Weaving Log Cabin ~ It's Easier Than It Looks!

Posted by Jessica Ybarra on

Let's Weave Log Cabin!

I love weaving log cabin on my rigid heddle loom because it's so easy and rewarding to see such an intricate pattern appear right before my eyes.  

Log-cabin is a color and weave technique; the pattern looks complicated, but it is not!  It is just a two-shaft plain weave that produces areas of smart vertical and horizontal pinstripes.

You can think of weaving log cabin in two blocks.  "Block A" will be warped light, dark, light, dark while "Block B" will be warped dark, light, dark, light.

Then once you have your loom warped by repeating these two blocks, you will then simply weave in the same sequence of alternating dark, light for block A, until switching to light, dark for block B.

It's a great project for even the most beginning weaver to accomplish. 

Today we will be weaving some Log Cabin Runners with Black 5/2 Perle Cotton, and Sapphire Blue 5/2 Stonewash Cotton.

You can choose any type of yarn for your runners as long as it is two contrasting colors of light and dark.  I've heard some say that the traditional log cabin design is black with white, but if you're like me, playing with color is exciting, and the color possibilities are endless!

Some alternate yarn suggestions could be:
Aurora Earth 8/2 Cotton
8/2 Cottolin
Cotton Rug Warp
Remix Light

 

Here are the basic requirements to know before getting started:

Weave structure:  plain weave / log cabin
Equipment needed:  rigid heddle loom; 13.4” weaving width; 10 dent reed; 3 shuttles

Yarns: 
Color A - Black 5/2 Cotton 848 yds
Color B - Stonewash 5/2 Cotton 848 yds

Total warp ends: 268

Warp length: 3 ½ yds (126”)

Setts: 10 epi (doubled); 10 ppi (doubled threads)
Finished Dimensions:  four placemats 11.5” x 18” or two runners 11.5” x 36” (There is sufficient warp length to weave a total of 102”.  Decide on your own size mats or use my examples to weave four placemats or two runners.
Now that we know what size loom and reed we need, how many shuttles, what yarns and yardage amounts, we can get started! 

The steps in weaving are pretty much the same for every project.  Warping your loom, threading your reed, winding your shuttles, weaving, and finally taking your fabric off the loom and either hemming or making a fringe. 

Step 1:  Warping the Loom

Set up your loom to direct warp a length of 3 ½ yards (126”) and 13.4” weaving width.
The warp threads are doubled warping four threads in each slot (two of Color A Black and two of Color B Stonewash). 
This can be a very quick process by holding Color A thread and Color B thread together and carry the yarns to the warping peg and you now have four threads in the slot.
Continue warping each slot until you have 13.4" weaving width or 268 total threads.

It can't get any easier than that!   

Step 2:  Threading the Reed

Wind the yarns onto the back beam.
The order that you transfer the threads into the holes is what will set up the blocks for the log cabin sequence. 
Transfer two threads Color B (Stonewash) into the first seven holes. 
Transfer two threads Color A (Black) into the next three holes. 
Repeat this order six times then finish last seven holes with Color B (Stonewash) threads. 
You will now have two threads in each slot and two in each hole.
Tie your yarns onto the front beam in small sections and tighten the warp.

Step 3: Preparing the Shuttles

Wind one shuttle double strand Stonewash Cotton,
second shuttle double strand Black Cotton,
and the third shuttle single strand Black for hems.

 
Step 4: Weaving

Weave with scrap yarn to spread the warp evenly. 
Choose the length of mats you prefer to weave. 
There is sufficient warp length to weave a total of 102”.  Decide on your preferred length of mats or use my options to make four placemats 18” long or two runners 36” long.

 
Weft Order for Either Placemats or Runners:
Weave 1 ½” with single strand for hem.
Block A - Alternate Black and Stonewash shuttles for fourteen picks. 
Block B - Alternate Stonewash and Black shuttles for six picks.
Repeat Block A and B for desired length, always ending with Block A.
Weave 1 ½” with single strand for hem.
 
Option for Four Placemats:  
Weave 1 ½” with single strand for hem.
Repeat Block A and B for 20” ending with Block A.
Weave 1 ½” with single strand for hem.
This will allow you to make four placemats 11.5” x 18” each.
Weave a few picks of waste yarn between each placemat.
(Go to step 5)
 
Option for Two Runners:
Weave 1 ½” with single strand for hem.
Repeat Block A and B for 41” ending with Block A.
Weave 1 ½” with single strand for hem.
This will allow you to make two runners 11.5” x 36” each.
Weave a few picks of waste yarn between each runner.
(Go to step 5)

 

Step 5: Finishing and Hemming

Weave several picks of waste yarn before cutting the fabric from the loom to prevent your final placemat or runner from coming unwoven.
Cut the finished woven fabric from the loom near the back beam and sew a straight stitch across each end of the mats with matching sewing thread. 

Cut each placemat or runner apart. 

Using a hot iron, fold each hem over twice to get a nice flat edge.

Sew a straight stitch across securing each hem.
Hand wash in cool water and lay flat to dry. 
Press with a warm iron if needed.


You did it!  I can't wait to hear about your log cabin weaving adventures! 

Please join us on Facebook, Cotton Clouds Rigid Heddle Weaving to share your experiences and pictures!

This project is available as a kit with all the yarns and pattern needed.  See our Stonewash Log Cabin Runners or Placemat Kit at cottonclouds.com!

Happy weaving!  

Jodi Ybarra

 


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