Holiday WeavingI am a great lover of family traditions and one year I decided to start a new one for our family and wove each of my sisters a holiday dish towel/bread cloth. I wanted them to be related, but not identical, so I chose a twill pattern that I could use different treadlings with. I also mixed it up a little by using two different weft colors and varying the proportions, so one had stripes, one a broad band of contrast, etc. The result was a gift that wove us together as a family and yet was unique and special to each person. Sets maximize your warping time by allowing you to make many pieces from one warp. Each piece becomes different through the use of different weft colors, treadlings or tie ups. This strategy works for everything from dish towels and bread cloths, to scarves, table runners and more.
I categorize my holiday weaving in two groups – gifts and decorating my home. My categories overlap sometimes, because I often weave festive pieces for other people’s homes. For the gifting I tend to keep it simple and go with the Set Theory, which can play out in numerable ways. Your handwoven can be the crown jewel in a basket of goodies – a bread cloth with a loaf of home-baked or artisan bread, spa cloths with bath salts, a sewn bag filled with game pieces (chess, anyone?) or a bottle of wine. A set of coasters (aka mug rugs) is a quick gift as well as a great way to sample new techniques.
And then there’s home dec. I love linens (a term I use generically that does not necessarily involve the use of the linen fiber) that can be special accents for holidays. Table runners, place mats and coasters are great for this. These are pieces where I rely on color to carry the theme, choosing those that are associated with the family/faith traditions of the recipient. The examples below are based on one of our most popular drafts – #64 Modified Star Work Dish Towel. For a table runner – make it narrower and longer and add some lovely twisted fringes. Place mats – hemmed rectangles, maybe with some stripes along the edges to frame the pattern.
What weaving projects are you planning for the holidays?