Now This Year

New year 2017 is beginning! It’s time again to take account of where we stand in our life’s dreams and goals. What can we check off the list? And, what is still in progress? And, maybe there’s something new to add. But first, let me count my blessings. I’m filled with gratitude, thankful for you! What a JOY it is to have friends like you to walk through this weaving journey with me.

Here’s what you’ll find on my looms right now:

Striped cottolin warp for towels.

Glimåkra Ideal loom: Striped warp for the sample kit is all set! Winding quills is next. Then, weaving! If all goes well, a few pre-warped plattväv towel kits will show up in my Etsy shop.

Transparency with linen warp and background weft. Cotton chenille weft inlay.

Glimåkra Standard loom: Weaving a transparency. 16/2 linen warp and background weft. The weft pattern inlay is cotton chenille.

Practice piece on little Hokett loom.

Hokett loom has the start of a simple stripes tapestry practice piece. 12/6 cotton warp, 6/1 Fåro wool weft.

Thank you for joining me through 2016!

May you have joy in the journey.

Happy Weaving New Year,
Karen

22 Comments

  • Beth says:

    I love the “Year in Review” and see so many favorites. Your work is simply beautiful and inspiring. You are brimming with talent!

    Happy New Year, Karen!

  • Jennifer says:

    A lovely and inspiring post! I enjoyed the video of your weaving year.

  • Truly Blessed, thanks for all you share.

  • Loyanne says:

    Thanks for sharing. Seeing the Faro piece bring to mind a question. I am working on a Whig Rose scarf. Trying to weave according to tradition and the warp is 8/2, weft is Faro and 16/2 for tabby. Just wondered if you had used cotton and wool and how you wet fingers she’d it ? Thanks

    • Karen says:

      Hi Loyanne, I’m sure your scarf is beautiful! The monksbelt does use 16/2 cotton for tabby, and Faro wool for pattern weft. I’m not sure of your question… I have a feeling that spellcheck gremlins took over. Could you try asking again?

      Karen

      • Loyanne says:

        Boy did the gremlins take over. I wondered how you wet finish a piece out of cotton and wool?
        Thanks.

        • Karen says:

          Ok, now that question makes sense. 🙂 That’s a great question! I did not wet finish my piece because I am going to use it for a hanging, so I wanted it to soften up or get distorted through washing. I did steam press it, though, which helped to tighten everything up and straighten it out.

          I think if I were going to wet finish this cotton and wool combination I would gently hand wash in cool water with mild soap, like Eucalan, with as little agitation as possible. And then hang or lay flat to dry. If I had a sample piece, I would try washing that first, before submerging the main article.

          I wish I could give you a better answer…

          Thanks for asking,
          Karen

  • Fran says:

    A year of accomplishing lots! You do black and white especially well. I enjoy your posts.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fran, The black and white was a new experience for me. It was a surprise to me to find out how much I enjoyed working with it! Thanks for stopping by!

      Happy New Year,
      Karen

  • Cindy says:

    I just joined in on your posts! It’s part of my goals for 2017 to surround myself with others who love weaving, and to be inspired and motivated to continue learning from them. Thanks for having this blog!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cindy, A big welcome to you! I do love weaving, and you will find many who comment here are the same way. I love it that we can all learn from each other.

      Happy weaving new year!
      Karen

  • Lynette says:

    Hi Karen,
    I enjoyed seeing your transparency, because I have used the same 16/2 linen to weave pictorial transparencies for the last 10 years or so. Is your sett 12 epi? How many selvedge warps are doubled on each side? I have never tried using chenille for the inlay, but this gives me a new idea to try!
    Happy New Year, and God bless you and your family!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynette, I’m excited to hear that you weave pictorial transparencies! This is my first attempt, and I’m enjoying it very much. I would love to see some of your work. Can you send me pictures?

      I am using a metric 50/10 reed, which is just a little more dense than 12 epi, but pretty close. I doubled 4 selvedge warps on each side, as instructed in The Big Book of Weaving.

      Happy weaving new year!
      Karen

  • Liberty Stickney says:

    Hi Karen, Happy New Year! Thank you so much for all the work you do for us, your posts are always beautiful and informative. I have been sick for a bit but I can’t wait to get back to my loom soon.
    Happy weaving,
    Liberty

    • Karen says:

      Hi Liberty, It’s no fun to be under the weather. I hope you’re all better very soon!

      I always appreciate your sweet encouragement.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Tom Z says:

    The year in review is so Inspiring Karen!

    Sometimes we don’t look back to view where we’ve come from. We just keep plowing forward. The past gives us a much needed perspective on where we’re going. Your video reminded me of that simple face. And the music was perfect for that reflection.

    Thank you Karen. Keep up the ‘good’ work.
    Happy weaving new year!
    Tom Z in IL

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tom,
      I completely agree! Perspective can make a world of difference.
      I appreciate your thoughtful words so much!

      Happy weaving new year to you!
      Karen

  • Pat McNew says:

    I love your web page. I look forward to each one. I have learned a lot from you even tho I have been weaving for about 12 years.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pat, This is such a sweet thing for you to say! It’s my goal to be a help to others, so I’m thrilled to hear you’ve learned some things here.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to spread a little kindness. 🙂
      Karen

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Tools Day: Measured Weaving

How far will you travel? How will you know when you have arrived? Do you wish you could know when you are halfway there? Applied to weaving, I like to have the answers to these questions before I begin the “journey.” A pre-measured tape gives me consistency, especially important for multiple pieces in a set. The tape also acts as my “trip odometer.” I can see how far I’ve gone, and exactly how much is left to weave. It satisfies my insatiable need to know how close I am to the end. Are you like that, too?

How to Make and Use a Pre-Measured Tape

Supplies

  • Roll of 3/4″ or wider twill tape (or any cloth tape or ribbon that does not stretch, and that pins easily)
  • Tape measure with inches and/or centimeters
  • Fine tip permanent marker
  • Flat head pins
  1. Use the permanent marker to place markings on the twill tape, as measured with the tape measure. Mark the start line 1/2″ from the end of the twill tape, so that the tape can be pinned in front of the mark.
  2. After drawing a line for the starting point and ending point, draw a line at the midway point, labeled MID.
  3. Include dotted lines for hem measurements, if applicable. Write the hem measurement on the twill tape; i.,e., 3/4″ or 2 cm.
  4. Write the weaving length measurement on the twill tape. Include calculation for takeup, if desired; i.,e., 25″ + 3″.
  5. Write the project or item description on the twill tape, if desired, for ease of repeat use; i.e., handtowel.
  6. Add other lines or marks, as needed, for borders, placement of weft colors, or other design elements.
  7. 1/2″ after the final marking, cut pre-measured twill tape from the roll of tape.

With the warp under tension, pin the pre-measured twill tape near the right or left selvedge with two flat-head pins. Match the start line of the tape with the beginning of the weaving.
Before each advancement of the warp, move the pin closest to the breast beam to a point near the fell line. In this way, have the pins leapfrog each other, moving only one pin each time. Always keep the warp under tension when moving the pins.

Red cutting lines between black and white towels.

Beginning hem, after red cutting lines between towels.

Ending hem is followed by two red picks that will become the cutting line between towels.

Ending hem is followed by two red picks that will become the cutting line between towels.

When the "MID" point hits right where it should!

When the “MID” point hits right where it should! Mid point marking helps to confirm that the halvdräll pattern is centered and balanced in its length.

Pre-measured twill tape marks weft color placement on linen scarves.

Weft color placement is marked on the twill tape for these linen lace scarves.

Tricks with pre-measured tape for weaving.

Five centimeters, marked at the end of the twill tape, is a handy reference for spacing the weft pattern floats in these plattväv towels.

Alpaca scarf in an interesting 8-shaft twill.

I love seeing the “MID” point on a long piece, such as this 8-shaft twill alpaca scarf.

Pre-measured twill tape helps set the pace for the weaving project.

Breaking up the length into quarters helps to set a pace for the weaving project. This baby wrap was on a time crunch, so it was helpful to know when I was getting close to the end.

May you accurately measure your ways.

Truly yours,
Karen

11 Comments

  • Cate Kauffman says:

    Love this idea for repeatable, standard sized projects like towels and scarves. Labeling it towels (4) or some such, makes so much sense. Thanks!

  • Angela says:

    Excellent, thanks for sharing.

  • Karen says:

    Your comments are so useful. I use a tape, but don’t mark it as you do and I don’t leapfrog pins. Such good ideas……I think a trip out to the fabric store is in order! Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, I’m glad you find this useful! I look for sales. When the roles of ribbon are 50% off at Hobby Lobby, I buy several rolls of twill tape!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Nanette says:

    Many thanks for all the detail. I will save all this for a warp that I’ve really planned out…wish that described MORE of mine! Nanette

  • Debbie Moyes says:

    Thanks for the details on how you use the tape. I used it on my handtowels. (I’m going to Vavstuga in June!) I am interesetd that you measure under tension. I measure when the warp is loose. Do you add length to your project because it is under tension?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie, I hope you enjoy your Vavstuga experience as much as I did! You will learn a treasure trove of new things.

      Measuring under tension may be the most consistent way of measuring, and is considered the standard way to measure. For Handwoven magazine, for instance, their projects give the “Woven length (measured under tension on the loom).” I do add a % amount to the length to account for take-up and shrinkage.

      Thanks for asking!
      Karen

  • Jane Smith says:

    A very interesting post on measuring your weaving, and one that has the merit of being well photographed and detailed. I shall definitely print this out and keep it in my weaving file.

    Thank you!

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Quiet Friday: Woven Baby Wrap Baby

A new life in the family is cause for celebration and thanksgiving! I had the privilege of weaving a baby wrap while my daughter carried the new little life inside of her. A wrap being woven to hold Lucia, and a baby being woven in the womb. Beautiful and more beautiful. God’s blessings on Eddie and Melody as they love the gift they have been given.

Handwoven baby wrap holding new baby.

Handwoven baby wrap with baby Lucia. Photo credit: Eddie Fernandez (Lucia’s daddy)

 

 

Woven baby wrap, handwoven by the baby's grandmother.

In her mother’s arms… Photo Credit: Eddie Fernandez (Lucia’s daddy)

May you love and be loved.

Affectionately,
Lola (Grandma)

14 Comments

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Quiet Friday: Woven Baby Wrap

What do you weave into the fabric that will be cradling your future granddaughter? Love, and lots of it, of course. The baby wrap has been woven, and is cut from the loom! All that is left is the finishing work–examining for errors, washing and drying, and hemming. …And Melody learning how to wrap a baby wrap. Soon enough, baby Lucia will be wrapped in this love-made piece of cloth.

8/2 cotton for baby wrap.

Version 2

Afternoon sun gives shadow stripes.

Starting baby wrap. Sampling weft colors.

Broken twill stripe. Woven baby wrap.

Twill tape for measuring length on the loom.

Woven baby wrap on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Woven baby wrap on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Cloth beam with baby wrap.

Only 1/4 left to go! Woven baby wrap.

Twill tape for measuring on the loom. Almost at the end!

Woven baby wrap ready to be cut from the loom! Karen Isenhower

Woven baby wrap, just off the loom. Karen Isenhower

Woven baby wrap just off the loom!

May your loved ones enjoy your gifts of love.

Happy weaving,
Karen

9 Comments

  • Joanna says:

    So beautiful. You’ve put in all the colors of light and of the rainbow, the sign of the covenant between God and Man, perfect for a wee girl whose name means Light.

  • Kris Stark says:

    What a touching journey you have shared with us, Karen! We are eagerly look forward to seeing Lucia wrapped in this beautiful piece. Blessings, Kris

  • Martha says:

    What simply perfect light and love filled baby wrap. Beautiful!

  • Beachweaver says:

    So beautiful. You have an amazing eye for color. You used color to made a very simple weave structure into something that is visually complex and eye catching.

    Thanks for including all of us in your journey

    • Karen says:

      Beachweaver, It makes me very happy to have friends like you joining me in this journey!

      Thank you for the compliments. I think working with color may be my main incentive for weaving. It’s invigorating to put colors together and watch them co-mingle into something visually interesting.

      Karen

  • […] you remember the baby wrap I was weaving for my daughter and her coming baby? Baby Lucia has arrived! And she is already […]

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Shuttle Catching

I am already a quarter of the way on this baby wrap. Simple plain weave with one shuttle is fast and uncomplicated, making this the perfect setting to improve weaving technique. Surely, I can gain efficiency by examining some of my practices.

First quarter woven on baby wrap.

Twill tape has marks that show 1/4, Mid (1/2), and 3/4 of the length of woven baby wrap. The first quarter used about seven full quills of light blue weft.

Under scrutiny, I see that I am not consistent in how I catch the shuttle. It makes a difference where I make contact with the shuttle as it glides into my hand. I often have to reposition the shuttle in my hand to prepare it for the return throw. That’s not very efficient. Solution? Look at the hand that is catching the shuttle. All I have to do is turn my head to look, and the hand does the job. It’s amazing how that works. It pays to pay attention.

Beginning sample comes around the cloth beam. Baby wrap.

Beginning sample meets the cloth beam. View is from the front of the loom, looking under the breast beam.

Following Jesus can be compared to finding a breakthrough in weaving technique. It’s more than just meeting him, and trying to go the right way. That is weaving by habit, doing it like I’ve always done it. Jesus gives all to those who give him all. Breakthrough comes when I give up my habits to find a better way–his way.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

– Jim Elliot

May your eyes help your hands.

With love,
Karen

10 Comments

  • Kerry Fagan says:

    You explain so nicely the thought processes we(I) have when weaving – how to do it better, more consistently and how will this piece end up. That is the buzz that keeps us weaving again and again.

  • Randi says:

    I’m loving your blog and your whispers of Jesus.

  • ruth says:

    Thanks for the reminder to use twill tape for measuring the total length of a project! I’m ready to begin weaving a couple of table runners and had forgotten to “use the tape”. I’m changing treadling during this project and will add notes to the tape to remind myself of when those changes occur. You’ve saved me lots of time and measuring headaches with your post.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth, Oh good! I’m so glad this served as a reminder for you. Using the tape to make notes of treadling changes is a great idea. I’ve done that before, but I don’t always think of it. So you’ve given me a reminder, too!

      I love hearing what other people are weaving. I’m sure your table runners will be beautiful!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Debbie Moyes says:

    I love the twill tape for measuring! I have a variety of ways that I measure as I weave, but none are particulalry good. I have twill tape, which I use to bind hooked rugs and will make a tape for my next project. The colors of your wrap are gorgeous!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie, I used to use grosgrain ribbon for measuring, but I like twill tape better. It’s soft, easy to pin, easy to mark, and doesn’t stretch.

      Thanks for the compliment about the colors! I’m energized by pretty colors, so this has been happy weaving for me.

      Karen

  • linda says:

    Karen: God wants us to spread our wings and try new things. I’m going to be the devil. Get rid of the template, think about the music of the weaving, and try new materials.
    Music :Open shed 1,3 throw from R (I put my index finger on the tip of the shuttle) by flicking the wrist. catch on L(put the shuttle on the woven cloth if using two shuttles), with R hand I give a little tug to the R side ..using R hand. Open the next shed (2,4) throw from L to right, catch, place on cloth, tug L,……..
    Some times by trying a new method one can find freedom, ,joy, and more time to .think..
    How about a nubby soft cotton with a cotton warp. love ya, Linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I love your eagerness to help. You give great instructions, worth trying. I agree with you that it’s good to try new things and new methods.

      I do like using a temple. It’s a tool I’m not likely to give up.

      Love to you,
      Karen

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