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,
Karen

4 Comments

  • 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,
      Karen

  • 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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Good Idea!

It is never an easy decision to call it quits and start over. Should I try to make it work and hope for the best? How do you know when to walk away? A good idea shapes the planning of a design, including color choices, materials, and weave structure. That same good idea forms an ideal that guides and critiques the choices along the way. When I saw that the rug on the loom (THIS one) was not lining up with that ideal, I knew it was time to start over. (This new start is much closer to my original idea.)

Rosepath Rag Rug on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Brown rosepath design stands out because of contrasting light background. The print and teal pattern that borders the rosepath design brings in some of the color from the plain weave hem area.

Hold on to good. Let the virtue of goodness be a guiding star for decisions, behavior, and interactions with people. When our actions do not match that good ideal, it’s time to walk away from poor behavior and start over. We become zealous about other things, like good color combinations and perfect selvedges. (HERE is one of the best ways to improve selvedges.) Why not be zealous for good? I don’t mean pointing fingers at others. My own life is the only one I can inspect to see how it aligns with the ideal. The good idea is confirmed as the colors of gentleness and respect are noticeably woven into the fabric.

May you have a good day.

Warped for good,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    I see what you mean when talking about the two attempts to make the rosepath rug represent you. Sometimes, it is almost like we don’t speak the same language as our work, which makes it difficult to keep going. If we don’t connect with our work, our heart is not in it. And yes, that’s when we need to quit.

    Your two attempts at this rug also made me think of how different people are and how differently we see things. What doesn’t work for us, works perfectly for someone else. And we may see the beauty in something that others find ugly.

    Imagine the first attempt at this rug…that all the fabrics as well as the rosepath pattern have a very special meaning to the maker. Anything added or taken away would ruin that experience. Because of the limitations, the focus will shift; the idea of what works will be different; the idea of what is beautiful will change.

    I love to experience just that, how the circumstances affect my work and also how I feel about the result.

    • Karen says:

      Great observations, Elisabeth. Limitations do indeed give boundaries that help creativity thrive. Viewpoint, and even timing, makes a difference in how we see something. There is truth in the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It is very possible that my own emotional withdrawal from all the wedding activity made it difficult for me to work within the confined boundaries that I started with. Now, I’d like to go back and try using the original colors, perhaps in a slightly different arrangement, to see how I could make it work. I think I needed a little more mental capacity to do that this time.

  • Laurie says:

    Karen,
    A good word for me today. Thanks!!

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Not What I Had in Mind

This rag rug is not coming out how I expected. The color balance is off. The green and brown do not have enough contrast in the central rosepath design. There is too much red, and it’s overpowering the neutral colors. It is time to call it quits on this one, and get a fresh start on a new rug. If I am going to put my name on something, I want the item to match what is in my mind’s eye. And this is not it!

Rosepath rag rug on the loom.

Start of rosepath rag rug. Camera lens helps view the balance of design and color. This short sample will be used to make a bag instead of a floor rug.

I like to let my personality show in the items I produce. It would be nice if someone would see one of my rag rug creations and say, “That’s a Karen Isenhower rug!” Not to be famous, mind you, but just to have an identifiable style. A name carries promise. Consistency in the weaving extends the promise and identifies the maker. I’d like my life to be a weaving like that, too, making the fair name of Jesus recognizable.

May your creations show what you are like.

As Always,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Fran says:

    Hi Karen; red and green, to my mind, look well together only in November and December, and barely then!!. I like a red rug and pillows when it is dark most of the time; the setting changes everything’
    In case you are not familiar with Claudia Mills’ rag rugs, I will try to give you her website; it’s amazing what she does with log cabin and simple block weaves; the combination of lovely colors and subtlety is so recognizable as hers; a difficult thing to accomplish within the restrictions of a loom.
    The rosepath rugs you weave are very nice, Karen; keep them posted!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the link to Claudia Mills. She does beautiful work! I love the way she has developed her own recognizable style.

      You’re right about the setting making a difference with colors. I can try out various combinations and groupings of thread and fabric strips, but until they are woven together I don’t always know how they will behave. And even when woven, where they are placed makes a difference.

  • […] an ideal that guides and critiques the choices along the way. When I saw that the rug on the loom (THIS one) was not lining up with that ideal, I knew it was time to start over. (This new start is much […]

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Romance and Whimsy

Our Melody was princess of the day. You could see the white chairs from a distance that told the world, “Wedding!” It was a romantic outdoor setting, under a canopy of majestic old oak trees, appropriate for wedding vows spoken with lifetime integrity. Lights in the trees, mason jars with flowers, and popsicles brought whimsy and laughter to the celebration. (There was an evening breeze that made the air surprisingly cool. I was thankful for the warmth of my handwoven huck lace bamboo shawl.) Everything beckoned guests to come closer. And if you were close enough, you could smell the fragrance of the purple larkspur in Melody’s bridal bouquet!

Bride's wedding dress and bouquet is displayed on bound rosepath by her mother and hope chest built by her father.

Melody’s bridal bouquet in her grandmother’s Fostoria vase, rests on my handwoven bound rosepath piece that is laying on the hope chest built by her father. Melody’s memorable wedding dress completes the scene.

Our heavenly Father is like that, beckoning us to come take a closer look. Close enough to enjoy warmth in the breeze, smell the flowers, and wonder at the mystery of true love.

Bride and Mom just before the wedding.

Bride and Mom sharing laughter and smiles just before the wedding!

May you come close enough to enjoy the details prepared for you.

With Romance in the Air,
Karen

3 Comments

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Congratulations! I have been thinking about you a lot this last week. Especially on Saturday, which came up with the perfect weather for an outdoor wedding ceremony. The two of you are so beautiful! A wedding day is a very special day, not just for the bride, but for the mom, too.

    I am very happy to have realized that being a mom doesn’t stop on our child’s wedding day 🙂 To have learned that there will be many more very special days to share — where we are brought closer together in “good times and in bad”. Which is something that has made me, if not enjoy, so at least appreciate the value of bad times as much as the joy of good times.

    From one mom to another!
    Elisabeth

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your wisdom, Elisabeth. I’m always learning from you!

      The weather couldn’t have been better. We were so very thankful for a beautiful sun-shiney (but not too hot) day!

      Love,
      Karen

  • Wende says:

    Lovely!

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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,
Karen

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