Now We See the Monksbelt

When you cut fabric from the loom, and see it, handle it, feel it… It takes your breath away. Every time. You, the weaver, know what went into it. All the effort, corrections, uncertainties, anticipations, and the many joyful hours of throwing shuttles, and designing at the loom to your heart’s content. You keep going, even when the going is long, because of the thrill of making something you can’t find anywhere in the world…except right here.

Monksbelt cutting off party!
Nothing matches the exhilaration of cutting handwoven fabric off the loom!
Monksbelt just off the loom! Karen Isenhower
Sense of wonder arises when you see what threads can make when they are interlaced in a purposeful way. Imagine that! It’s simply threads.

Wisdom points to truth. Truth is a picture of reality, like fabric just cut from the loom. When the fabric is unrolled from the cloth beam, you get a realistic view of what has been woven. You can see it. But wisdom leads you to that moment. That’s why you keep weaving, even when the going is longer than you thought it would be. The voice of wisdom compels you to reach the truth.

Classic Swedish monksbelt, with a colorful twist or two.
Fabric, in classic Swedish monksbelt, with a colorful twist or two.

May you make something that only you can make.

Yours truly,

10 thoughts on “Now We See the Monksbelt

  1. Hi Karen, your work on this piece using has been inspiring. Since I have only joined your blog recently I am wondering if you discussed how you threaded for the selvedge edges. Thanks

    1. Hi Marilyn, I’m glad you asked! I don’t think I have discussed how the selvedges are threaded on this.
      I write it this way in my project notes: 2-2, 2 X each side
      That means 2 threads per heddle, 2 threads per dent, 2 times on each side.

      I hope that answers your question.
      Happy Weaving,

  2. I have been enjoying your process for the monks belt.
    I have that great feeling also—when you cut your project off the loom!
    Such a wonderful feeling.

    How will you use this fabric?

    1. Hi Tobie, It’s great to have you along!
      How will I use this fabric? I don’t know yet. This time, I decided to weave without having a specific use for the fabric. That freed me to constantly play with the pattern and color, exploring what monksbelt could do. It was a learning experience.
      Now that I can fully see it and feel it, I am considering some options: large throw pillows, tote bags or handbags of some sort, table squares, panels in a jacket…

      I’d love to hear suggestions on how to use this colorful cloth!


  3. Hello, my sweet Karen!
    I love your exploration into Monksbelt. Would you mind telling me the sett and yarns used for warp and weft? I’m wondering if you used Faro for patter. Your colors are stunning. You do have grand ideas for using your cloth.

    Love to you…Charlotte

    1. Hi, dear Charlotte,
      Yes, Faro is the pattern weft. The warp and the ground weft is 16/2 cotton, sett is 22 1/2 epi, weft density is 30 ppi with 2 tabby shots between each pattern shot. I love working with Faro – the colors are so rich. I chose nine colors of Faro for this project.


  4. I have doubled and tripled Faro, previously. I wonder if tripled, there might need to be only one shot of tabby. I’ve been mulling over a cloth in Monksbelt, using 3 strands and then, I saw your post.

    Any thoughts? Missing you terribly…love…Charlotte

    1. It seems like tripled Faro would cover one tabby shot, but I don’t have the experience to tell you how it would look… It couldn’t hurt to try. Anything you make will be beautiful!

      Would love to see you,

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