Quiet Friday: Five Rosepath Rag Rugs

My mother taught me to notice and enjoy beauty. I think that is why I find so much enjoyment at the weaving loom. The interplay of colors and materials never ceases to amaze me. I am often delighted as I see the woven material forming under my shuttle, feeling more like an observer than a performer. So, it was with great pleasure that I got to show my mom my weaving looms when she came to Texas for Melody’s wedding. I put this rug warp on the loom with that special visit in mind. Thanks for everything, Mom!

Rosepath rag rugs just off the loom. Karen Isenhower

Seeing the underneath side of the rugs first, just after the rugs are cut from the loom.

Winding rug warp on warping reel.

First step is winding the warp on the warping reel. 219 warp ends in two similar shades of grey, 8.5 yards / 7.75 meters long.

Weaving narrow strips for rag rug hem.

After weaving some waste fabric strips, I weave the hem, using 1/4 inch- / 1/2 cm- wide strips. I mark the green ribbon to show the weaving length of the hem, and the overall length of the rug. I also mark the midway point on the ribbon.

Rosepath rag rug on the loom. 1 of 5. ki

This is the rug my mother got to see on the loom. She liked it!

Rosepath rag rug on the loom. 2 of 5. ki

Turquoise paisley fabric pairs with a solid blue to outline the brown rosepath design.

Rosepath rag rug on the loom. 3 of 5. ki

Three ski shuttles create gradient color changes in the blue and teal (out of view) background, while maintaining the white rosepath pattern. It was a little insane to manage three ski shuttles! But I have to admit I enjoyed it.

Rosepath rag rug on the loom. 4 of 5. ki

This is my version of Radiant Orchid, the Pantone Color of the Year 2014.

Rosepath rag rug on the loom. 5 of 5. Karen Isenhower

Two-toned rosepath, with dotted outlines. Subtle turquoise waves almost hide in the dark earth tones at each end of the rug.

End of the rag rug warp. Too close for comfort.

This is not how to plan a rug. The end of the warp is right behind the shafts. Or, maybe this shows how well I planned the warp, right down to the very last inch…

Five New Rosepath Rugs. Karen Isenhower

Not yet cut apart, ready for finishing the ends and hemming.

May you make fond memories with those you love.

(While I’m busy hemming these rugs, please visit my Etsy Shop to see more rosepath rag rugs.)

Happy Weaving,
Karen

14 Comments

  • Bev says:

    Just beautiful, Karen!

  • Bonnie says:

    Karen, your work is beautiful. I am just starting to weave rag rugs, just a few questions ifyou don’t mind, how wide are your fabric strips in the rosepath rugs, and, do you prewash your fabrics?
    thanks,
    bonnie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      Thanks for the sweet compliment! – and the questions. I LOVE questions!!

      My fabric strips are 3/4″ / 2 cm wide, except for the hem, where I use narrower strips. I do prewash the fabrics. I buy 100% cotton fabric in 5 yard lengths. When you wash that long of a piece of fabric, it helps to serge to two ends of the fabric together, making a large “tube.” Then, the fabric won’t twist on itself in the washer and dryer so much.

      Let me know if come up on any more questions. I’d love to hear how it comes out!

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

  • Bonnie says:

    Karen, I do have another question, when you are doing the rugs above, you have just one 3/4 inch slice of fabric on the shuttle at a time, run it all the way across and then insert the next or send the same one back depending on the pattern draft. Correct?
    Am I understanding that it is the treading that causes the pattern?
    and makes one pick prominent over another? and you might use 6 or 7 fabrics in a pattern?
    thanks again, may God bless your day,
    bonnie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      Yes, each shuttle has a length of 3/4″ fabric strip wrapped on it. Each shuttle goes all the way across. The pattern determines which fabric color comes next, whether it is the same color, or a different one (on a different shuttle).

      The pattern is created by the threading (rosepath) and the treadling. The treadling is what enables different variations on that threading. It’s because of the floats in the rosepath pattern that make one pick prominent over another. (Does that make sense?)

      I have used as few as three or four, and as many as a dozen different fabrics in a pattern. I LOVE playing with fabric and blending colors and patterns to come up with interesting combinations.

      May God bless your day, too!
      Karen

  • Suzy says:

    Are you weaving plain picks between the pattern?
    With a rag, or a smaller gauge yarn?
    Are you using a traditional Swedish threading?
    4 3 2 1 2 1?
    Thanks, really beautiful work!
    Suzy

  • Karen says:

    Hi Suzy, I appreciate your very kind compliment! Rugs like this are immensely fun to weave.

    Yes, I weave plain weave picks between the pattern.
    All of the picks in these rugs are with rag – 3/4″ fabric strips.
    This is a traditional Swedish threading, but it’s a little more involved than what you wrote. I read from Swedish drafts, so with 1 as the shaft furthest back (the top line of the threading draft), it is 1 2 3 2 3 4 3 4 1 4 1

    You can find the drafts for these rugs in “Favorite Rag Rugs 45 Inspiring Weave Designs,” by Tina Ignell. Sometimes you can find it from a second hand book seller.

    Happy Weaving,
    Karen

  • karen olsen says:

    Karen,
    Your Mother must be very proud of you!
    You are very talented, God has blessed you with an amazing gift.

  • Tari Lohrey says:

    I just found your pins and all I can say is profound creativity. I just bought an 8 harness LeClerc, Jack loom and was wondering what type loom are you weaving your rugs on. For 15 years I have woven rugs on a 2 harness rug loom and am excited to move to the next adventure.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tari,
      I appreciate your kind words! Creative expression is one of the best things about weaving.

      I weave on two Glimåkra countermarch looms–one Standard (120cm) and one Ideal (100cm).

      Enjoy all your new possibilities with 8 shafts!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Lynne Hildreth says:

    Just getting in to weaving eventually would like to get to your level. What loom shall I start with and can I teach myself?
    Thank you,
    Lynne

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynne, Welcome to the world of weaving! I started weaving with a 120cm (47″) Glimakra Standard countermarch loom. It was a great loom to begin on. The range of fabric types it can weave – from fine lace weaves to sturdy rag rugs – made it possible for me to try many new things without being limited by the loom. And the generous size of the loom makes it easier to dress than a smaller loom. The countermarch action, the back-hinged treadles, and the hanging beater all give advantages to the weaver. For someone who starts out on a jack loom, these advantages may be more difficult to adjust to.

      Can you teach yourself? Yes, it’s possible to teach yourself. You will go further sooner, though, if you get some hands on coaching in the very beginning. Habits form that will make a difference in your efficiency and quality. Without good instruction, you won’t know what bad habits you are forming. And you won’t know what you don’t know that could simplify your efforts and increase enjoyment of weaving. Frustrations can end a dream.

      Here is some good information about different types of looms, and how to choose a loom for you. http://www.glimakrausa.com/learning-about-looms

      If you have more questions, feel free to contact me directly through “Get in Touch” at the top of the page.

      Have a wonderful time exploring the possibilities!
      Happy weaving,
      Karen

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