Welcome! Come On In

This has been another good year! It is sweet to have friends from all over the globe who walk with me in this handweaver’s journey. Thank you for joining me here. We examine the meaning of life together, along with exploring the technical details of making cloth. I appreciate you, friend!

Double-width blanket on the loom.
Double-width blanket continues.

Thanks to my talented videographer son-in-law, Eddie, you now have a video that brings you into my weaving studio for a visit.

Video filming for Warped for Good.
Camera, lights, filming equipment, the works! After filming many clips of weaving in action and views of yarn and threads, Eddie interviewed me with pertinent questions. He compiled and edited the best shots, and added music, to create a short video describing Warped for Good.

Come on in…

This welcome video is now at the top of the Warped for Good About page.

 (If you enjoy the video, share it with friends by moving your cursor over the “paper airplane” near the top right of the video.)

May your friendships blossom throughout the coming year.

Your friend,

Quiet Friday: Double-Width Blanket Progress

Do you ever feel like you are just not making progress? Stopping bad habits and starting good ones can feel like that. Or, what about that craft project you meant to finish before Thanksgiving? The loom is one place where progress is visible. You can’t fool yourself; the cloth beam shows you how far you have progressed. I find it encouraging to see the fabric that has been woven. What starts with an idea shows up as cloth.

Blanket idea with eleven colors of wool.
It all started with an idea and eleven colors of wool.

As we settle into the very end of this year, we know that time keeps rolling on. The warp keeps advancing. This is a great time to look at the cloth beam of our life and see the progress. Like this blanket, much has been accomplished, but there’s more work ahead before it is time to cut it from the loom.

Bottom layer of double weave blanket is spread on the loom.
Bottom layer is spread on the loom.
Upper layer of double weave is spread on the loom.
Upper layer is spread on the loom; and the two layers are combined on the back tie-on bar. Two sets of lease sticks keep all the ends in order.
Beaming on double weave blanket with warping trapeze.
Beaming on two warps at once. After removing the choke ties, I beamed on with the warping trapeze, slowly and carefully. I stopped every few inches to check everything, to make sure nothing was getting hung up anywhere.
Threading heddles for multi-color wool blanket.
Threading heddles.
Sampling helps determine optimum weft colors.
Sampling helps determine weft colors, as well as checking the sett and weft density.
Warp ends ready to tie onto front tie-on bar.
Sample is cut off and warp ends are tied in bundles, ready to re-tie to front tie-on bar.
Wool Blanket sample piece after wet finishing and brushing.
Sample piece, after wet finishing, air drying, and brushing.
Fringe, twisted on the loom, at the beginning of the wool blanket. Follow progress.
Fringe, twisted on the loom, goes over the breast beam as the body of the blanket is being woven.
Pics show double weave blanket progress on the loom.
Progress is revealed. The beginning blanket fringe has reached the cloth beam! The fold edge of the blanket is in view.
Dusk dims, yet enriches, the colors. Karen Isenhower
Dusk dims the colors, yet enriches them at the same time.
Hand-carved Nativity on handwoven bound rosepath. The Isenhowers.
Glad-hearted Christmas to all! The camel is this year’s new figure in the hand-carved Nativity by Steve Isenhower. Bound rosepath provides the backdrop.

May you enjoy reflecting on the progress you have made this year.

Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year,

Textured Textiles for Christmas

This is exactly what I had hoped for! Wet finishing made textured textiles out of flat fabric. One look at these pot holders and you know they have been through the washer and dryer. The rag weave table runner tells the same story. It’s true, wet finishing made positive permanent changes.

Rag weave table runner in M's and O's - on the loom.
Rag weave table runner on the loom. M’s and O’s, with Cottolin warp, and narrow cotton fabric strips for weft.
M's and O's pot holders and table runner cut from the loom.
Time to celebrate cutting the pot holders and table runner from the loom.
Rag weave table runner and string yarn pot holders in M's and O's. Karen Isenhower
Textured textiles, after wet finishing and hemming. Twisted cording was added to pot holders for hanging loops.
Detail of textured textiles. M's and O's with creative treadling.
Creative treadling for two pot holders produced design variations.

Christmas is a true story. Love came down. You have heard the story: Jesus came as a baby, grew up, and gave up his life to save us, all in the name of love. When this Jesus story is written on our hearts it changes everything. This love story is the wet finishing we need. It is the only thing that can truly complete us. Your life already tells a story. It is an open book that people read. When we let the Christmas story of God’s love shape us, the fabric of our life becomes characterized by the texture of love.

May your loved ones enjoy reading “your” book.

(Shoppes at Fleece ‘N Flax in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is carrying a few of my rugs. If you are near the area, drop by the shop and say Hi to Debbie!)

Happy Holy Day,

Hold That Twist

Have you tried twisting fringe on the loom? I haven’t done it before now. You will find out with me how well this works, because I will show it to you when the blanket is woven and cut from the loom. A doubled warp thread runs through the fringe lineup, holding the twists in place. It is an amusing sight to see these yarn “toy soldiers” all lined up in color order. I know this should work. I know a lot of things; but my knowledge isn’t always as important as I think it is.

Blanket fringe is twisted on the loom.
Upper and lower layers of a double-width blanket are seen in the twisted fringes. Care was taken to not weave the two layers together accidentally.

More important than what you know is who knows you. Everyone longs to be known. We want someone to know we are not just one of many in a lineup of nameless toy soldiers. God knows those who love him. He satisfies our desire to be known. And that reminds me that I really don’t know everything.

May you successfully try something new.

Happy Christmas,

Rag Weaving with a Boat Shuttle

This is a simple way to make a rag weave table runner. The M’s and O’s weave structure provides a great framework. What I like about narrow fabric strips is that you can wind them on quills, just like yarn, and weave with a boat shuttle. It is fast weaving that breezes right along.

Rag weave table runner on the loom. Karen Isenhower
Boat shuttle holds quill with narrow fabric strips to weave table runner. In view below the table runner are pot holders that were woven using unbleached cotton multi-strand yarn.

I could use a small ski shuttle for this, as if I were weaving rag rugs. Or, I could even place the weft across by hand on this narrow-width warp. The most efficient way is the boat shuttle, and the main thing is to get the weft across so weaving can happen. In life and relationships, it is love that needs to get across.

Patience and kindness are universal expressions of love. Love never fails. It started with the patience and kindness of God. As we draw toward Christmas, consider the meaning of the holiday–that God so loved the world. His patience and kindness toward humanity meant sending His son to our world. And that baby, named Jesus, became God’s way of taking love across the gap between heaven and earth.

May you be known for patience and kindness.

Good Christmas to you,