Using Pick-Up Patterns On Your Rigid Heddle Loom

Using Pick-Up Patterns On Your Rigid Heddle Loom

Starting out with rigid heddle weaving usually involves different types of plain weave patterns.

Let’s get this straight first: there is absolutely nothing wrong with plain weave! Balanced plain weavings can be incredibly beautiful, interesting, and dynamic. 

Check out my post on how to weave patterns in plain weave with color here.

Sometimes, though, you want a little bit more.

While some rigid heddle looms have the ability to have an extra heddle – that may not be something you are ready to do yet. Either because purchasing a new heddle is currently cost-prohibitive, or because you are looking for a simpler option that still creates interesting results. 

That is where pick-up patterns come into play!


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What is pick-up rigid heddle weaving?


scarf weaving in progress with pick-up pattern


Pick-up rigid heddle weaving is a technique that essentially adds the functionality of an extra heddle to your loom without actually adding an extra heddle. It also allows you to easily weave floats into your weaving.

Floats?

If you missed my post on adding floats to your weaving (by hand) then make sure to look through this post here.

Floats are areas of yarn that sit over the top of more than one yarn. You can have both warp and weft floats depending on the pattern you are following. These floats can add visual interest to your weaving as well as possibly giving it a gauzy or lacy look.

Keep in mind that your pick-up weaving could probably look very different after it is washed – depending on the materials you use. Below is an image of the same weaving after it has been washed and dried. This scarf is made of 100% wool so washing it really brings out the character of this type of weaving.


pick-up scarf washed

What you need to weave pick-up patterns


pick-up stick options for weaving

Weaving pick-up patterns on your rigid heddle loom requires very few supplies to make the magic happen. It is really only one extra tool than you would need if you were weaving regular plain weave.

A pick-up stick.

Dedicated pick-up sticks are great because they are made with a tapered end to more easily pick up the warps that need to be separated. They also have rounded smooth sides that make sliding it through your warp and turning it into a smooth movement. This means you do not have to worry about friction abrading your warp yarns.

If you are looking to get started without getting a pick-up stick then you can also use a ruler or a flat shuttle as your pick-up stick. (I am using a flat shuttle in these images because my pick-up stick was not long enough for my 10-inch weaving.)

Keep in mind that you have to be careful with rulers since they are usually “sharp” on their sides. Using a ruler with fragile yarns could lead to a broken warp!

I have also been known to use some very sturdy mat board as my pick-up stick. It is absolutely ok to use whatever you have on hand.

Not surprisingly, you will also need a rigid heddle loom and some yarn!

The rigid heddle loom I am using is my Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom.

You can read my review on the Schacht here.

You can read about purchasing yarn online here or check out my favorite yarns here!


Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!


How to read pick-up instructions


When you are looking for pick-up patterns there are a few instructions that will come up. 

Up, Down, pick-up stick, up and pick-up stick.

Up and down are pretty self-explanatory, but we will touch on them quickly anyway. Whenever you see up or down in your pattern you will be placing your heddle in either the up or down position on your loom. 

When you see “pick-up stick” in your pattern you will move it up to right behind your heddle while it is in the neutral position. Then you will rotate your pick-up stick 90 degrees so that it creates a shed. After you are done you can then slide your pick-up stick towards the back of the loom. This is where your pick-up stick will live when it is not in use so that it does not affect the rest of your weaving.


pick-up stick for rigid heddle loom

“Up and pick-up stick” means that your heddle will be in the up position and the pick-up stick will be moved towards the back of the heddle while still laying flat against the warp. This will make it so the shed has both the up warps and the pick-up stick warps in a position to be woven under.

You can notice the difference in the warps that are being woven if you look at the right side of each image. This is the same pick-up stick just in different positions. The up and pick-up stick pattern will have a lot more warps on the surface and a lot less on the underside than the other positions.


up & pick-up stick for rigid heddle loom

Setting up your pick-up stick pattern on your rigid heddle loom


pick-up stick for rigid heddle loom set-up

The most important thing to know about setting up your pick-up stick is that your heddle must be in the down position.

A reminder of your rigid heddle “anatomy”: your heddle has 2 areas for your warps to go. You have slots and eyes (holes) which are what allow you to create a shed as they move in the up or down position. The warps in the eyes are physically moved up and down as the heddle moves.

Setting up your pick-up stick in your down position is important because the slot yarns are freer to move around. This allows the down position to put the slot warps on top. These free-moving warps, therefore, are perfect for manipulating and creating patterns.

The above pattern shows 6 up, 2 down, 5 up, repeat. Ending in 6 up. This is half of the pattern that you can see in the first image of the post (red and white scarf!) and it is a variation on a pattern I found in the book Inventive Weaving On A Little Loom by Syne Mitchell.

You can read my review on this rigid heddle weaving book here.

Tip: If you are having a hard time seeing your warps to set up your pick-up stick then you can slide a piece of paper into your shed. This will make it so the warps underneath are not visually interfering while you set up.


Let’s take a look at a pick-up pattern example.


Over 2 Under 2

Up

Pick-Up Stick

Up 

Pick-Up Stick

Down

Repeat

In this pattern, you would put your heddle in the down position and weave in your pick-up stick in an over 2, under 2 pattern. 

Then you would follow the directions – remembering that “pick-up stick” requires the heddle to be in the neutral position and the pick-up stick turned 90 degrees to make a shed. 


Make a pick-up sampler


pick-up stick weaving sampler

When you are new to pretty much anything with weaving it is a really good idea to make some samples.

You may even remember the entire post I did about the importance of making weaving samples.

One of the best ways to really understand how to make a pick-up weaving on your rigid heddle loom is to keep trying different patterns and making sure you keep a record of what you are doing. You do not want to accidentally come across a pattern you really like and then not know how to recreate it later!

I did this…

I recommend trying out at least a few inches of each pattern to really be able to see how it will turn out on a larger scale. When you take it off the loom, you will also be able to clearly see how the back looks compared to the front. If there is weft floats on the front of the weaving then there will be warp floats on the back.

You can also add a plain weave border on each side by starting and ending your pattern with more “up” warps. Taking our earlier pattern as an example – if we want to add a border we could change it to: over 6, under 2, over 2, repeat, and end in over 6.

This can give your weaving a really clean look, but make sure try it out first in a sampler to see if you like it.

Let me know what types of pick-up patterns you have been working on!


Yarn Ball Winding Options – Preparing Your Weaving Yarn

Yarn Ball Winding Options – Preparing Your Weaving Yarn

Depending on your yarn buying options you may never need any of these tools to wind yarn. This is because weaving yarn most often comes already wound onto a cone or tube ready to go.

This makes setting up your loom or winding your shuttles simple!

That being said, you may purchase yarn on a skein. This yarn needs to be wound in order to use it, otherwise, it will become a tangled mess. 

Most often yarn on skeins is knitting or crochet yarn. Make sure you know the difference between these types of yarn! You can read about it here.

Depending on the option you choose, the yarn – once wound – will be turned into either a ball or a cake.

A ball of yarn is pretty self-explanatory, but what is a cake?

Essentially, it is the same thing except that the top and bottom are flat.

Neither one is better than the other, the different forms just come from the way that the tool winds them.

So if you find yourself with yarn that needs to be wound then what are your options?


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



Ball winder


yarn on yarn ball winder

Probably the most well-known and common way of turning a skein of yarn into a cake: the ball winder is also one of the fastest ways to do it. Despite the name ball winder – it actually makes yarn cakes, but really it does not matter since they do the same thing!

You can either get a manual one or an electric one depending on how much you want to spend and how much work you want to do. These are both great options if you will be winding a lot of cakes and want something that goes relatively fast. 


2 yarn cakes on table with plant

Nostepinne


The nostepinne is the original ball winder! It is also the one you probably have never heard of – until now.

Nostepinne means “nest-stick” in Scandinavian and that is a pretty good name for this tool. It is a polished stick that you nest your yarn on to create a center-pull ball. These polished sticks are a simple tool that you can carry with you anywhere. They are actually pretty simple to use too, but they do take a bit longer to wind your ball than a ball winder. 

They also require a bit of patience to get the rhythm of the ball going. It will actually feel a bit odd at first, but sticking with it will get you a satisfying center-pull yarn ball!

How to use a nostepinne:


nostepinne to wind yarn directions

Open up your skein and either place it on an umbrella swift or stretch it across a stable surface.

Find one end of your skein and either wrap it around the far end of your nostepinne a few times or attach it with a slip knot. This will be the center-pull part of the ball.

Start wrapping your yarn around so that the wraps are sitting next to each other. After you have done this a few times, you can start to cross them diagonally as you twist the nostepinne towards you. You will want to try to catch it on the shoulder of the ball you are making as you go. This will help to make sure that it does not get loose.

Twisting the nostepinne while wrapping will ensure that the ball grows evenly and securely. You will want to make sure that your wraps are not just building upon themselves. Also, make sure that you are not wrapping too tight so you do not stretch out your yarn.


nostepinne to wind yarn directions

When you are done you can simply slide off your ball and tuck in the yarn end that was originally wrapped around the nostepinne!

This is the nostepinne I am using! The Kromski nostepinne in mahogony.

There is more than one way to wrap a nostepinne, but this is the way I was taught. You can always play around with it to find a way that feels natural to you. Another common method is to wrap your yarn in a figure 8 pattern. Try it out and see which one you like!


Knitting needle


Knitting needles are used in much the same way as a nostepinne since they are basically the same shape.

When it comes down to it all you really need is a stick to wrap some yarn around! 

The directions are also the same as for the nostepinne. The only difference is that there is no dedicated notch to attach the center of the yarn to, so just make sure to keep it separate. 

The advantage of the nostepinne over the knitting needle is that the nostepinne will be more comfortable to hold. Since it is a dedicated tool for that purpose it is made to be held for longer periods of time while you are working with it.


knitting needle to wind yarn directions

knitting needle to wind yarn directions

The advantage of the knitting needle is you may already have one in your studio!

If you only need to wind a ball of yarn occasionally then this may be a great option for you. If you will be winding yarn balls often then you may want to invest in a nostepinne or a ball-winder.

I am using the Clover bamboo knitting needles in size 17.



Winding yarn by hand


If you have none of the above and you still need to create a ball to work from then you still have an option! This option does not create a center-pull yarn ball, but it still creates a yarn ball that is in a format you can easily use for warping or shuttle winding.

I have actually gone over instructions on creating a yarn ball by hand in my t-shirt yarn tutorial. If you are looking for a yarn winding option that does not require any extra tools then make sure to check out my t-shirt yarn post.


Do you need an umbrella swift?


umbrella swift with yarn skein

No and maybe.

Let’s first start off with what is an umbrella swift

An umbrella swift is a tool that is used to hold a skein of yarn and turn freely as the yarn is taken from it in order to turn it into a ball or cake. They are often made of wood, but also sometimes made of metal and plastic and they open up much like an umbrella does (hence the name.) This means that despite their open size, they do get smaller and easier to store when not in use. 

Umbrella swifts are a great tool to have if you are winding yarn because it holds the skein for you and does the work of keeping it tangle-free during the winding process.

If you are using either the nostepinne, knitting needle, or winding a ball by hand then you do not need the umbrella swift. You can put the skein around a chair back or even around your knees while you are sitting in order to keep it taught and tangle-free. 



If you are using a ball winder though (and especially the electric ball winder) you will want an umbrella swift to accompany it. So while the ball winder itself is sometimes not that much more expensive than your other yarn winding options, the fact that you need the umbrella swift definitely adds to the expense. 



It does make things go smoother though! The video above was just for fun, but you can see how smooth the process is as the yarn goes from the swift to the ball winder.

I am using yarn by Sheep and Shawl on Etsy!



Regardless of how you decide to wind your yarn, it is always good to have some options in your weaving toolbox (literal and figurative!) If winding balls of yarn is not going to be a regular occurrence then stick with a simple method with inexpensive tools or ones you already have.

If you need to wind your own yarn often then I recommend investing a bit more to get a swift and a ball winder so you can spend more time weaving and less time preparing to weave.


DIY Woven Gift Box!

DIY Woven Gift Box!

Are you looking for a unique and creative gift to give this year? 

A few weeks ago I posted 6 tutorials for simple on-day weaving projects. This woven box tutorial was originally going to be a part of that list, but it turns out that this box takes more than a day to complete.



The biggest reason this box will take you a bit longer is because of the materials being used. Using stiff linen makes it so this box is rigid enough to stand up and actually perform as a box. This linen is also on the thinner side which gives it a nice look and smoother appearance.

You could weave this up with larger yarns to make it go faster, but it may not have the same stability that you can get with the smaller linen.

While this box would make a great gift in and of itself, you could also use it as a gift box for something else! Perhaps another woven gift or some jewelry?

If you are looking for more weaving projects for small gifts then make sure to check these out:

One-Day Weaving Projects

DIY Handwoven Gift Ideas


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



Materials you need


Frame loom ( I am using a simple frame loom – see why I like simple frame looms! )

Cardstock or other thick paper

Linen yarn ( I am using Bockens Linen 16/2 in colors 1440 and 1223)

Scissors or yarn snips

Tapestry needle (learn about the different types of tapestry needles here)

Tapestry beater or comb (learn about types of tapestry beaters here)


Making a mock-up box


paper box mock up

If you have ever had to break down a box (hello Amazon!) then you know that they are originally designed flat and with flaps that fold up and around each other.

One of the best ways to determine how to weave your box is to make a diagram and a paper version to make sure that it works first before you spend the time to weave it.

You can do this with any paper you have, thicker paper will hold up a bit better, though. 

First, you should draw out a diagram (as seen in the first box above.) If you are using it to specifically hold something then make sure to keep the size of that in mind! I recommend writing out your measurements on your paper box to make it easier to transfer them to your woven box.

Your deconstructed box will basically look like a giant plus sign. Each arm of the plus sign will end up folding up to create a side of the box. 

Once the bottom of your box is done, do almost the same thing for the top. Your box top will have shorter sides and be just a bit wider on each side. This will make sure it can easily sit on top of your box without pulling it in.


Weaving your gift box


woven box in progress

The box that I made is a great size to hold some jewelry or small trinkets. The base of the box is 3″ x 2″ and the sides are 2″ x 2″.

This means that you need a total weaving width of 6 inches. (2″ for each flap and 2″ for the bottom)

Using the Bockens Lingarn linen your weaving will be 8 EPI with 48 warp ends total.

You can learn more about EPI here.

Depending on what you want your box to look like you can choose different colors or do all the same color. I chose to do 2 colors just to make it a bit more interesting to weave up and to give it some extra interest when it is finished.

The first part of your woven box involves weaving one of your sides. This equates to the bottom part of your plus sign. This shaped weaving will have a lot of open warp – which might seem odd if you have never woven like this before. You can think of weaving this portion just like weaving a square in the middle of your warp. Remember: this square will be 2″ wide and 2″ tall.

Once your first square is woven you need to add some spacers next to your square to prepare for the next section of weaving.

Whenever you have to weave with empty space below it is best to put a placeholder in your warps to give you something to beat against and make sure things stay in place. I never recommend weaving with empty space below because it makes your job unnecessarily hard.

Do not make this hard on yourself!

All you need to fill in these gaps is some thick paper, like cardstock, that is cut to be the height of the bottom-most woven flap. It is best to weave your bottom square first and then add your paper into the warp so it does not get in the way.


woven box for presents in progress

Now you can weave up the middle portion of your box!

This portion of your box includes the longer sides of your box and the bottom. You will want to weave all the way across from selvedge to selvedge and up 3 inches.

Make sure to watch your selvedges and keep them as straight as you can. Otherwise, your box will be a bit wonky.

Follow these tips for weaving straighter selvedges.

When your middle section is completely woven you can move onto the top square! This will be the exact same size as the first portion of the weaving. You will not need more spacers though, because you will be beating against the already woven portion below it.


DIY woven box and top

The last step in your weaving is to basically do it all again.

But smaller.

A.K.A. weaving your box top!

The top of your box will have similar dimensions to the bottom. You will want to make the base of the top a little bit bigger, though so that it can fit snug, but not pull in the bottom.

The dimensions of the box top are 3.75″ x 2.75″. This adds about a quarter of an inch to each side of the base (middle) of the top and creates flaps that are a quarter of an inch as well.

When you start weaving up the middle portion make sure to add in your placeholders next to the first flap.


Finishing your woven box


You will want to choose a finishing technique for all of your warps that creates a clean edge. This will give you the best look for your box. I recommend weaving your warp ends back into the warp channels to create a smooth edge.

Once all of your ends are finished you can construct your box by folding up all of your sides. The linen will aid in making your box stiffer and your sides will retain the memory of the fold you put in it. This will be helpful when you are in the process of sewing it up.

Learn more about linen yarn here!


sew up sides of woven box

To sew your box:

Thread your tapestry needle with a long strand of yarn that is folded in half and knotted at the end. This is your working yarn.

Attach this yarn at the base of one of your flaps by exposing a warp and wrapping your working yarn around it. Bring your needle through the loop of your working yarn and pull tight.

Bring your flaps together and line them up so that they are even at the top. Sew your working yarn around the corners and to the top. Tie a knot to secure it and do it all again on each corner of the box.

Do the same thing for the top of your box!


woven box for presents and gifts

You can add some cardstock to the insides of your box if you are wanting to give it a bit more structure, but it will stand on its own just do the way it was made.

If you are looking for some filler for your box when you are giving it as a gift then you can use some fabric or yarn scraps! You can always use tissue paper too, but if you have the yarn scraps lying around – then why not?

Learn about what else you can do with yarn scraps here.

Try experimenting with different sizes and even different yarns. You can also create other three-dimensional tapestries using the same ideas and paper mock-ups! Tag @cole.bun on Instagram with your creations!


One Day Weaving Projects – Quick & Easy Gift Ideas

One Day Weaving Projects – Quick & Easy Gift Ideas

While there are those people that do not appreciate handmade gifts, there are a lot of people that understand the thought and time that goes into these types of presents. 

That being said – as a weaver you know that weaving is not a fast past-time so giving woven presents is not something that you might want to do for everyone.

No judgment.

So for those weavers that want to give the gift of weaving to more people without sacrificing anything – I have created tutorials for 6 one-day weaving projects. Do not worry! These easy and quick weaving projects do not look like they took you only a few hours to make.

If you are looking for ideas of what yarn to use or other supplies then check out my weaving supplies page to see what I use in my studio.


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



Quick weaving project tutorials and ideas


Woven iron-on patches


woven iron-on patch

These small patches are the perfect quick gift for anyone who likes to decorate their bag or jackets. They can also be basically anything you want/can fit into the size that you decide to create. 

Patches tend to be on the smaller side and can be simple or complicated. Due to their small size, more complicated patches can be a lot harder to do. If you are wanting some more detail then you always have the option of adding embroidery on top!

To keep this patch simple and fast we are going to stick with a standard 6 EPI for our warp sett. You can use whatever loom you want, but I recommend a small frame loom for its ease of set-up and the least amount of loom waste.

Learn about different types of frame looms HERE.

Learn how to make a cardboard loom HERE.


Supplies needed

Yarn for warp and weft

Small loom

Iron-on fabric backing or pins

Iron


Set up your frame loom for the size that you want to create. In this case, I am weaving a 2-inch square at 6 EPI which requires a total of 12 warp ends.

Next: weave your patch!

Some ideas for what you could weave:

  • Choose your intended giftee’s favorite colors and make a design with those. 
  • Weave their first initial or all of their initials.
  • Weave a simple colored square and add embroidery to the surface.

Once you are finished weaving and you have taken it off the loom, you will need to cut down your iron-on fabric (if using) so it is ready for you to attach it to the back of your weaving.


DIY woven iron-on patch quick weaving project

If you are using the same one I have linked above then you will iron the backing onto your weaving for only 2 seconds on medium heat. Paper side up. When your patch is ready to be attached you will use your iron on medium for at least 15 seconds. The package says that you should iron it for about 6-8 seconds, but I found that that was not enough.

Just keep an eye on it and move your iron around.

That is it!

If you are not using the iron-on fabric then you can include pins with your patch when you gift it.


Small mounted wall-hanging for anyone!


mounted woven wall-hanging

One of the most iconic things that you can weave for a gift is a wall-hanging. Since we are going for fast and easy, making a smaller weaving that you then mount to a fabric-covered canvas gives it a larger presence and also makes it ready to hang!

Similar to your woven patch gift, what you make for your wall-hanging is completely up to you. Think about the person that you are making it for and try to incorporate that into your ideas. 

One idea that seems to be pretty popular is monograms! If you are wanting to weave some imagery or shapes then make sure to check out my e-book where I walk you through both simple and complex shapes for your tapestry, plus tips for creating and securing your cartoon.

Some other ideas for this would be to mount some already made samples that turned out well or patterns/ designs in the giftee’s favorite colors.

One of the best parts about using samples is that you already wove them! All you have to do is finish them up and mount them. This also means you can get them out of your studio if you do not want to hold onto all of your studio experiments. I know I have a lot of samples that are just hanging around.


Supplies needed

Pre-stretched canvas

Fabric for covering the canvas

Staple gun and staples

Grey thread


I like to buy pre-stretched canvas and cover it in fabric for a simple and clean look. In this case, I am using linen fabric. It is simple enough to not take away from the mounted weaving, but has enough texture to make it interesting.

Stretch your fabric and use a staple gun to secure it on the back. It is important to keep the fabric taught so that it does not wrinkle on the front.


cover canvas with fabric quick weaving project

To attach your weaving to the canvas you can use a simple stitch in strategic spots. I like to use grey thread for this. You can read all about why every weaver should have grey thread in their studio HERE.

When you are attaching your weaving to the canvas make sure to bring your thread up between your weft and not through it.

Move your thread across the top of your weaving and make sure it will fall between the wefts and disappear.

Bring the thread back down through the canvas and repeat all the way across.

Do this on the top and bottom of the weaving.


how to attach a weaving to canvas

You will also want to add a hanging wire onto the back of your canvas. This will make it a better hanging experience for your giftee.



Woven keychain


DIY woven keychain

A keychain is probably one of the simplest and fastest gifts that you can make, but that does not mean it will not be something that everyone will love!

There are a lot of different sizes and shapes that you could weave up, but for this gift idea uses 6 EPI for a 1-inch x 4-inch weaving.


Supplies needed

Small loom

Yarn for warp and weft

Keychain D-clips

Tapestry needle


DIY woven keychain quick weaving project

When you take the woven keychain off the loom you will finish off one side like you normally would. This will be the bottom of the keychain.

Take one of these keychain clips and put the top warp through the D-shaped ring. Weave your warps back into your weaving and around the D-ring. This is very similar to weaving in your weft ends. Make sure to weave them in far enough that they will not slip out when the keychain is in use. About 2 inches or so (I only did about an inch, but more would be better)should suffice and allow the friction of the yarns to keep it secure.

Pull the tails a bit while you cut off any remaining warp yarn. Keeping them under this tension will allow them to easily retreat back and hide in the warp tunnels.

If you are worried about them coming out still, or you just want some extra security then you can apply a tiny bit of fabric glue to the warps when you pull them out so that it will get in the warp tunnel when it goes back in.


attach keyring to weaving

Woven cup-cozy for your friend that drinks coffee/ tea


DIY woven mug cozy

If you have someone in your life that loves their coffee or tea then you can weave them up a personalized cup-cozy!

This cup cozy works just like those disposable cardboard ones that you might get from a coffee shop, but you can make them for just about any cup that is not the same circumference all the way down. Having a mug with a wider top will make sure that it stays on and will not slip off.


Supplies needed

Yarn for warp and weft

Any frame loom

1 Button

Tapestry needle


Again I am using 6 EPI and I am using a variegated yarn. This yarn makes it so that the weaving has a lot going on with very little work. It is as easy as weaving up a simple rectangle and using interesting yarn will allow you to weave faster!

You will set up your weaving to be 2-inch x 9-inch and it will have 12 warp ends. This should be a pretty good size for any travel mug you come across. If you have a specific one in mind, though, I recommend measuring it to get an exact measurement.

Including a button on your cozy will give it a nice touch and can also make it so it can be used around a cup with handles. Sew your button onto the cup cozy and attach a small braided loop on the other side for the button to go through.


woven cup cozy quick weaving project

Bonus points if you include a travel mug to go with your cozy plus some tea and coffee!


Woven “hoop” ornament or necklace


DIY woven ornament and necklace

These miniature embroidery hoops are the perfect way to hold small sections of weaving to display.

You can use these to make everything from a necklace to an ornament! It all just depends on what you use to attach at the top.

I used miniature hexagon embroidery hoops, but you can also find them in different sizes and shapes.

I just happen to love hexagons.

You can absolutely weave something new for your hoop, but you can also use up some leftover woven yardage or samples. I used the woven fabric I had left from my loom bench cushion (this could also be a good gift – but it will take longer than a day.)

The biggest thing that you need to keep in mind when choosing a weaving to put in your hoop is that it can not be too thick. Tapestry or any other weft-faced weaving will be too thick to insert. Instead, stick with a balanced weave or any other weave structure that will weave up thinner. You can also use thinner yarn to make sure it fits well.


Supplies needed

Woven fabric

Miniature embroidery hoops

Glue

Extra yarn or chain to attach to finished piece


After you have a weaving ready, cut out a piece a little bigger than the hoop itself.

Make sure you have secured your fabric before cutting it. Learn how to secure your weaving HERE.

Push the smaller solid piece through the hoop with the fabric facing up. Once it is in place then close the hoop with the included screw and nuts. If the fabric is thick enough, you may not be able to use both nuts. That is ok! Just make sure you can close it with at least one.

Cut any excess fabric from the back of the hoop.


woven ornament quick weaving project

The larger solid piece is used to back the hoop and make sure it all looks clean. You can really use any glue you have on hand to attach the back to the hoop.

I used wood glue and painted it on with a brush since the hoops are small.

Hold the backing on until it is secure!


attach backing to miniature embroidery hoop

Depending on what you want to use these for you can either braid some yarn to create an ornament or attach a chain for a fun and chunky hand-made necklace.


Woven portable utensil holder (for reusable straws/utensils) for your sustainable friend


DIY woven utensil holder

It is becoming more and more popular to keep a reusable straw and utensils with you whenever you leave the house.

While there is nothing wrong with keeping these things in a bag or in your glove box – having a dedicated pouch could be a fun way to make sure you always have them on hand. It also makes sure they are easy to find and not just floating around. So if you have a friend that keeps their utensils with them then this is a great gift for them!

Admittedly, this gift idea will probably take the longest of the list. You can definitely do it all in one day (I did!), but you may need to work on it a second day too.

Similar to our cup cozy this one is mostly just a rectangle. This biggest difference is that at the very top you will weave an extra few inches on one half.

Set your loom up for 6 EPI again and at least 4 inches wide. Go a little wider if you know they have a lot to carry! The height can also depend on what they will put in it, but to be safe The shortest part of the weaving should be at least 8 inches tall.


Supplies needed

Yarn for warp and weft

Frame loom

Tapestry needle

1 Button


woven utensil pouch quick weaving project

After finishing, Sew your button onto the shorter half of your weaving towards the top. You can do this later, but it will be easier if you do it now.

Fold your weaving in half and sew your sides and bottom together to make a pouch. You can use either the same color or a contrasting color to do this. Make sure to fully enclose the bottom so that nothing can fall out. A simple yarn wrap will do really well to close up the bottom (see images below.)


woven utensil pouch

The side can be closed up with a blanket stitch. This will be decorative and not take nearly as long as wrapping the entire side.

To do a blanket stitch:

Start the same way you started your yarn wrapping – bring your yarn from the inside of the weaving and around to the other side, but before you pull it tight – put your tapestry needle through the loop that it creates. Pull tight and move your needle over a few millimeters and do it again. Do this across the entire side and end with a simple knot!

Next, take some extra yarn and braid it. Attach this yarn to the flap. This will be used to wrap around your button and keep your pouch closed.


blanket stitch tutorial

Bonus points if you make your pouch with recycled or scrap yarn and/or fill it with reusable utensils if your giftee is just getting started on their sustainability journey. These are the bamboo sporks that you can see in the images above.


All of these quick weaving projects can be done in a day (some in only a few hours!) They could all take longer, though, if you decide to add a lot of imagery or color changes to them. Keep your weavings simple, but maximize their wow-factor by choosing interesting yarns or adding simple patterns like stripes!


Crammed And Spaced – Weaving Technique How-To

Crammed And Spaced – Weaving Technique How-To

Plain weave is one of the most versatile weave structures that you will find. I have talked about it many times so if you want to learn some more about plain weave then make sure to check out these other posts:

3 Basic Weave Structures

Plain Weave Patterns

What Is Tapestry

So it is pretty easy to see that plain weave does not mean plain weaving! 

Another example of that is crammed and spaced. While this technique does not need to be done in plain weave (it works in twills and other patterns as well), it can add a fun twist to your simple weaving.


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



What is the crammed and spaced technique?



Crammed and spaced is a technique that uses different EPI’s in the same weaving. (Brush up on your EPI knowledge)

Unlike when your EPI changes due to not paying attention (been there!), crammed and spaced is an intentional technique that utilizes the different spaces to make a dynamic weaving.

This does not mean that you are intentionally pulling in in certain areas, instead, you are either leaving dents in your reed empty or you are using a special type of rigid heddle that does the spacing for you. Either way, the technique creates areas with a lot of warp and areas with little.

In the example above, the crammed and spaced technique creates an undulating movement across the scarf. The twill pattern exaggerates this movement.


On a floor loom


Regardless of the reed that you are using, weaving crammed and spaced is as simple as warping a loom regularly. 

The only real difference is that you will have some dents with more than one warp in them and some dents with none!

Even though it may seem difficult at first to choose the “right warp” in each dent to go next when you are threading your heddles, it does not really matter. Make your best guess, but it will end up warping up correctly either way. That is one reason why it is important to shake out your warp as you are winding it onto your back beam. 

I recommend creating a diagram when planning your crammed and spaced weaving so that you can space it out evenly (assuming that is what you are going for.) This will also make the sleying of your reed easier so you do not have to think about it too hard while you are doing it.

If you can do all of the thinking beforehand then you can relax a little more and get lost in the warping process.


Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!


On a rigid heddle loom



If you have a rigid heddle loom, then you can sometimes get a variable dent heddle that will do all the spacing for you! Both Schacht and Ashford have these types of heddles that you can purchase.

The heddles are really great because they have multiple options depending on the type of spacing you are wanting to do. 

The heddle that I have for my Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom (review of my flip loom here) has 4 x 5 Dent Sections, 4 x 8 Dent Sections, 3 x 10 Dent Sections, and 3 x 12 Dent Sections. These can be taken off and arranged any way that you want to create a crammed and spaced weaving.

You can get the Schacht variable dent rigid heddle here!

The Schacht variable dent heddle also has the option to purchase extra sections. If you are looking for something specific that you can not make with the sections it comes with you can purchase them separately as needed. This means you also have the option of getting enough sections to create a whole new full heddle without actually purchasing a whole new heddle. 



Warping your variable dent rigid heddle is exactly the same as any other heddle you use. The only thing that changes is the end result!

If you are creating a narrow weaving then you have the option of only using the heddle pieces that create the width you are going for. When choosing this option, your heddle comes with little bands that go around the top to keep them in place. This is necessary so that they do not move around while you are warping and weaving. You can see these at the top of the heddle in the image above.

Choosing to do this or putting sections on your heddle and just not using them is a purely personal preference.


Create ridges (crammed warps in the same heddle)


Generally speaking, crammed and spaced weaving has all of the warps weaving as individuals despite the fact that some of them are very close together.

Another option is to double up and cram a few warps here and there and have them act as one. These double warps would also go through the same heddle so that they raise and lower together. This will give you thicker warp areas to add vertical ridges to your weaving.

This is probably the simplest way to use this technique even if it is not the most traditional.

You can get this same effect by just using a thicker warp in certain areas, but that may not be ideal if you do not have a suitable warp to use! Just make sure to keep the double warps in mind when you are planning your weaving so that you have enough yarn to create your warp.

Learn how to plan your weaving project!


What to watch out for



Unfortunately, it is easy to just create a weft-faced weaving using this technique since you are using more than one warp sett! A weft-faced weaving will barely show off the crammed and spaced effect that you are going for, therefore making it basically obsolete.

In order to avoid this, you will want to make sure that your highest EPI allows for a balanced weave. You can always check this by using your EPI mini-loom to check what warp sett your yarn needs to do this. As long as one of the warp spacing options you choose creates a balanced weave it will accentuate the different spacing areas.

The image above shows a weaving that just barely allows for the crammed and spaced technique to show through. While that is not a bad-looking option, you may want to make sure you get a little more bang for your weft!


What to make with the crammed and spaced technique


If you are wondering what you can do with this technique then I highly recommend creating a scarf, shawl, or anything that you want to wear and dress up a little. If the warp setts and weft choice is right then it can create a lace-like appearance in your weaving.

This makes it perfect for use on anything that you want to be dressy.

While this technique is relatively stable, it is still best to not use it for anything that will be actively used. This means that it is not ideal for things like towels because the crammed and spaced yarns could start to even out. It also will not make a very absorbent material so you would not want to do that anyway!

Make sure to wash your weaving gently before using it to allow the fibers to bloom. If you are weaving with a protein fiber that can felt then doing this could also further secure your yarns in their place.


Let me know if you try out the crammed and spaced technique! Tag @cole.bun on Instagram.


Handwoven Weaving Loom Bench Cushion Tutorial

Handwoven Weaving Loom Bench Cushion Tutorial

Weaving for hours and hours while sitting on your hard loom bench is not the most comfortable thing to do. While you do not want to take time away from your weaving if you can help it, you also want a comfortable place to sit!

Not only do you want something comfortable, but having something that looks great can be an important part of your studio.

Creating an environment that is not only functional, but also inspirational can really help you to create more. 

You do not have to have a nice pillow or cushion for your loom bench. Likewise, you do not even really need an actual loom bench! Yet, there is something to be said for having cohesive furniture in your studio that is beautiful.

Using handwoven fabric for your cushion is a great way to use some of your yardage that you have previously woven, or to create something new that is just for you. 

This is not pattern for you to download or print out – just directions for making your own. That is because this is essentially just cutting squares and rectangles. Plus your bench or pillow may be a different size. Do not worry! You got this!

If you are looking for other ways to weave for longer and be healthier while doing it then make sure to check out my post on weaving posture! These tips apply to weaving on any type of loom.


This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through these links then I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Please read our DISCLAIMER for more info. Thanks for the support!



What you need:

Pillow insert

Sewing machine

Yardage

Fabric for underneath

Thread

Tape measure

Fusible interfacing

Fabric scissors and/or rotary blade


Choosing your handwoven fabric


The first thing that you need to do is either weave your fabric or choose the already handwoven fabric that you want to use. This pattern will still work just as well with commercial fabric, but where is the fun in that?!?

You will need enough handwoven fabric to cover the top of your pillow. The bottom of the pillow will use regular commercial fabric because there is no sense in using your handwoven fabric where you will not really see it.

When choosing your fabric, plain woven patterns will be the best option.

You will be sitting on your cushion so you do not want to have anything that has too many floats. Any excessive floats could get caught on zippers, buttons, or anthing else that are on your clothes when you are weaving.

Your loom bench could be a different size than mine, so make sure to measure yours and change up the pattern accordingly.

The loom bench that I have has a seat depth of 9 inches and sitting width of 22 inches. So for this pattern I will be using a pillow insert that is 12″x20”. Finding an insert that is smaller than 12 inches in depth can be hard, but this will actually allow me to have a fuller pillow to sit on when it is finished.

Keep this in mind when you are purchasing your pillow inserts.

This is the one that I used:


Get It On Amazon


Also, this is the weaving loom bench that I have!

Since there are many different types of loom benches you may have a different way that you want to attach your pillow. You also have the option of just having it sit on top of the bench like a normal pillow. This may be necessary for the type of bench you have, or you could just prefer it that way! Personally, I like to have mine attached so that it is not moving around so much or falling off when I get up to advance my warp.

My loom bench’s sitting area comes off easily by just pulling it up. Due to this, I can get away with just creating a 2 loops on the underside of my pillow cover. This is simpler than having to create either two flaps with a button hole or a snap. 

If your loom bench does not come off or you do not want to take it off whenever you need to wash or change your cushion cover then make sure to add either buttons or snaps to your straps. This will make it simpler for you!


handwoven fabric yardage

Before we get started, make sure to check out my post on sewing your handwoven fabric. This is an essential read before going forward with this project!

The first thing you need to do is make sure your handwoven fabric is prepped and ready. My favorite way to do this is to use fusible interfacing. Whether you are applying your fusible interfacing to the entire fabric or just the edges, the instructions will be the same. I talk more about fusible interfacing in the above linked post!


Need help planning your weaving project? Stuck trying to figure out how much yarn you need? What the h&^$ is WPI? Check out my e-book!


Make a mock loom bench cover


muslin mock-up loom bench cushion

This is not a necessary step unless you are nervous or new to sewing. If you are uneasy about cutting and sewing your handwoven fabric, then you can first make a mock-up pillow cover with muslin fabric. This is especially important if you are making up a pattern or do not have a physical pattern to work from. It can be a good idea to try out your pattern in muslin first because it is inexpensive.

If you mess it up then no harm! Just try again.

This is your proof of concept. If it works in muslin then it will work in your handwoven fabric!

Do not worry about making it pretty, just make sure it fits and you have the right measurements for your bench and your pillow.

When you feel comfortable and you know that it fits the way you want, then you can cut up your handwoven fabric and get started.


muslin mock-up loom bench cushion

Make your handwoven loom bench cushion cover!


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

After you have chosen all of your fabric you will need to cut everything out. To keep everything really nice and full I cut out my fabric to almost the exact size of my pillow. Since a pillow is pliable it will stuff into a cover that is the same size. Doing this will also help to keep it from getting too flat in the future!

For your cushion cover you will need at least 3 pieces of cut fabric – 1 handwoven and 2 commercial. If you are adding straps then you will need 4 pieces of commercial fabric.

My pillow insert: 12″x20″.

Handwoven fabric: 12″x21″ (I added a little bit of extra for seem allowance on the ends)

2 Straps: 5″x14″ each

2 Underside flaps: 12″x12″

Once everything is cut out; fold your straps in half and pin them. You can iron them at this point to get them flatter if it is easier.

Next: fold in one of the edges of each underside flap about .5″ and pin them. (see image above)


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

Using an overlock stitch (you will be using this for the entire pattern) sew along the open edge of your straps. Then turn them inside out and iron them again if need be to get them to sit flat.

The overlock stitch is a really strong stitch that will be able to hold up to any stretching or stress put on the fabric while in use.


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

Sew alongside your underside flaps where you pinned them.


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

Place your handwoven fabric on a table with the right side facing up. Lay out each of your straps about 5 inches in from the edges with the seem facing up. Then place your underside flaps on top or these with the right side facing down. The flaps should overlap slightly so that there is not a gap when you put the pillow insert inside.

We will be turning the entire cover right side out once we are finished so this will make sure our seams are on the inside of the cover.

Pin everything in place, making sure to put a pin where the strap sits so it does not move around.


handwoven loom bench cushion in progress

Sew all the way around your cover!

Go slow and make sure that your underside flaps overlap the same way – otherwise it will look twisted.


handwoven loom bench cushion sewn

Once your cover is completley sewn then you can cut any extra fabric, but you do not have to.

Turn your cushion cover right side out and insert your pillow!


handwoven loom bench cushion

Have you made your own loom bench cushion? Or have you made anything else with your handwoven fabric? I would love to see it! Leave me a comment below and/or tag me @cole.bun on instagram!


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