Rosepath Mug Rugs

Even though I am pleased with the miniature rugs, this project taught me that I would rather weave large rag rugs than tiny ones. After three mini rosepath rag rugs, and now, a few small mug rugs, I am nearly finished. (See Rosepath Miniature and One Mini Rag Rug to see the mini rag rugs.)

Mug rug being woven with string yarn. Customized mini temple.

Mug rug is being woven using string yarn for the weft.

I have a new project I’m excited about. That’s all the motivation I need to get the current project off the loom. The thread for the new project will be here soon. A new warp is celebration time! It means more weaving. But the aim of weaving is always to make cloth. Whether tiny rugs or monksbelt yardage, everything I weave eventually gets cut off. And for a weaver, the cutting off is party time, too! That’s when we get to see and touch the results of our efforts.

Rosepath mug rug. Glimakra Ideal.

Rosepath mug rug, woven with fabric strips. White scrap header is removed during finishing.

Sampler effect, rosepath mug rug, woven with stringyarn.

Sampler effect is made by varying the rosepath treadling on this mug rug.

You and I are here for a purpose. Though not all the same, every person is significant. Heaven knows your name. And when your name is written in heaven’s book, it’s like a new warp, and all the angels have a party! The cutting off party will be grand, too, with Jesus being clearly pleased at the results of his handiwork.

May you make angels sing.

Happy cutting off,


  • Janet says:

    What a sweet message this morning, thank you Karen.

  • Love your blog. it’s great motivation for getting back to my looms. my questions is how do you manage to get so much done? no husband? no kids? i need your secret.

    • Karen says:

      Maggie, Haha, I didn’t know I was getting a lot done. My three kids are grown and married. My husband is not very demanding. He’s my prince charming who lets me weave to my heart’s content. 🙂

      Happy weaving,
      Miss Weave-a-Lot

  • Annie Galloway says:

    That rosepath is just WOW! It looks like stone…love the effect! and really enjoy your blog as always. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Annie,

      Wow, now that you mention it, the brown one does look like stone. I hadn’t noticed that. Cool. Thanks so much for leaving your thoughts!


  • Charelne says:

    Very nice weaving…with a very GRAND message! God Bless You!

  • Katy T. says:

    I’ve been looking everywhere for a few tips on rosepath rag rugs and can’t seem to find much online, but your site keeps popping up. Do you mind me asking what size reed and epi you use?

    I’ve tried a couple of rag rugs in plain weave and twill and found that 12 epi seems to work ok, but your pictures look like a wider sett than that. Thanks for your help!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Katy,

      For rosepath rag rugs I use an 8 dent reed (or a 30/10 metric reed), and 8 epi. My warp is 12/6 cotton and I cut my fabric in 3/4″ strips for the weft. I’m dressing one of my looms for rosepath rag rugs now. I plan to start weaving the rugs by the end of next week.

      I’m glad you asked! I hope this helps.

      Happy weaving,

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Rosepath Miniature

Weaving rosepath is not difficult, but it requires concentration. Similar to overshot, this rosepath is woven over a plain weave ground, meaning alternating wefts that keep me on my toes. Exactly the kind of fascinating weaving experience that I love!

Mini Rosepath Rag Rug on the Loom

Low contrast in colors makes a subtle rosepath pattern. The black and brown dashes are formed by using just one of the pattern treadles.

I like to weave when I have things on my mind, when there are issues to think through. I give full attention to the weaving–placing weft, stepping on treadles, and staying mindful of the pattern. Creative energy at its best. When I get immersed in what’s happening on the loom, the storms of life take a back seat. They don’t go away, but they seem to fade for the time being.

Life brings storms. When my refuge is God in times of trouble, and when I turn to Him for strength, fear blows away. We have a shelter in the storm. A place to come in from the weather outside and rest. It’s like sitting at the loom, only better. It’s sinking into the arms of a loving Father.

May you have a place to come in from the storm.

Your friend,


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One Mini Rag Rug

I am calling this miniature rag rug experiment a success! Oh what fun to play with colorful fabric to make rosepath designs in rag rugs. This sample size is great for trying out various designs and color combinations. Pure delight for a rag rug weaver like me!

Mini rag rug on the loom with rosepath design.

Mini rag rug on the loom with rosepath design.

I am cutting this first “rug” off. After finishing the ends and hemming the little rug, I will see if adjustments are needed before weaving the rest of the warp. It’s the details I’m interested in–sett, weft density, finished dimensions, selvedges, design, balance of color, size of hem. All of these assessments affect my plans for the remaining warp. I am excited about weaving more of these mini rugs! I smile to think of it.

Small rosepath rag rug sample.

Warp is tied on and ready for weaving the next small rag rug.

Mini rosepath rag rug with favorite coffee mug. Karen Isenhower

Favorite artisan coffee mug is right at home on the cute little rug. Finished rag rug measures 6 x 10 1/2″ / 15 x 26.5cm.

The Lord is intricately involved in the lives of those who belong to Him. He delights in details that require His guidance. It is as if the Lord is holding my hand, especially when I need guidance to navigate life’s challenges. The Lord delights in helping us. After all, what He is making is much more exciting than anything found on our looms.

May you find delightful details in the work of your hands.

Happy weaving,


  • Fran says:

    Never thought of sampling rugs. Good idea! Patterns and colours for rosepath; going to do that! Thanks.

  • linda says:

    Watch out!! Doll house buffs will be calling for rugs. It’s so cute; can’t wait to see the finished large one, and just imagine a couple sewn together, as a carpet. LP&J, lindalinda

  • Rose says:

    How many epi do you do?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rose,

      I’m using a metric reed on this one. It’s a 30/10 reed, so 3 epc. If I use a reed measured in inches, for rag rugs I use an 8-dent for 8 epi. I like the metric reed because it’s a slightly denser sett, but the 8-dent works just fine, too.

      Thanks for asking,

  • Debbie Moyes says:

    Very nice! I’ve never done anything but plain weave for rag rugs and runners. And I do delight in buying funny and fun fabrics! I wait for them to go on sale at a place like Joann’s and get a big stack and the cutting lady wonders what on earth I am making with all the kooky prints.

  • Jenice says:

    “The Lord delights in helping us.” Sigh. I needed to be reminded of that, Karen. Thank you!

    And I love how the rag rug turned out. 🙂

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My Mistake that Made Rug Warp Snap

Draw-in can wreck your weaving. Avoid it at all costs. Did you know that draw-in can cause even 12/6 cotton rug warp to break? First, two ends on the right, and then, an inch later, two more in the middle. I had ten broken warp ends in all. Strong, sturdy, Swedish rug warp! I was weaving miniature rugs. Between the absence of a temple, and my failure to place in enough weft, the drawn-in warp ends could not stand the abrasion they got from the reed. What started out as a bright idea ended up a “learning experience.”

Miniature rag rugs, side by side.

Double binding warp is divided into four sections to weave individual mini rag rugs.

Four mini rag rugs on the loom. Draw in was a problem.

Draw-in happened gradually, and didn’t seem to pose a problem until near the end. Then warp ends started snapping.

Finishing miniature rag rugs.

Mini rag rugs off the loom. After making all repairs and finishing the ends, they will be hemmed and ready for use as mug rugs and hot pads.

Words reveal a person’s core. When abrasive thoughts continue time and again, words eventually break loose from the tongue. The warp end breaks, and the stability of the rug is compromised. It may seem like the warp end is the problem, but the problem is the abrasion that led up to the breakage. Fortunately, broken warp ends can be fixed, with time and effort. But learning to eliminate the abrasion in the first place is the tactic I want to employ.

May you strengthen your core.

Your friend,


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Textured Textiles for Christmas

This is exactly what I had hoped for! Wet finishing made textured textiles out of flat fabric. One look at these pot holders and you know they have been through the washer and dryer. The rag weave table runner tells the same story. It’s true, wet finishing made positive permanent changes.

Rag weave table runner in M's and O's - on the loom.

Rag weave table runner on the loom. M’s and O’s, with Cottolin warp, and narrow cotton fabric strips for weft.

M's and O's pot holders and table runner cut from the loom.

Time to celebrate cutting the pot holders and table runner from the loom.

Rag weave table runner and string yarn pot holders in M's and O's. Karen Isenhower

Textured textiles, after wet finishing and hemming. Twisted cording was added to pot holders for hanging loops.

Detail of textured textiles. M's and O's with creative treadling.

Creative treadling for two pot holders produced design variations.

Christmas is a true story. Love came down. You have heard the story: Jesus came as a baby, grew up, and gave up his life to save us, all in the name of love. When this Jesus story is written on our hearts it changes everything. This love story is the wet finishing we need. It is the only thing that can truly complete us. Your life already tells a story. It is an open book that people read. When we let the Christmas story of God’s love shape us, the fabric of our life becomes characterized by the texture of love.

May your loved ones enjoy reading “your” book.

(Shoppes at Fleece ‘N Flax in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is carrying a few of my rugs. If you are near the area, drop by the shop and say Hi to Debbie!)

Happy Holy Day,


  • Debbie says:

    Thanks for mentioning the shop, Karen! People are noticing your rugs – have had many nice comments about them!

  • Anne Wolf says:

    How did you finish the mugrugs?

    • Karen says:

      Anne, I cut them apart, and then secured the ends with my serger. I then washed them in the washing machine on the regular cycle, with hot water; and then, into the dryer, on hot. After they came out of the dryer, I ironed them slightly, and pressed the hems. Then, turned the hems under and stitched them, adding a twisted hanging loom near the end of one hem.

      Does that answer your question?

      They are actually a little big for mug rugs, but just right for a hot pad on the table for a small dish, or as a light hot pad for taking something small out of the oven. But, now that you mention it, I think they would work fine as mug rugs, especially for large mugs. 🙂 I am about to list a few of them on Etsy, so I thank you for this new description to add.

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