Sometimes learning a new technique can be daunting, especially when there are so many variations, but in my opinion the best way to learn is by doing. For that reason, I love picking projects for Easy Weaving with Little Looms that let you weave one technique in 2 or more ways. In the most recent Fall 2022 issue, Sara C. Bixler’s À La Carte Napkins are an excellent example of this kind of project.
For her napkins, Sara wove 3 different types of pick-up lace. Three of the napkins highlight 1 type of lace while the fourth napkin serves as a sampler. If you want to learn how to weave lace on the rigid-heddle loom using a pick-up stick, these napkins are the perfect first project. The lace isn’t a minor embellishment—it takes up a good portion of each napkin—so by weaving these napkins you’ll get the muscle memory so important in weaving. By the time you’re done weaving, you’ll feel confident in your lace-weaving abilities, you’ll have 3 different lace patterns in your weaving toolbox, and you’ll have a set of classic and classy napkins. What more could you want?
Close up of one of Sara's À La Carte Napkins.
Another reason I love these napkins is that they’re so darn accessible. The napkins are woven using 3/2 cotton, a staple in the stash of many a weaver. Perfect for trying out a new technique, 3/2 cotton is easy to handle, easy to unweave (ask me how I know), and relatively inexpensive. Then, once you get the hang of lace, you can use it to weave up lacy scarves and shawls using more luxurious yarns.
As an added bonus, this same project is featured as part of Sara’s new video course, Huck Lace on the Rigid-Heddle Loom. So if you’re nervous about going forward into a new technique based on a written project alone, you can learn directly from Sara and watch her as she explains and weaves these same patterns.
I hope if you haven’t done so yet that you give lace a try!