Christmas Pick Up Stick Placemats and Towel

Simple, elegant and festive, these placemats are woven using 3/2 Perle Cotton and a Kromski Harp Forte Loom.
For our sample we have used red, white and green, but these would look equally nice in blues and white or even with rustic mountain colors for everyday use.

Finished size for the placemats is  19.5” x 14.5”.  This recipe makes 2 placemats and one slightly larger mat or dish towel with a different design.

You will need approximately:

1350 yards of main color
80 yards of trim color
100 yards of tree color

24” or 32” Harp Forte Loom

12 dent heddle

Pick up stick

2 or 3 stick shuttles

small crochet hook

Sewing thread and needle for hemming (or sewing machine)

Lets Begin!

Warp 196 ends using the main color (in our case this is red). Weave a header in a contrasting scrap yarn.

To weave placemat:

Weave 2” plain weave in red.

Danish Medallions in white:

Do not cut the red yarn. Use a second shuttle to weave one plain row using white. Begin on the left if you are right handed. The medallions will be easier to create if you do this. Wrap the tail end around the edge warp thread and lay it back into the shed for about an inch and back out the back. Use this method at the start and finish of each new color. This will weave in the ends as you work. These will be trimmed short after the placemats are washed and dried. Do not cut the white yarn. This is the base of the medallion.

Hold the white shuttle off to the side. Weave 6 rows of plain weave using the red. Do not wrap the white thread at the salvage edge.

Change shed. Using the white, draw the shuttle through 5 ends of the top layer created by the shed (here after you will go under 4 ends until the last 5). Bring the shuttle to the top of fabric. Keep the thread loose.

Use the crochet hook to reach below the corresponding space on the base to the top and grab the white thread, thus creating a loop.

Bring the loop through to the top (be sure it is below the base thread).

Enlarge the loop until you can pass the shuttle through the loop. Gently pull snug enough to cause the base and top threads to be slightly rounded.

Pass the shuttle back down through, into the shed – going under the next 4 threads and repeat the process. When you reach the end, you should have 5 threads to go under to finish.
Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. Use the crochet hook to bring the tail through the end thread at the base. Take the tail back up the edge and weave it into the shed to mimic the opposite side. This completes the medallions.

Weave 6 rows of plain weave in red. Again, do not cut yarn.

Trim: Put the heddle in the down position. Use the pick up stick to pick up every other thread in the upper layer of the shed, behind the heddle.

Return the heddle to the neutral position. Turn the pick up stick on end and bring it forward against the heddle. Weave one row of white. Do not cut yarn.

Slide the pick up stick back to the rear beam and out of the way.
Weave 2 rows of red in plain weave.
Place the heddle in back in neutral and bring the pick up stick, on end, against heddle. Weave one row of white. Cut the yarn and weave in the end. Remove pick-up stick.
Weave 2 rows of red. Do not cut yarn.

Now it’s time to make some Trees!

Load a second shuttle with green thread. Place the heddle in neutral and use the pick up stick to lift the various threads in front of the heddle.

Use the graph to determine which threads to pick up. All blocks marked with red need to be above the pick up stick and all blocks marked in green will be under the pick up.

Beginning at the bottom right, pick up the right edge section followed by 12 repeats of the tree section. End with the left edge section. These edge sections are necessary because of the long floats. This will lock them in place and give the salvages a neater appearance.

Turn the pick up stick on end, against the heddle, and pass the shuttle in front of the pick up stick, through the shed created (leaving the heddle in neutral). Remove the pick-up and change shed from previous red row.

Weave one row of red.
Continue to follow the graph to weave the green pick-up rows, each time with the heddle in neutral. Remove the pick up after each row and follow with a plain row of red between each green row, changing the shed each time.
After the trees are complete, remove the pick-up stick, cut green yarn and weave in the end.

Weave 12” plain weave in red.

To weave the other side of the placemat, turn the graph so that the top of the trees is at the bottom and proceed as before, working the pattern in the reverse order as previously to mirror the other side. Continue by weaving 2 rows of red, followed by the trim rows and the Danish Medallions. Finish with the 2″ of plain red for the hem.

Weave 2 rows of a contrasting color to separate the placemats, before weaving the second mat in the same manor.

Now let’s make the Honey Comb Mat or Dish Towel

Honey Comb Towel:

Weave 2” in red plain weave.
Weave 2 rows of white. Cut the yarn and weave in the ends.
Begin Honey Comb Pattern.

The Honey Comb uses the pick-up stick to create 2 patterns, referred to as A and B. With the heddle in the down position, these are set up behind the heddle as follows:
A = Begin with 3 threads down, then 4 up, 4 down across to the last 7. End with 4 up, 3 down.
B = Begin with 7 threads down, then 4 up, 4 down to the last 11. End with 4 up, 7 down.
Each of these is repeated several times within the pattern repeat. The pick up will need to be removed and re-set when changing from A to B.

The pick up stick is slid up to the heddle, but not turned on it’s side as in the previous design. Slide it back to the rear beam when not in use.

You will also need a second shuttle loaded with green yarn held doubled.

The pattern works as follows:
Begin with Pick-up A.

1) Heddle up, slide pick up forward. Red
2) Heddle down (no pick-up). Red
3) Repeat 1 & 2 twice more.
4) Heddle up, slide pick-up forward. Red
5) Heddle Down (no pick-up). Green

Change to pick-up stick B and repeat 1 – 5. Wrap the red yarn around the green as it is carried up the side.

Repeat the pattern using A, then B, then A once more. Cut the green and weave in the end. Finish with B through step 4 only.

Weave one row red.
Weave 2 rows white.

Weave 12” red.

Weave 2 rows of white to begin the other side.

To weave the opposite end, begin with pick-up B and work steps 1 – 5.
Change to pick-up A and repeat the steps again. Repeat the pattern, using B, then A, then B once more. Finish with A through step 4 only.  Remove pick up stick.

Weave 1 row of red.
Weave 2 rows white.
Weave 2″ red. Weave 2 rows of a contrasting color as before to separate the mats and then weave a few inches of red (or contrasting color). This last bit will be discarded, but will help stabilize the fabric while in the wash.

Remove the project from the loom and tie loose ends to prevent unraveling. Wash in washing machine using hot water and dry. Cut the mats apart and hem either by hand or machine. Iron if necessary.

Kromski wishes you all the best this Holiday Season!




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