Tools Day: Teeny Tiny Temple

What if you start weaving a project and realize your smallest temple is too big? And that your smallest temple is the smallest one they make. I am aware that most people do not use a temple for something this narrow, 16.7 cm/6.5 in. width in the reed, but this is a rag rug. A miniature rosepath rag rug. And draw-in is inevitable, which leads to weaving headaches like broken selvedge warp ends. A temple helps prevent all that.

Smallest temple is too big. How I solved this dilemma.

Smallest Glimåkra temple is two inches wider than my weaving width.

I have seen makeshift temples that I could try, but my genius husband has a better idea. Why not cut down my little temple to the size I need? So he takes the tiny temple out to his workshop in the garage and turns it into a teeny tiny temple! (He does this knowing full well that I will need to replace the temple being cut.)

Cutting a temple down to make a teeny tiny temple.

Measure twice; cut once. Steve marks his cutting lines on the original temple parts.

Small temple is cut down to teeny tiny size.

Happy with the first cut, Steve is now ready to let the second piece meet the saw blade.

Small temple is cut down to teeny tiny size. It works!

Once cut apart, we wonder if a temple this tiny will work? Will there be enough length for the pieces to pivot as needed? There’s one way to find out…

Perfect! It works! And holes for the locking pin line up, too!

Teeny tiny temple in place on miniature rag rug. (6 1/2")

Teeny tiny temple does its job. Yay!

Start of a mini rosepath rag rug. Karen Isenhower

Start of a miniature rosepath rag rug.

Mini rosepath rag rug in the making.

May you cut your problems down to size.

A little weaving,


  • Nancy says:

    You have a real sweet husband. I enjoy reading your blog. Something positive that gives me a little lift every day. Keep up the good work.


  • linda says:

    Karen: maybe this is the time to spread your wings and fly? Your warp is so small I’m sure you can manage no pull in. I know the Rose Path is a leap…just ditch the stretcher. maybe at the end of the rug on leftovers? Trust…it will work. Your technical skills are all A’s I believe in you. Just let go of the “Blankie” and step off. I BELIEVE IN YOU, linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda,
      Your confidence in my ability is very heartwarming! I do like my tools. 🙂

      I can sew a straight seam on my sewing machine without using straight pins to hold the pieces together, but I use the pins because they are tools that help me focus on other sewing skills. I don’t have to think about the fabric shifting out of place. I see the temple as a similar tool. I can weave without it, but using the temple enables me to “forget” about that part and focus on other weaving skills. With rugs in particular, the temple helps me get very tight selvedges, which I consider the mark of a high quality rug. Even Jason Collingwood said he wouldn’t dream of weaving a rug without a temple.

      But, actually, you are right. With this narrow width, I really could weave it without a temple. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I just recently had a need for a larger temple, and, oh, was it expensive. A 60″ is a lot of money.

    • Karen says:

      It would be fun to see your 60″ temple next to my 6″ temple!


      • linda says:

        WoW. that 60″ temple requires a 5’2” or more arm span. Either you’re tall, have a sliding bench , or are using a flying shuttle? I’m old, 5’5″ and am not comfortable reaching beyond 42″. linda

Leave a Reply to linda Cancel reply

Sley, Sley Again

I have never re-sleyed a warp after weaving the sample. Until now. It’s a drastic measure; but it’s better than fighting with the warp the whole way. I’m doing inlay on a rag rug, with rya knots and other techniques. It didn’t take long to see that the ends needed to be spaced further apart. But this is why we sample, right?

Beginning sample of rag rug weaving with rya knots.

Rya knots quickly add bulk to the rag rug sample. Three rows of rag knots are already creating a little hill in the weft.

Cutting off a sample piece. Painter's tape as cutting template.

Four inches are marked on a piece of painter’s tape to use as a template for cutting the warp. I want enough length on the sample piece being cut off to be able to tie the ends in square knots.

It was not an easy decision to re-sley. I had anticipated an enjoyable day of rag rug weaving. Instead, I spent the day cutting off, pulling the ends out of the reed, switching reeds, re-sleying, dealing with extra warp width, tying back on, and beginning a new sample. Is this called learning the hard way? Nope. This is simply called learning.

Rag rug sample with inlay techniques.

Warp has been re-sleyed and is ready for weaving a new sample. First sample piece includes rya knots, loop technique, and HV technique on weft rep, using fabric strips for weft and weft inlay.

Rag rug sample, trying out rya knots.

After re-sleying, I start a second sample. I am happy to see that the rya knots fit into place without adding excessive bulk to the weaving.

Weaving, relationships, and purposeful living. Learning takes time–a lifetime. I want the Lord to teach me how to live. Even when it means messy beginnings and do-overs that use up my day. We have a lot to learn. Lord, teach me, and lead me on your path. More than a prayer in crisis, this is a lifetime prayer for a lifetime of learning.

May you know when to start a do-over.

Still learning,


Leave a Reply to linda Cancel reply

Thread, Thread Again

I enjoy threading the loom, but who wants to thread the same thing four times? The first time, I thought the selvedge threading confused me, leaving me with extra ends. I took it all out and started over. It still didn’t come out right. I counted all the threads at the lease sticks. 404. And counted again to make sure. There must be a threading error, right? I started over again, vowing to be more careful this time…

Threading the loom for rag rugs.

Threading 404 warp ends goes quickly when there are two threads per heddle… Unless you make a mistake and have to start over two or three times.

Threading Glimakra Standard for a rag rug, two ends per heddle.

Rag rug warp, threading two ends per heddle.

I depend on my planning sheet. That sheet of paper has all the pertinent details. Besides the draft, it has the sett, width in reed, number of warp ends… Oops! I found the mistake. I miscalculated the number of warp ends. But I threaded the loom three times before I traced the problem back to this calculation error! I was working from a faulty planning sheet. Fortunately, I can adjust the selvedge threading to accommodate the extra threads, and thread the loom successfully. Finally!

Selvedge threading for rag rug on Glimakra Standard loom.

Two ends go through each heddle, except at the selvedges, where there are three ends per heddle, four times each side, plus two more times each side to make up for the miscalculation of warp ends.

Human promises can fail, like my faulty planning sheet. The Lord’s promises never fail. A weaving draft and project sheet are proven true as the loom is dressed and fabric is woven on the loom. The Lord’s promises are proven true as we live our lives by his directions. We can depend on that.

May you need to thread only once.

Truly yours,


  • Oh I feel your pain. Once is plenty with that number of threads. I hope the rest of the project goes smoothly.


  • linda says:

    welcome to the “I’m sure i did the math right…I checked 3x’s….it doesn’t look right….let me count again… i give up lets just see what happens when I weave” club. I’ve had ends left after threading, I’ve been short, and I’ve added more ends to the start side after it’s all threaded. This is where ingenuity and determination to get it on the loom comes in. Remember we can only strive to be perfect some little something will most likely be off. I’m not very religious, but I know only God is perfect, but my errors are fixable. President of THE CLUB, linda 🙂

  • Liberty says:

    Hi! I’ve done it so many times, but I’m getting better every warp!! The last warp I did didn’t have any mistakes first time!!! Shocking!!! Oh well it’s all learning!
    But I wanted you to know Sunday night I ordered thread for your beautiful cream and pink pillows!! I’m so excited about it can’t wait to try them. Thanks for the inspiration. Oh also I decided to use cotton but just for the price factor! I’ll let you know how it goes.
    Thanks, Liberty

    • Karen says:

      Oh Liberty, I’m so excited that you are doing the dice weave pillows! I think cotton will work beautifully. Please do keep me posted!

      Happy weaving,

Leave a Reply to linda Cancel reply