Happy Weaving New Year!

January 1st is more than just another day, isn’t it? It’s a time to review the past year and bring new dreams into the year ahead. This pivot point calls for gratitude. I am especially grateful for friends like you who walk with me on this weaving journey!

Thick and thin cottolin towels on this warp. One towel to go!

Thick and thin cottolin towels on this warp. One towel to go!

The end is near! The end of the warp, that is. Halvdräll on the loom.

The end is near! The end of the warp, that is. Almost ready for the final border of the halvdräll table square. There will be just enough warp left for a short sample piece.

First up in the new year I have thick and thin towels to finish, and the halvdräll is oh so close to the end of the warp (didn’t quite make it for Christmas). And one little girl is off the small tapestry loom, waiting for final finishing, mounting, and framing.

Little girl small tapestry.

Little girl small tapestry. After finishing the ends, the piece will be mounted on linen-covered foam board and placed in a frame.

Thank you for walking with me through 2015!

May you bring big dreams into the new year!

Joyful New Year,


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Sun Rising

The little village is waking up. Sun rising. This small tapestry is near completion, and I am happy with the things I have learned in the process. Now, I am preparing a cartoon and gathering an array of Fåro wool colors for the next small tapestry. I may be jumping in over my head with this next one, but I will learn new things to practice.

Sun Rising. Small tapestry project on Freja loom.

Little woven village at the start of a new day. Sky is developed with hatching. Small ojos form three birds in the sky. Freja Tapestry Frame.

In my tea and tapestry time (tapestry diary) in the evenings, my intention is to improve my tapestry skills by practicing the little that I know. The concept is to learn by doing. Find what works, and do it more. For example, in the class I recently attended at Weaving Southwest, Teresa Loveless worked with me on the hatching technique. When I came home to this little tapestry village, I wanted to implement that new understanding right away. The sunrise sky, created with hatching, came as a result of Teresa’s coaching and my desire to learn by doing.

Isn’t that how we navigate through life? Take what you know about how to live, and how to please God. And then do it more. Learn by doing. Every new insight builds, not on what we know, but on what we have put into practice.

May you enter a sunrise season of life.

With pleasant anticipation,


  • nancy ryan says:

    I love your tapestry!!! I also adhere to the concept of learning by doing. I was recently asked by a guild member to translate a rigid heddle draft into multi harness. Have I done this before? No! But learning something new as I am doing it is a thrill for me.

  • beth says:

    Karen! I am also a learn-by-doing person! For example — thank you for your encouragement when I reached out to you a few months ago and shared my intention to make some rosepath rag rugs! I enjoyed the process and the results were a great inspiration to try even more new things!

    • Karen says:

      Way to go, Beth! It is so rewarding to learn new things. It’s wonderful that you ventured ahead with the rosepath rag rugs. Can you send me a picture? I would love to see what you made! OH I just remembered… You DID send me pictures! They were great!

      Happy Weaving,

  • linda says:

    what a giggle! I love the birds. the tapistery is great. Learn it, do it, teach it. that’s what makes life fun. now your ready for prespective houses, shading, and changing pictures into a woven masterpiece. along with your tea and weaving remember to LAUGH after all it’s only thread and can be changed if needed. Love,Peace and Joy. linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I’m glad you like the birds! It was fun to add them in the picture. I am planning my next small tapestry to be a landscape scene. Little by little making progress.
      Thanks for your encouragement.

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Tools Day: Tapestry Frame on Display

There is nothing that hinders cello practice more than a good old cello case. Out of sight; out of mind. Many years ago I discovered that if my cello sits out in the open on a cello stand in the corner of the room, I am much more likely to practice. The same is true of weaving on my tapestry frame. By hanging the tapestry frame in a corner of our living room, I have a continual reminder to weave. And we get to enjoy a living piece of artwork in the room–artwork that grows a little each day.

Tapestry diary of little houses.

Steve made this simple holder for my tapestry frame. The 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ (2 cm x 4 cm) pine has two dowels, and is fastened to the wall with countersunk screws. The holder practically disappears behind the tapestry that it puts on display.

Pine holder for small Freja tapestry frame.

Pine board has two dowels on which to set the tapestry frame.

Tapestry frame holder.

Accessibility is the secret to daily tapestry practice. To prevent the tapestry frame from being accidentally knocked off its holder, it is placed in a corner of the room that is not in a walkway.

Super simple tapestry frame holder.

Tapestry frame holder is attached to the wall with two countersunk screws.

Small tapestry diary of little houses.

Tapestry diary for July is a village of little houses.

May you have reminders to practice your art.

In progress,


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Little Woven Houses

There is something warmly appealing about a little brick house with a pitched roof and a red front door. A house, treated properly, after all, is a home. With this month’s tapestry diary I am attempting simple little houses, one at a time. These whimsical dwellings could remind you of houses you’ve known, but my houses are made of wool

Start of small house small tapestry.

Tapestry diary for this month starts with a little house.

This first little tapestry home has a closed door. The sett is not fine enough for detail that could show an open door, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see what’s behind the front door of the tiny house? For most of us, there are at least a few things that we prefer to keep behind closed doors. We have embarrassing and disorderly things that we would rather not reveal.

Red door on a little brick house.

Red door on a brick house. What is going on inside?

Think of your heart as a house. Our words reveal what we keep behind closed doors. Most of the time we don’t mean for the words to escape, but they always do. The tongue delivers what is in the heart. The remedy is to keep the heart in order. And then we won’t mind opening the door.

May your house be a home.

With heart,


  • nancy ryan says:

    I love your idea of a tapestry diary! I’m very interested to see how this progresses!

    • Karen says:

      Nancy, the tapestry diary idea is one I am borrowing from other tapestry weavers. The main idea for me is to weave a little bit of tapestry every day. Two accomplished tapestry weavers that I admire have amazing tapestry diaries – Tommye Scanlin and Janette Meetze.


  • linda says:

    do you know about “Cartoons” and inking the warp for a taestry picture? It helps a lot. can’t wait to see the houses finished. LPJ, linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda,

      I have used cartoons a few times when I have done pictorial images. I am inking the warp for the little houses on this tapestry. It does really help!


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Every Tapestry Has a Story to Tell

I am getting a late start on this month’s tapestry diary, so I am selecting a smaller palette of colors and a narrower warp. This is doodling with yarn, using a few simple shapes and a handful of colors.

Tapestry frame with small monthly tapestry diary.

Tapestry frame hangs where we see it daily. Art in progress.

Here I go blending colors and making color gradations again–in miniature. Three strands of red, and then one of the reds is replaced with orange; next, another red is replaced, making it two oranges and one red; and finally, the last red says goodbye and now the three strands are all orange. And why not insert two rows of yellow blends between each two rows of the red-to-orange gradation? The whole thing is a wordless color story. It requires several colors to do this, each one having its part to play. Some colors work better together than others, but every color has a place. Each color strand is essential to the story.

Two picks of weft create a wavy line.

Two picks of a weft color (or blend) create a wavy line. A single pick of a color creates a dotted line.

You and I are not here to please and satisfy ourselves. We are here to tell a bigger story. We worship God by using our individual gifts to serve and to function in harmony with others. The resulting woven tapestry, when finished, will reveal the skill of our Grand Weaver.

May you blend well in your relationships, using your gifts.

Better together,


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