Weaving Rhythm Awakening

All the looms are bare right now. Four empty, quiet looms. But they won’t be quiet for long. I have thread/yarn and plans ready for each loom. I hear a rumbling as the looms begin to wake up. Before long, the weaving rhythm will be fully awakened in this place!

12/6 cotton rug warp in Pear and Brass for rag rugs.
Glimakra 100cm Ideal countermarch loom has moved into the spot vacated by my recently-acquired Glimakra Standard 120cm countermarch loom that we have moved to a new location.
12/6 cotton rug warp in Pear and Brass for Rosepath rag rugs.
6/2 Tuna wool for a 12-shaft double weave blanket.
Glimakra 120cm Standard countermarch loom in its favored position in our home. This loom has not been moved.
6/2 Tuna wool in Lapis Lazuli and Almond for a 12-shaft double weave blanket.
Vavstuga pre-wound warp for towel kit.
Handbuilt little 70cm countermarch loom in its perfect little corner by the windows. Pre-wound warp from Vavstuga (Mary’s Towel Kit) that my dear friend Elisabeth is letting me weave.
22/2 Cottolin in Sapphire and Yellow Ochre for towels.
Moving the Glimakra Standard loom to its new studio space.
Glimakra 120cm Standard countermarch loom…in pieces. We are moving the newest loom in the family to a room that is next to Steve’s carving workshop.
Starting to put together the new drawloom.
Glimakra Standard horizontal countermarch loom is being reassembled in its new Drawloom Studio! The drawloom boxes have been opened and parts sorted and organized. Let the fun begin!
The room is undergoing some renovations, too.
New jacks for th horizontal countermarch to fit with the drawloom attachment.
Draw attachment frame obstructs the jacks in the horizontal countermarch on the 120cm Standard loom. So Steve made all new horizontal jacks for the countermarch.
New drawloom!
Loom has an extension added at the back. We put it at its fully extended length to make sure it fits in this room. It does!
New drawloom! Just about ready to start!
Glimakra Standard with Myrehed Combination Drawloom–Shaft draw system and single unit draw system.
Unbleached 16/2 cotton for I-don’t-know-what-yet. But I will soon!
Book pictured is Drawloom Weaving, An introduction to warping and weaving on a drawloom by Joanne Hall.

May you see your best dreams unfold.

Happy, Happy Weaving,
Karen

18 Comments

  • Debbie says:

    You are gathering quite a herd of beautiful looms!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie, I can’t deny it. Each one fills a purpose. However, the reality is that I can only weave on one at a time. So I think I’m done gathering looms…for now.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Kelly says:

    Wow, so many looms, it’s like a dream!

  • Betsy says:

    Oh, look at my baby all dressed up in a drawloom! I thought you couldn’t put a drawloom on a horizontal CM loom, but I guess you found a way. Very interesting! One of these days i’d like to see that. ūüôā

    • Karen says:

      Hi Betsy, Your baby is just waiting for you to come and see her! As soon as I get her all dressed and ready I’ll let you know. I’d be thrilled for you to come out!

      Yours,
      Karen

  • Nannette says:

    Wow! I look forward to your postings on the progress.

  • Mary says:

    Wow!! I am excited to see what you bring forth from that draw loom!! Have fun!!

  • Alice says:

    You are an inspiration, my dear!!!!

  • Robyn Tanchum says:

    What a lucky girl you are to have so many beautiful looms! I too am a lover of Glimakras. I love their simple beauty, the way they whisper while you weave, and the ease of treadling. Can you help me with a warping question, please? Where do you put the raddle when you warp back to front? I have tried Joanne’s method of putting the raddle on the back beam, but I would prefer to rest it further toward the front, perhaps on top of the castle or even resting, clamped, to the shafts. The lease sticks would be in their usual position per Joanne’s method.
    Also, I wonder if you have any tie-up tips for the original Ideal that doesn‚Äôt have the ‚Äúdoorway‚ÄĚand extra room that the Standard has. I find the tie-ups truly tough to reach. Thank you! I LOVE your blog!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Robyn, I have never used a raddle. I just pre-sley the warp ends in a reed. So I don’t have an answer for you on that one.

      For the Ideal, I do most of the tie-ups from the front of the loom. It can help to set the treadles on a box so that you can have both hands free for the tie-ups. I also usually put in all the treadle cords first, and then attach the cords to the treadles. That seems to make it a little easier. I also take breaks so I don’t strain my back.

      I’m so happy to have you coming here. Thanks for asking great questions!
      Karen

  • Shari says:

    Amazing! You are the Gkimakra poster child!

  • Annie says:

    I am so happy to see your draw loom dreams come true, Karen. Life is good!

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Swedish Overshot Experience

Experience builds on experience. The more I practice the classic Swedish weave structures, the more freedom I have in the process. Dice weave, halvdr√§ll, and, now, this monksbelt, are all related. These are variations of overshot. I am putting what I know into practice, even though this is the first time I have woven monksbelt on my own loom. (My prior experience with monksbelt was first in a workshop with Joanne Hall, and then, under Becky Ashenden’s tutelage at V√§vstuga Swedish Classics.)

Colorful Fårö wool is used for the monksbelt pattern weft.

Colorful Fårö wool is used for the monksbelt pattern weft.

Plan projects from start to finish, dress the loom single-handedly, use complex threading and complicated treadling, and weave with multiple shuttles. Do you relish these challenges? It is possible to weave things that don’t require as much training or practice. You can find a pattern on Pinterest or in a magazine, and do what “everybody” is doing.¬†Not much is required of “everybody” in the crowd.

Classic monksbelt pattern with innovative color variations.

Classic monksbelt patterning is repeated with different color variations.

Swedish overshot, such as monksbelt, uses two shuttles--one for fine thread, and one for the thicker pattern weft. Warp is 16/2 cotton. Ground weave weft is 16/2 cotton. Pattern weft is 61 Fårö wool. Sett is 22 1/2 ends per inch. Weft density is 30 pattern picks per inch, with 2 tabby picks in between.

Swedish overshot, such as monksbelt, uses two shuttles–one for fine thread, and one for the thicker pattern weft. Warp is 16/2 cotton. Ground weave weft is 16/2 cotton. Pattern weft is 6/1 F√•r√∂ wool. Sett is 22 1/2 ends per inch. Weft density is 30 pattern picks per inch, with 2 tabby picks in between.

But some people strive to learn, and practice what they learn, building on previous experience. Consider truth. You are responsible for the truth you know. The more you are taught, the more that is required of you. And as you practice the truth you know, you discover the freedom that comes along in the process.

May you grow in experience.

Happy weaving,
Karen

6 Comments

  • Alaa says:

    I’ve yet to try Monk’s Belt but your weaving is inspiring.

  • Marie says:

    I have never woven Monks Belt but find it so exciting as I watch it come off of
    your loom. It looks like magic. I have put it on the list of projects for my
    4 shaft loom. Then I check out dice weave and halvdrall and my mind started to race with possibilities. Weaving is great for starting the creative process.
    Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Karen says:

      Marie, It does seem like magic to me, too, as the pattern shows up on the loom. I never tire of seeing the pattern develop with color.

      Thank you for your thoughts!
      Karen

  • Cindie says:

    I love your monk’s belt with all the color changes in both pattern and ground.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cindie, Changing the color in the ground weave gives monksbelt a whole new dimension that I wasn’t expecting. I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’m glad you like it!

      Karen

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Linen Is Special

Linen is special. This is nothing new. Even in biblical history, linen is mentioned as fabric for sacred purposes. But weaving with linen requires attentiveness. The inelasticity of linen means extra care is needed in every stage of dressing the loom and weaving. Of first importance is an even warp tension.

Getting ready to weave with linen. Tying on.

Tying on linen in small 1-inch/2.5 cm increments is one thing that helps contribute to an even warp tension.

This method of tying on* is perfect for weaving rag rugs. The 12/6 cotton rug warp stays snugly in place. Not so with linen. The even warp tension that I have been so careful to maintain can be lost in a moment. The sneaky linen is smooth and slick enough to tie on easily, and then loosen up just as easily. So I take the double precaution of tying an additional overhand knot, AND moistening that knot with a dab of water which helps the linen grip itself. I never have to worry about these knots slipping loose.

Beginning dice weave in linen.

Additional overhand knot, with a dab of water, secures the tie-on threads. I am using sample space to try weft colors and work on getting optimum weft density.

What do you worry about? I have bigger things I worry about, too. But my heavenly Father assures me that He has secured all the knots that concern me. “Don’t worry,” he tells me. “Your Father knows your needs.” Be attentive to keep first things first. Put yourself in the Father’s care, and find that he takes care of you. Special you.

May you forget your worries.

With you,
Karen

* I learned this method of tying on from Becky Ashenden. You can see it fully explained by Becky, with pictures, in Dress Your Loom the Vävstuga Way: A Benchside Photo-guide.

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One Treadle Short

I faced a dead end with this six-shaft weave. The draft requires seven treadles in order to include true plain weave. And I do want plain weave for the hems. That is a problem. This loom has only six treadles. So these double binding twill rag rugs were put on hold while I thought about it.

And then I had an idea. What if… I tie the sixth treadle as if it were the seventh treadle, enabling me to weave the plain weave hem. And then, undo the treadle and re-tie it as the sixth treadle for weaving the body of the rug? It works! Essentially, I created seven treadles out of six. What seemed like a dead end became the point of discovering something new.

Changing treadle tie-up to make six treadles into seven.

With this tie-up, the fifth and sixth treadles (counting right to left) are able to weave an even plain weave. The sixth treadle is actually tied up as the seventh treadle, which is only needed for the plain weave hems at the beginning and end of the rug, paired with treadle five. To change the treadle tie-up, the upper and lower lamms for the first and second shafts (counting back to front) need to be switched. That’s all.

Changing treadle tie-up to make six treadles into seven.

Treadle tie-up now follows the draft as written for the first six treadles to produce the twill weave for the body of the rug.

Underneath view of Vavstuga treadle tie-up system. Makes changing tie-ups a breeze.

Under-the-treadle view of the Vävstuga treadle tie-up system. This tie-up system with beads and pointed dowels (or knitting needles) makes changing the tie-up a breeze.

Can you imagine the dead end the friends and family of Jesus felt when they saw his body go limp on the cross? ……………………………………………………………………………………

Easter is about the excitement of knowing Someone who died and came back to life. In the Easter story, the angel tells the women who arrive at the tomb, “I know you seek Jesus, the Crucified. He is now Jesus, the Risen.” For these women, this moment changed everything. What had seemed like a dreadful dead end became the point of discovering new life. Indeed, even now, a dead end is often the starting point of finding new life in the Risen one.

May you discover something new.

Blessings,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Liberty says:

    Sometimes we just have to stop and think about something for a bit to find a different way!!
    Happy Easter!

  • linda says:

    Karen: I’ve had the same “not enough tredles problem” I had my husband make more tredles for the 8 harness Maycomber. I now have 14 tredles. He drilled more holes in the lambs for tie ups and away i go. I don’t use all of them all the time, but when I need them they’re there. They were added on the right and left so I could stay centered on the bench and the edges would behave.

    Hint: if you do not use a stretcherlike Karen and one edge is looking sloppy slide your butt just a smidge toward that side and the problem will correct itself. Weave on, linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda,
      Steve may add treadles to this loom some day. So far, I rarely need more than six. I agree, it is nice to have them when you need them, though!

      Karen

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Home Is Where the Weaving Is

I arranged, added, and swapped until I had eleven different colors to blend into a courageous wool warp. I had more fun pulling out skeins of yarn in V√§vstuga’s shop than a kid in a candy store! The yarn is for a double weave blanket that has been on my mind for a few weeks. Yesterday, I finally had a chance to wind this wild warp! Dressing the loom is next!

Winding wool warp on warping reel.

Yellow will be the center color of the double weave wool blanket. The symmetrical way the warp is wound on this warping reel might fool you, though. These are only a few of the eleven colors that will be blended across the warp.

Winding Tuna wool for weaving a blanket.

Second bout wound on the reel. I check and double-check my written notes to make sure I get the correct color order and numbers of ends.

Away from home, I can only think about weaving on my looms. As much as I enjoyed the experiences of V√§vstuga (V√§vstuga Autum, V√§vstuga Autumn II)¬†and New Mexico (Pointers for Exploring New Mexico Fiber Arts Trails), I have been eager to put my hands to the tasks of weaving here in my own little studio. Winding the warp, feeling and smelling the soft Tuna wool, getting over-excited about the blending colors on the warping reel, handling the fat warp chains… Ah, I am where I’m supposed to be!

I love fat warp chains of wool!

One layer of colors for the double weave blanket.

Warp chains for wool blanket, and what's left of eleven skeins.

Basket holds what is left of the eleven skeins of Tuna wool. These two warp chains will be the other layer of the double weave blanket.

Come home. Do you ever hear that? …as if you have been away too long? The nudge is to return to your faith roots. Enjoy the refreshing that comes in the presence of the Lord. It’s good to be where you know you belong.

May you be where you flourish.

In living color,
Karen

2 Comments

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