Shaker Twisted Table Runner

Sometimes, the simplest things in life are best. Eating a chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven, watching the sunset from your own backyard, smelling the first flowers of spring—these are simple pleasures, yes, but great ones. Weavers and other crafty folks often find inspiration and joy in these simple experiences. Easy Weaving with Little Looms 2018 designer Sara C. Bixler finds inspiration in many places, but her love of simplicity prompted her to examine the weaving traditions of Shaker communities and ultimately led to the creation of her Shaker Twisted Table Runner.

Shaker Twisted Table Runner

Sara created her zigzag patterning by strategically twisting her weft, a technique she learned from traditional Shaker twisted rugs.

“The Shakers are known for their simple use of design and uncomplicated weave structures limited most often to plain weave or a simple twill,” Sara says. “One technique in particular that has always resonated with me was their twisted rugs. This technique of weaving rugs served not only to suit a utilitarian purpose, but used up the odd ends of materials often considered to be waste.”

Shaker twisted rugs differ from other rag weaving techniques in that they wind many strands of yarn onto the shuttle and then twist them intentionally to create unique patterns. In her table runner, Sara took full advantage of this innovative technique to create a fun optical pattern on a small scale. I love the harmonious blend of colors and the various zigs and zags of the pattern—they work together beautifully to create a unique, harmonious piece that will look fabulous with both simple and elaborate table settings. We hope you enjoy weaving it as much as Sara did!


Featured Image: Close-up of Sara Bixler’s Shaker Twisted Table Runner

Project at a Glance:

Equipment needed: Rigid-heddle loom, 15″ weaving width, 12-dent heddle; 2 shuttles.

Yarns: 8/4 Cotton Carpet Warp (Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center), Eggplant; 8-ply Mop Cotton (Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center), #1291 Sierra, #8115 Stone, #4270 Brick, #4616 Peacock, and #5206 Aqua Marine.

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