Designed and woven by Margaret Stump
Last year, I decided to make a blanket so that I would have a long-term project to weave. That meant that no matter where I went, if I was going to a meeting or visiting friends, I had a project I could easily take with me to work on. To me, that is one of the real benefits of using a hand-sized, portable loom. After I planned the pattern, I named it the Unity Blanket because the design felt calm and harmonious. Superwash wool offered both the comfort and wonderful feel of the wool, while making it easy to clean without felting.
Although I love to weave, I am not that fond of spending lots of time joining the squares. I decided to join them with a mattress stitch because it goes really quickly while offering a clean, flat look. Once you have some practice, you can join two squares in about the time it takes to needle weave across a square on your Zoom Loom. This project offers an opportunity to use several different joins: the mattress stitch and a combination of whipstitch and single crochet. You'll end up with a quilt-like woven blanket.
Finished size: 56" wide and 56" long
Weave structure: plain weave
What You'll Need
Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash (100% superwash wool, 220 yds / 100 g, #3 DK weight) in the following colors and amounts:
#817 Ecru, 180 yds
#873 Extra Creme Cafe, 300 yds
#818 Mocha, 400 yds
#279 Sterling Blue, 430 yds
#845 Denim, 800 yds
#816 Grey, 64 yds
fork or comb for beating
G-6 (4.0 mm) crochet hook
- tapestry needle
- Susan Bates 5" weaving needle (optional)
- small crochet hook (1.75 mm to 2.0 mm) for pulling yarn ends into fabric
Weave the following 4" squares in plain weave, weaving in the two ends and then clipping off the excess yarn.
Ecru, 21 squares; Extra Creme Cafe, 28 squares; Mocha, 40 squares; Sterling Blue, 48 squares; Denim, 88 squares
Because this list of total squares can feel extremely daunting, I suggest working one block at a time. Weave the 9 squares for the block, then join with mattress stitch and finish with single-crochet edging as explained below. As you work through the blocks, tick them off on the diagram. It's also helpful to number each block on the diagram and then label the block with masking tape.
Align the nine squares needed for a block and join them with mattress stitch, using the dominant color in that block. (See Resources for a link to my video.)
- Work a single-crochet edging around the nine-square block in that block's dominant color. Weave in all tails.
Lay out the completed blocks according to the pattern, paying close attention to the orientation of the Outer Corner, Outer Edge, and Inner Corner Blocks. Check your layout against the diagram above.
- Whipstitch the 25 blocks together with Grey. It's easiest to work strips of 5 blocks, then join the 5 strips. Weave in all tails.
Work a single-crochet edging around the blanket in Grey. Work a single-crochet edging around the blanket in Extra Creme Cafe. Weave in all tails.
Wet finish the blanket by gently washing in warm water with shampoo or wool wash. I used the gentle cycle on my washing machine, skipped over almost all of the agitation cycle, and then allowed it to rinse and spin out. Lay the blanket flat to dry.
I like to use a Susan Bates 5" weaving needle for this technique: it's thick, has a very large eye that is easy to thread, and lets you work through many stitches before you pull the yarn through.
Place two squares right sides together. The loops on the edges you're joining will probably be staggered, which is good.
Cut a length of yarn about 24" and thread it on the needle. At one end of the edge, secure the yarn with a single knot or weave it through the fabric.
Begin the mattress stitching: go in and out of a pair of loops on one square, then in and out of the other square, as shown in Figure 1. Work through as many loops as you can until you "fill" the needle. Gently pull the yarn through the loops. Repeat across the edge.
At the other end of the seam, secure with a knot or weave the yarn through the fabric. Trim the tail.
When you open the two squares, the joined edge should have a dogtooth or scalloped look, with the two squares closely butted together.
This decorative joining stitch adds a contrast color between the blocks of your blanket. Because it's highly visible, the single crochet edging will evenly space the stitches. Cut a long length of yarn and make sure not to draw it too tightly—when you unfold the joined blocks, they should lie flat.
Lay two 9 x 9 blocks flat on a work surface, wrong sides together, with crocheted edges aligned. Attach your stitching yarn to one corner of the top square, from the wrong side, so that you can stitch from right to left. (You can either tie a knot in the end or weave in the end after you have finished stitching.)
Bring the needle through the top block to its upper side, through the first single crochet loop. Pull the yarn over the top block and to the underside of the bottom block. Insert the needle through the first single crochet loop of the bottom block, then through the second loop of the top block. Pull the yarn through, leaving some slack.
Continue working across the blocks, stitching through the loops of both layers from the underside of the bottom layer to the upper side of the top layer.
Unfold the blocks and make sure they lie flat. You can loosen stitches with the tip of your needle if necessary. Knot the end or weave in the tail.
See my videos of stitches at http://www.pinloomweaving.com/p/videos.html
Stump, Margaret. Adorable Beasts: 30 Pin Loom Animals + 4 Playscapes. Stackpole Books, 2019.
Stump, Margaret. Pin Loom Weaving to Go: 30 Projects for Portable Weaving. Stackpole Books, 2017.
Stump, Margaret. Pin Loom Weaving: 40 Projects for Tiny Hand Looms. Stackpole Books, 2014.
© 2022 Schacht Spindle Company