Quiet Friday: Swedish Rosepath Rag Rug

My introduction to rosepath rag rugs was on a room-size loom in Joanne Hall’s magical Montana studio. I was so happy at that moment that I actually cried. It’s no surprise, then, that I relish every opportunity to weave a rosepath rag rug. And even better, to share the joy with other handweavers who may not have tried it yet. Look what came in the mail this week! The March/April 2017 issue of Handwoven, with a project by yours truly–Swedish Rosepath Rag Rug!

Swedish Rosepath Rag Rug, as seen in March/April 2017 Handwoven.

Swedish Rosepath Rag Rug, as seen in March/April 2017 Handwoven.

Not everyone loves weaving rag rugs. That’s fine. But if you’re a weaver, there is probably something that draws your interest and brings delight. A certain weave structure, silky fibers, fine threads, complex patterns, bold colors. Something. And if you’re not a weaver, there is something else that triggers your pursued interest. Find that spark that ignites joy in you!

Beginning a rag rug.

Besides using a pre-measured tape, taking a picture at the beginning of the rug, with the yellow tape measure in view, makes it easy to replicate the hem at the end of the rug.

Temple in place, weaving Swedish rosepath rag rug.

Temple is in place, keeping the rugs a consistent width. Metal rug temples are good, but I still prefer a regular wooden Glimåkra temple for weaving rag rugs.

Weaving rosepath rag rugs. Fun!

Many rosepath variations are possible. The rug on the cloth beam uses a similar design, with different colors.

Swedish Rosepath Rag Rug. Karen Isenhower

Making paths of roses. Rosepath.

Swedish Rosepath Rag Rug.

Progress!

Seeing the reverse side of the rosepath rag rug on the loom.

Reverse side of the rug has a subtly different pattern.

Swedish rosepath rag rug on the loom. Rug in March/April 2017 Handwoven.

Cloth beam fills up with rag rugs. Pleasant sight for a rag rug weaver!

Ending the rosepath rag rug on the loom.

Ending the rug on the loom. Following the markings removes guesswork.

Keep a song in your heart. Sing. Sing for joy. Sing praise to the Grand Weaver who put the seed of searching in you. A seed that bursts open with joy when ignited with a spark, and flourishes into something distinguishable. Trust the Lord with all your heart. Your heart will find its melody.

Swedish Rosepath Rag Rug as seen in March/April 2017 Handwoven.

Published in March/April 2017 Handwoven.

May your heart sing a joyful tune.

ATTENTION: The draft for the  Swedish Rosepath Rag Rug from Handwoven is written for a sinking shed loom. Therefore, for a jack loom, you must tie up the “white” empty squares instead of the numbered squares for the pattern to show right side up as you weave.

If you are interested in weaving rag rugs, take a look at Rag Rug Tips, a new tab at the top of the page.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

22 Comments

  • Beth Mullins says:

    Congratulations, Karen, on another beautiful article!

  • Maggie Ackerman says:

    I’ve just done my first rose path rug and I loved doing it. Used tee shirt yarn from my stash. Yours is gorgeous and I can’t wait to try it. You also have some great suggestions — I love the photo idea for the hem. Much better than my notes.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maggie, Rosepath is so much fun. I’m glad to hear you have enjoyed it, too. Yes, the photo has saved me many times. My memory and my notes are not that great.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Fran says:

    I downloaded Handwoven yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised to see your rug! Congratulations !

  • Janet says:

    Congrats Karen!! I have always loved your rugs and will be trying this out shortly:)
    Janet

  • Sandy says:

    I’ve recently returned home from a trip, then going through several days of mail found my Mar/April issue of Handwoven. I was so excited to see your Rosepath Rug article, and was happily anticipating this blog post. Congratulations! Once again thank you for your weaving & life encouragements. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sandy, Sounds like you have me figured out. 🙂 Isn’t it exciting to get a weaving magazine in a pile of mail? Everything else has to stand still while I flip through the pages. And then, later, I sit down with it and read every page.

      Thank you for your wonderful encouragement to me. It means so much!
      Karen

  • Mary Scott says:

    Don’t you just love her!! Beautiful job on your rug!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Mary

  • Carol says:

    BEAUTIFUL !!
    Congrats. Need to run out and get a copy of Handwoven.

    Carol

  • Sandy says:

    My issue of Handwoven arrived yesterday and I was thrilled to see your article! Beautiful rug and I’m so looking forward to trying this. And checking out your tab of tips – I’ve never woven a rag rug before (I’m a fairly new weaver), though I’ve dreamed about it. I can use all the help I can get!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sandy, You’re in for a treat. Weaving a rag rug is different than other types of weaving. You get to use some muscle! 🙂 Please let me know if you have any questions, or if I can help you in any way.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Nanette says:

    Congratulations on the article! Also, the photo reminded me I didn’t thank you after I tried your ribbon-measuring system. It works great and I really appreciated your detailed instructions. Nanette

    • Karen says:

      Nanette, I’m happy the measuring ribbon works for you! One of the places I learned about using a ribbon for measuring was at Vavstuga. So many little things can make a big difference.

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

  • Bonnie Wilker says:

    Karen, it was wonderful to see your work recognized in Handwoven! What a well deserved honor! Your work is beautifully striking and so is your testimony to our Lord. May He who is the master weaver continue to bless your endeavors as you continue to serve Him.
    Bonnie Wilker

  • sewTreefrog says:

    Karen, thanks for submitting your article to Handwoven. I fell in love with your rug when I first saw it and it totally changed my mind about rag rugs. Just finished my first rag rug using your instructions and can’t be happier. Thanks heaps!

    • Karen says:

      sewTreefrog, I am thrilled to no end that you had a great experience weaving this rag rug! Thanks so much for letting me know.

      I see on your blog that your rug came out beautifully, with lovely contrast in the colors.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

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Linen Coming Next

Linen warp and linen weft is a recipe for elegance. The warp chain is a pleasant sight. It’s a signal that something is going to happen, that action is in the air, that a loom is about to be dressed!

Linen warp chain.

176 ends of 16/2 Golden Bleached linen.

When I see a linen warp chain, I anticipate an exciting project. It’s a picture of work to be done–beaming, threading, sleyingtying on, and tying up. And it’s a picture of fabric to be woven. Linen brings its own challenges, I know. Careful technique and mindful practices are a must. But I’m eager get started!

Preparing to beam a linen warp.

Linen warp is placed with the lease cross just on the other side of the beater.

Advent. The word means “coming.” It’s the season we are in right now, leading up to Christmas. It signifies the world waiting for the coming of Christ. As a warp chain is a picture of anticipation and hope, so is Advent. And the coming of Jesus answers that hope. The story of Christmas is the story of God with us. Jesus, God with us still. A line from “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” an old carol written by Phillips Brooks, says it well, “O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!”

May your anticipation and hope be satisfied.

Blessed Christmas,
Karen

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Thankful for Plattväv

The brilliant blue linen, with its natural luster, is a lively option for the plattväv pattern floats. And blue linen weft for the hem makes a fitting border. These towels with blue accents have a different “character” than the towels with the black linen accents (as seen in Striped Warp Freedom). The accent color makes a big difference.

Plattväv towels with linen weft.

Golden bleached 16/1 linen for plain weave weft. Plattväv pattern weft is doubled royal blue 16/1 linen.

I planned stripes in the warp to simplify the weaving. The warp stripes enable me to weave patterned towels with a single weft color. Plattväv weft floats keep it interesting. As much as I like blue linen, I am uncertain about it here. I’m waiting to see the towels off the loom, washed and dried. In the meantime, the warp stripes make my heart sing. And I’m thankful to have options for the pattern weft.

Blue 16/1 linen is used to weave the hem. Karen Isenhower

Royal blue 16/1 linen is used to weave the hem. The antique Swedish shuttle seems appropriate for this Swedish weave.

We always have a reason to sing. ThanksGiving may be a holiday, but it’s also a way of life. It’s seeing the good, the benefits, the blessings, even in the midst of uncertainty. It’s knowing that carefully planned warp stripes are still there. My hope is in God. My soul is confident, firm, and steadfast in him. And thankful to the core.

May your heart find a song to sing.

With you,
Karen

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Three on the Loom Bench

My son accepted my invitation to “try a little bit of weaving” while he was here for a recent visit. After a few instructions, Daniel was weaving the double binding rag rug like a pro. When his two little ones find him at the loom, they climb up to sit by him. They want to get a closer look. The children don’t understand what Daddy is doing, but they love being with him and watching him.

Double binding rag rug on the Glimakra Standard. Karen Isenhower

Three different cotton batik fabrics make up the body of the rug.

Learning to weave a rag rug. Glimakra Standard

Daniel tries his hand at weaving a double binding rag rug. He learns how to use two ski shuttles, turn the weft at the selvedge, step on four treadles in sequence, and move the temple. Whew, it’s a lot to remember!

Three on the loom bench. The children want to see what daddy is doing.

Up on the loom bench with their Daddy.

As children naturally love to be right next to their loving Daddy, so it is for us with our heavenly Father. Praise is the heart’s song. Praise to the Lord rises from the core of our being as we consider who he is and what he has done. There’s no better place to be than right by our Father’s side.

May your heart sing.

With wonder,
Karen

6 Comments

  • Oh this is so precious! Brings back my memories of having my little guys sit on my loom bench with me. They loved playing with my boat shuttles as if they were cars! Thanks for bringing back a sweet memory today. Sharing our love of fiber with our family and now little grand babies is a treasure isn’t it! Have a beautiful week creating more fiber yumminess!

    • Karen says:

      Donna,
      My kids saw me weaving on rigid heddle and inkle looms when they were small, but I didn’t have my first floor loom until they were long gone from home. It’s fun to introduce them, as adults, to this weaving process.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Fran says:

    This rug is going to be one of your most attractive, I am thinking. Yes, weaving gets challenging!

  • Pam says:

    Beautiful family, beautiful weaving. I come from a family of makers. Many is the time my Dad would make me holly-hock dolls or willow whistles. I would watch in fascination. Grandpa was a cabinet maker, my Grandmas and my my Mom seamstress, and all fresh from the garden canning experts. They hunted for game, mushrooms, nuts. I know where the Dutchman britches grow. My ex-husband called us hunter gatherers. These skills and many more have been passed down to younger generations. Everything we do has a little secret to tell us. What a wonderful legacy to give to our children and our children’s children.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pam,

      Oh, you have such wonderful family stories to pass down! A family of makers passes down more than the treasured things they make. “Everything we do has a little secret to tell us.” –Yes, this is a gift that continues after the maker is gone.
      You have helped me feel very thankful today as I reminisce about my own rich heritage.

      Blessings to you,
      Karen

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Weaving Christmas

If it weren’t for Christmas, this would be one of those times I would wish for a longer warp. Why is this halvdräll so enjoyable to weave? Simplicity and complexity, cottolin and linen, two shuttles, and interesting treadling. This peppermint red and white is striking and cheerful, and makes the weaving studio feel like Christmas!

Halvdräll on the loom. Christmas table square.

Red cutting line separates the sample piece from the first table square.

I may have it off the loom by Christmas. I am going to try, because I would love to have this festive cloth on the table Christmas Day as my gift to our family. Our children and their spouses, and the four grandchildren, and one on the way!… All will be here with us to celebrate together. That’s a beautiful gift. Family.

Christmas table square in halvdräll on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Red linen forms the pattern in two blocks.

The most extravagant Christmas gift is the Son given to us. The majestic choral and instrumental lines in Handel’s Messiah have familiarized an ancient prophecy. Can you hear the singing as you read these lyrics?

For unto us a child is born,

unto us

a son is given,

and the government shall be upon his shoulder;

and his name shall be called

Wonderful,

Counselor,

Almighty God,

the Everlasting Father,

the Prince of Peace.

May you be surrounded with beautiful gifts.

Weaving Christmas,
Karen

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