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Basketweave Rug

A wool accent rug woven with a basketweave texture on a rigid heddle loom. This project uses pick-up sticks and a heddle rod with string heddles to create weft floats with two contrasting colors of Mountain Meadow Wool yarn.

You can download an updated version of this pattern and purchase a kit here.

Designed and woven by Christine Jablonski for GIST: Yarn & Fiber


Warp & Weft: 1 cone 8/8 Un-Mercerized Cotton in Light Gray, 2 skeins of Rug/Tapestry Wool in Lupine, 1 skein of Rug/Tapestry Wool in Sorrel

Kits: Each kit includes plenty of yarn to weave a rug that measures approximately 19.5” x 36” (including fringe) after washing.

Project Notes

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom at least 28" wide, 7.5 or 8 dent reed, 2 boat shuttles & bobbins or 2 stick shuttles, 2 pick-up sticks, 1 heddle rod with 26 string heddles
  • EPI: 7.5
  • PPI: ~13 in pattern
  • Width at Reed: 27.75" 
  • Warp Ends: 208
  • Warp Length: 2 yards, includes ~40” weaving length, 2” for fringe and 30” for loom waste and sampling
  • Draft/Technique: Basketweave, pick-up stick and heddle rod weft floats        
  • Total warp yarn used: 416 yards 8/8 un-mercerized cotton
  • Total weft yarn used: 11 yards 8/8 Un-Mercerized Cotton for tabby and hemstitch, 280 yards Main Color Wool, 137 yards Contrast Color Wool
  • Woven Length (measured under tension on the loom): ~40"
  • Take-up and Shrinkage: 39% width, 16% length
  • Finished Dimensions: 19.5” x 36” (34” weaving + 1” fringe each side)
  • Finishing Details: Hemstitch, 1” fringe on each side 
  • Care Instructions: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry

Getting Started

Warp the loom with 8/8 Un-Mercerized Cotton using your preferred method (direct or indirect) with a total of 208 warp ends, 2 yards long. Center for a weaving width of 28" and sley 1 end per hole and slot in a 7.5 dent heddle on a rigid heddle loom.

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.
  • Using one pickup stick (stick A), pick up the first slot thread, leave the next 2 down, pick up the next 2 slot threads. Photo 1 Continue in this manner of 2 down/2 up all the way across, until the last three threads: 2 down/1 up. Slide stick A to the back of the loom.
  • Insert a second pickup stick (Christine’s is a yardstick, stick B) in front of stick A and pick up the opposite thread pattern (first thread is down, continue 2 up/2 down pattern all the way across to the last three threads: 2 up/1 down). Photo 2



  • Turn stick B on it’s side and loop string heddles under all the “B” warp threads and then onto a heddle rod (click here for information about how to make string heddles). Remove stick “B.” All of the “A” warp threads remain on stick “A,” all of the “B” warp threads are now attached to the heddle rod with the string heddles. Photos 3, 4 & 5





Pattern Sequences

Each of these 4-pick sequences creates one row of color. The sequences are offset from each other and create a basketweave-like texture when woven ABABA and so on. (Photo 6)

Sequence A

Picks 1-3: heddle is NEUTRAL, pick up stick A turned on edge behind heddle 

*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. Be sure to catch the edge thread at the beginning of each weft pick, and beat in between each pick even though they are in the same shed.

Pick 4: heddle is UP

Sequence B

Picks 5-7: heddle is NEUTRAL, raise heddle rod *note: place a pick up stick on edge under the warp threads raised by the heddle rod so both hands are free to pass the shuttle. Be sure to catch the edge thread at the beginning of each weft pick, and beat in between each pick even though they are in the same shed.

Pick 8: heddle is UP

Weaving & Finishing

Leave at least 1” of warp for fringe on each end, Begin and end the rug with 4 picks of tabby with the 8/8 Un-Mercerized Cotton, then hemstitch in groups of 2 warp and 4 weft threads. 

To create the graduated color rows at each end of the rug, begin with your Main Color then alternate with your Contrasting Color in the following manner:

  • MC: 1x pattern sequence A (makes one row of Lupine)
  • CC: 1x pattern sequence B (makes one row of Sorrell)
  • MC: 1x pattern sequence A (makes one row of Lupine)
  • CC: 1x pattern sequence B, 1x pattern sequence A (makes two rows of Sorrell)
  • MC: 1x sequence B (makes one row of Lupine)
  • CC: 1x sequence B, 1x sequence A, 1x sequence B (makes three rows of Sorrell)

Continue with alternating one row of Main Color (Lupine) with an increasing number of Contrast Color (Sorrell) stripes until you weave 6 Contrast Color (Sorrell) rows, then:

  • 1 row Main Color (Lupine)
  • 1 row Contrast Color (Sorrell)
  • 76 rows Main Color (Lupine)
  • Then mirror the border sequence:
  • 1 row Contrast Color (Sorrell)
  • 1 row Main Color (Lupine)
  • 6 rows Contrast Color (Sorrel)
  • 1 row Main Color (Lupine)
  • 5 rows Contrast Color (Sorrel)
  • 1 row Main Color (Lupine)
  • 4 rows Contrast Color (Sorrel)
  • 1 row Main Color (Lupine)
  • 3 rows Contrast Color (Sorrel)
  • 1 row Main Color (Lupine)
  • 2 rows Contrast Color (Sorrel)
  • 1 row Main Color (Lupine)
  • 1 row Contrast Color (Sorrel)
  • 1 row Main Color (Lupine)

**remember each row = 4 pattern picks

Finish the rug with four picks of tabby in the 8/8 Un-Mercerized Cotton warp yarn, hemstitching groups of two warp and four weft threads. Leave at least 1” of fringe at this end.

Cut yardage off the loom. Hand wash in cold water and lay flat to dry. Trim fringe to 1” each end. 

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

October 02, 2020