How Is Your Stash?

My rag rugs start with leftovers. It is a great place to begin. By leftovers, I mean fabric strips that are left from previous projects. Unlike many traditional rag rugs that are made from recycled fabrics, I use all new cotton yardage for my rag rugs. I only buy more fabric when my supply starts to run low, or when I need a specific color that I don’t have in my supply. That’s the difference between a stash and a supply. A stash is for keeping and admiring. A supply is for using up with a purpose. A stash grows without limits. A supply is replenished in relation to the need.

Planning a rosepath rag rug.

Planning session for a new rosepath rag rug. After gathering a selection of fabrics, I snip fragments to tape to my working chart.

Rosepath rag rug on the loom.

After several plain weave stripes, the rosepath pattern is taking shape on the loom.

I have to be careful about treating my things, my time, and my ideas as my stash. For me to keep and admire. It’s better to be a giver. The generous have an endless supply. They never wonder about having “enough.” Generosity is a virtue. Those who are enriched by God can always be generous, since he is faithful to replenish the supply.

May you always have enough.

For you,


  • Fawn Carlsen says:

    Thank you very much for explaining stash and supply. I have too much stash which never gets used. I am afraid that I will run out. But I have made a big change. I no longer have a stash, only a supply. I will allow myself to use what I have and love doing it. Then if I need more, I will get more. But not until I need to. Your post entirely changed my attitude. I am happier now.

    • Karen says:

      Dear Fawn, It is so sweet for you to take the time to tell me these words made a difference for you! I think we all struggle with stash vs. supply mindset. Making a decision, though, like you did, is a powerful thing in turning the corner! Way to go!


  • I hope you don’t mind that I shared your wise words today on Facebook, along with a link to this post. We truly are blessed when we share our abundance.
    Jenny B

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Tapestry Diary: Day One

A tapestry diary seems like a fun challenge. Weaving a small amount each day gives a visual journal of woven ideas over time. I have seen some examples of tapestry diaries that I admire. I like the concept, but I feel tentative about starting one myself.

Freja Tapestry Frame by Glimakra

Simple tapestry frame, 26 1/2 x 21 inches / 67 x 53cm, is just the right size for a tentative tapestry diary. This one is the Freja Tapestry Frame by Glimakra. You can see the warp wrapping around the teeth for a sett of about 10.5 epi.

Will I have enough ideas to fill that space, or enough little bits of time to weave, or the consistency to keep at it? These are my doubts. On the other hand, the frequent practice will help me improve in tapestry techniques; and, watching the tapestry grow should be fascinating. And deep down I know I can’t really use up all my ideas. The more you express ideas, the more ideas you gain, as proven by other tapestry weavers, like Janette Meetze.

Beginning a tapestry diary.

Weaving tapestry from the back, as I learned from Joanne Hall.

Weaving small tapestry from the back.

After a row of twining, five picks give a solid line across for the beginning of the tapestry. Using three to four strands of thin wool (Färo and Mora) allows for ease of blending colors.

Day one of Tapestry Diary 2015

Day One.

This is a picture of generosity, as well. When you give, it is like planting seeds. Sow seeds generously and you will see a bountiful harvest. A generous person always has enough to give. Their “giving cup” is continually replenished. I can at least start the tapestry diary. Being intentional makes it happen. Planting ideas, planting seeds, watching for things to grow.

~What will you be intentional about this year?

May you never run out of ideas.

(Make sure you don’t miss the new video at the top of Warped for Good’s About page. Let me know what you think!)

Starting the Year with You,

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No Motivation Needed

You never need to motivate me to sit at the loom, or convince me to make time for weaving. I’m not sure why I am this way, but something in me longs to make fabric. I weave nearly every day, not to be productive, but simply because I love to weave.

Nine goose-eye towels, pressed and ready to hem. Karen Isenhower

Nine new towels, with hems pressed. Each towel will have a matching hanging tab stitched into the hem.

Ten meters / eleven yards gave me nine towels and two generous samples (Just wait. Next week I will show you what I am making from the samples!). Now, I am weaving hanging tabs on the band loom to match the towels. Meanwhile, the linen dice weave is progressing nicely on the big loom, as well. I am not just a person with weaving looms. …I am a handweaver.

Band loom weaving, making hanging tabs for handwoven towels.

Short two-yard warp will weave up quickly, giving me plenty of hanging tabs for the towels, plus extra length of woven band to put in my “band stash.”

You do what is in your heart to do. The commitments you make from the heart define you. Fruit in my life reveals what is in my heart. What does good fruit look like? Unselfish generosity, showing integrity in every interaction, and treating others with respect. I want to be the kind of person that lives this way, not because I “should,” but because that is what is in my heart to do.

May your good fruit basket be full.

(These towels will show up in my Etsy Shop soon. If you have your eye on one, let me know, and I will be happy to reserve it for you.)

Have a fruitful day,


  • Sandy says:

    HI Karen,
    I’ve been a reader of your blog for perhaps a year; I look forward to and am encouraged by it. Thank you for the care you put into this.

  • Colleen says:

    Such beautiful towels! You have an excellent sense of color. What brand is your inkle loom? I haven’t seen one with metal cogs.


    • Karen says:

      Colleen, Thank you for the sweet compliment.
      This is a Glimakra Two-Treadle Band Loom. I bought mine second-hand, but you can find them at and other suppliers. I love weaving on the band loom. It’s fast, too. I can produce a yard of “ribbon” about 4 times faster than I can on my regular inkle loom.

      Happy Weaving,

  • Sara Jeanne says:

    You were an inspiration to me this last week at the Vavstuga in Shelburne Falls. Your knowledge and passion for weaving and fiber gave me a boost to get to my loom and work on my baling twine rugs! Every day, a little bit more………..
    I look forward to enjoying your blog and your wonderful photos.
    Thanks so much!
    Sara Jeanne

    • Karen says:

      Sara Jeanne, YOU are the one who inspired me last week. You opened a whole new door to me for dubbelbindning. I’m going to have so much fun with the new ideas!

      Thank you!

  • Cathy says:

    Karen, your work and message have inspired me. I, too love weaving and was taught by my grandmother.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, I’m glad to meet you. How wonderful to have the love of weaving passed down to you from your grandmother! That is so cool.

      Happy Weaving,

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What a Colorful World!

I am ridiculously in favor of color. Bright or pastel, rich or muted, vibrant or subtle. Just give me hue, value, and intensity to work with and I’ll be happy. I dutifully wove the first four towels in nice neutrals (see one of them in this post, Goose Eyes); now, let’s see what other weft colors can do on the remainder of this ten-meter / eleven-yard warp. Look around in nature to see outrageous color combos, some of which would never pass standard color theory practices.

Cotton goose-eye towels on the loom.

Afternoon sunlight plays with the unwoven warp, while wide green-blue blocks of color and narrow royal blue stripes bring the brown and golden warp to life.

I cannot imagine a universe without color. What would we miss, for example, if everything were in gray scale? Our world began in color. That thought gives us a marvelous glimpse into the outlandish creativity of our maker. Who knows, he may be holding back a whole realm of undiscovered color that we won’t see outside of heaven.

God meets us with an open hand, giving us a feast. Yes, a feast for the eyes, to be sure, yet more than that. He gives what is needed from an open hand at the right time, satisfying true desires. The gift of color is merely a fragment of our creator’s vast generosity spilled out on creation.

May your surroundings be alive with color!

Happy weaving,

(Check my About page for Etsy Shop coupon for August, 2014.)



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Give and Receive

When you give what you value most, the value of your gift increases. Exceptional giving communicates worth to the person on the receiving end. It was a joy to give these special towels to Melody. She was noticeably pleased with the gift, which was a delight for me to see! (You can see these towels just off the loom HERE.)

Handwoven towels - bridal gift to daughter!

Melody smiles when she sees the handwoven towels. She knows her mother’s love is woven into them.

“Who gives this woman?” Steve has been practicing his four-word speech for tomorrow, “Her mother and I.” What a privilege that we get to be the ones to give such a cherished gift. And what a thrill to know that we will be on the receiving end, too, as we are given another son.
God gives good gifts. He always sends good things and perfect gifts.

May you be on the receiving end today.

Happily ever after,

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