This is the second time we will tackle twill. In a previous weave-along, we explored how to pick-up any twill in front of the heddle to create borders. In this version, the School Patrons voted to weave the Tweed and Twill Pillow Cover from Handwoven Home.
This oversized pillow was designed for serious lounging. The fabric is a 1/3 twill woven with two heddles in a hearty wool to create a classic tweed fabric for a pillow cover.
I’ll offer some adaptations for using a single heddle, which is best used to weave a narrower version of the project. The pattern is highly adaptable in width, length, and sett. During registration week, I will offer you a few tips on modifying the project.
The finishing on this fabric highlights two of my personal loves about the woven form—decorative seams and showy fringe. A bonus with this finishing approach is the majority of your selvedges are going to be encased in decorative stitching, so you don’t have to worry that much about making them tidy. The wrapped fringe makes the finish smoother than knotting.
This weave-along is designed for an advanced beginner. I assume that you have already woven a few projects, can warp your loom without assistance, have a basic understanding of weaving terminology, and are ready for a challenge.
Tweed and Twill Pillow Cover from Handwoven Home (affiliate link). You need the book to refer to the full pattern. Available in softcover or as a Kindle edition (affiliate link). (The education portion of the weave-along is totally free, but my publisher would frown on me if I posted the pattern.)
As written, you need a rigid-heddle loom with at least a 23” weaving width, two 5-dent rigid-heddle reeds, 2 stick shuttles, a pick-up stick at least 25’’ long, preferably over 1” wide. Optional: 25” rod or stick. Single heddle option will use a single 5-dent rigid-heddle, 2 heddle rods, 2 shuttles, and a pick-up stick. The single heddle version is recommended for narrower widths.
This pattern is easily adaptable to your available weaving width and heddle options. Check out the information during registration week for more information about yarn selection, heddle size, and project adaptations.
I personally find the 5-dent heddles very versatile, and they provide a beginner-friendly way to get started using two heddles because you can really see the interlacement and the fabric works up quickly. We used the same set-up for the Hudson Bay Inspired Throw Weave-Along if you have a big throw on your project list.
The original pattern uses Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney, a breed-specific wool from a shop and producer I greatly respect.
Since I wrote Handwoven Home, I’ve re-discovered a Suffolk yarn that I’ve long had my eye on using in a project, and it would also work up well in this format. I worked with Gist Yarn & Fiber and Mountain Meadow Wool to create yarn bundles for pre-sale for this weave-along. We had to get our order in early to get enough yarn dyed for the project. There are a limited number of bundles left and you can also order individual skeins. Patrons will receive a small discount off of the large bundle; check out this post for details.
Large pillow as written is 21.5 x 21.5 inch pillow with an 8” flap, you will need 520 yds (475 m) in green for warp and 285 yds (261 m) in yellow for weft of a 2-ply bulky-weight or heavy worsted wool, 800 yds (732 m)/lb.
For those who only have 15-inch looms, you could weave a small 12 x 12 inch version using approximately 230 yds warp and 90 yds weft.
In general, weaving with two heddles creates a bit more loom waste than a single heddle. The pattern allows for 24” of loom waste, some of which is used for the fringe. If this is your first time working with two heddles, you may want to add additional warp length to give yourself a bit of cushion.
Also the Suffolk yarn I’m recommending has more bounce than the Romney yarn used in the pattern. See handout in registration materials for more information.
January 29: Registration link available, welcome information, tips on selecting yarns and modifying the pattern, and getting ready to warp.
February 5: Warp
February 12: Weave
February 19: Finish
February 26: Show and Share!
Don’t worry if you can’t stick to this schedule. There is no getting behind. As long as you are registered, you have access 24/7 to this information for as long as you like.
- Welcome to Warping Week + Finish Threading the Back Heddle
- Threading the Front Heddle
- Tying on and Double Checking Your Threading
- Placing Pick-Up Stick
- Placing the Heddle Rod
- The Single Heddle Option
- Single Heddle Checklist
- Positioning the Front Heddle on the Knitter’s Loom (From Hudson Bay Throw Weave-Along)
- Adding a Second Heddle on a Schacht Cricket (From Hudson Bay Throw Weave-Along)
- An Brief Introduction to Kromski Harp Heddle Block (From Hudson Bay Throw Weave-Along)
- A Consideration For Kromski Heddle Block Placement
- Weaving Week Resources
About the instructor
Yarn is a big part of who I am—growing it, spinning it, and then making it do tricks, particularly the over/under kind (i.e. weaving). Passing this love on to newcomers is what makes my heart happy. I spend my days weaving, writing about weaving, teaching others to weave, and enjoying this thing called life.
I host Yarnworker, a site for rigid-heddle know-how and inspirations. I dream-up, films, edit, and hosts the courses myself from my home in central, New Mexico. To learn more about me and the Yarnworker community, visit yarnworker.com