Vävstuga Autumn II

Five days of weaving, learning many new things. It’s a wonderland of sights and sounds, colors, textures, fabric, looms, tools. The people I get to enjoy this with are as much a treasure as the skills I develop. Becky Ashenden’s cheerful teaching style makes the experience fun, and she stretches us to our limits so that we leave knowing more than when we came.

Here is a small sampling of my week. I’ll show you more after I get home.

Autumn at Vavstuga, view from student quarters

 

Swedish curtains on the loom at Vavstuga

 

Rep rug on the loom at Vavstuga

 

Weaving 3-Shaft Ticking at Vavstuga. On the porch.

 

Jämtlands Drall (Crackle in the US) at Vavstuga, 133cm wide.

 

Autumn in Shelburne Falls, MA, Bridge of Flowers at dawn

May your stretching be enjoyable.

Vävglädje (Happy Weaving),
Karen

10 Comments

Leave a Reply


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.

Leave a Reply


My Near Mishap with the Curtains

Finally! The Swedish lace curtains are hung…Yippee! However,…I came really, really close to cutting the finished material in the wrong place, about eight inches too short. Gasp! I had sewn the top casing and ruffle, and had carefully measured for the placement of the hem. But in my enthusiasm to finish, I got confused when it came to the final cut. Fortunately, I decided to put my scissors down and measure one. more. time. Catastrophe avoided!

Handwoven Swedish Lace curtains by Karen Isenhower

Swedish lace curtains, at their best when sunlight shines through.

Decisions come every day, big and small. How do you make decisions? Luck, make a guess, have a feeling? Luck isn’t dependable, guessing is risky, and feelings change with the weather. Like my near mishap with the curtain fabric, we could be one decision away from a huge mistake.

If we pay attention, Lady Wisdom’s invitation is heard at every decision point. We face decisions that are far more important than where to cut the fabric. There are plans for the future, and crossroads in life, as well as daily choices. Wisdom creates building blocks for future decisions. One wise decision leads to another, and then another. And before you know it, you have sunlight streaming through the fabric you’ve created.

If you are interested in how the fabric was made for these curtains, you may enjoy this post, and other posts in the category, yardage: curtains.

May your decisions be secured through wisdom.

Decidedly,
Karen

12 Comments

  • Barbara says:

    So true! And I’m so thankful for God’s grace when I mess up. The curtains are beautiful. Where did you hang them?

    • Karen says:

      The curtains are hanging in the two long, narrow windows at each end of the front of our house. Both are “personal” spaces that we use every day – the window in our bedroom closet, and the window in the laundry room.

      God’s grace is essential, because we all make serious mistakes. Yes, I’m thankful for grace, too.

  • Wende says:

    What a beautiful, tangible reminder to take time to listen before I plow ahead with what I think seems right….

  • Grethe says:

    I’m so glad, that you lay down your scissors. Your curtains are beautiful.

  • Leigh Ellis says:

    Oh, Karen the curtains are absolutely gorgeous! I really enjoyed the post about almost making a huge mistake with the scissors. I can really relate, having done things like this many times. Years ago, a really wise person taught me to think aboout these kinds of occurances not as mistakes, but as an oppurtunity to thank our minds for doing the right thing.

    • Karen says:

      I’m glad you like the curtains, Leigh. It’s a learning experience either way. If I had made that wrong cut, who knows… the curtain may have ended up with a ruffle at the bottom to make up the length. 🙂
      We should never pick up scissors when we’re tired, excited, or in a hurry…

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Gorgeous curtains! The subtle pattern is just beautiful. Don’t you think the process of making beautiful things better prepares us to pause and listen to to “Lady Wisdom”?

    As you know, I recently experienced how important it is to stop for a moment and listen in order to make the right decision. Your post just reinforced this message. And I am already experiencing that one wise decision leads to another.

  • Iréne says:

    Your curtains are fabulous. And I like your reflection om decisions… I usually make decisions very fast, am focused on problem solving. But with age I’ve come to reflect more often. Stop, before I make up my mind, listen, see what happens. It’s a new experience that includes learning. I think that’s one of the reasons why weaving is so good to me, I cannot rush. That is so good 🙂 Enjoy your wonderful curtains.

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your kind comments so much, Iréne. It’s fun to end up with something useful and lovely to look at.

      You and Elizabeth make a great point, that weaving (or knitting, quilting, wood carving…, making beautiful things) does give us a wonderful opportunity to be comfortable with going slow. A lot of thinking is required. It is a constant learning environment where we are actively paying attention to what our hands are doing.

Leave a Reply


The Windows Are Opening Now!

Windows fascinate me. I even have a Pinterest board, Houses and Windows, because I enjoy images of windows. The windows in this cloth capture me! The fun part was seeing it happen. When I cut the cloth from the loom, I could immediately see the windows begin to form as the threads started relaxing. After letting the cloth rest a few days, the windows appeared even more. But the WOW happened when I gently kneaded the fabric in warm water, and hung it to dry. Seeing these handwoven lace windows made me silly with childish excitement!

Swedish Lace, also known as Mosquito Lace, or kneaded lace blocks

Handwoven Swedish lace, also known as mosquito lace or kneaded block lace. The spaces have opened up dramatically in the “windows” after having been gently washed and dried. Ready now for pressing.

(Compare these open windows with this before picture, while the fabric was still on the loom.)

What if we are little houses, and our soul has windows? Shall I keep the curtains closed, so no one can see in? But then, I can’t see out, either.

When I think of our grand weaver, and how he is so close by, I imagine him looking out those windows with me. He is not distant, but near. He stays involved, pointing out things he sees. Making the common and ordinary into articles of wonder and beauty. Stiff pieces of thread with a vague shape become wide open windows where the refreshing breeze blows through.

May the view from your windows be delightful.

Enjoying the breeze,
Karen

Leave a Reply


Feeling Empty or Filling Empty?

This Swedish lace warp is finally cut off! The big loom now stands empty. I don’t like to let a loom stay naked for very long, so I will wind the next warp soon. That desire to keep the loom dressed will give me momentum through the finishing details and sewing of the dreamed-about curtains. Like this loom, we humans face times of feeling empty in daily life, and don’t like to stay in that unpleasant state very long.

Cutting off Swedish lace from the loom.

Cutting off the warp always feels like a celebration! Now I have a piece of fabric in hand to sew into curtains. Ta da!

When we experience that feeling of emptiness, we try to find a way to overcome our bare state. We get super busy, stuff our life with things or food, or isolate ourselves to our own detriment.

The good news is that we do not have to stay alone and empty. Amazingly, our creator desires to live with us, not just above us. And that is when our soul is filled–when we make room for our creator. And being filled, we say, Bring on the next warp!

May your loom always be ready for the next warp.

Making room,
Karen

2 Comments

  • Irene says:

    Your Swedish lace looks beautiful! Do you know why it is called Swedish lace? Haven’t heard that name here in Sweden…

    And, I like your saying: May your loom always be ready for the next warp!

    • Karen says:

      Great question, Irene! A few weeks ago I tried to find out why it is called Swedish lace, so I could put it in my Weaving Glossary, but I could not find an explanation in any of my books. So my answer is, “I don’t know.” It is called Swedish lace in The Big Book of Weaving by Laila Lundell, p.114 in the project notes, Plain weave and Swedish lace ‘mosquito lace’ block.

      Thank you for coming by!

Leave a Reply