Christmas Gift: Handwoven Placemats

Ever since my in-laws gave me my loom for Christmas year before last, I’ve been wanting to make them some placemats for their updated dining room.  It is a pretty light blue with dark wood trim and furniture, so I wanted to play off of that.  They were really happy with them.

BB Woven Placemats 1

The yarn I used was “I love this Cotton!” from Hobby Lobby which is really soft, weaves well, and doesn’t cost too much for our budget.  The colors are 20 Brown and 300 Pale Denim.  I found the color-and-weave pattern and some directions for placemats in my copy of The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom.  The width in loom was the full width of my 15″ loom’s heddle, and the length of each placemat was 22″ before the 3/4″ hems (In retrospect, I would have preferred 24″.  See note below.).  As you can see better in a picture further down, the pattern is a 3 blue, 1 brown repeat in both the warp and the weft, making sure there are 3 blues on both edges of the warp.  In order to figure out how much yarn I needed, I used Weavolution’s Free Weaving Calculator.

BB Woven Placemats 2

I learned a lot during this process.  It not only involved weaving and washing, but also using a sewing machine to bind the ends so that I could cut (eek!) and hem them by hand.  I was so nervous about using my sewing machine on the woven material, but it worked wonderfully.  🙂

BB Woven Placemats 3

They turned out a little narrower than I would have liked since I must have misunderstood how long I was supposed to weave each one, but they work okay for their table.  (Basically, it said 24 inches under tension and 22 inches not under tension.  So, I measured them loose on the loom, thus not under tension, but they were too narrow, which may just be something odd about me.  I’ll be going with 24 inches loose on the loom in the future.  Due to the aforementioned narrowness, I have yarn leftover.)  They tucked under the edges of the ones on the ends, but my husband says that he thinks their table is not of normal proportions.  Uh-huh.  Sounds good.

ON THE LOOM

On the Loom View

HOW IT WOULD LOOK ON THE LOOM

Here are a couple more “glamour shots.”

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We’re trying to figure out what we want to do for our own dining table.  Hopefully, we can decide soon!

(I participate in the Amazon Associates program and receive a portion of all sales made through the Amazon links on this page.  I own the recommended book and really like it a lot.  I am not affiliated with Hobby Lobby except as a customer.)

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6 thoughts on “Christmas Gift: Handwoven Placemats

  1. Lyn de Bruyn says:

    Love the pattern. I am new to weaving and have a rigid heddle loom and a copy of the “Weavers Idea Book” I don’t understand how this is actually woven because the 3/1 pattern means the yarn is at the opposite side when the next pass is needed to be done. Do you cut and weave the ends in every single colour change?

    • Elizabeth - Lili and Mum's says:

      Thanks for your question. No, you do not have to cut and weave in the ends each time – that would be quite a turn off for sure! Weave the first 3 “blues,” then add the “brown.” Make sure you start both colors from the same side – this will make things work out. As you continue to weave, just “carry” the brown down the edge, by this I mean that you catch the brown under the blue as you go down the selvage (edge) so it isn’t sticking out and loopy looking and so that the blue doesn’t skip the edge strand of yarn and slip inwards. It works out easier than it sounds when you start working with it, but it’s somewhat hard to describe. Check out photos f,g, and h on my Log Cabin Pattern tutorial to see what I mean about “catching” the yarn. Click on the photos for a larger view. I’d be happy to answer any more questions. I’d recommend giving it a try on a smaller sample since you are new to weaving if you feel uncomfortable with it. Best of luck!

      • Lyn de Bruyn says:

        Thank you so much. I have woven a houndstooth scarf so i understand what you are saying about carrying the yarn along the selvedge – just never occurred to me to start the colours on the same side. Assumed you always went back and forth and joined in a continuous line. I have been trying to work it out on a small sample and was going crazy. Have now brought the second colour from the same end and it works. Such a simple solution.

      • Elizabeth - Lili and Mum's says:

        Yeah, I tried starting something with the colors on opposite sides, and it did not work at all! It works much better to start on the same side. Glad it’s working out for you. Thanks for visiting!

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