“Make two homes for thyself, my daughter. One actual home…and the other a spiritual home, which thou art to carry with thee always.”
~Catherine of Sienna~
I think I’d like to try something. I want to post a saying, a thought, maybe a proverb, or a bit of wisdom, along with what I am trying to do in my life every day.
I don’t know how this will go, or if I will manage to do it. But I think I posting more often wouldn’t hurt. It may even be therapeutic as a way to get me focused each day.
I guess it would be a way of helping myself to build my spiritual home, which no one can take away from me. It would be part of who I am, and things that I learn from God and from living life.
In the meantime, I am making a rug out of my own handspun yarns. I am weaving it on my rapid warp rigid heddle loom. I love being able to weave with my handspun; its my all time favorite yarn!
It’s inevitable that I will be doing demonstrations in public as a historical (hysterical?!) reenactor, particularly in the Society for Creative Anachronism. I wanted to craft a sturdy throw rug for purposes of having under my wheel or loom when I do public demos, especially demos outside. I hope to do more to protect my wheel or loom from the damp ground, whichever of them that I take with me.
The warp is crafted from white Romney fleece that I purchased at the Simmons farm near Troy Kansas. I processed it, dyed it, and then spun and plyed it into different colors. The warp is quite sturdy, which can be very important is making a rug. The warp must withstand the high tension necessary for the warp in order to weave a rug.
I had not realized until I had the warp on the loom that I was weaving a double rainbow. It was something of a surprise! I had been very focused on having good color in the warp to contrast with the neutral colored weft.
The weft is a naturally colored Iron Gray from another Romney fleece, one of four, that I purchased from Tina Ulbrick at Ewephoria Farm near Lawrence Kansas. I filled four bobbins about two times and plyed up four good sized skeins. The resulting 4 ply yarn is quite bulky.
Both yarns are from older Romney sheep, so they feel a bit harsher and rougher. But that is ok for a rug!
I had to argue and fight with the weft to get it to pack down more closely. The yarns were very resistant. I finally tried doubling up the weft when winding my shuttles and that helped it to pack down better.
I also used the technique of beating the weft very hard into place with a handheld tapestry beater, and then additionally with either a batten or a shed stick in the next empty shed to really muscle it and pack the weft down. I found that if I used the heddle itself to beat the weft into place, that it forced the yarns apart too much.
Its almost done. I am quite thrilled with it! The bright colors of the warp contrasting with the darker gray weft are a delight to my eyes and it makes me happy, both in making it and seeing it. It makes my heart sing. I hope this rug makes other people smile too. ♥️