My husband and I are taking two-step lessons. For months we have been circling the dance floor repeating, “one, two, off-step” in our heads. This is how I like to go about my weaving, a few quick projects and then one that throws me out of my comfort zone.
Many of the weave-along projects involve more set up and time to weave. As we are deep into the holiday season, I have a few quick weave suggestions to both cleanse our palate from these larger involved projects and as ideas for gifts. No matter if the project works up quick or slow, you get to apply all the know-how you have learned to make your cloth come out just the way you want.
The Littlest Table Runner
I’m a big fan of the little runner. They can be made out of any kind of yarn and are infinitely useful. Our daily eating areas often don’t have room for large runners, making smaller better (and faster).
The Vanilla Cake Table Scarf pattern from Knitty‘s First Fall 2015 issue, works up in a jiff and you can add another small lovely to round out as a gift. There is a video on my YouTube channel on how to work the lattice fringe that adds a bit of pizzaz to the project. Depending on where you place the variegated yarn—in the warp and weft (left), in the weft (center), or in the warp (right)—you will get different looks.
In this particular pattern, you can use almost any yarn, DK, worsted, or Aran weight, and pack it soft or firmly depending on your taste. It is hard to go wrong with this one and of all the projects I have listed here, this one is the quickest.
Sock Yarn Scarf
In my humble opinion, woven scarves are the best scarves. They show off the beauty of the yarn and for those knitters and crocheters out there, woven scarves work up way faster since you work row-by-row and not stitch-by-stitch. Keep in mind the thicker the yarn, the faster it works up.
Weaving is a particularly good way to show off variegated yarns. I often suggest to my students when working with variegated yarns to use a closely sett warp and weave with a finer yarn using a loose beat. The lighter you are with your beat, the fewer picks you have to weave, which speeds up the work. This will give you amazing drape and shows off the beauty of the yarn.
The Ghost Ranch Scarf from Knitty‘s Deep Fall 2015 issue is a perfect example of this technique. Sock yarn seems to take up permanent residence in our stash and this is a great way to use it.
I’m always on the lookout for yarn with super long repeats. They work up into great faux plaids. When Shepherd’s Lamb, a local ranch in Northern New Mexico, approached me about collaborating, I jumped at the chance. They have this fabulous dip-dyed yarn, dyed at the storied Tierra Wools. I wrote my senior college project on this amazing dye house and weavery.
This free pattern gives you all the wow of colorwork with the speed of one-shuttle weaving. Although no two scarves will be alike, if you use the specs you will get something similar. Shephard’s Lamb is offering 10% off storewide for all Yarnworkers, December 1-15 using the code COLORWAYS, or you can sign up for their newsletter anytime to get a 10% discount.
Like little runners, little rugs are also infinitely variable and fun to weave. These rugs will wow any yarn-worthy recipient. Check out the Oversized Mug Rugs on page 111 in Handwoven Home that use self-striping, fade-dyed, and variegated sock yarn to create one-shuttle patterns. They make great mouse pads.
How fast these work up depends on how firmly you pack your mat. The Roundup Rug in the Deep Fall 2017 issue of Knitty uses two shuttles and a thicker, toothier wool that is packed only using only the heddle and not a supplementary beater as in the Oversized Rugs so it works up a little quicker.
Joyce Weger worked up the six rugs, shown here, shortly after Handwoven Home‘s release, “Six new mug rugs from Handwoven Home. Thanks, Liz, for the wonderful book. Most of them are made with Paton’s Kory Sock yarn. Two with Premier yarns’ Serenity Sock weight. I love the weight of these little rugs and hopefully, so will my Christmas gift recipients. I plan on making a few more.”
My latest (and last) Knitty column is about using the leavings of weavings, called thrums. There are a number of ideas for using up these bits and pieces of yarn that will work up quickly and provide you some out-of-the-box projects.
The holidays can be a busy time, both the good busy and the not-so-good busy—be sure to carve out some time on your list for yourself. Less involved projects are a great way to gain some me-time and still feel productive. No matter which way you go, quick or slow, work of the hand takes time, and that is the very best part.