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Squarish Rug by Amanda Rataj

Squarish Rug

I teach beginner rigid heddle weaving at my local yarn store, and students are always very eager to go beyond plain weave and learn ways to create texture and shape on their looms. The Squarish Rug is one of the methods I’ve sampled to show students how a variety of simple tools can help you create new and exciting surfaces. 

I like designing projects that help people skill up, and the Squarish Rug is an easy way to pick up some new skills on your loom. These simple loops are created with knitting needles and locked into place with a tabby base, and makes the best of two of GIST’s in-house yarns, Duet and Mallo. Duet keeps this rug light and Mallo gives each square a fluffy, variable texture.

I love the idea of ‘floating squares’ - single squares in a woven cloth that are unconnected to warp or weft colours, making them float on the surface your cloth. However you achieve them, they’re a completely analog process, and something only a patient handweaver can make. 

Designed by Amanda Rataj for GIST: Yarn & Fiber. 

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers. 

Materials 

Warp and Weft: 2 cones of Duet Cotton/Linen in Chambray, 1 cone of Mallo Cotton Slub in Steel

Kits: Each kit includes plenty of yarn to weave a small rug that measures approximately 19" W x 24.5” L after washing and hemming. There will be plenty of extra yarn for future projects.

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom at least 24" wide, or 2-4 shaft table/floor loom, 15 dent reed, shuttle & bobbin, 7mm/US10.75 knitting needles - two 9” needles OR a set of four 6” DPNs, optional: 1 crochet hook
  • EPI: 15
  • PPI: 15 in tabby
  • Width at Reed: 21"
  • Warp Ends: 316
  • Warp Length: 2 yards (72") includes extra length for sampling
  • Technique/Draft: Tabby with loops
  • Finished Dimensions: 19" W x 24.5” L after washing and hemming
  • Finishing Details: Hand or machine sewn hem
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, hang to dry
             
             

Instructions

1. Warp the loom with Duet using your preferred method (direct or indirect) for a total of 316 ends, 2 yards (72”) long. Center for a weaving width of 21” and sley 1 end per hole and slot in a 15 dent rigid heddle. If you want to use a multi-shaft loom, thread for plain weave and sley 1-2 ends in a 10 dent reed for 15 EPI (this rug is flexible, 16 EPI will work too if that’s easier).

2. This warp is overly long - I’ve left space for testing at the beginning, or for adding a 6th row of squares. My warp was 54” (1.5 yds) which was a bit shorter than I’d have liked! Begin and end your rug by hemstitching - you’re going to fold over those ends but it’s nice to have the rug ready to go off the loom. I hemstitched in groups of 6 threads. 

3. Weave 3.5” of plain tabby in Duet - on the the next row you’ll start making your loops. Loops are created by opening your shed and passing a butterfly of Mallo under 26 raised warp ends (see detailed instructions below). Squares are 13 loops across and 18 rows of loops/plain weave. In between loop squares, weave 24 rows of plain weave (approx. 1.5”). Weave 5 rows of squares, and finish with 3.5” of tabby in Duet. Each looped square uses approximately 8 yds of Mallo - you need an approximate total of 160 yds to weave the looped sections on the rug.

4. Wash your rug by hand or machine on delicate cycle. Air dry is best - I tossed my rug in the dryer for about 10 minutes when it was almost dry just to fluff things up.

5. Turn your hem over by 1/4”, then turn it again by 1”. Sew this down by hand or machine for a neat hem. 

How to create loops

The loops in this rug are made with Mallo and are created by using a your fingers/crochet hook and knitting needle. The basic action is simple: Mallo is passed into your shed from the face of your weave, under a number of warp ends, and then back up to the front of your weave. The crochet hook is then used to lift loops of Mallo onto a knitting needle. Once the loops have been created, they are secured by 3 plain weave picks of Duet, your main warp and weft thread. 

To prepare, measure 4 butterflies of Mallo that are each 8 yards long - if you have a warping board, use that to speed up your measuring. After you throw the final pick of your hem (3.5”), change your shed. Insert one of the Mallo butterflies into your shed 9 raised warp ends from your selvedge and pass it under 26 raised warp ends, then bring your butterfly out of the selvedge and to the front of your work. You’ll be inserting and removing your butterfly from the face of your weaving and not the selvedge end. Fold the tail over a warp end and tuck it towards the back of your weaving. 

Grab your crochet hook and knitting needle and use the hook to pull a loop of Mallo up from inside your shed between the first and second raised warp ends. Place this loop onto your knitting needle and then pull up a second loop after 2 raised warp ends. Continue using your crochet hook to pull loops of Mallo up - you should be able to pick up a total of 13 loops . The last loop will have 1 raised warp end between it and the space your butterfly exits your shed. Pull the loops tight. 

There are 12 raised warp ends between the Mallo squares - count them out and then start creating another looped square. When you’ve finished a row of loops for all four squares, throw your shuttle of Duet through the same shed - this will help lock your loops into place. Beat your weft into place and change your shed, giving another gentle beat after you remove the knitting needles (they’ll make beating a bit awkward). Throw another plain weave pick, beat, change your shed, and then throw and beat another plain weave pick (a total of 3 plain weave picks since you created the loops). 

Open your next shed and start another row of loops. Because you’ve changed your shed (if you started with your heddle in the UP position, you’ve gone DOWN, UP, and now are on DOWN), the next row of loops will be offset from the first set - so don’t worry if they aren’t in the same spot as the first row. Follow the same process for creating your second row of loops. 

WeaveZine has a great tutorial on making a looped pile washcloth - they have photographs on their website and a video on YouTube that might be helpful for you. Note that they use their ground weft to create their loops - the Squarish Rug project is slightly different, since it uses a secondary weft to create the loops! The Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick also has looped pile instructions and images in it. 

Your squares are finished when there are 18 rows of loops - they will look rectangular on the loom, but it should square up when you wash your rug. My squares measured 3 3/8” tall by 3 2/16” wide on the loom. 

When you’ve washed and finished, there should be 18 ends creating the borders, 52 ends for each square, and 24 ends between the squares. But - don’t worry too much if your numbers are a little off. You didn’t notice that mine were, did you? ;) (Hint, one selvedge is actually 20 and a space between a square is 22!) The first rows were a bit tricky, but spending a little extra time here setting them up is a big help later on - when my first square was complete, it was very easy to follow the edge of the square up the weave to figure out where my next square should start.

Freestylin'

While I was making this rug I had a great amount of fun thinking about ways I could do it differently, and I thought GIST readers might like some ideas of how they could change things up - not all cooks like following a recipe exactly, after all. 

I plotted out the design for this rug using graph paper - 1 square = 1 inch. Squares aren’t the only shape you can make - I tried a circle (plot it out on a grid first!), and rectangles or triangles could also work. I used double pointed knitting needles that were 6” long, but I also used 9” long straight needle, and the length of these tools limited the length of the square that I could create. I took these measurements in mind when I was designing the rug and decided I could probably create a maximum of 8” of loops before I’d have to use another straight knitting needle, or 5” for the DPNs (this could be modified if you wanted to buy more needles - I wanted to use what I had!). My rug ended up with squares that were roughly 3” with a space of 2” in between - just enough to squeeze on the 9” needle or make one square per DPN. 

While we’re talking about needles, I made a sample with lots of differently sized needles before I started on the final rug. A 4mm/US 6 made short, dense loops, and using Mallo double stranded also gave me a denser pile. I encourage you to try making your loops with different sized needles - I chose 7mm/US 10.75 because I liked the loose squashy loops it created (all the better to show off Mallo’s thick and thin texture!). There are always loads of knitting needles at my local thrift store, so check one out if you don’t have any at home. I can imagine a rug using different sizes of needles for each square adding another layer of texture to your rug. 

If you have some Mallo leftover in your stash, why not make some of your squares different colours? With 7 different shades to choose from, you could make a really cool checkerboard pattern by picking two or more different colours.

A few of Amanda's samples for the Squarish Rug. 

About Amanda Rataj

Amanda Rataj is an artist and weaver living and working in Hamilton, Ontario. She studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and has developed her contemporary craft practice through research-based projects, artist residencies, professional exhibitions, and lectures. Her textile focus of the material and conceptual nature of vernacular, everyday objects used for the home and body; her work (and weaving patterns) are available at her website, and at Guildworks, or by commission. 



May 29, 2020 — Emma Rhodes

MALLO PRE-ORDER

Through Thick & Thin

In August of 2019 we released Mallo, our second line of weaving yarn. Mallo is a thick and thin textured cotton that is grown, spun and dyed in the USA. Our customers love this yarn so much that it has been sold out for months, and we are excited to share that it will be fully restocked this June!

The initial release of Mallo was powered entirely by your pre-orders. As a small business, taking on a project like developing a new line of yarn would have been impossible without the support of our community. Your belief in our team and vision made all of this possible. 

This week we are introducing 5 new colors to the Mallo line, bringing the collection to 12 shades.

We are once again inviting our community to be a part of this launch with a pre-order. Your support earns you a special pre-order discount (see details below), a free color card, and the joy that comes from supporting the US farmers, mill, and dye house that bring this yarn to life. 

Your yarn will ship in June 2020.

New Colors!

Pre-Order Options 

3 Cones + a color card for $75 ($90 value) 

- Add any 3 cones of Mallo and a Mallo Color Card to your cart 

- Enter code PREM3 at checkout to get the color card free

7 Cones + a color card for $150 ($190 value) 

- Add any 7 cones of Mallo and a Mallo Color Card to your cart

- Enter code PREM7 at checkout to get one of the cones free + the color card free

12 Cones + a color card for $250 ($315 value) 

- Add any 12 cones of Mallo and a Mallo Color Card to your cart

- Enter code PREM12 at checkout to get 2 of the cones free + the color card free

FAQ's

Which colors can I pre-order? Only the new ones?

All of them! You are welcome to mix and match existing and new colors. Simply add the number of cones you would like to your cart (3, 7, or 12 + a Mallo Color Card) and enter the associated code (PREM3, PREM7, or PREM12) at checkout to redeem the discount. 

When do these ship?

We expect to ship in June 2020.

Is Mallo suitable as a warp yarn?

Yes! Mallo can be used for both warp and weft. 

Is Mallo suitable for a rigid heddle loom?

Yes! We recommend using a 10 or 12 dent heddle. 

What should I weave with Mallo?

Browse our collection of Mallo weaving projects by clicking the links below. All of these patterns can be downloaded for free, simply add the PDF to your cart before checkout.

Rigid Heddle Mallo Weaving Projects 

Multi-Shaft Mallo Weaving Projects

Wholesale

Is your yarn shop interested in carrying Mallo? We'd love to connect with you to see if it's a good fit. 

May 15, 2020 — Emma Rhodes

Deep End Towels

             
             

Deep End Towels

A deeply saturated center block of color in these towels recalled childhood memories of spending summers at my grandparent’s house, standing on the diving board of their pool and thinking it was so deep, it must go to the center of the earth.

Designed by Christine Jablonski for GIST: Yarn & Fiber

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers

             
             

Materials 

Warp & Weft: 3 tubes of 8/4 Un-Mercerized Brassard Cotton (1/2 lb cones, 1,680 yd/lb)

Kits: Each kit includes plenty of yarn to weave a set of 3 towels that measure approximately 20" W x 28" L after washing and hemming. You will have some yarn remaining for future projects. 

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom at least 24" wide, or 2-4 shaft table or floor loom,  12 or 12.5 dent reed, boat shuttle & bobbin or stick shuttle
  • EPI: 12 
  • PPI: ~12
  • Width at Reed: 23.75"
  • Warp Ends: 296
  • Warp Length: 3.5 yards (126"), includes 34.5" of weaving per towel plus 22.5” for loom waste and approximately 16-18% for take-up and shrinkage
  • Draft: Tabby (plain weave)               
  • Total warp yarn used: ~1036 yards
  • Total weft yarn used: ~748 yards
  • Woven Length: (measured under tension on the loom) ~34.5 per towel
  • Finished Dimensions: 3 towels that measure ~20" W x 28" L each after washing and hemming
  • Finishing Details: Hand sewn rolled hem         
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, air dry or tumble dry low, press as needed

Instructions

1. Warp the loom using your preferred method (direct or indirect) with a total of 280 warp ends, 3.5 yards long, following the warp color order below. Center for a weaving width of 23.75" and sley 1 end per hole and slot in a 12 dent heddle on a rigid heddle loom. If you are using a multi-shaft loom, thread for plain weave and sley 1 end per dent in a 12 dent reed. 

2. Begin and end each towel by weaving with 1” of sewing thread (for a less bulky hem). Weave following the color order below. Each towel should measure approximately 34.5” long in loom (32.5” of 8/4 cotton weft, 1” of thread hem at each end). Weave with scrap yarn for a few picks in between each towel. 

  • Color A for 3.25”
  • Color B for 6.5” 
  • Color C for 13”
  • Color B for 6.5”
  • Color A for 3.25”

3. Cut the fabric off the loom and zig zag the raw edges. Machine wash cold and air dry (or tumble dry low if preferred). Cut the towels apart at scrap yarn maker. Press and finish with a hand sewn rolled hem. 

             
             

About Christine Jablonski

In addition to being GIST's Operations Manager and Wholesale Director, Christine is a weaver and exhibiting fiber artist. She scampered down the rabbit hole of rigid heddle weaving several years ago as a way to use up her knitting stash and never looked back. In addition to very practical cloth woven to adorn home and body (tea towels are her favorite home linen projects to weave), Christine also weaves conceptual works that explore themes of mood and memory, strength and fragility, and often reflect on the current political and ecological landscape. Her work is held in private collections across the country and is shown regionally in New England galleries. To see more of Christine's work, check out her Instagram



May 01, 2020 — Emma Rhodes

Duet Bandanas

Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas
                     

Duet Bandanas

A set of bright and cheerful all purpose bandanas woven with Duet Cotton/Linen. This pattern makes four hard-wearing bandanas--perfect for gift giving. 

Offered here are three variations which may be woven on a rigid heddle loom and one twill variation suitable for a 4-shaft loom. 

Designed by Erin Carlson for GIST: Yarn & Fiber.

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers

Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas
                     

Materials 

Warp & Weft: 4 cones of Duet Cotton/Linen (1/4 lb cones, 2,400 yd/lb)

Kits: Each kit includes plenty of yarn to weave 4 bandanas that measure approximately 19" W x 19" L after washing.

Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom at least 24" wide, or 4 shaft table or floor loom, 12 or 12.5 dent reed, boat shuttle & bobbins or a few stick shuttles
  • EPI: 12 
  • PPI: 12 in tabby, 18 in twill
  • Width at Reed: 21"
  • Warp Ends: 252
  • Warp Length: 3.8 yards (138")
  • Draft: Tabby (plain weave), or twill (option for 4 shaft looms)     
  • Total warp yarn used: ~970 yards
  • Total weft yarn used: ~650 yards
  • Woven Length: (measured under tension on the loom) ~21" per bandana
  • Finished Dimensions: 4 bandanas that measure ~19" W x 19" L each after washing 
  • Finishing Details: Hemstitch, 1/2" fringe on each side
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, air dry or tumble dry low, press as needed
Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas
                     

Instructions

1. Warp the loom using your preferred method (direct or indirect) with a total of 252 warp ends, 3.8 yards long, following the warp color order below. Center for a weaving width of 21" and sley 1 end per hole and slot in a 12 dent heddle on a rigid heddle loom. If you are using a 4 shaft loom, thread for plain weave/twill (4-3-2-1, 4-3-2-1) and sley 1 end per dent in a 12 dent reed. 

2. Begin and end each bandana with hemstitch. Choose from the 4 weft color order variations suggested by Erin below. Each bandana should measure 21" in loom, make sure to leave about 3" of space in between each for fringe.

Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas

Variation 1: Tabby 

  • 1/2" Color A
  • 3 picks Color B
  • 2 picks Color A
  • 3 picks Color C
  • 2 picks Color A 
  • 3 picks Color D
  • 2 1/2" Color A
  • 2 1/2" Color B
  • 2 1/2" Color C
  • 2 3/4" Color D
  • 2 1/2" Color C
  • 2 1/2" Color B
  • 2 1/2" Color A
  • 3 picks Color D
  • 2 picks Color A
  • 3 picks Color C 
  • 2 picks Color A
  • 3 picks Color B
  • 1/2" Color A

Variation 2: Twill (an option for 4 shaft looms: tie-up 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 1-4, treadle 1,2,3,4 on repeat)

  • 1/2" Color A
  • 4 picks Color B
  • 2 picks Color A
  • 4 picks Color C
  • 2 picks Color A
  • 4 picks Color D
  • 2 1/2" Color A
  • 2 1/2" Color B
  • 2 1/2" Color C
  • 2 3/4" Color D
  • 2 1/2" Color C
  • 2 1/2" Color B
  • 2 1/2" Color A
  • 4 picks Color D
  • 2 picks Color A
  • 4 picks Color C
  • 2 picks Color A
  • 4 picks Color B
  • 1/2" Color A

Variation 3: Tabby: Weave 21" with Color C. You could also use Color B or Color D. 

Variation 4: Tabby: Weave 21" with the colors that are left on your bobbins, mix it up, make up your own stripe pattern.

3. Cut the fabric off the loom and separate the bandanas by cutting at the center of the 3" space between them. Machine wash cold delicate cycle and air dry (or tumble dry low if preferred). Press and trim fringe to 1/2".

Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas

About Erin Carlson

Erin Carlson is a fiber artist focused primarily on needle felting and weaving. Although a fan of a muted color palette in her own life, she can’t help but choose the most vivid weaving color combinations. There is a certain magic when bright colors float over each other, particularly in plain weave, and she hopes that they spark something in you, too. Erin works and teaches needle felting in and around Pittsburgh. She shares her home and studio with her husband, two cats and a dog, and spends most of her free time gardening. 

Follow along on Instagram @fiberartbyerin.

Erin Carlson Free Weaving Pattern Cotton Linen Bandanas


April 24, 2020 — Emma Rhodes

Citrus Towels

Free Rigid Heddle Weaving Pattern Cotton and Linen Citrus Towels

Citrus Towels

A pair of striped towels woven with Duet Cotton/Linen. The colorful stripes in the warp are contrasted by a bright white weft, giving the towels a sun-washed appearance. 

Pattern by Emma Rhodes, woven by Elizabeth Springett for GIST: Yarn & Fiber

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers

Free Rigid Heddle Weaving Pattern Cotton and Linen Citrus Towels

Materials 

Warp & Weft: 3 cones of Duet Cotton/Linen (1/4 lb cones, 2,400 yd/lb)

Kits: Each kit includes plenty of yarn to weave a set of 2 towels that measure approximately 12" W x 21" L after washing and hemming. You will have some yarn remaining for future projects. 

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom at least 15" wide, or 2-4 shaft table or floor loom, 12 or 12.5 dent reed, boat shuttle & bobbin or stick shuttle
  • EPI: 12 
  • PPI: ~12
  • Width at Reed: 14" 
  • Warp Ends: 168
  • Warp Length: 2.5 yards (90"), includes 24" of loom waste and about 15-20% for take-up and shrinkage
  • Draft: Tabby (plain weave)               
  •  Total warp yarn used: ~420 yards
  •  Total weft yarn used: ~262 yards
  •  Woven Length: (measured under tension on the loom) ~51" 
  • Finished Dimensions: 2 towels that measure ~12" W x 21" L each after washing and hemming
  • Finishing Details: Hand sewn rolled hem         
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, air dry or tumble dry low, press as needed

Instructions

1. Warp the loom using your preferred method (direct or indirect) with a total of 168 warp ends, 2.5 yards long, following the warp color order below. Center for a weaving width of 14" and sley 1 end per hole and slot in a 12 dent heddle on a rigid heddle loom. If you are using a multi-shaft loom, thread for plain weave and sley 1 end per dent in a 12 dent reed. 

2. Weave with Color A for the entirety of your warp. Each towel should measure approximately 25.5” long in loom. Weave with scrap yarn for a few picks in between each towel. 

3. Cut the fabric off the loom and zig zag the raw edges. Machine wash cold and air dry (or tumble dry low if preferred). Cut the towels apart at scrap yarn maker. Press and finish with a hand sewn rolled hem. 

Free Rigid Heddle Weaving Pattern Cotton and Linen Citrus Towels


April 17, 2020 — Emma Rhodes

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms
             
String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms
             

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial

by Christine Jablonski

We recently published the Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats, which is a warp float rigid heddle project. This pattern requires two pickup sticks to create the alternating warp floats. The issue with using multiple pick up sticks on warp float patterns is the sticks do not slide past each other, and so the weaver is required to remove and replace the second pickup stick with every repeat. For a short project, like a border or a placemat, it is not a big deal, but on a longer pattern, like a table runner, it can get tedious.

In light of this, someone asked if it was possible to use string heddles and a heddle rod instead of the second pickup stick. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, if you weave the pattern as a weft float project, instead of a warp float project.

I will show you how to make string heddles and a heddle rod, and how to convert a warp float pickup stick pattern to a weft float pickup stick and heddle rod pattern.

Using this 2up/2down pickup pattern as an example, you can see how the first pickup stick (“A”, behind) cannot move past the second (“B”, in front) when it needs to be brought forward to the heddle, so the weaver must remove and replace B on every repeat. (See photo 1)

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 1

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 2

Instructions

By making string heddles and a heddle rod, we can solve this problem.

  1. To make string heddles, use a spare rigid heddle as a template, tie a loop of smooth yarn (I use mercerized cotton) with a very sturdy knot and clip the ends. Make enough loops for the pickup stick “B” pattern. (See photo 2)
  2. With pickup stick “A” inserted in pattern and pushed to the back beam, insert pickup stick “B” in pattern and turn on edge (See photo 3)
  3. Lay a string heddle under the “B” pattern strings and loop the ends onto a dowel or knitting needle, or even another pickup stick. (See photos 4 & 5)
  4. Continue across until all of the “B” pattern warp threads have been looped onto the dowel with the heddle strings. Secure the heddle strings with an easily removable tape such as Washi tape or blue painter’s tape. (See photo 6)

And that’s it for making string heddles and a heddle rod! Easy Peasy!

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 3

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 4

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 5

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 6

Converting a Warp Float Pattern 

Now you will have to convert the warp float pattern to a weft float pattern. Warp float patterns use the pickup stick to create a pattern shed with the heddle up, but two sticks inserted for their respective patterns cannot slide past each other (go ahead, try it—I’ll wait). However, weft float patterns use the pickup stick turned on edge with the heddle in neutral. When we need two pattern sheds, a pickup stick and a heddle rod do not interfere with each other, allowing us to create two pattern sheds.

Let’s look at the original pattern in this example:

  • Pick 1: down
  • Pick 2: heddle up, pick up stick A slides forward to the heddle
  • Pick 3: down
  • Pick 4: heddle up, pick up stick A slides forward to the heddle
  • Pick 5: down
  • Pick 6: up
  • Pick 7: down
  • Pick 8: heddle up, pick up stick B slides forward to the heddle
  • Pick 9: down
  • Pick 10: heddle up, pick up stick B slides forward to the heddle
  • Pick 11: down
  • Pick 12: up

Breaking down this pattern, we have warp float sequences (picks 2-4 and 8-10) separated by tabby sequences (picks 5-7 and 10-1). To change this to a weft float pattern, the pattern picks must happen with the heddle in NEUTRAL, which essentially serves as a down shed, and requires us to reverse the heddle positions for the tabby picks.

So the weft float version of this pattern looks like this:

  • Pick 1: up
  • Pick 2: heddle NEUTRAL, pick up stick A turned on edge (See photo 7)

*note: even though the heddle rod is resting on top on the “A” warp threads it does not interfere with the pattern because the “B” warp threads are not under tension

  • Pick 3: up
  • Pick 4: heddle NEUTRAL, pick up stick A turned on edge 
  • Pick 5: up
  • Pick 6: down
  • Pick 7: up
  • Pick 8: heddle NEUTRAL, raise heddle rod (See photo 8)

*note: make sure stick “A” is pushed to the very back 

  • Pick 9: up
  • Pick 10: heddle NEUTRAL, raise heddle rod
  • Pick 11: up 
  • Pick 12: down

If you lay these two sets of instructions next to each other, you can see how they are opposites (but still float sequences separated by tabby sequences), which means that when weaving, you will see the backside up (weft floats) and if you were to look underneath, you would see the original warp float pattern. (See photos 9 & 10)

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 7

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 8

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 9

String Heddle & Heddle Rod Tutorial for Rigid Heddle Looms

Photo 10

Want to try this technique? Check out the Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Runner

I’d like to give a big shout-out to the ever gracious Yarnworker, Liz Gipson, who nudged me in the right direction after some frustrating experiments with this project. 

Here is a link to a blog post she wrote about this very topic some time ago: https://yarnworker.com/geeking-out-on-the-details-pick-up-when-to-weave-which-float/

About Christine Jablonski

In addition to being GIST's Operations Manager and Wholesale Director, Christine is a weaver and exhibiting fiber artist. She scampered down the rabbit hole of rigid heddle weaving several years ago as a way to use up her knitting stash and never looked back. In addition to very practical cloth woven to adorn home and body (tea towels are her favorite home linen projects to weave), Christine also weaves conceptual works that explore themes of mood and memory, strength and fragility, and often reflect on the current political and ecological landscape. Her work is held in private collections across the country and is shown regionally in New England galleries. To see more of Christine's work, check out her Instagram



April 09, 2020 — Christine Jablonski

Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Runner

                     
                     

Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Runner

A cotton and linen runner (or scarf!) woven with 8/4 Un-Mercerized Cotton and Duet Cotton/Linen. This rigid heddle pattern uses a pick-up stick and heddle rod to create weft floats reminiscent of Swedish Huck Lace. 

Click here for more information about how to make string heddles and a heddle rod!

Designed by Christine Jablonski for GIST: Yarn & Fiber. 

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers. 

             
             

Materials 

Warp: 1 cone of 8/4 Un-Mercerized Cotton (Christine used Royal Blue)

Weft: 1 cone of Duet Cotton/Linen (Christine used Marble)

Kits: Each kit includes plenty of yarn to weave one runner (or scarf) that measures approximately 11" W x 72" L (+ 3" fringe on each side) after washing 

Project Notes

*If you are weaving on a 15" loom and warping very close to the edges of your reed, be sure the warp threads do not slip off the edges of the paper as you are winding on to the back beam, which will cause tension issues.

Instructions

1. Warp the loom with Yarn A using your preferred method (direct or indirect) with a total of 172 warp ends, 3 yards long. Center for a weaving width of 14 3/8" and sley 1 end per hole and slot in a 12 dent heddle on a rigid heddle loom.

2. To pick up the floats: 

  • Place the heddle into the “down” position. Behind the heddle, only the slot threads are up. Place a long piece of cardboard, like a section of manila file folder, under the raised threads to help you see which threads to pick up (See photo 1)
  • Using one pick-up stick, (pick-up stick "A") pick up the first 2 slot threads, leave the next 2 down. Pick up the next 2 slot threads, leave the next 2 down. (See photo 2)
  • Continue in this manner of 2 up/2 down all the way across. Slide stick to the back beam. 
  • Insert a second pick-up stick (pick-up stick "B") in front of pick-up stick A in a 2 down/2 up pattern all the way across. Then turn pick-up stick B on it's side. (See photos 3 & 4)
  • Loop string heddles under all the B warp threads and then onto the heddle rod (Click here for more information about how to make string heddles and a heddle rod!) Remove pick-up stick B. All of the A warp threads remain on pick-up stick A and all of the B warp threads are now attached to the heddle rod with the string heddles. (See photos 5 & 6)

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6

3. Leaving 4" of warp for fringe on each end, begin and end the runner with 3 picks of tabby, then hemstitch in groups of 4 threads. Weave the following sequence with Yarn B for approximately 75", ending on pick 7.

  • Pick 1: heddle is UP
  • Pick 2: heddle is NEUTRAL, pick-up stick A turned on edge (See photo 7)

Note: Even though the heddle rod is resting on top of the A warp threads, it does not interfere with the pattern because the B warp threads are not under tension

  • Pick 3: heddle is UP
  • Pick 4: heddle is NEUTRAL, pick-up stick A turned on edge
  • Pick 5: heddle is UP
  • Pick 6: heddle is DOWN
  • Pick 7: heddle is UP
  • Pick 8: heddle is NEUTRAL, raise heddle rod (See photo 8)
Note: Make sure pick-up stick A is pushed to the very back
  • Pick 9: heddle is UP
  • Pick 10: heddle is NEUTRAL, raise heddle rod
  • Pick 11: heddle is UP
  • Pick 12: heddle is DOWN

Photo 7

Photo 8

4. Repeat these 12 picks for approximately 75", ending on pick 7. Finish the runner with 3 picks of tabby, then hemstitch in groups of 4 threads. Leave at least 4" of fringe at this end. 

5. Cut yardage off the loom. Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, tumble dry low and press. Trim fringe to 3" on each end. Runner or scarf? You decide!

About Christine Jablonski

In addition to being GIST's Operations Manager and Wholesale Director, Christine is a weaver and exhibiting fiber artist. She scampered down the rabbit hole of rigid heddle weaving several years ago as a way to use up her knitting stash and never looked back. In addition to very practical cloth woven to adorn home and body (tea towels are her favorite home linen projects to weave), Christine also weaves conceptual works that explore themes of mood and memory, strength and fragility, and often reflect on the current political and ecological landscape. Her work is held in private collections across the country and is shown regionally in New England galleries. To see more of Christine's work, check out her Instagram

See also: Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats 



April 09, 2020 — Emma Rhodes

Chevron Hand Towels

Chevron Hand Towels 

Cheerful cotton/linen towels for a time when clean hands are of utmost importance. 

Designed by Emma Rhodes for GIST: Yarn & Fiber. 

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers. 

             
             

Materials 

Warp & Weft: 2 cones of Italian Cotton/Linen in Goldenrod and Cream 

Kits: Each kit includes plenty of yarn to weave a set of 4 towels that measure approximately 15.75" W x 24" L each after washing and hemming. You will have lots of extra yarn for more towels, or other future projects. 

            
             

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: 4 shaft table or floor loom, 12 dent reed, shuttle & bobbins
  • EPI: 24 (2 ends per dent in a 12 dent reed)
  • PPI: ~15 in tabby with single weft, ~12 in twill with doubled weft
  • Width at Reed: 16.8"
  • Warp Ends: 404
  • Warp Length: 4.3 yards (155"), includes 24" for loom waste and 10% for take-up & shrinkage
  • Technique/Draft: Tabby, rosepath twill
  • Approx. warp yarn used: 1,740 yards
  • Approx. weft yarn used: 1,530 yards
  • Woven Length: (measured under tension on the loom) 27" per towel
  • Finished Dimensions: Set of 4 towels measuring approximately 15.75" W x 24" L each after washing and hemming
  • Finishing Details: Hand sewn rolled hem
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, air dry or tumble dry low, press as needed 
                     
                     

Instructions

1. Wind a warp with 404 ends, 4.3 yards long following the warp color order below. Warp the loom using your preferred method.

2. Thread according to the draft below. Note that the last inch on the left side of the warp only has 20 ends. Sley 2 ends per dent in a 12 dent reed for an epi of 24, centering for a weaving width of 16.8". 

3. Wind one bobbin with Color A and a second bobbin with Color A and Color B, holding the two strands together as one. Make sure to wind the bobbin slowly so that each stand is wound on with even tension. A stick shuttle can also be used for the doubled weft section.

4. Weave following the draft and weft order below. When beginning the twill section, start with treadle 6 and the shuttle on the right side of the loom. Weave with scrap yarn for a few picks in between each towel as a marker. 

  • 3" of tabby with Color A 
  • 21" of twill with Color A and B (2 strands together as one) 
  • 3" of tabby with Color A 

Note: The treadling sequence on this draft is to show the different sections of each towel. Reference the warp and weft order written above while warping and weaving.

5. Cut the fabric off the loom and zig zag the raw edges. Machine wash cold on delicate cycle and air dry (or tumble dry low if preferred). Cut the towels apart at scrap yarn maker. Finish with a hand sewn rolled hem. 



April 03, 2020 — Emma Rhodes

Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats
                     

Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

A set of cotton and linen placemats woven with 8/4 Un-Mercerized Cotton and Duet Cotton/Linen. This rigid heddle pattern uses 2 pick-up sticks and warp floats to create a motif reminiscent of Swedish Huck Lace. 

Designed by Christine Jablonski for GIST: Yarn & Fiber.

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers. 

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats
                     

Materials 

Warp: 1 cone of 8/4 Un-Mercerized Cotton (Christine used Yellow)

Weft: 1 cone of Duet Cotton/Linen (Christine used Cerise)

Kits: The kit includes plenty of yarn to weave a set of 4 placemats that measure approximately 12" W x 17" L each after washing

1

2

3

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom at least 15" wide, 12 or 12.5 dent heddle, 1 shuttle & bobbin or 1 stick shuttle2 pick-up sticks
  • EPI: 12
  • PPI: 13 
  • Width at Reed: 14 3/8"*
  • Warp Ends: 172 
  • Warp Length: 3 yards (assumes 21" warp length per placemat, 24" for loom waste and sampling and about 20% shrinkage on width and 13% shrinkage on length)
  • Technique/Draft: Pick-up stick warp floats
  • Finished Dimensions: A set of 4 placemats that measure approximately 12" W x 17" L  including fringe after washing
  • Finishing Details: Hemstitch, 1" fringe on each side
  • Care Instructions: Machine was cold, delicate cycle, tumble dry low, press as needed
  • Note: If you are working from your stash, assume approximately 100 yards of each yarn per placemat woven to these dimensions. 

*If you are weaving on a 15" loom and warping very close to the edges of your reed, be sure the warp threads do not slip off the edges of the paper as you are winding on to the back beam, which will cause tension issues. (See photo 1)

Instructions

1. Warp the loom with Yarn A using your preferred method (direct or indirect) with a total of 172 warp ends, 3 yards long. Center for a weaving width of 14 3/8" and sley 1 end per hole and slot in a 12 dent heddle on a rigid heddle loom.

2. To pick up the floats: 

  • Place the heddle into the “down” position. Behind the heddle, only the slot threads are up. Place a long piece of cardboard, like a section of manila file folder, under the raised threads to help you see which threads to pick up (See photo 2)
  • Using one pickup stick (Christine's is marked "A") pick up the first 2 slot threads, leave the next 2 down. Pick up the next 2 slot threads, leave the next 2 down. (See photo 3)
  • Continue in this manner of 2 up/2 down all the way across. Slide stick to the back beam. (See photo 4)
Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Photo 1

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Photo 2

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Photo 3

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Photo 4

3. Begin and end each placemat with 3 picks of tabby, then hemstitch in groups of 4 threads. Weave with Yarn B following the sequence below for approximately 17.5", ending on pick 7. 

  • Pick 1: heddle is DOWN
  • Pick 2: heddle is UP, pick-up stick A slides forward to the heddle (See photo 5) creating the warp float shed (See photo 6)push pick-up stick A back to the back beam after this pick
  • Pick 3: heddle is DOWN 
  • Pick 4: heddle is UP, pick-up stick A slides forward to the heddle
  • Pick 5: heddle is DOWN
  • Pick 6: heddle is UP (tabby pick, no pick-up stick)
  • Pick 7: heddle is DOWN

Leaving the heddle down after pick 7, and with pick-up stick A at the back beam, insert pick-up stick B in the front of pick-up stick A in a 2 down/2 up pattern (See photo 7) all the way across (See photo 8)

  • Pick 8: heddle is UP, pick-up stick B slides forward to the heddle
  • Pick 9: heddle is DOWN
  • Pick 10: heddle is UP, pick-up stick B slides forward to the heddle
Remove pick-up stick B after pick 10
  • Pick 11: heddle is DOWN
  • Pick 12: heddle is UP (tabby pick, no pick-up stick)

A note about selvedges: There will be floats on one side which is part of the pattern and will become less noticeable after washing.

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Photo 5

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Photo 6

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Photo 7

Free Weaving Pattern Huck Lace Rigid Heddle Placemats

Photo 8

4. Repeat these 12 picks for approximately 17.5", ending on pick 7. Finish the placemat with 2 picks of tabby, then hemstitch in groups of 4 threads. Weave with scrap yarn for approximately 2" between each placemat (to make room for fringe). 

5. Cut yardage off the loom and separate placemats by cutting down the center of the scrap yarn sections. Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, tumble dry low and press. Trim fringe to 1" on each side of the placemats. 

About Christine Jablonski

In addition to being GIST's Operations Manager and Wholesale Director, Christine is a weaver and exhibiting fiber artist. She scampered down the rabbit hole of rigid heddle weaving several years ago as a way to use up her knitting stash and never looked back. In addition to very practical cloth woven to adorn home and body (tea towels are her favorite home linen projects to weave), Christine also weaves conceptual works that explore themes of mood and memory, strength and fragility, and often reflect on the current political and ecological landscape. Her work is held in private collections across the country and is shown regionally in New England galleries. To see more of Christine's work, check out her Instagram



March 27, 2020 — Emma Rhodes

Overshot Rigid Heddle Towels

Free Weaving Pattern Overshot Rigid Heddle Towels
                     
Free Weaving Pattern Overshot Rigid Heddle Towels
                     

Overshot Rigid Heddle Towels

~ Weave-Along ~ See the Weave-Along videos for this pattern at the bottom of this post!

A set of cotton and linen towels woven with Mallo Cotton Slub and Duet Cotton/Linen. This rigid heddle pattern uses a pick-up stick and a supplementary weft to create weft floats inspired by the Halvdräll Towels (a 4-shaft pattern) by Arianna Funk.

Designed by Christine Jablonski for GIST: Yarn & Fiber.

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers. 

Materials 

Warp: 2 cones of Mallo Cotton Slub in contrasting colors (Christine used Ink and Clay)

Weft: 1 cone of Duet Cotton/Linen (Christine used Marble)

Kits: The kit includes plenty of yarn to weave a set of 4 towels that measure approximately 11" W x 19" L each after washing and hemming. 

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom at least 15" wide, 12 or 12.5 dent heddle, 2 shuttles & 3 bobbins or 2-3 stick shuttles, pick-up stick 
  • EPI: 12
  • PPI: 11 in tabby, 18 in pattern
  • Width at Reed: 13"
  • Warp Ends: 156
  • Warp Length: 4 yards (assumes 26" warp length per towel plus generous loom waste, room for sampling, and about 18% take-up/shrinkage on length and width)*
  • Technique/Draft: Tabby and pick up stick for weft floats
  • Finished Dimensions: A set of 4 towels that measure approximately 11" W x 19" L after washing and hemming*
  • Finishing Details: Hand or machine sewn rolled hem
  • Care Instructions: Machine was cold, delicate cycle, tumble dry low, press as needed
  • Note: *As written, this project will make four towels and leave you with plenty to make more. If you are working from your stash, assume approximately 100 yards of each yarn per towel woven to these dimensions.

Instructions

1. Warp the loom using your preferred method (direct or indirect) with a total of 156 warp ends, 4 yards long, alternating 1" sections (12 ends each) of Yarn A and Yarn B. Begin and end with Yarn A, for a total of 13 stripes. Center for a weaving width of 13" and sley 1 end per hole and slot in a 12 dent heddle on a rigid heddle loom.

2. To pick up the floats: 

  • Place the heddle into the “down” position. Behind the heddle, only the slot threads are up. Place a long piece of cardboard, like a section of manila file folder under the raised threads to help you see which threads to pick up (See photo 1)
  • Using your pickup stick, pick up the first slot thread, leave the next one down. Pick up the next slot thread, leave the next one down. (See photo 2)
  • Continue in this manner of 1 up, 1 down all the way across. Slide stick to the back beam. (See photo 3)

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

3. Begin and end each towel with 2” of tabby using Yarn C. This will be folded under and hemmed. Adding a shuttle of Yarn A, weave the following sequence:

  • Pick 1: heddle is UP, weave with Yarn C
  • Pick 2: heddle is in NEUTRAL, pickup stick slides forward to heddle and turned on its side to create the weft float shed, weave with Yarn A (See photo 4)
  • Pick 3: heddle is DOWN, weave with Yarn C
  • Pick 4: heddle is in NEUTRAL, pickup stick slides forward to heddle and turned on its side to create the weft float shed, weave with Yarn A**

**A note on dealing with selvedges: with weft floats, it is important that you cross the wefts at each selvedge edge. Do this by crossing the exiting weft either over or under the previous weft. (See photos 5, 6, 7)

Photo 5

Photo 6

Photo 7

Free Weaving Pattern Overshot Rigid Heddle Towels

On the loom

4. Repeat the four picks above nine times, then replace Yarn A with Yarn B and repeat sequence another nine times with the new color. Alternate these blocks of Yarn A and Yarn B until you have woven 11 blocks total (6 of Yarn A, 5 of Yarn B). Towel should measure ~26" in loom under tension. Finish with 2" of tabby using Yarn C. Weave a few picks with contrasting scrap yarn to in between towels, then repeat the above steps to complete 3 additional towels.

5. Cut yardage off the loom and zig zag stitch the edges. Machine wash cold on delicate cycle, tumble dry low and press. Cut towels apart at scrap yarn markers. Hem using your preferred method.

Weave-Along

Day 1: Introduction--what you will need and what you will learn

Day 2: Loom set up and how to get started with the pick-up stick (3 videos)

Day 3: Weaving and how to manage 2 shuttles (3 videos)

Day 4: Christine's favorite finishing techniques 

Day 5: Thank you!

About Christine Jablonski

In addition to being GIST's Operations Manager and Wholesale Director, Christine is a weaver and exhibiting fiber artist. She scampered down the rabbit hole of rigid heddle weaving several years ago as a way to use up her knitting stash and never looked back. In addition to very practical cloth woven to adorn home and body (tea towels are her favorite home linen projects to weave), Christine also weaves conceptual works that explore themes of mood and memory, strength and fragility, and often reflect on the current political and ecological landscape. Her work is held in private collections across the country and is shown regionally in New England galleries. To see more of Christine's work, check out her Instagram



March 20, 2020 — Emma Rhodes