Sweet Little Loom with a View!

Steve thought I should have another loom, so he used his carpentry skills to build a 27-inch Swedish-style four-shaft countermarch loom! It’s beautiful. It’s incredible! In preparation for retirement in a few years, we found a place in beautiful Texas hill country to call (our future) home. For now, it’s a place to gather with children and grandchildren on occasional weekends. And a place to put a sweet little loom.

Making weaving loom parts.

Making weaving loom parts.

Making weaving loom parts. Treadles.

Six treadles ready.

Putting the new little handbuilt loom together!

Final Touch. Tightening the cradles for the top of the hanging beater.

Maiden warp for a new sweet little loom.

Putting on the maiden warp of 12/9 cotton seine twine.

Ready to take the loom apart to move it.

Loom is ready to be disassembled. Warp is wrapped up on the warp beam. Blue duffel bags will hold all the loom parts except for the side frames and the beater, to be transported to the new location.

And it only gets better. We situated the petite loom by the corner windows in the living room. At the loom, I have the best seat in the house, with an amazing view of God’s creation. The loom tells me my husband knows me very well. And the view tells me the Lord knows me, too.

Loom with a view! Texas hill country.

Threading heddles while enjoying the hill country view!

Grandchildren, loom, view... heaven on earth!

Can there be a better setting? Grandchildren playing, loom, view…

Sweet little loom with a view!

Sweet little loom with a view! Heavenly!

None of us can come to God on our own terms. Not by our wisdom. Not by our strength. Only through humility do we find God. Humility opens our heart to God. That’s when we see how much He has done to get our attention to tell us He knows us and loves us. My special loom with a view is an example of what it’s like to be known and deeply loved.

May you know you are loved.



  • Beautiful Karen. An inspiring blog to exemplify how necessary it is for us to be grateful for the ‘simple’ things in life. My loom with a view has a delightful panorama of the Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia, south of Sydney. And today I picked up (another!) little sweet loom, a Louet Jane – for small delicate treasures.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alison, It sounds like you enjoy a gorgeous setting! Yes, gratitude is essential, isn’t it?
      We have a way of finding space for those sweet little looms…

      Happy weaving,

  • Meg bush says:

    What a lovely post!

  • Beth Mullins says:

    Oh, my goodness! It is beautiful! Not only does your husband know you well, he obviously loves you very much. What a treasure. I look forward to seeing the first project from this lovely loom.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beth, It is treasure indeed!
      I have a project on the loom that’s been on my weaving “bucket list” for a while – a four-shaft tapestry sampler. Pictures coming soon.


  • Martha says:

    What a loving present your husband made for you! Enjoy your new petite loom with the beautiful view.

  • Cindie says:

    Oh my gosh, what a beautiful little loom, what woodworking talent your husband has. And yes, what a beautiful view!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cindie, Yes, my husband is very meticulous and an excellent woodworker. This was not an easy project–it certainly was a labor of love!

      All the best,

  • Marcia Cooke says:

    This is SO cool! (I couldn’t help but think of the loom plans I found in my husband’s bookcase several years after his death…..and of all the weaving tools he could have made for me had he survived cancer.) I love your setting, too….thanks for sharing this post!

    • Karen says:

      Dear Marcia, I see you know what it is like to be loved. How sweet to find those plans… I’m sorry for your loss. I’m glad that this triggered fond memories – those memories are a blessing.

      Love to you,

  • Carol says:

    A real dream come true for a weaver! I am also very grateful for a studio that I enjoy and a husband who has given up his garage to allow me a place to enjoy the talents and use the gifts God has given me. The view is not as wonderful as yours, but I am most grateful for it and now to be able to teach my granddaughter to weave, another to paint, and a grandson to crochet my heart is full.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol, The loving surroundings are every bit as important as the view. It sounds like you have a perfect space for using your gifts and pouring into the next generation! That’s wonderful!

      All the best,

  • Margaret Scheirman says:

    What a beautiful team you two make and this loom exemplifies this! And how beautiful of you to share the story like this!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Margaret! It’s great to hear from you. Yes, we are a team–companions for life. Nick W, back in college days, was the one who told Steve to aim for companionship in marriage. Best advice ever!

      Thanks for stopping in!

  • limor Johnson says:

    Your Journey as a weaver is impressive and your willing to share in great detail is very much appreciated.I’m a new weaver and I’m learning a lot from your posts and videos.
    Are you going to use a book with patterns for your new a 4 shafts loom? Can you share your favorite book on weaving?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Limor, It makes me very happy to know you are learning from things you find here! You ask a great question. In fact, I am using a project from The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila Lundell to start the journey on this little loom. The project is called, “Four Decorative Sample Strips.” That also happens to be my favorite book on weaving. 🙂

      Thanks for asking,

  • Melissa says:

    Hello Karen, I learned to weave at age 16. Then due to kids, job, life, i wasn’t able to weave for about 20. I am now able to weave again. YEA! It just makes me happy. I have looked a weaver’s blogs, all very talented weavers!!!, but like your the best and keep coming back to it. i admire the quality and creativity in your weaving and the fact you are a Christian. I am looking to use my weaving to augment my spiritual gift of encouragement. Thank you for the beautiful site and beautiful words.

    • Karen says:

      Melissa, I’m touched! It’s a pleasure to have you joining me here. Our world needs your gift of encouragement. I hope you soar with that!!
      I know you have encouraged me today. Thanks!

      Happy Weaving (and don’t worry about little typos. I only noticed your kind sentiments.) 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Ops, I see I didn’t proof read my comment. 🙁

  • Marcia says:

    It’s awesome Karen! I just came back from Lawrence, Kansas, and the yarn shop there is filled with weaving supplies. The tiny yarn shop in Grand Rapids has them too. Whenever I see the supplies, I think of you!

    • Karen says:

      Marcia, I know that shop in Kansas! I used to wander in the Yarn Barn just to browse the yarn when I was a student at KU. That was way before I had any notion about weaving. That is so sweet that you think of me when you see weaving supplies. I think of you when I see amazing knitted items – “I know somebody who makes things like that!”

      Thanks for dropping in here!

  • Shearling says:

    Very cute loom! Looks like a wee Glimakra School loom. Be sure to mark it with date and maker!

    BTW, the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont has a very old chest of drawers with the names of all the owners over the generations carved into its top. We should all do that to our looms, maybe!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shearling, It is much like one of those Glimakra School looms. If we could have found one of those, I don’t think we (Steve) would have needed to make one. Thanks for the thought about marking it with the date and name of the maker! We hadn’t thought of that. Will do!

      It would be great to have a piece of the history on the loom, wouldn’t it? Oh, the stories the old looms could tell.

      Happy Weaving,

  • […] been on my mind for a long time. But I purposely waited to begin until I could weave it on my new sweet little loom with a view. Four Decorative Sample Strips, it’s called in The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila […]

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Not Just Any Old Weft

The weft makes or breaks a weaving project. 16/1 linen weft requires careful weaving, but the quality of Swedish Bockens linen won’t disappoint. If you use superior quality warp thread, like this Swedish Bockens Nialin (cottolin), it makes perfect sense to choose a weft that equals that degree of excellence.

PlatvÀv table runner. Linen weft.

PlattvÀv table runner. Black 16/1 linen is doubled for the pattern weft in this plattvÀv design. The background tabby weft is golden bleached 16/1 linen.

When I weave useful items on my loom, I want them to stand the test of time. I want these plattvĂ€v towels and table runner to outlive me. So, no skimping on quality. Time and patience are woven into the cloth, with artisan details and carefully applied skills. Perfection? No, not this side of heaven. But making the most of what I’ve been given is one way I show gratitude to my Maker.

PlattvÀv table runner. Linen weft.

End of towel kit sample warp has enough room to weave a companion short table runner with plattvÀv squares. All weft tails will be trimmed after the fabric has been wet finished.

End of warp closes in.

Weaving as far as feasible. End of warp closes in.

We have much to be grateful for. The Lord’s enduring love is of measureless worth and quality. It’s the basis for our unwavering hope, which sustains us through every adversity. This isn’t a knowledge of the love of God. This is the actual love of God, poured into willing hearts. Love changes everything. This love is the weft that makes perfect sense for the completion of something as valued as you or me. What if every fiber of our being reflected the love of God? How beautiful!

May your finest qualities be seen and cherished.


PS PlattvÀv towel kit is in development. The kit includes a pre-wound warp and sufficient weft to weave four hand towels, and one companion short table runner/table square. PLUS, special access to one or two short instructional videos.


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Delight of a New Warp

Warp wound onto the back beam, as seen through the beater, only adds to the expectant delight. The new warp is tied on and the treadles are tied up. The next step is to wind a quill with linen thread to put in the ready boat shuttle! This is joyous anticipation for a handweaver.

New warp on the back beam, seen through the beater.

Immanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ. He came to live among us. The one who came to save us lives among us. He delights in us, loves us, and rejoices over us. Imagine that! The Lord rejoices over you. The Grand Weaver delights in his creations. Why are we surprised?

May you be delighted and be a delight.

Merry Christmas to you,


  • Lynette says:

    I can identify with your joy of starting to weave a new warp! And I love your application to Jesus’ joy over us. Merry Christmas to you, too! Hope your back is feeling better.
    I’m just getting used to a “new-to-me” used Glimakra loom. I was wondering if you find that you can step on your treadles with shoes on? I need to be able to wear my shoes when I weave and am having trouble stepping on more than one treadle at a time with my shoes on. But this is only a problem when weaving a pattern requiring the middle treadles. I can step on the outer two treadles just fine for plain weave wearing shoes. Just wondering if you had this happen, and if you have a solution. Because I like a lot of things about this loom, but am seriously considering selling it because of this. It weaves 52″ wide. I’m in SW Arkansas in case you know someone who might be looking for one.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynette,
      You bring up an interesting dilemma. I usually have socks on to weave, and never wear shoes for weaving. Is it possible for you to try a different type of shoe? That might be easier than switching looms. A ballet-type slipper, or a moccasin of some sort would work. Another solution would be to tie up every other treadle, or tie no more than two treadles in a row, if you don’t need all the treadles.
      I’d be interested in hearing input from others who have possible solutions…

      I love the Glimakra loom, so, in my perspective, it would be worth finding a solution to make this loom work.

      Merry Christmas,

  • Lynette says:

    Thanks so much, Karen, for your wisdom. I will try some of these options for sure. There a lot of things I like about this loom – it’s quiet, and easy to treadle even with a very tight warp. I’ve even set up some small stick “levers” at the front top of the loom that I can raise up to act as a fulcrum to move my heavy beater back on the three notches from a sitting position very easily. If anyone wants to see what they look like and how they work you can email me at meglass@gmail.com.

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No Slipping Knots

Kit development for the plattvĂ€v towels is in full swing. I’m in the first stage–making a sample kit. Winding a warp with narrow stripes is a stop-and-go procedure, cutting and tying ends. My process is well structured, as it needs to be, to avoid mistakes. Knowing how to tie a good square knot is essential, too. This is not the time for slipping knots!

Winding a warp on the Glimakra warping reel.

Winding the warp with five different colors (2 tubes each), and frequent color changes, is the most challenging part of the plattvÀv towels.

Warp with many color changes. Square knots.

Square knots will hold tight if tied properly.

As I write the instructions for this kit, the eventual towel-kit weaver is on my mind. Besides writing clear steps, I want to include special helps that put even an apprehensive weaver at ease. How can I help the weaver have a great experience? Weaving this sample kit will help me answer that question.

Winding a warp with narrow stripes. PlattvÀv towels.

PlattvÀv towels in the making! Again.

Having structure and precision in the process of winding this warp makes me think of the value of truth. Truth matters because it keeps things from slipping that shouldn’t slip. Love matters, too. Love puts gentleness and understanding in the instructions. Love cares about the experience another person will have. Love and truth flourish together. Like a precisely pre-wound warp, and instructions written with care, truth and love are inseparable. Both are needed for life to be a gratifying experience.

May you experience true love.



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Handwoven Thick and Thin Towels

Do you remember the black and white towels? I love the fascinating results of weaving with thick and thin warp ends, and thick and thin weft threads. That’s why I submitted a project to Handwoven for their November/December 2016 Thick & Thin issue. I gave you only a brief glimpse of the thick and thin towels I wove on an Aquamarine, Teal, and Moss warp, from the palette given me for that issue. (See Tools Day: Loom Cart and This Time in Color.)

Thick and thin towels on the loom.

Double bobbin shuttle carries the doubled weft.

Thick and thin towels at the front beam. Karen Isenhower

Breast beam with thick and thin towels.

Thick and thin towels just off the loom!

Cut from the loom, new colorful thick and thin towels.

Thick and thin towels just off the loom. Karen Isenhower

Towels just off the loom.

Guess what!? My project was accepted for publication. Not only that, these towels that I enjoyed designing and weaving have been placed on the cover! What an unexpected privilege!

Excited to see my Thick and Thin towels on the cover of Handwoven!

Credit: Photograph by Joe Coca from Handwoven November/December 2016 magazine. Copyright © F+W Media 2016.

As great as it is to have your handiwork appear on the cover of a national publication, there is something even greater–being loved. Being on the receiving end of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Love is like that. Love is to be demonstrated. That’s how Christ demonstrated his love to me–kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. His love is printed on the cover of my heart, with instructions written within so that I can learn to love like I’ve been loved. That’s the cover story I like to tell.

May your heart be covered with love.

With love,

PS I am recovering from back surgery better than anyone expected. I’m not weaving yet, of course, but I have no shortage of things to share with you while I regain my strength! Thanks for your wonderful encouraging words and prayers for my full recovery.

PPS My draft and instructions for the thick and thin towels are in this Handwoven November/December 2016 issue. This is the same draft I used for the black and white towels.
For purchase of the Handwoven November/December 2016 print edition:
For purchase of the digital edition:
For weavingtoday:


  • Debbie Davis says:

    Congratulations, Karen! You’re a wonderful example of creativity and craft I the weaving world!

  • Shearling says:

    I thought that these towels were stunning in black and white. Nice in color, too. Congratulations on being the “Cover Girl!”

  • Ruth says:

    I can’t wait for my copy of Handwoven to arrive in my mail box! Congratulations and wishing you a continued speedy recovery.

  • Janet says:

    Congratulations Karen!! I’m excited to get my copy and definitely will weave these!!

  • Loyanne Cope says:

    Congratulations! Looking for to my copy of Handwoven. What an honor.

  • Laurice Johnson says:

    How thrilling for you and well deserved. I loved the black and white posting so much that I took on the challenge on my RH. It stretched my brain to get the threading right but at the end I was thrilled with them and plan on weaving more. Now I will have visuals in a multi colored combination. Thanks for all you do.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laurice, I remember you asking about the black and white towels for your rigid heddle. Congratulations on making it work! I would be so delighted to see what you’ve done. Would you mind sending me a picture? You can email it to me karen at WarpedforGood dot com. You make what I do worthwhile. 🙂


  • Sandy says:

    Congratulations! What an honour to have your project selected for the cover!

  • Elisabeth Munkvold says:

    Gratulations! To me, this exemplifies your sincere willingness to share your knowledge, how joyfully you give of yourself…your readiness to serve. I am really thankful that you in everything you do demonstrate such love.


  • Julia says:

    You are healing more quickly than anyone thought because your True Divine nature is shinning through! How fun and exciting for that and for your beautiful expression of Divine creativity to be shared front and center with our weaving community.

  • Cindie says:

    Congratulations!!! And that cover pic is one of the most beautiful ones I’ve seen in a while.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Cindie! I am extremely pleased with the photography for this issue — on the cover and on the article page (which I did not reveal). They did a great job!


  • Marcia Cooke says:

    Karen, that is FANTASTIC! Congratulations….I’m looking forward to this issue!

  • D'Anne Craft says:

    WOW! Congratulations, Karen! Your work is always beautiful! So glad you are recovering nicely from the back surgery.

  • Liberty Stickney says:

    Oh I’m so happy for you Karen! Both the cover and the surgery. You deserve it!

  • Martha says:

    Whoot! Whoot! Huzzah for the cover girl! Karen, your project looks fantastic on the HW cover. Looking forward to seeing the magazine when it hits my mailbox. Congratulations.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much, Martha! I am pretty excited about it! I think they did an excellent job with the staging, photography, and type print color for the cover. I’m glad my towels get to be a part of that!


  • Pam says:

    Hi Karen, we have mutual friends from the Mustard Seed days and I saw one of them like your FB post so I came to check you out. While art was not my major in college at KU I took two weaving classes and LOVED them. I am so jealous. Years ago my dad wanted to buy me a loom but we had a small house at that time. These towels are so beautiful. Congratulations on the recognition.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pam, I certainly have seen your name pop up on FB every now and then on Mendo’s posts and others. 🙂 I’m so glad you were drawn over here! I know now that KU had, and still has I’m told, a good weaving program. It’s probably good I didn’t know that at the time, or I might have missed out on pursuing my ‘cello studies and getting a music degree. I’m a late bloomer with weaving. It’s never too late to start…

      Thank you for the gracious compliments!
      All the best,

  • doree porter says:

    WOW! Praise God! I love your towels and your story. The LORD has led me into watercolor painting. I pray thatHe can work through me and what He has given to me to share His story like He has done through you. 🙂 (We were together in leadership in MITI)

    • Karen says:

      Hi, Doree, It’s wonderful to hear from you! Art is a gift from the Father’s hand. I know He has a beautiful path for you with your watercolor painting. I have seen some of your work on FB– it’s outstanding! How exciting!


  • Leigh says:

    Congratulations on getting the cover! I am so excited for you. I’m excited for the rest of us too, to be getting the draft for your wonderful towels. I’ll be keeping my eyes open, waiting for Handwoven to arrive.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you so much, Leigh! I’m keeping my eyes open, too, waiting for that magazine to arrive!! Please let me know if you try the draft. I’d love to hear how it goes, and see pics of what you do with it!


  • Kris Stark says:

    The colored towels are as stunning as the black, white and red! Thank you so much for sharing your skills and insight with us. Congratulations on the HW article and cover!! Your blending your talents with your faith is a Blessing to those of us who follow you. Continue to heal in God’s care.

    • Karen says:

      Kris, The black and white towels were out of my color zone, so I was surprised that I enjoyed weaving them so much. These colored towels are in my color zone. I’m always happy working with color!
      It’s a blessing to have your encouragement.


  • Bev says:


    The towels are beautiful! What an honor you have been given to be on a magazine cover and as always, your words of honor to the Lord are best of all.

    May Jehovah-Rapha, our Healer, continue His healing work each day.

    In His love,


  • Tobie says:

    Mazel Tov and may you heal quickly!

  • Carolyn says:

    Congratulations on your published project and recovery. I love the colors you used. Can hardly wait to get the magazine. Keep up the good work on your recovery and don’t overdo. I had neck surgery a few years back and I remember feeling so much better without the pain. It was very tempting to become more active. Resist it. Enjoy this time for quiet reflection and planning other projects.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Carolyn! I’m eager to see that magazine in my mailbox, too.

      I’m taking your advice to heart. It is a good time for doing some finishing work and planning new projects. I appreciate the good word.


  • Karen Reff says:

    Congratulations! That’s AWESOME!!!

  • […] who weave dish towels. Kerry at Love Those Hands at Home has made a lot of them. And Karen at Warped for Good makes some beauties as […]

  • Louise Yale says:

    Wishing you the best on your recovery !!

    Re: the Handwoven article – first congratulations on the article and getting on the cover.
    I am unclear on the Grass yarn. On page 26, it is referred to as 16/2.
    On page 28, the Grass yarn is referred to as 30/2.
    Typo? Error? Am I missing something?
    Thanks in advance.
    Louise Yale

    • Karen says:

      Hi Louise, Yes, it is a typo. It should read 30/2 cotton in both places. I’m sorry for the confusion.

      However, 16/2 or 20/2 would also work in place of 30/2. The main thing is to have a contrast between the sizes of yarn. The greater the contrast, the more dramatic the pattern.

      Thank you for your kind words!

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