Quiet Friday: Finally Finished

Finish the finishing, please. I always have a pile of handwovens that need finishing. Don’t you? The finishing smorgasbord includes repairing skipped threads (unintentional floats), securing ends, fringe treatments, hemming, wet finishing, pressing, adding hanging tabs, embellishments, and more. You know you are finally finished when your handiwork is being used and enjoyed.

1. Twisted fringe on bamboo huck lace small tablecloth. This cloth covered an heirloom table, becoming the altar, at Melody’s wedding. (This short piece was at the end of the warp after weaving two shawls.) You can see the shawls HERE, and twisting the fringe HERE.

Bamboo huck lace small tablecloth.

Twisted fringe gives an elegant finishing touch to this small huck lace table covering.

2. Added hanging tabs to handtowels. Installed Ikea rod with basket and hooks to hang handwoven handtowels in the powder room. (When you need tabs for towels, it helps to have a collection of inkle and band loom bands.) You can see the most recent towels HERE – I kept one of the eight for myself; the rest became gifts.

Ikea basket and hooks hold handwoven towels for guests.

Ikea basket and hooks hold assortment of handwoven towels for guests to use in the powder room.

3. Untangled the fringe of alpaca/tencel throw. (A wet finishing nightmare I don’t care to repeat.) You can see what it looked like before washing HERE.

Alpaca Tencel handwoven throw with lattice fringe

Each strand of fringe was carefully separated one-by-one after leaving the alpaca/tencel throw in the washing machine a few minutes too long. Untangling took longer than tying the lattice fringe. Hours and hours.

4. Hand-stitched rolled hem on Swedish lace tablecloth. (I may use this as a curtain for my weaving studio window, hung on rings with clips, on a rod.) HERE are the long curtain panels that hang on windows in my home.

Hand-stitched rolled hem on handwoven Swedish lace cloth.

Swedish lace panel can be used as a tablecloth, or a curtain, or even a light, summery shawl. The hand-stitched rolled hem gives a delicate touch to this elegant piece.

Swedish lace, handwoven cloth. Karen Isenhower

Swedish lace is shown to its best advantage when light is allowed to shine through the cloth. The pressed rolled hem adds a classy touch.

5. Hemmed small sample piece to carry around with me when I have a cup of coffee. (I grab this re-usable “scrap” instead of a paper napkin or paper towel. It also doubles as a coaster wherever I happen to sit down.) The original M’s and O’s towels are HERE; and HERE you can see what I mean about carrying my coffee cup around with me.

Handwoven scrap is used as a napkin/coaster for cup of coffee.

Scrap of handwoven fabric, from a cottolin warp of handtowels, follows my favorite coffee cup around.

6. Replaced nylon cord on handwoven Roman shades with a cord I wove on my band loom. (The “temporary” nylon cord stayed more than a year. We now enjoy seeing this on our kitchen door every day, finally fully finished.) The only place I have a picture of the original nylon cord, and of the fabric on the loom for the Roman shades is in my Projects on Weavolution HERE. (I’m not sure if you can see it without logging in to the site.)

Handwoven on Glimakra band loom - pull cord for Roman shades.

Linen and cotton threads that match the handwoven Roman shades were used to weave the pull cord. Cord woven on Glimakra two-treadle band loom.

Handwoven Roman shades in two-block twill. Karen Isenhower

Handwoven Roman shades finally have a matching pull cord. When the shades are lowered at night, the two-block twill structure is seen covering the whole kitchen door window. Woven on 8-shaft Glimakra Standard loom.

Opening the handwoven Roman shades. Please come on in!

Opening the shades to start the day and welcome you. Please come in!

May you reduce your finishing pile (I know you have one).

Forever finishing,


  • analia says:

    Gracias por compartir tus conocimiento. Es muy enriquecedor ver tus trabajos..
    Hace pocos meses que he comenzado con un telar de peine Maria. de 90 cm y me da un poco de miedo invertir en un telar de 4 peines porque no se si podre dominarlo.
    Cariños desde Argentina.

    • Karen says:

      Muchas gracias!

      I am happy that you enjoy weaving! I have a 36-inch rigid heddle loom similar to yours that I used for many years. Weaving on your Maria loom is very good practice for weaving on a floor loom with 4 shafts. I hope you get to try weaving on 4 shafts. I know you can do it!

      Thank you for your kind compliments!

      Happy Weaving,

  • What a lovely set of inspirational works! I particularly love the swedish lace tablecloth. It would be so perfect as curtains in the kitchen! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jessica,

      I’m thrilled to hear you love the Swedish lace! You are absolutely right – the Swedish lace is perfect for curtains. The tablecoth is an extra piece; I wove curtains first, at my husband’s request. We enjoy looking through the Swedish lace every day.

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What Difference Does the Weft Color Make?

Does the weft color influence the cloth as it intersects the warp threads? Of course! The distinctive textural quality of this 3-shaft twill with warp floats is enhanced by the colors. In this case, the weft follows the same arrangement as the colors across the warp, making an interesting plaid. What does your influence look like?

3-shaft twill with weft floats. Hand towels. Karen Isenhower

Weft colors coincide with warp colors to create a plaid design. The pattern in the weave structure appears to change according to the weft colors and the angle of view.

Before weaving, the untouched warp colors look well-defined and clean. Introducing the weft, however, changes everything. How can you predict how the weft colors will interact with the warp? Hold tubes of thread next to each other, or wrap different colors on an index card, or even combine threads by twisting them together in your hand. Yet, when the threads become enmeshed in woven cloth, as weft interlaces warp, a new color is revealed.

You and I have strategic influence. How we choose to use that influence makes a difference. As you intersect with people, you bring a unique thread into the picture. The results may be surprising at times, not what others expect. But you are the only you. You have a creator-given purpose. Let your influence make a positive difference. Who knows whether you have not come to these present circumstances for such a time as this?

May you be an influence for good.

(To follow the color planning and sampling for these towels, click HERE and HERE.)

You are loved,


  • Laurie Mrvos says:

    Your message resonates, especially after a tough week. Thank you for this.. And the towels? The colors, texture and pattern are just lovely. One of these days I’ll get my towels hemmed and put them into service!

  • Karen says:

    Oh Laurie, I hope your next week will be better. If there is any way this little message helped lift you up, I’m glad!

    The nice thing about weaving towels is they are so functional. You can dry your hands on beautiful threads. I like that. Yes, hem those towels. I’d love to see them. If you email a picture to me, I can post it. karen (at) warpedforgood (dot) com.

    All the best,

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My Near Mishap with the Curtains

Finally! The Swedish lace curtains are hung…Yippee! However,…I came really, really close to cutting the finished material in the wrong place, about eight inches too short. Gasp! I had sewn the top casing and ruffle, and had carefully measured for the placement of the hem. But in my enthusiasm to finish, I got confused when it came to the final cut. Fortunately, I decided to put my scissors down and measure one. more. time. Catastrophe avoided!

Handwoven Swedish Lace curtains by Karen Isenhower

Swedish lace curtains, at their best when sunlight shines through.

Decisions come every day, big and small. How do you make decisions? Luck, make a guess, have a feeling? Luck isn’t dependable, guessing is risky, and feelings change with the weather. Like my near mishap with the curtain fabric, we could be one decision away from a huge mistake.

If we pay attention, Lady Wisdom’s invitation is heard at every decision point. We face decisions that are far more important than where to cut the fabric. There are plans for the future, and crossroads in life, as well as daily choices. Wisdom creates building blocks for future decisions. One wise decision leads to another, and then another. And before you know it, you have sunlight streaming through the fabric you’ve created.

If you are interested in how the fabric was made for these curtains, you may enjoy this post, and other posts in the category, yardage: curtains.

May your decisions be secured through wisdom.



  • Barbara says:

    So true! And I’m so thankful for God’s grace when I mess up. The curtains are beautiful. Where did you hang them?

    • Karen says:

      The curtains are hanging in the two long, narrow windows at each end of the front of our house. Both are “personal” spaces that we use every day – the window in our bedroom closet, and the window in the laundry room.

      God’s grace is essential, because we all make serious mistakes. Yes, I’m thankful for grace, too.

  • Wende says:

    What a beautiful, tangible reminder to take time to listen before I plow ahead with what I think seems right….

  • Grethe says:

    I’m so glad, that you lay down your scissors. Your curtains are beautiful.

  • Leigh Ellis says:

    Oh, Karen the curtains are absolutely gorgeous! I really enjoyed the post about almost making a huge mistake with the scissors. I can really relate, having done things like this many times. Years ago, a really wise person taught me to think aboout these kinds of occurances not as mistakes, but as an oppurtunity to thank our minds for doing the right thing.

    • Karen says:

      I’m glad you like the curtains, Leigh. It’s a learning experience either way. If I had made that wrong cut, who knows… the curtain may have ended up with a ruffle at the bottom to make up the length. 🙂
      We should never pick up scissors when we’re tired, excited, or in a hurry…

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you happen to post any details or perhaps the draft for these curtains.? Can you tell me what fiber and sett you used? I have found myself as the volunteer to weave curtains for 7 Windows for our guild studio. This will be a huge undertaking. Honestly I’m not sure my selvedges are good enough but I will try a temple and roll them over if I have to. You have done beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

      • Karen says:

        Hi fellow weaver, You can find the draft for these Swedish lace curtains in The Big Book of Weaving, by a Laila Lundell, p.114. They would be a beautiful choice for the windows at your guild.

        I used 20/2 cotton, and 8/2 cotton (for the lines around the “windows”). My sett was 8 ends per cm (~20 ends per inch).

        The most challenging aspect for me of weaving these curtains was keeping a light beat.

        Happy weaving,

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Gorgeous curtains! The subtle pattern is just beautiful. Don’t you think the process of making beautiful things better prepares us to pause and listen to to “Lady Wisdom”?

    As you know, I recently experienced how important it is to stop for a moment and listen in order to make the right decision. Your post just reinforced this message. And I am already experiencing that one wise decision leads to another.

  • Iréne says:

    Your curtains are fabulous. And I like your reflection om decisions… I usually make decisions very fast, am focused on problem solving. But with age I’ve come to reflect more often. Stop, before I make up my mind, listen, see what happens. It’s a new experience that includes learning. I think that’s one of the reasons why weaving is so good to me, I cannot rush. That is so good 🙂 Enjoy your wonderful curtains.

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your kind comments so much, Iréne. It’s fun to end up with something useful and lovely to look at.

      You and Elizabeth make a great point, that weaving (or knitting, quilting, wood carving…, making beautiful things) does give us a wonderful opportunity to be comfortable with going slow. A lot of thinking is required. It is a constant learning environment where we are actively paying attention to what our hands are doing.

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The Windows Are Opening Now!

Windows fascinate me. I even have a Pinterest board, Houses and Windows, because I enjoy images of windows. The windows in this cloth capture me! The fun part was seeing it happen. When I cut the cloth from the loom, I could immediately see the windows begin to form as the threads started relaxing. After letting the cloth rest a few days, the windows appeared even more. But the WOW happened when I gently kneaded the fabric in warm water, and hung it to dry. Seeing these handwoven lace windows made me silly with childish excitement!

Swedish Lace, also known as Mosquito Lace, or kneaded lace blocks

Handwoven Swedish lace, also known as mosquito lace or kneaded block lace. The spaces have opened up dramatically in the “windows” after having been gently washed and dried. Ready now for pressing.

(Compare these open windows with this before picture, while the fabric was still on the loom.)

What if we are little houses, and our soul has windows? Shall I keep the curtains closed, so no one can see in? But then, I can’t see out, either.

When I think of our grand weaver, and how he is so close by, I imagine him looking out those windows with me. He is not distant, but near. He stays involved, pointing out things he sees. Making the common and ordinary into articles of wonder and beauty. Stiff pieces of thread with a vague shape become wide open windows where the refreshing breeze blows through.

May the view from your windows be delightful.

Enjoying the breeze,

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Feeling Empty or Filling Empty?

This Swedish lace warp is finally cut off! The big loom now stands empty. I don’t like to let a loom stay naked for very long, so I will wind the next warp soon. That desire to keep the loom dressed will give me momentum through the finishing details and sewing of the dreamed-about curtains. Like this loom, we humans face times of feeling empty in daily life, and don’t like to stay in that unpleasant state very long.

Cutting off Swedish lace from the loom.

Cutting off the warp always feels like a celebration! Now I have a piece of fabric in hand to sew into curtains. Ta da!

When we experience that feeling of emptiness, we try to find a way to overcome our bare state. We get super busy, stuff our life with things or food, or isolate ourselves to our own detriment.

The good news is that we do not have to stay alone and empty. Amazingly, our creator desires to live with us, not just above us. And that is when our soul is filled–when we make room for our creator. And being filled, we say, Bring on the next warp!

May your loom always be ready for the next warp.

Making room,


  • Irene says:

    Your Swedish lace looks beautiful! Do you know why it is called Swedish lace? Haven’t heard that name here in Sweden…

    And, I like your saying: May your loom always be ready for the next warp!

    • Karen says:

      Great question, Irene! A few weeks ago I tried to find out why it is called Swedish lace, so I could put it in my Weaving Glossary, but I could not find an explanation in any of my books. So my answer is, “I don’t know.” It is called Swedish lace in The Big Book of Weaving by Laila Lundell, p.114 in the project notes, Plain weave and Swedish lace ‘mosquito lace’ block.

      Thank you for coming by!

  • Jane Morrow says:

    I have no idea if this is correct but, for example, French lace is made using bobbins. Swedish lace is made on the loom and weaving is so traditional in Sweden that it could almost be called woven lace.

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