Happy Weaving New Year!

January 1st is more than just another day, isn’t it? It’s a time to review the past year and bring new dreams into the year ahead. This pivot point calls for gratitude. I am especially grateful for friends like you who walk with me on this weaving journey!

Thick and thin cottolin towels on this warp. One towel to go!

Thick and thin cottolin towels on this warp. One towel to go!

The end is near! The end of the warp, that is. Halvdräll on the loom.

The end is near! The end of the warp, that is. Almost ready for the final border of the halvdräll table square. There will be just enough warp left for a short sample piece.

First up in the new year I have thick and thin towels to finish, and the halvdräll is oh so close to the end of the warp (didn’t quite make it for Christmas). And one little girl is off the small tapestry loom, waiting for final finishing, mounting, and framing.

Little girl small tapestry.

Little girl small tapestry. After finishing the ends, the piece will be mounted on linen-covered foam board and placed in a frame.

Thank you for walking with me through 2015!

May you bring big dreams into the new year!

Joyful New Year,
Karen

12 Comments

  • Charlene says:

    What a lovely review of your year’s weaving work.

    A large and beautiful body of work.

    Thank you.

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Dear Karen,
    Thank you for seeing such beauty in life and sharing it with us! This was a very inspiring way to start a new year!

    Happy New Year!
    Elisabeth

  • Betsy says:

    Karen
    Happy New Year! I really enjoy reading your blog and look forward to new posts.
    Warmest Wishes
    Betsy

  • fran says:

    Always nice to see what you are up to! Best wishes for 2016.

  • Liberty Stickney says:

    Happy New Year Karen,

    I hope it is a wonderful year for you!
    Liberty

  • linda says:

    Your tapestry of the child is wonderful. It has given me so much pleasure to see how your weaving has become so absolutely gorgeous. I’ve has so much fun watching all the love you’ve put into your weaving. The article was a cherry on top of the most delicious desert anyone could have dreamed of.
    I still can’t believe all the time you devote, how quickly you work, and how “perfect “it all is. I hope 2016 is even more bountiful for you and more joyful. lp&j LINDA

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Wool Double-Width Blankets Finished

The wool double-width blankets came out even better than I had hoped. It still seems magical to simply weave, and end up with cloth two times the woven width. What did I enjoy most about this project? First of all, the colors. It is so much fun to mess with colors. Secondly, the fringe. I love how the fringe turned out. Those chubby twists are my favorite part of the finished blankets. Knotted, or not. The first blanket has knotted fringe. Watch the Wool Blanket Final Finishing video below to see what happens with the fringe on the second blanket.

Finishing fringe on wool blanket. Video with more info.

Fringes on the first blanket are finished with knots before the excess is cut away.

Detail of fold of double-width blanket.

Detail of opened and finished fold on double-width blanket.

Finished wool double-width blanket. Karen Isenhower

Finished wool double-width blanket. Final finishing complete.

In this final episode in the Wool Blanket Finishing series, I show you how I brush the blanket and finish the fringe.

In case you missed any of the previous videos in this series:

1. Colorful Cozy Blanket and a Video

2. Quiet Friday: Wool Blanket Finishing

3. Wool Blanket Gets Wet

May your work come back to you as rewards.

Love,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Mio says:

    Thank you for the videos! I really enjoyed them.
    Also the blanket turned out be-u-ti-ful!

  • John says:

    I just found your video series on the double width blanket and can’t wait to start one of my own. Really intrigued by twisting the fringe on the loom! Yours blanket looks beautiful! I love the colors and your videos are so informative. Thanks for making and sharing them.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John,
      I appreciate hearing that you found the videos helpful! Thank you for letting me know. Best wishes in your blanket-making adventure!

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

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Wool Blanket Gets Wet

The softer, the better. We all know that wool can be scratchy, but we like wool because of its warmth. And, as a fiber for weaving, wool is easy to work with because of its elasticity. Wet finishing reduces the scratchiness, making it possible to end up with a comfy wool blanket. A soft and gentle blanket.

Wool blanket is drip drying after wet finishing.

Wet wool blanket is dripping dry after just two minutes in the dryer. Towels on the floor collect the drips.

Gentleness is stronger than we think. A lullaby has the power to quiet a crying baby. My son once had a first grade teacher who could still a classroom of seven- and eight-year-olds with a whisper. And the gentle touch of a friend can speak louder than words.

We influence far more people through kindness, gentleness, and patience than we ever will with persuasive arguments. Like a soft and comfy wool blanket, gentleness is strong enough to warm someone in the cold.

~ It’s time for segment three in the Wool Blanket Finishing series. ~

You can learn about the previous video segments in Quiet Friday: Wool Blanket Finishing, or you can view them here:

1. Twisting Fringe on the Loom

2. Wool Blanket Before Wet Finishing

Please return next week for the fourth video segment, Wool Blanket Final Finishing, to find out what happens to the fringe!

May your gentle influence increase.

Warmly,
Karen

7 Comments

  • Marie says:

    Karen

    Your blanket is beautiful. I would have preferred to see you place the blanket
    on a flat surface such as the floor versus the counter top. Placing towels on the floor to help picking up the moisture. I would have spun out some of the water to assist in the drying process. About 2 minutes of spinning. The blanket is very manageable. I would be concerned with stretching the blanket on the counter top because of the water dripping off the edges.

    Just a few after thought.

    Marie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marie,

      I appreciate your thoughts. I agree that a flat surface would be better for drying the blanket. The tile floor, with towels on it, is perfect for that if you have enough floor space. That is how I have dried smaller pieces. Fortunately, the finished blanket ended up nice and flat, and doesn’t appear to be stretched out of shape.
      I should try doing a short spin, as you suggest. I have had unhappy results of permanent creases from the spin cycle on some items, so I tend to avoid the spin cycle for the first wash on most handwovens.

      Thanks so much for your input!
      Karen

  • Nancy says:

    I am enjoying your video series, just found your website yesterday and this is very timely for me as my next project is going to be my first double weave blanket!

    • Karen says:

      Nancy, That’s wonderful that you are starting a double weave blanket! There are so many things to try with weaving, and it is always exciting to start something new!

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

  • Olga says:

    Karen
    I can’t see your Video. Is there any secret?

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Quiet Friday: Wool Blanket Finishing

As wonderful as it is to weave two wool double width blankets, the truth is, they are not finished until they are finished. The thrill of completion comes when you finally sew your “Handwoven by” label on the woven accomplishment. But, for me, just as great is the joy of sharing what I made, and how I made it, with friends like you.

I have divided the finishing process for this blanket into four segments. Steve and I created little videos to take you along with me through each step.

Very end of the warp.

Woven as far as possible, and then cut off. Careful planning is needed to be able to weave the header following the 25cm of warp that is kept empty for twisting the fringes.

  • The next video segment covers everything that happens before wet finishing.
Woven wool blanket ready for wet finishing.

Woven blanket ready for wet finishing.

Please return next week to continue the Wool Blanket Finishing video series with me. The two remaining segments are about wet finishing and final finishing.

May you enjoy the thrill of completion.

Happy weaving,
Karen

4 Comments

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Beautiful to the Last Inch

This blanket won’t be as long as I wanted it to be. My sample at the beginning used more warp than I had expected. But the sample was necessary. I will squeeze out the last possible inch, throwing (or pushing) the shuttle as far as I can. The warp will come over the back beam before I know it, and the end will be the end. (Quiet Friday: Blanket Sample Thanksgiving)

Double-width blanket no.2 on the loom.

Changing the weft color every 18 centimeters / 7 inches produces blocks of color across the warp for the first half of the blanket.

This blanket on the second half of the warp will be more colorful than the first. For the weft, I decided to use the bits of remaining wool warp yarn, combining pairs of colors, to weave blocks of color across the blanket. It is satisfying to use up the yarn, even though it feels like a risk to step away from the usual in order to be original. The remaining fragments of wool will be used at some other time, like memories that are held, and then woven into new things.

Wool warp leftovers.

All that is left of eleven colors (22 skeins) of wool warp yarn, after using it up for the blanket weft.

Make the most of life now. That means using up your best efforts. Be original. Make every day count by giving of yourself. Look carefully at the life that has been given to you, and be who God created you to be.

In loving memory of Linda Kemper, dear friend and fellow handweaver, who made the most of life here. We will miss her. Home with Jesus.

May you fully live.

Assured,
Karen

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