Large Blanket, Small Loom: Rigid Heddle Blanket Project

3 July 2024
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Just as a knitter needs to choose the right cast-on and bind-off for a project, a weaver needs to think about the beginning and ending of their woven piece. Hemstitching is one way to secure the warp and weft threads and prevent unravelling. Find Sarah’s hemstitching tutorial here!

This light and cozy blanket is woven on a small loom—dont let anyone tell you that you need a large loom to make blankets! Three panels are woven separately then sewn together, almost invisibly, to make a large piece. The vertical stripes help to further disguise the seam. The panels are woven in a loose—but balanced—plain weave, resulting in a simple, light and lofty fabric. Each panel is sized to be a small rectangular shawl if you decide that youd rather not sew them together.

Finished Couch Drape

When designing this blanket, I chose Briggs and Little Sport because I believe in supporting our local textile industry, and its a 100 percent non-superwash wool yarn, processed in Canada from sheep raised in Canada. The B&L yarn is inexpensive—this whole blanket can be woven from just four-and-a-half skeins of yarn (at a cost of less than $50 CAD, based on current prices). There are other lovely Canadian 100-percent wool yarns out there, and I recommend Custom Woolen Mills 1-ply as a possible substitute. Smaller mills such as Wellington Fibres and Rosebud River Fibre Mill are making a beautiful two-ply yarn of similar grist that Id love to try in this pattern, recognizing the higher price point of these yarns. A wool/mohair blend yarn would be fun to use; the naturally fuzzy property of the mohair would create a lovely texture. The blanket will appear very loosely woven until after fulling (washing and slightly shrinking). A superwash yarn will not work well in this pattern.

The blanket pattern creates vertical stripes. Adding horizontal stripes would create a traditional checkered blanket, but getting the stripes to line up across the three panels could be quite challenging.

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Finished Closeup Fringe

Photo credits: Sarah Thornton

Copyright © Sarah Thornton except as indicated.
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About Sarah Thornton

Sarah Thornton is a connector - she loves bringing people and ideas together, especially over local fibres and foods. When not teaching college Biology labs, she knits, spins, designs, teaches, and occasionally weaves in her new studio space on Vancouver Island. She's also a cyclist, skier, hiker, and gardener! Find her patterns and classes at and @sarsbarknits on Instagram.

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