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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Nine Color Towel

It may look like there is no rhyme or reason, but there is a thoughtful pattern behind this arrangement of weft colors. …Okay, it is somewhat random; and, truthfully, I am making up the pattern as I go. It is refreshing to have the freedom to use up bobbins of color. I consider it a welcome challenge to create a visually vibrant fabric that is not a cluttered cloth.

Nine quills of 16/2 cotton. Colorful towel up next.

Nine quills of 16/2 cotton. Trying out different arrangements of colors.

Our prayers can be like the assorted quills with varying amounts of thread in an array of colors. These are the needs, small and big, that we bring to the Lord. Can he make anything good out of all of this? What can he do about my concerns? Does he even hear me? Do my needs or hopes make a difference to Him? Am I saying my prayers in the “right” way?

Nine-color towel on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Wide, narrow, dark, light. Nine colors are purposefully arranged in this cotton towel. Treadling variations help complete the multi-color composition.

It takes courage to have faith when you pray. In a world where “seeing is believing,” the eye of faith says, “believing is seeing.” Faith is expecting something to happen when you pray. It’s trusting the grand weaver to know how to arrange this assortment of leftover threads and make something good out of it.

May you take courage.

With you,

~The Etsy coupon on my About Page is good for two more days. It’s my ThankYou to you.~


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Quiet Friday: Going through Phases

You will not often find a bare loom here. But every loom has its phases. The “Big Loom” (Glimåkra Standard 120cm) is in the empty phase right now. I finished weaving the coarse linen twill with rya knots. Now, I wait for the 16/2 linen that I ordered for the next project. Big Loom, don’t worry; you’ll be dressed again soon.

Rya weaving just completed.

Rya pieces ready to make into interesting shaggy pillows.

Glimakra Standard Countermarch Loom 120 cm

Affectionately known as “The Big Loom.” Seldom seen undressed. Glimåkra Standard Countermarch Loom 120cm / 47 inches weaving width.


The “Baby Loom” (Glimåkra Ideal 100cm) is in the weaving phase. It has plenty of warp on it, so I am still happily throwing a shuttle. I should get two more towels from this warp.

Red and brown goose-eye towel on the loom.

Color stripes of brown and gold break up the red in this towel on the goose-eye warp.


I want to start weaving a band to match the towels on the “Baby Loom,” for the towels’ hanging tabs. That means I need to put more attention on finishing up the current warp on the Band Loom (Glimåkra two-treadle), so I can start the new warp. This is the hurry-up-and-finish phase.

Two-treadle Glimakra band loom in use.

Band loom is situated for weaving in short bursts. I often stop and weave for a few minutes on the way to the “Big Loom” or the “Baby Loom.” Three sisters look on from the stairway wall. (One of those girls is a younger me. Can you guess which one?)

May you make the most of the phase you are in.

Happy Weaving,

(The discount coupon on my About Page is good for another week. Thank you!)


  • Deb says:

    Do you use an aluminum beam protector on both beams or just the front?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Deb, I have an aluminum beam protector for both beams, but sometimes I remove one (for instance, for taking a picture), and forget to put it back on. Thanks for the reminder! I see I forgot to put it back on the back beam. I like to have it on there especially during beaming, when the cords are going over the beam, and at the end of the weaving, again when the cords are going over the beam.


  • Ian Pool says:

    Hi Karen, I am trying to find somewhere that will allow me to download instructions on how to build a loom. I want a building project as I am about to retire from work. A large loom is what I am looking for, but I can’t find ANY out there. Do you have such a thing here, I can’t find any ?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ian, I wish I could help you with this, but I’m sorry, I’m not aware of a source for instructions to build a loom. I don’t have anything like that here.

      All the best,

  • Louisa says:

    Dear Karen,

    I’ve been given an GLIMÅKRA STANDARD – COUNTERBALANCE LOOM. I’ve done weaving on other types of looms but I’m not familiar with this one. It is dismantled and the person who gave it to me no longer has a manual to put it back together. Do you still have the assembly instruction of the loom?
    Thanks you a lot!


    • Karen says:

      Hi Louisa, Congratulations on your new loom. It is very easy to put together. You can find assembly instructions on under “Resources,” as well other helpful information.

      Happy weaving,

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Change Things Up

Imagine the possibilities! Everything can change before your eyes when you are weaving. Put a different weft in the shuttle and the cloth takes on a new look. The warp becomes the canvas that the weft paints with color. The brown and gold in this warp influence the color outcome, but this twill structure favors the weft color. For someone who enjoys variety, I love how easy it is to create variations on one long warp.

Red weft transforms the brown warp into a deep, rich red color.

Narrow black stripes for the border of this red towel. The red weft transforms the brown warp into a deep, rich red color.

Most things are not that easy to change. Take people, for instance. Sure, I can make myself look good when I want to, changing my hair or clothing styles, and even saying nice things. But changing my attitude or perspective on the inside is another story. And forget about trying to change someone else. We all know that doesn’t work.

At times, I am so set in my ways it seems impossible to change. And trying harder just works for a short time. Only God can change a human heart. God makes things possible. He takes a simple warp, like yours and mine, and covers it with color, giving a fresh start whenever we need it.

May you find possible change.

With you,


  • Mary says:

    I love your analogy how only God can change our hearts. He is also a master weaver. He changes our ‘dull’ browns to something rich and beautiful as your red…amazing how the colors change.

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True Treasure

I already own a plentiful selection of handwoven towels. I am weaving the fifth towel on this warp, and there will be at least three more towels after that. So, you might think I am storing up towels. Even so, whatever I am weaving at the moment becomes my favorite thing, like a precious treasure. The intricacies of the goose-eye twill and the color interaction seem special, with fancy treadling footwork and several colors of 16/2 cotton to play with. It is a journey of discovery–of learning and being delighted with the visual and physical impact of it all. In the end, though, it’s just a towel–a thing. (I will keep one towel for my collection. The rest will go in Etsy and/or become gifts.)

Goose-eye twill towels on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Temple in place, weaving goose-eye towels progresses. Viewing the cloth as it comes over the breast beam.

The greatest treasures are intangible; and the most valuable ones are hidden, to be discovered by those who are seeking. Beware of false treasures. When we make things we hold in our hands more important than they should be, we risk overlooking the true treasures. Uncovering and collecting those timeless treasures becomes life’s most exciting adventure.

May your treasure hunt make you rich (on the inside).

Happy Discovering,

(~As a thank-you for coming here, I have a discount coupon for you on my About Page to use in my Etsy Shop during the month of August, 2014.~)

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