I thought about motifs that would be both graphically interesting, and indicative of Halloween. One of the first images that came to mind was a skull. I thought about doing a block-weave skull that would be large, but decided I wanted a finished fabric that you would have to get close, to see what the pattern was made of.
Using the iPad software iWeaveit, I played around with a few different designs before settling on one that worked. I started weaving, and didn’t quite like the pattern, so I went back to my draft and made some adjustments. Since my pattern was based around the tie-up, and the Baby Wolf makes it so easy, I was able to quickly make the changes and start weaving again.
Equipment: 8-shaft Baby Wolf Loom, 15″ end-feed delivery shuttle, 8″ pirns.
Valley Yarns Valley Cotton 3/2 in Silver Birch – 600 yards. Phoenix Dye Works, 85/15 Cotton/Nylon Blend in Common Wealth “Purple/Black.” – 700 yards. (This yarn was an old one from my stash; it measured around a 3/2 weight, so you can substitute a 3/2 cotton with confidence.)
Warp: 5 yard warp at 12 epi (This is about a yard longer than I needed, but I modified the dimensions as I was weaving.)
Total Warp ends: 174, 120 ends of Silver and 54 ends of Purple.
Warp Color Order: Start with 4 ends of purple, then alternate 5 ends of silver, 2 ends of Purple until you reach the last repeat, end with 5 ends of silver and 4 ends of purple. See draft below.
Weft: Same purple as warp, woven at 12 ppi.
Threading: Point twill over 8 shafts
Weaving: Napkins: weave 4 picks of plain weave, stop to hemstitch, weave skull pattern for about 12.5″ then weave 4 picks of plain weave, hemstitch. Leave at least 4 inches in between each napkin.
Table Runner: Weave 3 inches of plain weave, then weave skull pattern for another 2.5 feet, weave 3 more inches of tabby. Weave with an even beat to achieve regularly shaped and spaced skulls. I did not keep an even beat the whole time which resulted in some squished skulls and others that were more elongated. To me this made it look more irregular and spooky.
Finishing: For each napkin, hemstitch the ends, top-stitch the fabric along hem. Cut fringe at approximately 1.25″
Note: I find using a straight edge and rotary cutter gives me a cleaner cut.
For the table runner, fold the ends up to create a hem, sew with a straight stitch to secure.
Wash and iron.