Striped Warp Freedom

Winding a warp like this is intricate work because of the frequent color changes. These narrow warp stripes provide the perfect canvas for plattväv accents. The simple weft float pattern, woven across the width every five centimeters, adds embroidered-like stitches to the cloth. Everything else is a breeze. It’s plain weave.

Plattväv towels on the loom. Karen Isenhower
Cottolin warp and 16/1 linen tabby weft, with doubled 16/1 linen pattern weft.

It’s good to have a plain weave project every now and then. It’s a reminder of how freeing it is to let the boat shuttle fly back and forth between your hands. Rag rug weaving isn’t like that. Soft alpaca scarf weaving isn’t like that. I’m zipping along, …only stopping to move the temple, advance the warp, and add the black linen accents. No worries here.

Plattväv towels on the loom. Narrow warp stripes advantage.
Two red picks are woven for the cutting line that separates the towels. First towel is seen wrapping around the cloth beam.

Consider all that has been prepared for us to have a meaningful life. Why should I worry? Who wound the intricate warp and put it on the loom? Doesn’t the Grand Weaver know what it takes to complete his design? We enter the Lord’s place of rest through the door of trust. True rest is worry free. Let the shuttle fly. Let the weft floats embellish the cloth. Come enter the place of rest.

May your worries slip away.

Plain weaving,

Two Types of Weaving

My attention has been on the other loom for a couple weeks, but I have managed to sneak in to the big loom and add a little bit to this monksbelt project. I would like to have more to show, but this is it. What a contrast between the fast plain weave baby wrap (see Quiet Friday: Woven Baby Wrap) and this very slow two-shuttle monksbelt. I enjoy weaving both. There’s a time for fast; and there’s a time for slow.

Monksbelt on the loom.
White on white puts dramatic space between sections of color.

Each type of weaving produces a specific type of cloth. Very different textures. Very different purposes. Each beautiful in its own way. This reminds me of people, fashioned by the Lord. Individuals suited to specific tasks with purpose and meaning. This is our life discovery, to live the way our maker had in mind when he fashioned us with his hands.

May your life be rich with meaning.

Happy weaving,

Another Classic Swedish Weave

Monksbelt is up next, another classic Swedish weave. I’m thrilled! This time I am weaving yardage, without knowing exactly how the fabric will be used. I planned this project while the rya rag rug was still on the loom; and I’m eager to get started!

Winding warp on Glimåkra warping reel.
Glimåkra warping reel not only accelerates the warpwinding process, it makes it downright fun! This is the first of four bouts of unbleached 16/2 cotton. 760 warp ends in all.

Winding the warp is a rewarding part of the process. When I wind a warp, it goes directly to a ready-and-waiting loom. So, this is a declaration of a new beginning. It is also the anticipation of future rewards. The final reward is long-lasting–a useful length of colorful handwoven fabric.

Look for rewards that will last. We get side-tracked if we look only for immediate satisfaction, or short-term success. The long view brings perspective that cannot be seen in quick snapshots. I don’t have to know exactly how things will look in the future. I can enjoy the stage of the process I am in right now. Ultimately, though, I await the finished cloth. Keeping that reward in mind brings purpose to each step along the way. The eternal reward that heaven holds for us fills each season here with meaning.

May you enjoy many rewarding experiences.

On purpose,

Rag Rug Rya

I have an enormous brown paper cartoon hanging under the warp, suspended by a contraption of wood, string, and rubber bands.The pattern area of this rag rug begins with rya knots. The dark colors of the rya pile contrast with a background of whites, off-whites and light prints. The rya knots follow a geometric design that I drew onto the brown paper with a Sharpie.

Rag rug with rya knots.
Brown paper under the warp hangs over a slat which is suspended with seine twine and rubber bands.

As the designer and weaver, I already see the finished rug in my mind’s eye, and understand what is needed to complete it. I am weaving this rag rug for our own home, so naturally I am already thinking about where it will be placed. This makes it personal, and the slow weaving process grants me the opportunity to know this rug, inside and out.

Tightly-woven selvedges on hefty rag rug with rya knots.
Tightly-woven selvedges. Doubled weft gives extra fullness and weight to the rug, as well as contributing to strong rug selvedges.

Yes, it is important for me to know my Maker, but even more important that He knows me. All of life has meaning when God knows you by name. He knows what is needed to give our lives purpose. And the slow process becomes that much more personal as he weaves the design that he has seen all along.

May you accumulate many meaningful moments.

Happy rug weaving,

Welcome! Come On In

This has been another good year! It is sweet to have friends from all over the globe who walk with me in this handweaver’s journey. Thank you for joining me here. We examine the meaning of life together, along with exploring the technical details of making cloth. I appreciate you, friend!

Double-width blanket on the loom.
Double-width blanket continues.

Thanks to my talented videographer son-in-law, Eddie, you now have a video that brings you into my weaving studio for a visit.

Video filming for Warped for Good.
Camera, lights, filming equipment, the works! After filming many clips of weaving in action and views of yarn and threads, Eddie interviewed me with pertinent questions. He compiled and edited the best shots, and added music, to create a short video describing Warped for Good.

Come on in…

This welcome video is now at the top of the Warped for Good About page.

 (If you enjoy the video, share it with friends by moving your cursor over the “paper airplane” near the top right of the video.)

May your friendships blossom throughout the coming year.

Your friend,