Warp Chains Are Beautiful

The reel spins ‘round, ‘round, ‘round one way, and then ‘round, ‘round, ‘round back the other way. Rhythmic, mesmerizing, and strangely soothing. Counting, as I wind two ends at a time, I find myself whispering “2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, ….” The warping reel is one of my favorite pieces of equipment. This warp has seven colors of 22/2 Cottolin for bath towels which are to accompany the hand towels I recently made. I am winding this in four bouts, and there are different color changes in each bout.

Winding a warp for cottolin bath towels.
First bout on the warping reel.
Making cottolin bath towels.
Second bout. Choke ties about every meter keep the ends from shifting as the warp bout is chained and taken to the loom.
Making a warp for handwoven bath towels. Cottolin.
Third bout. Each of the four bouts has nearly the same number of warp ends.
Glimakra warping reel - one of my favorite pieces of equipment!
Fourth bout.

I marvel at the combination of thread colors as I chain each bout off the reel. The warp chains look beautiful. They always do. Warp chains are dreams in the making, where anything is possible. Haven’t you dreamt of handwoven bath towels?

Winding a warp on the Glimakra warping reel.
Came close to running out of thread on some of the tubes. (I did have backup tubes, but not from the same dye lots.)
Beautiful warp chains!
Beautiful warp chains, ready for the loom.

When we listen closely, we can hear the inaudible. Our hearts can hear the softest whisper. “2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, …” Even the hairs on our head are numbered by the Grand Weaver who planned our existence. Our days are numbered, as well. And when our heart is listening, we can hear the quiet whisper of the Lord Jesus, “Are you weary and burdened? Come to me, and I will give you rest.”

May you listen for the softest whisper.



  • Beth Mullins says:

    Beautiful colors! I’m looking forward to seeing the warp spread across the reed. Best to you and yours!

  • Nannette says:

    The promise of the future beauty. The beginning of a process that completes at the plans and skills of the weaver. Time will tell.

    I always gorge on your color choices.

    Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nannette, There’s always an element of time that holds the promise. I’m glad you enjoy the color choices. Choosing colors one of the most exciting parts about weaving for me.

      All the best,

  • LJ Arndt says:

    Beautiful colors, looking forward to seeing the towel sets when they are complete and put together as the sets.

    • Karen says:

      Hi LJ, Making towel sets for our bathroom is something I’ve thought about doing for a long time. It’s nice to see it coming to pass. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Happy weaving,

  • Ruth says:

    Thank you for your thoughts about listening to the whispers in our lives. Your words are always a breath of fresh air and I appreciate your reminders to look closely into my life and know that God is working his miracles in the smallest things. Looking forward to seeing your bath towels – wrapping up in a handwoven bath towel is such a luxury!
    Blessings to you and yours.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth, I like your words that God is working his miracles in the smallest things. So true!

      I suppose that handwoven bath towels are a luxury. It’s nice to be surrounded by handwoven articles, simple luxuries.

      Blessings to you,

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Tools Day: Electric Bobbin Winder

Every time I use my bobbin winder I am reminded of how fortunate I am. It’s electric. No one has an electric bobbin winder quite like mine, because no one else has my Steve to invent things like he does. He watched me using my nifty hand-turn Swedish bobbin winder many times. Steve decided he could make something better. A motor and an on-off light switch, with a variable-speed foot pedal. It’s perfect! I love it. But mostly, I love Steve.

Home built electric bobbin winder. Works like a charm.

Electric bobbin winder holds any length of quill. The quill fits tightly onto a tapered dowel that extends from the bobbin winder.

The leather quilting thimble keeps me from burning or cutting my thumb as the thread speeds by while I guide it onto the fast spinning quill on the bobbin winder.

I am on my very last tube of this shade of light blue. Will there be enough on this quill to finish the last blue section of the last of four towels in this color scheme, plus enough for the light blue hem?? Somehow, I think a tightly- and perfectly-shaped quill will be able to weave just a little bit further… (You can see the beginning of this set of four towels HERE.)

Just enough light blue to finish the hem!

Small amount of light blue left on the quill. Maybe I can use the remainder for a couple of small stripes on another towel.

Yes! Finished the hem with a little bit of light blue left to spare. This is a good day!

To request Steve’s parts and source list for the electric bobbin winder, click HERE to send me an email.

May you always have just enough of what you need.



  • Jean says:

    Would your wonderful Steve be prepared to share how he turned the motor into a bobbin winder? I have an old electric sewing machine motor but cannot figure out how to insert a metal rod into the motor. My husband has had a look but it seems the motor is sealed in some way.
    Oh that you could help! The battery operated drill is dying on me!

    • Karen says:

      Steve says he used a new 1700 rpm motor that has the shaft sticking out of it. He connected a motor arbor to the shaft and an electric drill chuck to the motor arbor. Let me know if it would help you to have a list of parts and where he ordered them from.

      Happy weaving and winding,

  • JeAn says:

    Thank you so much. A list of parts would be a great help although as I live in France where he bought them probably won’t be so good.

    I will look on amazon and see if I can figure it out. I fear the motor I have may be too powerful so I will have to look for one of those too.

    Thank you again.

    • Karen says:

      France? Wow, it’s nice to have you stop in here.
      Steve will put a list together for you this evening and I can email it to you tomorrow. He ordered the motor and some of the other parts from amazon. Steve says it’s the speed that makes a difference, not the power.


  • Deb Lervaag says:

    Hi Karen, My husband is trying to figure out how to turn the sewing machine motor and foot feed into a motorized fabric cutter for rag rugs. We have an old rotary cutter, and are stalled at getting a rod to fit into the motor and the cutter, I really like your version of the winder and am wondering how to adapt it to the cutter. Also could be something you could use for your rugs. I love the pattern of the rosepath rugs and have made them for years as well, do you ever blend your colors with 2 different fabrics on your shuttle? Deb

    • Karen says:

      Deb, what a great idea to make a motorized fabric cutter! I’m going to ask Steve what he thinks about that. I’m sure he’ll have some ideas.

      Yes, rosepath rugs seem to be my favorite. I keep coming back to them! I have only blended 2 fabrics on my shuttle one time. That was some time ago; I’ll have to try that again. Thanks for the tip!!

      Happy Weaving,

  • Helen says:

    Karen, would you be kind enough to mail me a list of parts so I can make my own bobbin winder? I don’t hav a Steve, so I must do it myself. Thanks,

  • Helen says:


    I just realized the email never came. Please resend. Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Helen, I’m so sorry that you didn’t receive that email. I see now that the email was returned. Would you send me an email, that way I’ll be sure to have your correct email address. Send it to karen at warpedforgood . com. And I’ll send the email to you right away.


  • […] Swedish hand bobbin winder is one of those tools. A bobbin winder is essential. Steve made a superb electric bobbin winder for me that I normally use. But at our Texas hill country home, my Swedish bobbin winder comes into […]

  • Rhonda says:

    What wonderful husband to figure out how to make you an electric bobbin winder! I would love a list of parts too!


    Thank you so much,

  • Sandra Sizemore says:

    if possible, I would love to have the list of items necessary to build the electric bobbin winder.

    Thanks So Much,

  • Mary says:

    Could I possibly get the list of parts and where they were ordered from?

  • Greg says:

    Hi! I love the post. I’ve been using a handheld drill, and it’s not a great setup for winding a cotton yarn bobbin. If you could email me the list of parts, I’d love to rig something like this up.

    I’m at gregburbidge@mac.com

    Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Greg, I’m happy to send you the parts list. Watch for an email shortly. I think you’ll find this a step up from using a handheld drill.

      All the best,

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