When Things Don’t Make Sense

I may not be a math or science expert, but I’m pretty smart, and can figure most things out. If I get stumped, I keep trying until I find the answer — usually.

handwoven rosepath band

For this turned Rosepath design, threads are sleyed unevenly through the 15-dent-per-inch reed, meaning the number of threads per dent varies across the width of the band.

I tried, but just could not understand the instructions for sleying the reed for this Rosepath Band. I did my best, but the start of the weaving revealed I didn’t get it right. When I examined the threads that were bunching up, I saw my error. Aha! The once confusing instructions now made perfect sense! In life, when we don’t understand the instructions, or can’t make sense of why things happen, our impulse is to question the instruction-giver.

I removed those first few inches of weaving, untied, re-sleyed correctly, re-tied, and then began weaving again. Beautiful! Once I got a fresh perspective of the instructions, everything fell into place. We have the false notion that the instruction-giver for the universe is like us, when he’s so much greater. His instructions are written with love, through a perspective that’s far above our humanity. And the results are beautiful!

May you enjoy instructions that make perfect sense — most of the time.

Still learning,


  • Wende says:

    Such a good reminder that sometimes I just need to step back and reframe my perspective….

    • Karen says:

      Sometimes we’re just too close to what’s happening to be able to see a heavenly perspective. You’re right, Wende, it helps to stop and take a step back to get a larger view.

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Some very interesting thoughts. And yes, it helps to step back. and put on a “new pair of glasses.”

  • Gerry Woodhouse says:

    Karen, thanks so much for sharing your lovely close-up photos, which are so clear and show the intricate pattern of the bands. Looks like you have a nice big loom suitable for weaving lots of things. What kind of loom is it?

    And I love your blog site! Looks like a website. How did you start it? Gerry

    • Karen says:

      Gerry, Thanks for stopping by! I did this weaving on my 47-inch Glimåkra Standard Countermarch loom. In addition to this main loom, I may have one or two more looms…

      I’m fortunate to have a high tech son who helped me get started with the site. This is a WordPress site, though, so much of it I could set up myself once my son showed me some of the ropes.

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Quiet Friday


handwoven rosepath band

Most of the intricacy is achieved through detailed arrangement of warp threads, using a turned rosepath draft. The design comes alive like magic as it’s woven with a rosepath treadling pattern.


threading draft for handwoven rosepath band

Weaving draft with complex threading pattern is hanging in view for constant reference while threading.


stabilize shafts for handwoven Rosepath band

Cords from the back of the loom to the front keep the shafts stable, made necessary by the very narrow weaving width.


handwoven rosepath band selvedges

First little bit is rough at the edges, but being my second attempt at starting, I’m simply thrilled it’s working! (First attempt had to be un-woven, un-tied, re-sleyed, and re-tied. Whew!)


handwoven rosepath band

First yard woven. Six to go.


weighted pattern threads for handwoven rosepath band

Slat separates the pattern threads (which weave in at a lesser rate of take-up than the plain weave threads) at the warp beam, and is drawn down with elastic cords. View is from the back of the loom.


handwoven rosepath band

Weaving is progressing rhythmically. The taut band makes a nice deep musical pitch when “plucked” on its way to the cloth beam. (I find it hard to resist making music.)


Handwoven rosepath band on cloth beam

Woven band follows its path to wind around the cloth beam, layer upon layer.

Quietly yours,



  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:


    And now I will take some quiet time, too.

  • […] tried, but just could not understand the instructions for sleying the reed for this Rosepath Band. I did my best, but the start of the weaving revealed I didn’t get it right. When I examined […]

  • Sandy says:

    Love your work and so glad you have a blog now. I had to dig out my book and study the draft also. I have a couple of questions. Did you use an actual 16.25 /inch reed and it looks like an error in the threading order at the far right where it said eight threads blue, is that correct? I am becoming friends with a Glimakra

    • Karen says:

      Sandy, I’m so pleased you stopped by!
      I used a 15-dent reed. Someday I’d like to convert to all metric reeds, but I’m not there yet. The 15-dent worked just fine.
      If you decide to do this project, let me know and I’ll try to explain the uneven sleying — at least how it ended up working out for me.

      Yes, on p. 113 of “The Big Book of Weaving” the 8 threads of blue at the far right of the Warp Sequence chart is an error. It confused me at first until I figured out it was probably a typo.

      Any friend of a Glimakra is a friend of mine! 🙂

  • Sandy says:

    Thanks I may just take you up on the offer. Happy weaving.


  • […] Here are the three posts that were the most popular in 2013: Quiet Friday: Rag Rugs, Conversation with Becky Ashenden, and Quiet Friday (Rosepath Band) […]

  • Ann Carlson says:

    Dear Karen

    Your rosepath band is lovely. I have the same band threaded, but am stumped on how to sley it. Obviously, you were successful with your sleying.
    I wonder if you would be so kind as to share your secret with me. I’m completely flummoxed by the instructions. Nothing I do seems to make any sense.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ann,

      I’m excited to hear that you are going to weave this band. It was such a joy to weave! This is something I would like to do again and again.

      Oh how I remember being flummoxed by the sleying instructions! If I remember correctly, this is what I did:
      – The plain weave ends are on shafts 1 and 2 (the two shafts nearest the back of the loom). Sley these ends 4 per dent, except in the places where there are 14 ends, sley 4-4-6.
      – Sley the ends on shafts 4, 5, and 6 in their pattern groupings, which is 6-6-6-6-6 the first time, and 4-4 the next time, and so on.

      I hope that makes sense.
      Please let me know how this works out! Feel free to email me at karen at warpedforgood dot com.

      Happy sleying,

  • d says:

    do you have the pattern for this loveliness? I’d love to give it a try!

    • Karen says:

      Hi d, You’ll find the pattern for this lovely band in “The Big Book of Weaving” by Laila Lundell.

      I hope you do give it a try!

      Happy weaving,

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Indirect, Irreversible, and Impossible

The easiest and shortest route isn’t always the best path out of trouble. When I want to change negative behavior, I start out trying really hard; but when my effort meets resistance, I tend to go back to old habits.

removing Texsolv heddles

Texsolv heddles, tied into groups of 50, before removing them from the shaft bars

I removed all the excess heddles left from the warp rep rug. 2,760 heddles, reduced to 274. We want to improve, making positive changes in our behavior, but are we willing to remove the heddles that supported our old ways? The heddles that once served us well are now in the way. It’s silly, but we keep some of the familiar old ways, just in case we want to go back into trouble…

In the ancient story about rescuing people from slavery in Egypt, God chose a path for the escaping Israelites that was indirect, irreversible, and impossible. God opened up the Red Sea for the people to cross, and then closed it back up. He essentially eliminated a return route to captivity. If we let him, I’m sure he’ll close off our return route, too. It may be not be the easiest path, but freedom is never easy, is it?

May you find courage to leave old ways behind for good.

(I can hardly wait until Friday to show you what I’m weaving now! Hint: It has to do with Rosepath–my favorite Scandinavian motif.)


  • Bev says:

    This leads me to meditate on Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” And also to what I am studying in Isaiah, when the Israelites’ default mode (chapters 30 & 31) was to “go down to Egypt” for help rather than going to God. Excellent advice, Karen, “remove the heddles”.

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    You said: “The heddles that once served us well are now in the way.” I find this very interesting. Since they served you well during a particular phase of your process they had a purpose and a place in your life at that time. But they are definitely not going to be useful in your next project…and to me, this is the interesting part: We are constantly facing a blank slate. Every day is a new beginning, every person we meet is unique, nothing in nature is an identical copy of something else, every project we take on is different from the previous, even when it appears to be identical. Life is very dynamic, there is constant change, we don’t know anything about tomorrow or even the rest of the day.

    What if we were able to face every new day, every new person, every new project with an open mind, and let the “heddles” from yesterday become “wisdom building blocks” instead of supporters of old habits?

    • Karen says:

      I love your bright perspective, Elizabeth!
      “We are constantly facing a blank slate.” I’m so glad we get to keep learning and growing. Our old habits don’t have to define us, especially when we “let the ‘heddles’ from yesterday become ‘wisdom building blocks.'”

      Now, that’s a beautiful thought!

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That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to it

Everyone has a unique story. Most of us are engaged in our own narrative, watching the chapters go by. Discovering the meaning in our personal story is a lifelong pursuit. Where do I fit?… Who am I meant to be?… Do I add value anywhere?…

handwoven warp rep rug

After many hours of planning, warping, weaving, and finishing, this warp rep rug is ready to be put to use!

The colors and graphic boldness of this design won’t fit just any ol’ room. But don’t worry! This rug will be perfect for one special room, and we’ll all exclaim, This rug was made for this very place! Don’t we all hope to say that about ourselves? I was made for this… I’m in my sweet spot… My life is making a difference…

If I’m in a story, surely there is an author! When I delve into the author’s story, I end up finding where I belong. My story is being written within a much, much bigger story–one that I can base my life on. (Handweaving is one element in this current chapter of my story; and for that, I’m incredibly grateful.)

May you find your sweet spot in the bigger story.


  • Wende says:

    What a beautiful rug! This is a sweet reminder of our author’s weaving things together for good in our lives.

  • Bev Romans says:

    I add my “Amen” to Wende’s comment. And I LOVE this line “When I delve into the author’s story, I end up finding where I belong. My story is being written within a much, much bigger story–one that I can base my life on.” SO true! It points the reader to the love story God wrote to us ~ His word. And the fact that He has woven each of us together for a purpose. (Psalm 139 is a favorite.) You may be finding a sweet spot in this blog where you can make a difference for God’s kingdom purposes!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for you kind comment, Bev! I will be thrilled if this writing turns out to be a sweet spot for me. I’m very much in the growing and stretching phase in this new endeavor, but with encouragement like yours I’m certainly going to keep at it for a while.

  • Jenny Weddle says:

    Hi Karen, I’m sorry I have not visited your site until now. My email account was having problems, but is working now.
    I enjoyed your word picture of our lives being woven in to any even bigger picture than we can see. And, what a beautiful rug you have made!
    I’m glad God loves us so much that he wants us to have a “sweet spot”.

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Sing with Me

When you finish weaving a rug, you are not quite finished. It is exciting to cut it off the loom, but the new handwoven rug isn’t ready for use until you do something to secure the cut ends.

warp rep rug hem

Trimmed, folded, and pressed hems are stitched securely, and then pressed again, making a tidy, completely flat finished edge.

I stitched the hems on this rug with my trusty old Bernina, making this a rug that will last. Music is like that–it helps us stitch down important thoughts. Putting words to music makes the words last. A song preserves meaningful ideas the same way stitching secures this carefully prepared hem.

You probably have a melody in your own heart just waiting to be heard. Maybe you have an old childhood song or hymn from the past (pause right now and take a moment to remember…), or maybe it’s a song you just made up for the fun of it. Either way, let those stitched-down words come to life with singing! (Sometimes news of current events is hard to bear. It’s in times like these that we need the continuity of a true song more than ever.)

May your heart find its song today.


  • Bev Romans says:

    Karen, it is good that you engage the reader ” (pause right now and take a moment to remember…)”. That pause brought to my mind “Standing on the Promises”, which led me to once again praise God for His faithful promises. And your timing on this posting must have been divine. I’m very late in getting back to your wonderful website. But, your comment “(Sometimes news of current events is hard to bear. It’s in times like these that we need the continuity of a true song more than ever.)” was very fitting for the week of the Boston Marathon Bombing and the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, the Ricin letters and more. I found myself wanting to share this with the songwriter in my family :-), but I am waiting.

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Beautiful colors!

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