Three Rosepath Rag Rugs For Now

There are three completed rosepath rag rugs on the loom, with warp remaining for at least one more rug. Since I don’t know how soon I will be able to weave the remainder, cutting off the completed rugs makes sense. After hemming, I will have three new rugs for Etsy. (Don’t miss the new Quick Tip video at the end of this post!)

Cutting off rosepath rag rugs, with some warp remaining to be woven.

As the warp ends are cut, they are tied into one-inch groupings to simplify tying back on to the tie-on bar.

Unrolling some new rosepath rag rugs!

Warping slats are used as spacers between rugs. Some of my slats are barely wide enough for this warp.

I look forward to full weaving days again, with both looms dressed, and shuttles zooming. That rag rug warp still on the loom will be a reward worth waiting for.

Rosepath rag rug ready to be hemmed. Karen Isenhower

One rug has warp end knots, and is ready for pressing and hemming.

Two rosepath rag rugs just off the loom. Karen Isenhower

Rosepath in two variations.

Rosepath rag rug ready to be hemmed. Karen Isenhower

Broad rosepath pattern lends elegance to this rag rug.

Last week, when I awoke from surgery, the relentless pain I had been experiencing in my left leg and lower back was gone. Completely gone! It made me think of heaven. Ancient writings tell us that the lame will leap like a deer, and that sorrow and sighing will flee away. There’s no place for pain in heaven. All the people there have been healed and restored. That’s a reward worth waiting for. And I won’t be surprised if there are at least a few in heaven who are weaving away to their heart’s content.

May you know what to do while waiting.

Wishing you well,


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Handwoven Thick and Thin Towels

Do you remember the black and white towels? I love the fascinating results of weaving with thick and thin warp ends, and thick and thin weft threads. That’s why I submitted a project to Handwoven for their November/December 2016 Thick & Thin issue. I gave you only a brief glimpse of the thick and thin towels I wove on an Aquamarine, Teal, and Moss warp, from the palette given me for that issue. (See Tools Day: Loom Cart and This Time in Color.)

Thick and thin towels on the loom.

Double bobbin shuttle carries the doubled weft.

Thick and thin towels at the front beam. Karen Isenhower

Breast beam with thick and thin towels.

Thick and thin towels just off the loom!

Cut from the loom, new colorful thick and thin towels.

Thick and thin towels just off the loom. Karen Isenhower

Towels just off the loom.

Guess what!? My project was accepted for publication. Not only that, these towels that I enjoyed designing and weaving have been placed on the cover! What an unexpected privilege!

Excited to see my Thick and Thin towels on the cover of Handwoven!

Credit: Photograph by Joe Coca from Handwoven November/December 2016 magazine. Copyright © F+W Media 2016.

As great as it is to have your handiwork appear on the cover of a national publication, there is something even greater–being loved. Being on the receiving end of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Love is like that. Love is to be demonstrated. That’s how Christ demonstrated his love to me–kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. His love is printed on the cover of my heart, with instructions written within so that I can learn to love like I’ve been loved. That’s the cover story I like to tell.

May your heart be covered with love.

With love,

PS I am recovering from back surgery better than anyone expected. I’m not weaving yet, of course, but I have no shortage of things to share with you while I regain my strength! Thanks for your wonderful encouraging words and prayers for my full recovery.

PPS My draft and instructions for the thick and thin towels are in this Handwoven November/December 2016 issue. This is the same draft I used for the black and white towels.
For purchase of the Handwoven November/December 2016 print edition:
For purchase of the digital edition:
For weavingtoday:


  • Debbie Davis says:

    Congratulations, Karen! You’re a wonderful example of creativity and craft I the weaving world!

  • Shearling says:

    I thought that these towels were stunning in black and white. Nice in color, too. Congratulations on being the “Cover Girl!”

  • Ruth says:

    I can’t wait for my copy of Handwoven to arrive in my mail box! Congratulations and wishing you a continued speedy recovery.

  • Janet says:

    Congratulations Karen!! I’m excited to get my copy and definitely will weave these!!

  • Loyanne Cope says:

    Congratulations! Looking for to my copy of Handwoven. What an honor.

  • Laurice Johnson says:

    How thrilling for you and well deserved. I loved the black and white posting so much that I took on the challenge on my RH. It stretched my brain to get the threading right but at the end I was thrilled with them and plan on weaving more. Now I will have visuals in a multi colored combination. Thanks for all you do.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laurice, I remember you asking about the black and white towels for your rigid heddle. Congratulations on making it work! I would be so delighted to see what you’ve done. Would you mind sending me a picture? You can email it to me karen at WarpedforGood dot com. You make what I do worthwhile. 🙂


  • Sandy says:

    Congratulations! What an honour to have your project selected for the cover!

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Gratulations! To me, this exemplifies your sincere willingness to share your knowledge, how joyfully you give of yourself…your readiness to serve. I am really thankful that you in everything you do demonstrate such love.


  • Julia says:

    You are healing more quickly than anyone thought because your True Divine nature is shinning through! How fun and exciting for that and for your beautiful expression of Divine creativity to be shared front and center with our weaving community.

  • Cindie says:

    Congratulations!!! And that cover pic is one of the most beautiful ones I’ve seen in a while.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Cindie! I am extremely pleased with the photography for this issue — on the cover and on the article page (which I did not reveal). They did a great job!


  • Marcia Cooke says:

    Karen, that is FANTASTIC! Congratulations….I’m looking forward to this issue!

  • D'Anne Craft says:

    WOW! Congratulations, Karen! Your work is always beautiful! So glad you are recovering nicely from the back surgery.

  • Liberty Stickney says:

    Oh I’m so happy for you Karen! Both the cover and the surgery. You deserve it!

  • Martha says:

    Whoot! Whoot! Huzzah for the cover girl! Karen, your project looks fantastic on the HW cover. Looking forward to seeing the magazine when it hits my mailbox. Congratulations.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much, Martha! I am pretty excited about it! I think they did an excellent job with the staging, photography, and type print color for the cover. I’m glad my towels get to be a part of that!


  • Pam says:

    Hi Karen, we have mutual friends from the Mustard Seed days and I saw one of them like your FB post so I came to check you out. While art was not my major in college at KU I took two weaving classes and LOVED them. I am so jealous. Years ago my dad wanted to buy me a loom but we had a small house at that time. These towels are so beautiful. Congratulations on the recognition.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pam, I certainly have seen your name pop up on FB every now and then on Mendo’s posts and others. 🙂 I’m so glad you were drawn over here! I know now that KU had, and still has I’m told, a good weaving program. It’s probably good I didn’t know that at the time, or I might have missed out on pursuing my ‘cello studies and getting a music degree. I’m a late bloomer with weaving. It’s never too late to start…

      Thank you for the gracious compliments!
      All the best,

  • doree porter says:

    WOW! Praise God! I love your towels and your story. The LORD has led me into watercolor painting. I pray thatHe can work through me and what He has given to me to share His story like He has done through you. 🙂 (We were together in leadership in MITI)

    • Karen says:

      Hi, Doree, It’s wonderful to hear from you! Art is a gift from the Father’s hand. I know He has a beautiful path for you with your watercolor painting. I have seen some of your work on FB– it’s outstanding! How exciting!


  • Leigh says:

    Congratulations on getting the cover! I am so excited for you. I’m excited for the rest of us too, to be getting the draft for your wonderful towels. I’ll be keeping my eyes open, waiting for Handwoven to arrive.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much, Leigh! I’m keeping my eyes open, too, waiting for that magazine to arrive!! Please let me know if you try the draft. I’d love to hear how it goes, and see pics of what you do with it!


  • Kris Stark says:

    The colored towels are as stunning as the black, white and red! Thank you so much for sharing your skills and insight with us. Congratulations on the HW article and cover!! Your blending your talents with your faith is a Blessing to those of us who follow you. Continue to heal in God’s care.

    • Karen says:

      Kris, The black and white towels were out of my color zone, so I was surprised that I enjoyed weaving them so much. These colored towels are in my color zone. I’m always happy working with color!
      It’s a blessing to have your encouragement.


  • Bev says:


    The towels are beautiful! What an honor you have been given to be on a magazine cover and as always, your words of honor to the Lord are best of all.

    May Jehovah-Rapha, our Healer, continue His healing work each day.

    In His love,


  • Tobie says:

    Mazel Tov and may you heal quickly!

  • Carolyn says:

    Congratulations on your published project and recovery. I love the colors you used. Can hardly wait to get the magazine. Keep up the good work on your recovery and don’t overdo. I had neck surgery a few years back and I remember feeling so much better without the pain. It was very tempting to become more active. Resist it. Enjoy this time for quiet reflection and planning other projects.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Carolyn! I’m eager to see that magazine in my mailbox, too.

      I’m taking your advice to heart. It is a good time for doing some finishing work and planning new projects. I appreciate the good word.


  • Karen Reff says:

    Congratulations! That’s AWESOME!!!

  • […] who weave dish towels. Kerry at Love Those Hands at Home has made a lot of them. And Karen at Warped for Good makes some beauties as […]

  • Louise Yale says:

    Wishing you the best on your recovery !!

    Re: the Handwoven article – first congratulations on the article and getting on the cover.
    I am unclear on the Grass yarn. On page 26, it is referred to as 16/2.
    On page 28, the Grass yarn is referred to as 30/2.
    Typo? Error? Am I missing something?
    Thanks in advance.
    Louise Yale

    • Karen says:

      Hi Louise, Yes, it is a typo. It should read 30/2 cotton in both places. I’m sorry for the confusion.

      However, 16/2 or 20/2 would also work in place of 30/2. The main thing is to have a contrast between the sizes of yarn. The greater the contrast, the more dramatic the pattern.

      Thank you for your kind words!

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Quiet Friday: Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs and More

The sample piece, a long rug and a short rug with string yarn, and a short rag rug. I look on these results with fondness. A challenge and a joy to weave! The two string yarn rugs will have bound hems when I get a chance to do that. I have world map fabric for the hems. The sample piece and the rag rug piece are destined to become cute bags. I have all the supplies–band loom-woven strap, and yarn to make a band loom-woven strap, lining material, and a handwoven remnant to use as inside pockets. Now, all I need is time. And we all have as much as we need of that.

Dressing the Loom

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with String yarn Weft

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with String yarn Weft

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with String yarn Weft

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with Fabric Strips for Weft

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with Stringyarn Weft

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with String yarn Weft

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with String yarn Weft

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with Fabric Strips for Weft

Making a rag rug bag. Strap woven on band loom. Karen Isenhower

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with String yarn Weft, make bound hems.

Eight-Shaft Block Twill Rugs with String yarn Weft, making bound hems.

Making cute bag from sample piece of 8-shaft block twill weave.

In case you needed a smile today!

In case you needed a smile today. Our dear Lucia Annabella.

May you have all the time you need.

All the best to you, my dear friends,


  • Julia says:

    That is one beautiful Lucia Annabella! And some delightful weaving. My mother use to tell me, “You have all the time there is.”

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julia,
      As any grandmother would, I have to agree with you about Lucia Annabella. I love your mother’s words of wisdom. It would be well for all of us to remember that. Thank you for your kind words!

      Happy weaving,

  • Gabriela says:

    Thank you, Karen. So lovely.

  • Barbara says:

    We all have time for what is important. I can choose what to put first in my life. You have placed God first and it shows in every other aspect of your life.

  • Denise says:

    I’m hoping you can help me, again, by giving me an idea of how much string garn it might take for a lovely rug such as the pink one shown here. Thanks in advance for your help–especially as you have other things on your mind.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Denise, It’s no trouble at all! I can tell you how much string yarn I used in total– for the sample, long rug, and short rug, and I’ll let you do the math for the length of rug you want to make. 🙂

      Lengths: Sample 17cm, Long rug 115.5cm, Short rug 42.5cm
      Midi string yarn 500m/kilo; 250g/125m per tube (#124 Dusty Coral from
      Total yarn used: 4 tubes, with about 2-3m leftover

      I hope that helps!
      Happy Weaving,

  • Elisabeth says:

    From one grandma to another…
    Although everything you make is just beautiful, little Lucia Annabella shines even brighter 🙂

    Love, Elisabeth

  • Angie says:

    Pictures speak a thousand words! I really enjoy seeing your weaving process and all the lovely items you make, and the beautiful grandbaby.

    As you are a weaver that gets good use from your Glimakra, may I ask where you rest your feet when not pressing a treadle? I’m almost ready to bring one into my home and while I’ve sat at one I haven’t woven more than a pass or two on it. I have a Norwood Jack loom and just slide my feet to the base of the treadle when switching. Of course, a Standard is set up differently. Thanks for your advice and any tips you may have for my Glimakra contemplation.

    • Karen says:

      Angie, First, thank you for your very sweet words. That means a lot to me!

      Glimakra? You said the magic word. 🙂 I am extremely happy with my 2 Glimakra looms, Ideal and Standard. It is all I have woven on, so I don’t have anything to compare them to.
      The Standard has a foot rest directly under the breast beam. It’s in the perfect spot for resting your feet when not pressing a treadle.

      Here are some resources I highly recommend for Glimakra loom weavers:

      Learning to Warp Your Loom, by Joanne Hall,
      Tying Up the Countermarch Loom, by Joanne Hall,
      The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila Lundell, or
      Dress Your Loom the Vavstuga Way: A Benchside Photo Guide,
      Dress Your Loom the Swedish Way DVD, Becky Ashenden, or
      Vavstuga Basics class at Vavstuga

      Please let me know if you have any more questions as you get going with your Glimakra Standard. I predict that you will love it!!

      Very happy weaving,

  • Na says:

    Your photos including all of your finishing ideas are very helpful! Would you tell me what part of the world you are in? Just curious–since you use meters, etc.!! Grand babies are beautiful everywhere–even when they grow up.

    • Karen says:

      Hi, Na, I’m an oddball from Texas. Houston, Texas. I like to use metric for weaving — makes the calculations simpler. Also, I primarily use Swedish drafts, so I have gotten used to using metric measurements from the Swedish weaving books I have.

      Yes, grandbabies any age are the best everywhere in the world.

      Happy weaving,

  • Gerda Hoogenboom says:

    Thank you, Karen, for all the clear pictures and inspiration. Now I am keeping my fingers crossed that there will be pictures (or even a video) of the process of binding a rug with fabric. I wonder how you reinforce the rug before sewing the binding on, and how long a cloth binding would last on a rug. It is not a quilt, after all. Every one of your posts teaches me things and leads me to ask questions I had not anticipated. The mark of a true teacher! Looking forward to seeing the finished products (on Etsy?). Greetings from France, Gerda

    • Karen says:

      Hi, Gerda, You have great questions! I can answer some of them by referring you to previous posts. But first, I want to say that’s a terrific idea to do a video tutorial of making a bound hem on a rug! Thanks for the suggestion. I think I will do that.

      (Click on the links)
      How to bind a rug with fabric: How I Make a Bound Hem
      How to reinforce the rug before sewing the binding on: Tools Day: Rag Rug Finishing Video
      How long a cloth binding lasts on a rug: I made this rug a few years ago that sits in our front hallway and is walked on every day. Blue Twill Rag Rug

      I don’t know if the items will show up on Etsy, but I will try to remember to show the pieces here when they are finished.

      Happy weaving from Houston to France,

      • Gerda says:

        Thanks Karen for taking the time to give real answers and even to index your previous posts for me. Please remember, we do not actually deserve that much of your time! But I am gratefully reading the posts and learning. Hopefully absorbing enough to avoid crucial mistakes. Thanks again!

  • Diana Gilroy says:

    I also have a glimaka and love it. I’m just starting to dive into rug making. Where can I find this draft?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diana, You can find this draft in The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila Lundell, Bathroom Mats on p.146. I think you will enjoy this project!

      Happy Weaving,

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Two Short Rugs Finish the Warp

Two short rugs finish off this warp. One has a treadling sequence that produces a delightfully different pattern; and the other one has fabric strips for weft, making it a rag rug. I am scheduled for back surgery this week, so I have been working hard (a few minutes at a time) to get this project off the loom. I know I am facing some new limitations in the coming weeks.

Stringyarn weft for 8-shaft block twill rug.

New treadling sequence. Stringyarn weft makes a well-defined pattern.

Rag rug in an 8-shaft block twill. Karen Isenhower

Fabric strips, cut 2cm (3/4″) wide, are used for the weft. The intriguing pattern in the weave structure is more subtle with print fabric than with the stringyarn weft.

Time for cutting off! 8-shaft block twill rugs.

Time for cutting off!

Pain and weakness heighten our understanding of what truly matters. Faith, family, friends. The Lord, Himself, is a safe place for those who come to him for shelter. When we are feeble, he directs our hearts to a place of strength. He invites us into the protective shelter of his mighty and loving presence. You’ll find me resting there. And don’t be surprised to see a portable loom in my hands before too long.

May your heart be at rest.


PS I have prepared and scheduled my Quiet Friday post in advance so you won’t have to miss the unrolling of these eight-shaft block twill rugs!


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More Rosepath Rag Rug Ideas

This is my favorite rosepath rag rug of all time! (Have I said that before?) I like the unexpected color changes that occur in the design. While the main rosepath pattern is woven in a yellow batik, the background tabby changes from pink to a mixed print, and then a single brown stripe outlining solid blue.

Classic rosepath motif in a rag rug on the loom.

Single row of dark brown tabby serves to outline the central rosepath motif.

The other thing I like about this design is the repeated uneven plain weave weft stripes–three rows green and two rows black. The ideas for color changes and uneven stripes came from looking at rugs in my Swedish weaving books. I have another rug to weave on this warp before we get to see this “favorite” spread out on the floor.

Weaving a rosepath rag rug. So many design possibilities!

Every weft, including the rosepath pattern weft, goes around the selvedge warp ends. The inactive yellow batik fabric strip is carried up the selvedge through the active wefts.

Designs start with ideas. Who designed the intricate workings of the human body, or had the idea of putting planets together in a solar system? The universe is amazing, with every explicit detail honoring the Creator. Designed to operate on the faithful love of the Lord, this universe is a divine idea brought to life. With the glimpses we see of his perfect design, we can’t help but give our Grand Weaver the admiration he deserves.

May you have plenty of favorites to weave.

Happy weaving,


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