Three Out of Four

I mark “mid” on my measuring ribbon. The ribbon is held in place on the fabric with two flat-head pins that I leap-frog up the ribbon as the warp advances. Imagine my surprise when the mid mark touched the exact halfway point of the table square being woven! The linen halvdräll pattern has a specific number of repeats for each of two blocks, with the halfway point of the table square at the center of the middle block II. How did I get that kind of precision for three of the four table squares on this warp? Honestly, it surprised me each time. I think it is the loom. Maybe I am finally learning to weave without interfering with the streamline functioning of this Swedish loom. (To see the one table square that didn’t make the mid-mark precision, look carefully at the first photo in Embedded with Elegance.)

Precisely hitting the midway mark!
Center of the block II pattern hits the mid mark with precision.
Middle of the table square hits the mark!
Second time to hit the mid mark on the dot!
Midway exactly! Halvdräll with linen pattern threads.
Halfway on the measuring ribbon. The border and hem are marked at the end of the ribbon.

A promise fulfilled is like a treasure unearthed. You hope for it, and might even expect it; but it’s a joyful thing when you experience it. We wait for a promise like we wait to see the “mid” mark on the ribbon. The Lord’s promise is a vast treasure. It’s a treasure worth watching for.

May you unearth splendid treasures in the new year.

Happy year end,

Quiet Friday: Linen Dice Weave Pillows

The linen on my loom last spring was a secret project. I only showed hints of what I was doing. Now that the “secret” linen project is published, let’s go back to see some of the process. Complete instructions for weaving and sewing these Linen Dice Weave pillows are in the January/February 2015 issue of Handwoven magazine. Read how it all came about in Caught by Surprise – in a Good Way.

Linen arrives!
Linen arrives!
Ready to pre-sley the reed with linen.
Ready to pre-sley the reed.
Warping trapeze in action to beam linen warp.
Warping trapeze in action to beam the linen warp.
Linen, ready to be threaded in the heddles.
Ready to thread the heddles.
Linen dice weave on the loom.
First pillow.
Linen dice weave as seen through the warp.
Linen dice weave as seen through the warp.
Linen dice weave coming around the cloth beam. Karen Isenhower
Coming around the cloth beam.
Linen dice weave on the loom.
Ending the pattern.
Dice weave in linen on the loom.
Dice weave.
Cutting off celebration!
Cutting off celebration!
Assembling handwoven linen pillows.
Assembling pillows.
Two sets of handwoven linen dice weave pillows
Two sets of linen dice weave pillows.
Linen dice weave pillows. Karen Isenhower
Linen dice weave pillows ready to send.

May you and those you love make meaningful memories on this Christmas day.

Merry Weaving Christmas,

Enjoy the Wonder

One by one, the towels are collecting around the cloth beam. Each new towel on this warp is a welcome adventure. The thick and thin structure grants many interesting possibilities. Repetition is hardly noticed because a minor change in the weft order changes everything. It’s the wonder of it all that I find delightful!

Hand towels on the loom with cotton/linen thread in the double bobbin shuttle.
Cottolin is 60% cotton and 40% linen. The resulting fabric is marvelously absorbent, perfect for hand towels.
Double bobbin shuttle simplifies doubling the weft.
Double bobbin shuttle simplifies doubling the weft.
Cottolin towels on the loom. Karen Isenhower
End of eighth towel.
Narrow weft stripes. Thick and thin structure for hand towels.
Narrow weft stripes are randomly sprinkled along the towel.

Everything about the Christmas message is filled with wonder. Immanuel, God with us. With this news, the daily repetition of life is invaded with delight. Enjoy the wonder of Christmas!

May your home shine with the wonder of it all.

Good Christmas,

Embedded with Elegance

In the afternoon light the linen takes on a golden appearance. The halvdräll pattern in the cloth is no less distinguishable in these low-contrast weft colors. In fact, the pattern seems more embedded in the fabric now than it did with the vibrant red weft in Weaving Christmas. Natural unbleached linen over white bleached cottolin brings monochrome elegance to this table square.

Elegant monochrome halvdräll on the loom. Karen Isenhower
Unbleached and half bleached 16/1 linen are combined for the pattern weft. Bleached 22/2 cottolin is used for the warp and for the tabby weft.
Halvdräll on the loom. View of the back of the cloth.
View of the back of the halvdräll cloth under the advancing warp.

God has a life plan for us that reveals His glory. His instruction gives me wisdom, insight, and understanding for life. It is much like following a halvdräll weaving draft to produce halvdräll fabric, and witnessing the fabric at its best as it glistens in the afternoon sunshine.


May you enjoy the wonder of Christmas.

Happy Halvdräll,

Caught by Surprise – in a Good Way

I’ve been published! The new issue of Handwoven magazine (January/February 2016) is out. Have you seen it? Sarah Jackson, the weaving editor, had noticed my blue dice weave pillows on Pinterest. When she contacted me to ask if I would consider submitting a project for the linen issue, I was caught by surprise. Who, me?! I simply enjoy weaving. I never thought about having something published. But here we are! The dice weave linen pillows project is in print. This is a milestone in my weaving journey; and an opportunity for which I am immensely grateful! (See the blue dice weave pillows in Invisible Zipper.)

Linen dice weave pillows. Karen Isenhower
Finished linen dice weave pillows are shipped off to Fort Collins, Colorado to meet the Handwoven editorial team.
Linen dice weave pillow project.
Linen issue of Handwoven has good information and interesting projects, including instructions for linen dice weave pillows.
Project in print!
In print!

We think everything is going according to our plans, and then we run into surprises. Even a good surprise involves challenges, stretching us out of our comfort zones. God is completely faithful. He has certainly been faithful to me. I find relief in knowing the Grand Weaver is overseeing the fabric of my life. What seems like a surprise to me is actually part of his carefully designed plan.

May you be caught in the act of making something good.

With gratitude,