Quiet Friday: Double-Width Blanket Progress

Do you ever feel like you are just not making progress? Stopping bad habits and starting good ones can feel like that. Or, what about that craft project you meant to finish before Thanksgiving? The loom is one place where progress is visible. You can’t fool yourself; the cloth beam shows you how far you have progressed. I find it encouraging to see the fabric that has been woven. What starts with an idea shows up as cloth.

Blanket idea with eleven colors of wool.

It all started with an idea and eleven colors of wool.

As we settle into the very end of this year, we know that time keeps rolling on. The warp keeps advancing. This is a great time to look at the cloth beam of our life and see the progress. Like this blanket, much has been accomplished, but there’s more work ahead before it is time to cut it from the loom.

Bottom layer of double weave blanket is spread on the loom.

Bottom layer is spread on the loom.

Upper layer of double weave is spread on the loom.

Upper layer is spread on the loom; and the two layers are combined on the back tie-on bar. Two sets of lease sticks keep all the ends in order.

Beaming on double weave blanket with warping trapeze.

Beaming on two warps at once. After removing the choke ties, I beamed on with the warping trapeze, slowly and carefully. I stopped every few inches to check everything, to make sure nothing was getting hung up anywhere.

Sampling helps determine optimum weft colors.

Sampling helps determine weft colors, as well as checking the sett and weft density.

Warp ends ready to tie onto front tie-on bar.

Sample is cut off and warp ends are tied in bundles, ready to re-tie to front tie-on bar.

Wool Blanket sample piece after wet finishing and brushing.

Sample piece, after wet finishing, air drying, and brushing.

Fringe, twisted on the loom, at the beginning of the wool blanket. Follow progress.

Fringe, twisted on the loom, goes over the breast beam as the body of the blanket is being woven.

Pics show double weave blanket progress on the loom.

Progress is revealed. The beginning blanket fringe has reached the cloth beam! The fold edge of the blanket is in view.

Dusk dims, yet enriches, the colors. Karen Isenhower

Dusk dims the colors, yet enriches them at the same time.

Hand-carved Nativity on handwoven bound rosepath. The Isenhowers.

Glad-hearted Christmas to all! The camel is this year’s new figure in the hand-carved Nativity by Steve Isenhower. Bound rosepath provides the backdrop.

May you enjoy reflecting on the progress you have made this year.

Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year,
Karen

16 Comments

  • Deb says:

    Merry Christmas! The colors in the blanket are lovely. As I reflect on progress made this year, I find that I am thankful for your weekly posts. Thanks so much for being a part of my progress in 2014. Blessings to you and yours in 2015!

    • Karen says:

      Merry Christmas to you, Deb!

      I feel very honored to be included in what has been meaningful to you in 2014! Looking forward to the coming year with you.

      Karen

  • Geri says:

    I am in awe of the nativity set your husband is carving, it is marvelous, as is your blanket !!

    • Karen says:

      Geri, thanks for your compliments! Steve is carving 5 Nativity pieces each year – his mother, our daughter, our two daughters-in-law, and me. Five camels this year. We are very blessed by his giving nature and his skill.

      Merry Christmas,
      Karen

  • Helen Hart says:

    Your colors are beautiful. What brand of wool did you use. Is it woolen spun? And what was your sett? How many shafts? Just beautiful. Yes, thanks for your column and support. Oh yes, how wide was your warp on your loom? I am just curious. Colors are just stunning,. Thank you

    • Karen says:

      Hi Helen,

      I’m glad you like the colors! I am using Borgs 6/2 Tuna Wool that I purchased from Vavstuga.com. You can also get it from GlimakraUSA.com.
      I am using metric measurements for this project, and my sett is 6 ends per centimeter on each layer (12 ends altogether), using a metric 30/10 dent reed. That’s about 15 epi American on each layer (30 ends altogether).
      Four shafts, four treadles.
      Warp width 77cm (30 1/4 inches).

      Looking forward to the new year with you!
      Karen

  • l says:

    so what did you decide about the fold? Your doing and using some terms and processes I’ve not seen before. I warp front to back, what is a Trapeeze?, no metal “guards” on the loom breasts. Very Interesting. I wish I was closer to observe your methods. I weav on Maycombers , a 36 and a 48 with many pedals, double back beam, and 8 harnesses. Why the stretcher??????????????? lp&J, linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda,

      I enjoy your questions and comments!
      The fold is sleyed half, with 2 ends/dent. After I throw the shuttle, I insert my index finger between the outer warps to make sure the weft doesn’t pull in on the fold side.
      I always warp back to front – I am very comfortable with the process; it has served me well. Warping with a trapeze is something I learned from Becky Ashenden at Vavstuga. It is a way of stretching out the warp over a high cross bar and weighting the warp as it is being beamed; it provides for very even tensioning during the process.
      I have only woven on countermarche and counterbalance looms. I haven’t woven on jack looms at all (except for one time at a weaving workshop).
      I don’t have a double back beam, and have never seen one in use; but I understand what it is for, and think it would be useful for some projects.
      I have 8 shafts for my 47″ countermarche, but I remove the extra shafts when they are not in use. I only need four shafts (harnesses) for this blanket project, so the other shafts are put away in the closet.
      Why the stretcher (temple)? That is my favorite way to keep the weaving from drawing in, giving me consistent selvedges. It seems like a common tool among people who weave according to Swedish traditions.

      With my Swedish looms, I enjoy learning the Swedish traditions in weaving techniques. It’s my goal to learn as much of that as possible. Joanne Hall and Becky Ashenden have been great helps to me in that endeavor.

      Thanks for your interest and input,
      Karen

  • linda says:

    Beckey was weaving at Hill Institutre with me many years ago. She was in the class before me. Her studio/school is on the way to our home in Vt., really small world we live in. She has always been one of my favorrite characters, and the only one I know that warps that way. She learned in Sweden I believe., linda

  • linda says:

    Do you also know Mikala Sidor, tapestry weaver? She’s in my area also. She does large tapesteries and sometimes gives classes. She studied in Paris at the tapestery studios there. way beyond me in talent and patience. most of her work is very fine (ie shading faces). Your weaving and productivity is wondrful. love your site. love, peace, and Joy, linda

    • Karen says:

      Linda, I appreciate all your kind encouragement!

      I don’t know Mikala Sidor. She sounds like someone I need to find more about.

      Thank you,
      Karen

  • Amaryllis says:

    Olá, I wonder how it weaves rosepath , threading, treadling you could help me , I’m not here in Brazil too much information , I can use a loom 4treadles.
    I need to have something like the drawdown Rosepath.
    thank you sincerely love your work and hope that one day I can be as good at weaving like you.

  • Tamara says:

    In your 9th picture on this page I see fringes already twisted while on the loom. Do you tie on like this?

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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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Bound Rosepath – More Yarn and Time, Please!

I still had patterns I wanted to try in bound rosepath; but, alas, there is no more Brage wool yarn in my hands. I ran out of weft before I ran out of warp! With five colors of this wool weft, it seemed like the variations on this rosepath threading were limitless. Imagine how it would be if you had two or three times that many colors to work with! You might never find an end to all the design options!

Bound rosepath just off the loom. Karen Isenhower

Brage wool in five colors covers the surface in this weft-faced weave structure, bound rosepath.

I was not ready to stop playing with this interesting weave structure, exploring the possibilites. Indeed, I had several more ideas lined up. If I had all the yarn in the world, I would need all the time in the world, too, because the discovery process is so intriguing. But eventually, I would run out of ideas.

We have heard that God is worthy of unceasing praise. Perhaps that is because there is no end to his love and goodness; and the riches of his mercy and grace are infinite. Maybe there are so many exquisite facets to learn about our creator that it will take eternity to discover them all. We might as well start now.

May you enjoy the intrigue of exploration and discovery.

Weaving onward,
Karen

14 Comments

  • Judith says:

    Karen
    Your boundweave is pretty amazing. I have a good friend trained in weaving in
    Norway who has tried to teach me boundweave. That’s when I first suspected
    I had a late onset learning disability (lol)! I am awed by your rugs!

    • Karen says:

      Judith, you are so kind!

      It takes a little while to get the hang of bound rosepath. I think it uses hidden parts of the brain. Ha ha. After a while, I was able to just weave without thinking so hard. This was so much fun!

      Happy weaving!
      Karen

  • Teri Perkins says:

    Just beautiful!

  • Laurie Mrvos says:

    So, so beautiful. I hope you can rebuild your stash and get back to this structure.
    Have you decided what you are going to do with it yet?

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Laurie. So sweet of you to say that! I certainly do want to play with this structure again.

      Truthfully, I have not decided what to do with it. I could use it for a wall-hanging, but I would much prefer finding a functional use. It would be perfect as a cover for a quaint little bench, but I don’t happen to have a bench just that size. …maybe I could get my husband to make one?…

      I welcome suggestions!

  • Mel Agen says:

    Your bound rosepath weaving is beautiful. I am very interested in doing such weaving as this. My grandmother and grandfather are from Norway and great grandfather from Sweden. I love those patterns. I have been weaving krokbragd with some success. But this bound rosepath has many more pattern possibilities. I only have a 4 harness floor loom. Can it be done with this? Good weaving to you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mel, Thank you for the kind compliment! You have a wonderful family heritage – there are so many fantastic Norwegian and Swedish handweaving traditions.

      Yes, this decorative bound rosepath has many pattern possibilities, which makes it very interesting to weave. Surprisingly, you only need 4 shafts (harnesses) to weave this, and 6 treadles (2 treadles for plain weave).

      I used the draft from “The Big Book of Weaving,” by Laila Lundell, p. 122.

      I have not done krokbragd, but I like the look of it very much. I will have to try krokbragd, too.

      Good weaving to you, too.
      Karen

  • Cindy says:

    I love your weaving as much as your thoughts to ponder. Thank you for sharing.

    Cindy

  • Jenni says:

    Hi Karen
    I just found your blog and I love the way you relate your weaving to life and God. And I love your weaving. So far, I especially like the Rosepath. What have you used for the warp?? What is the pattern thread?? And did you just make up your mind as you went along what colour you would use or did you have a plan?? Was it your plan or is it in a book somewhere??? (You might have guessed I am a new weaver and so full of questions. I am just warping my 4 shaft floor look now with a nice long cottolin warp in rosepath, sett is 20epi. Planning to use the same thread as the tabby and then for some pieces I will use double Cottolin and for other fingering weight wool… what do you think??? But I am so impressed with all your colour choices. It looks like Fair Isle knitting.)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenni, I’m so glad you found this little corner of the weaving world! Welcome!
      The bound rosepath draft for this project came from The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila Lundell, p.122. The warp is 16/3 linen, and the pattern thread is Brage wool yarn, 3,400 m/kg. I followed the draft in the book, but I did make up the pattern as I went along, using colors I selected. Bound rosepath is completely weft-faced, meaning the warp is covered entirely. It takes four passes of weft for each row in the weaving. This is slow weaving, but I found it thoroughly enjoyable!
      You can’t go wrong with a cottolin warp! Sounds like you are set up for some fun and interesting weaving. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You will discover what works and what doesn’t, so keep good notes.

      Thank you for leaving your thoughts and questions!
      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

  • Anonymous says:

    What is your warp sett?

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What Linen Is Like

Linen makes a strong warp. Known for strength and longevity, linen cloth endures for years and years. It is almost impossible to break a linen thread with your bare hands. Why, oh, why, then, is it so easy to break linen warp ends while weaving?! One reason: Abrasion. Linen is like a gentle heart. It needs to be cared for and nurtured; but don’t underestimate the underlying strength.

Bound Rosepath on the loom. Five shuttles with colorful Brage wool yarn.

Five shuttles with colorful Brage wool yarn, each one waiting its turn as weft in the bound rosepath weave. The 16/3 unbleached linen warp, completely hidden in this weft-faced weave, gives lasting strength and stability to the cloth.

At the start of this bound rosepath project I had several linen warp ends break at the selvedge. The weaving was drawing in; consequently, the ends at the outer edges were receiving abrasion from the reed, causing the ends to fray and break. So, I began using more weft for each pick, by increasing the angle of weft in the shed. By doing this, I stopped the excessive draw-in. This simple correction made all the difference. No more broken warp ends. The reed is not a threat when appropriate weaving practices are in place.

Stay gentle, my friend. Gentleness feels; so be aware of the abrasion, and make corrections. Don’t allow bitterness or disappointment to linger from times of hardship, wearing you to the breaking point. The people in your life need your gentleness. Gentleness is the underlying strength of satisfying relationships.

May your most important relationships gain strength because of your gentleness.

Your friend,
Karen

Here are previous posts with views of the bound rosepath on the loom:

Thanks Giving

Do You See What I See?

You May be Looking at the Under Side

Not Your Usual Search Engine

5 Comments

  • Pam says:

    Beautiful pattern, and colors and a great reminder of how we need to be gentle, not only to others but to ourselves as well
    Thank you for sharing
    Blessings

  • Laurie says:

    Those deep rich colors just draw me in. I love this project, and have enjoyed watching the progress you are making on it. I especially appreciate the reminder about gentleness. I very much needed this message today. Thank you, Karen.

  • Karen says:

    Pam and Laurie,

    I wrote these thoughts about gentleness as a reminder to myself, really; so I’m glad it touched a chord with you, as well.

    Thank you for the compliments on the weaving. The patterns and colors feel rich to me. I can’t explain it, exactly; but I derive great pleasure from this type of creative activity — even if the cloth ends up serving no other purpose. 🙂

  • Gretchen says:

    Karen, beautiful words… and a beautiful analogy to keep in mind for daily living. I can’t wait to see your bound weave project. Happy weaving. Hope to see you soon.

    • Karen says:

      Hi, Gretchen, I am excited to say that this bound rosepath came off the loom last night! I’ll have pics soon. And I hope to see you soon, too, and show it to you in person.
      I’m glad the words were meaningful for you.

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Not Your Usual Search Engine

As I see it, this woven piece is a series of bordered ribbons laying side-by-side across the warp. I like to weave functional pieces, so it concerns me that I do not know how this will be used when it is finished. As I weave, then, there’s a quiet, ongoing mental search for a worthy function for this cloth.

Decorative bound rosepath progressing on the loom.

Bound Rosepath structure, with the linen warp entirely covered by the wool weft, is a thick, one-sided decorative cloth. It could be used as a wall hanging; or made into an article like a cushion cover, a table mat, or a bag, for example.

You can find many answers with a Google search; and I might even find ideas for this cloth by searching Pinterest (you can follow me on Pinterest). There are some things, however, that you will never find until you search a different way. Your heart is your search engine to find what cannot be seen with your eyes or touched with your hands.

Have you thought about the Christmas story? Baby Jesus, wrapped up lovingly in cloth (handwoven, no doubt), was sleeping in a makeshift cradle in Bethlehem. Simple shepherds were told of the special delivery and were sent to find the new baby, which they eagerly did. That is the kind of eager searching, with heart and soul, that will lead you and I to the ultimate gift! In our time, as it was then, God is the gift waiting to be discovered by those who are searching for Him.

May your quiet, ongoing search be rewarded.

Good Christmas to you and yours,
Karen

2 Comments

  • Patricia Schroeder says:

    Hello Karen, I found you on pinterest and followed on over to your website!! I am anxious to check out your website as weaving interests me but is something I have not tried as of yet. I am thinking about purchasing a loom to do some bead weaving as I am a jewelry maker.
    Thank you for sharing your craft and most of all your love of our Savior Jesus Christ!!!!
    Have a Blessed Christmas,
    Patricia

    • Karen says:

      Hi Patricia, Welcome! I’m so glad to *meet* you. Let me know if you have any questions as you begin to explore the world of weaving.
      Many blessings to you!
      Karen

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