This year I thought it would be fun to update my Christmas furnishings with some new handwoven cushions using the pick-up-stick with my rigid heddle loom to create some Scandinavian type patterns.
To create the patterns first place the heddle in the down position, then working behind the heddle insert a stick (a long shuttle or ruler works well) under a set number of warp threads. This can be any combination such as two up, two down as in the pictures.
The patterns appear when the pick-up-stick is turned on its side, lifting up the extra warp threads to create spaces for the weft to pop through. With several rows of plain weave in the background the floats are held securely in position.
Varying the thickness of the wool weft will give a good contrast with the background yarn. These three patterns were created by inserting the pick-up-stick under different combinations of warp threads. The yarn is pure wool, bought on cones at Wonderwool this April in Wales. The cushions were all woven on a 20″ (50cm) Ashford Knitters Loom using a 7.5 dpi (30/10cm) heddle. I used the iron-on-woven interfacing along all the edges before inserting the zips.
I cannot tell you how much fun this is to do! It is so simple and the patterns just grow before your eyes. I love the contrast here between the red and the white background. For more information about the patterns look for a lovely book called Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom by Betty Linn Davenport. There is also some reference to this method in The Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick. Give it a go. I think you will love it!