved the video!
    Happy New Year my friend,
    Liberty

  • Carolyn Penny says:

    Amazing productivity and variety in your projects. The rotation of your looms and projects sounds like a wise method of coordinating the three. My best wishes in having three coordinating projects on three different looms. I am certain you can do it! — Carolyn Penny

  • Alison says:

    Thank you for sharing Karen. So inspiring to see your successes from the past year. I will take a hint from you (from one of your messages above) and try and keep my three looms warped at all times! This year I start a three year weaving course with Liz Calnan (in Australia) and I’m very excited to take my weaving to a much more professional and accomplished standard. I look forward to seeing what you get up to this year.
    Alison

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alison, What a great opportunity you have to take a three-year weaving course! That sounds fantastic. You’ll need to teach me some of the tips and skills that you learn.

      Thanks!
      Karen

  • Annie Lancaster says:

    What an amazing variety of items you accomplished this past year! I was already in awe of the quality of your weaving and now I am floored at how much you accomplished in just a few hours a day!

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am looking forward to the new year and your new projects.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Annie, I never feel like I’m weaving that much, but when I look back I’m a little surprised myself! I’m not particularly fast, but I’m pretty consistent. It makes me think of a recording of “The Tortoise and the Hare” that my sisters and I listened to when we were girls. I can still hear the deep voice of the tortoise, “I may be slo-o-o-o-w, but I’m su-u-u-u-u-re!” HaHa, that’s me.

      Thanks,
      Karen

Leave a Reply to Joyce Lowder Cancel reply


Counting at the Cross

I am winding a lovely all-blue warp on my warping reel. When I pause, as I do regularly to count the ends, it is easy to put the winding on hold. I tuck the pair of warp ends under a section of wound warp at one of the vertical posts of the reel. That holds it, and keeps threads under tension until I’m ready to continue where I left off.

Winding a warp on a warping reel.

Pair of warp ends are held secure while I stop to count another section of ends.

I stop after winding each section. I do the counting at the cross, always counting twice. A long twisted cord (one of my choke ties) marks my place, section by section. The count needs to be an exact match, of course, with the number of ends in the pattern draft.

Counting warp ends as I wind a warp on the warping reel.

Long twisted cord helps keep track of how many ends have been counted.

Cotton warp just beamed.

After the warp is beamed, each section is counted again to prepare for threading the loom.

The Christmas season reminds us that Jesus brought grace to earth. From manger to cross. The grace of the Lord Jesus is perfectly complete. Like a planned warp, there is nothing more to add. All the threads have been counted. And they match the divine plan. Any threads of my own effort would be threads that don’t belong. The grace of forgiveness comes purely as a gift.

May your counted ends match the pattern.

Christmas blessings,
Karen

7 Comments

  • Martha says:

    Beautiful blue warp! Love your warping reel, how many yards does it hold?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Martha, This is a Glimakra warping reel, 8′ in diameter. I’m not positive how many yards it will hold, but I’m guessing probably 14-15 yards. So far, my longest warps have been about 10-12 yards. The reel works great, and I really enjoy winding warps on it.

      Karen

  • D’Anne says:

    What a lovely warp! Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with it!

  • S says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog and appreciate the time you take to write it. I have a question, too: I’ve read where you mention “counting the sections” several times for threading. What do you mean by that? What sections are you counting? Are they sections of the threading draft, and if so, how do I know what a section is on the draft?

    • Karen says:

      Hi S, That is a good clarifying question. Thanks for asking!

      What I mean by “section” is a pre-determined number of warp ends. In the case of this warp, there are regular color changes with a certain number of threads in each color, so I am counting sections of color. Many projects have all one color warp, or colors distributed in various ways. In those cases, I decide how many threads to count at a time–maybe 40, or 50–and that number of warp ends will make a “section” for counting purposes. The number of threads in a “section” doesn’t necessarily relate to the threading draft, except, of course, that the total number of warp ends must match up.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • S says:

    Thank you! That makes sense and I’m going to incorporate that into my warping process. Cheers!

Leave a Reply to Joyce Lowder Cancel reply


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

Leave a Reply to Joyce Lowder Cancel reply