Two Types of Weaving

My attention has been on the other loom for a couple weeks, but I have managed to sneak in to the big loom and add a little bit to this monksbelt project. I would like to have more to show, but this is it. What a contrast between the fast plain weave baby wrap (see Quiet Friday: Woven Baby Wrap) and this very slow two-shuttle monksbelt. I enjoy weaving both. There’s a time for fast; and there’s a time for slow.

Monksbelt on the loom.

White on white puts dramatic space between sections of color.

Each type of weaving produces a specific type of cloth. Very different textures. Very different purposes. Each beautiful in its own way. This reminds me of people, fashioned by the Lord. Individuals suited to specific tasks with purpose and meaning. This is our life discovery, to live the way our maker had in mind when he fashioned us with his hands.

May your life be rich with meaning.

Happy weaving,


  • Pam C. says:

    I’m always so blessed by the words you have not only of weaving but of the LORD. The LORD first and then weaving and pottery are my passion. I miss human contact and go for days without companionship so when I receive e-mail from you it is truly a blessing. Tha nk you for being there, Karen.

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Quiet Friday: Woven Baby Wrap

What do you weave into the fabric that will be cradling your future granddaughter? Love, and lots of it, of course. The baby wrap has been woven, and is cut from the loom! All that is left is the finishing work–examining for errors, washing and drying, and hemming. …And Melody learning how to wrap a baby wrap. Soon enough, baby Lucia will be wrapped in this love-made piece of cloth.

8/2 cotton for baby wrap.

Version 2

Afternoon sun gives shadow stripes.

Starting baby wrap. Sampling weft colors.

Broken twill stripe. Woven baby wrap.

Twill tape for measuring length on the loom.

Woven baby wrap on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Woven baby wrap on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Cloth beam with baby wrap.

Only 1/4 left to go! Woven baby wrap.

Twill tape for measuring on the loom. Almost at the end!

Woven baby wrap ready to be cut from the loom! Karen Isenhower

Woven baby wrap, just off the loom. Karen Isenhower

Woven baby wrap just off the loom!

May your loved ones enjoy your gifts of love.

Happy weaving,


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Shuttle Catching

I am already a quarter of the way on this baby wrap. Simple plain weave with one shuttle is fast and uncomplicated, making this the perfect setting to improve weaving technique. Surely, I can gain efficiency by examining some of my practices.

First quarter woven on baby wrap.

Twill tape has marks that show 1/4, Mid (1/2), and 3/4 of the length of woven baby wrap. The first quarter used about seven full quills of light blue weft.

Under scrutiny, I see that I am not consistent in how I catch the shuttle. It makes a difference where I make contact with the shuttle as it glides into my hand. I often have to reposition the shuttle in my hand to prepare it for the return throw. That’s not very efficient. Solution? Look at the hand that is catching the shuttle. All I have to do is turn my head to look, and the hand does the job. It’s amazing how that works. It pays to pay attention.

Beginning sample comes around the cloth beam. Baby wrap.

Beginning sample meets the cloth beam. View is from the front of the loom, looking under the breast beam.

Following Jesus can be compared to finding a breakthrough in weaving technique. It’s more than just meeting him, and trying to go the right way. That is weaving by habit, doing it like I’ve always done it. Jesus gives all to those who give him all. Breakthrough comes when I give up my habits to find a better way–his way.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

– Jim Elliot

May your eyes help your hands.

With love,


  • Kerry Fagan says:

    You explain so nicely the thought processes we(I) have when weaving – how to do it better, more consistently and how will this piece end up. That is the buzz that keeps us weaving again and again.

  • Randi says:

    I’m loving your blog and your whispers of Jesus.

  • ruth says:

    Thanks for the reminder to use twill tape for measuring the total length of a project! I’m ready to begin weaving a couple of table runners and had forgotten to “use the tape”. I’m changing treadling during this project and will add notes to the tape to remind myself of when those changes occur. You’ve saved me lots of time and measuring headaches with your post.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth, Oh good! I’m so glad this served as a reminder for you. Using the tape to make notes of treadling changes is a great idea. I’ve done that before, but I don’t always think of it. So you’ve given me a reminder, too!

      I love hearing what other people are weaving. I’m sure your table runners will be beautiful!

      Happy weaving,

  • Debbie Moyes says:

    I love the twill tape for measuring! I have a variety of ways that I measure as I weave, but none are particulalry good. I have twill tape, which I use to bind hooked rugs and will make a tape for my next project. The colors of your wrap are gorgeous!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie, I used to use grosgrain ribbon for measuring, but I like twill tape better. It’s soft, easy to pin, easy to mark, and doesn’t stretch.

      Thanks for the compliment about the colors! I’m energized by pretty colors, so this has been happy weaving for me.


  • linda says:

    Karen: God wants us to spread our wings and try new things. I’m going to be the devil. Get rid of the template, think about the music of the weaving, and try new materials.
    Music :Open shed 1,3 throw from R (I put my index finger on the tip of the shuttle) by flicking the wrist. catch on L(put the shuttle on the woven cloth if using two shuttles), with R hand I give a little tug to the R side ..using R hand. Open the next shed (2,4) throw from L to right, catch, place on cloth, tug L,……..
    Some times by trying a new method one can find freedom, ,joy, and more time to .think..
    How about a nubby soft cotton with a cotton warp. love ya, Linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I love your eagerness to help. You give great instructions, worth trying. I agree with you that it’s good to try new things and new methods.

      I do like using a temple. It’s a tool I’m not likely to give up.

      Love to you,

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Straight Draw Thinking

I can let my mind wander for this part. I am threading 664 warp ends in a straight draw, one warp end at a time (1-2-3-4). This is repetitive and easy. Relaxing. Of course, I have safeguards to prevent mind-wandering errors. First, I count the ends into threading groups before I start threading. Second, I double-check each threaded group of heddles, one warp end at a time.

Color mixing in warp of woven baby wrap.

Two shades of blue are mixed with two shades of purple for transition between the blue and purple wide stripes in the warp.

In quiet moments like this, my mind drifts over recent events, and ponders plans for the near and distant future. I think about friends and family–dear ones going through struggles. I remember things I’m thankful for, and who I’m thankful to. I often wish threading could go on a little longer. I like to linger there.

Threading cotton warp for woven baby wrap.

Groups of 32 warp ends are tied into slip knots at the back beam. Each group is threaded and then checked for accuracy before tying the threaded ends into a slip knot.

Threading brightly-colored warp for handwoven baby wrap.

Sitting in my “playhouse” in the loom, threading from right to left, I slow down near the end so I can linger a while longer.

The wondrous thing is that I can turn all these thoughts into prayers. The Lord hears us when we pray. The Lord hears the sound of your voice. In our quiet moments we have the sweet assurance that when we call upon the Lord, he bends down and listens. Instead of wishful thinking or fruitless worrying, prayer turns thoughts into faith.

May you linger in quiet moments.

All the best,


  • Maggie ackerman says:

    I also enjoy threading, especially straight draughts, and letting my mind wander. In fact, Great reminder to check group before knotting. So much easier than going back to correct (been there, done that!)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maggie, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who enjoys threading! Yes, checking as you go is much better than making corrections later. (I’ve been there, done that, too. Not fun.)

      Happy Weaving,

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Time to Weave a Baby Wrap

Weaving a baby wrap is something I have been interested in doing. I am pleased, therefore, that my daughter wants to try babywearing. It’s the perfect excuse for me to put a colorful warp on the loom–a warp with wide stripes of blended colors. After research and careful planning, I am ready to start. Baby Lu will be here before we know it!

Thread for woven baby wrap.

New tubes of 8/2 cotton thread combine with colors I already had on my shelves.

It is exciting to weave something on purpose to give to someone you love. The whole process has meaning–from planning, to dressing the loom, to throwing the shuttle. You hope it turns out as you envision, or better. Making something to give is the best kind of making. The thought you put into it shows up as a gift of love.

Winding warp for a cheerful baby wrap.

Cheerful start to the warp with “Pumpkin” and “Sunshine” alternating threads.

Winding warp for colorful baby wrap.

Second bout adds in “Plum” and “Mulberry” threads.

Warp for woven baby wrap!

“Sapphire” and “Teal” threads make up most of the third bout.

Our words can be thoughtful gifts, as well. It takes thought to speak sentences and paragraphs, and conversations, that bless and enrich. Our considerate words give our recipient the means for wrapping someone else with love. Words can heal. These are the words to speak, words that give life. Weave comfort and encouragement into the things you say, touching others with kindness. Let the little ones be wrapped in their mother’s love. And let the rest of us practice sweet thoughtfulness day after day.

Three warp chains for a woven baby wrap!

Dividing the warp into three bouts helps distribute the threads for even tension during beaming.

May your words be thoughtful gifts from your heart.

With love,


  • Beachweaver says:


    Your colors are so beautiful! I can’t wait to see it take shape on your loom. Are you working from a draft in a book or magazine or have you created your own? I’ve wanted to make a baby wrap, but haven’t stepped up to it yet. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beachweaver, the colors are exhilarating to work with!
      I created my own draft for this after studying several others. I have the “Baby Wrap EBook” by Handwoven from Weaving Today. And the Väv magazine issue that covered baby wraps. Searching “woven wraps” in Google and on Pinterest gave even more ideas.

      Happy weaving,

      I’m new to this baby-wrap weaving, so maybe you can learn from my mistakes as we go along. Ha!

      • Beachweaver says:

        Hi Karen,

        I have the Handwoven ebook on Baby Wraps. I doubt you’ll make many mistakes (certainly not as many as I do!) but I will happily learn from watching your project develop. I can’t wait to see it take shape on the loom.

        Thanks for sharing!

  • Shari says:

    I love your colors! Any chance you would share the details of your colors for warping. Thanks for considering my request!

  • elements says:

    Hello Shari,

    This is the most lovely baby wrap I’ve seen! I would be interested in knowing more details of your draft too. It’s the way you made the colour changes that has me so inspired.

    I too will be making a work of love and art for my sister and her little one that is on the way.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for the compliment. The wrap is plain weave on four shafts. I’ll need to look at my draft to remember how I arranged the colors. I’m away from home for a few days, but I can send you an email with that information after I get home.


  • Felicity says:

    Hi Shari,
    These colours are a gorgeous choice for a baby wrap. I would be interested to see how the final product looked.
    If you are willing to share the information of the colours for your warping I would be very interested. It’s such a dramatic difference in colours I’m curious how you made the transition. I’m new to weaving and wondering if I should dive right in to making a baby wrap for myself.
    Thanks again for sharing all your work. It’s very interesting.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Felicity, I will send you an email with more information. If you can dress the loom and set it up to weave plain weave on 4 shafts, then you can do this!

      Happy Weaving,

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