Editor’s Picks: Runners to Brighten Your Table

Weavers love table runners, and for good reason! Runners allow you to minimize waste and time spent finishing, and they are wonderful for practicing a new weaving technique or weave structure. Whether you weave them on four shafts, eight shafts, or a rigid heddle, there’s a lot to learn by weaving runners. I asked the weaving editors to share their favorite table runner patterns from Handwoven’s wonderful eBooks on four- and eight-shaft runners, and here are their selections! ~Andrea

Anita Recommends: “Runner in Four-Shaft, Four-Block Doubleweave” by Jean Scorgie with Gloria Martin, from Top Ten Table Runner Patterns on Four Shafts

Anita Osterhaug

Anita Osterhaug

This doubleweave table runner is just one of many woven table runner patterns in Handwoven's eBook, Top Ten Runners on Four Shafts.

With just four shafts, you can combine color-and-weave effects with doubleweave and greatly increase your design potential. Learn how in the eBook Top Ten Runners on Four Shafts.

Jean Scorgie’s runner design in 4-shaft, 4-block doubleweave is not only an attractive table linen, the design is mind-boggling.

Jean combines two layers of plain weave with a color-and-weave threading, then uses the shafts in different combinations to make checkerboard patterns in solid colors and stripes of log cabin-type patterning. A non-weaver will find this runner handsome; any weaver will also be dazzled to hear that it is woven on only 4 shafts.


Christina Recommends: “Mock Damask” Table Runners by Tuija Hannakainen, from Top Ten Table Runner Patterns on Eight Shafts

Christina Garton

Christina Garton

Top Ten Runners on Eight Shafts is full of woven runner patterns to tempt any weaver.

These runners are slightly weft-faced, so you can get very different-looking runners by just changing your warp color. Check out Top Ten Runners on Eight Shafts for more fun ideas!

One of the things I love best about the Organ Mountains that look over my town are the way they change colors as the sun sets. They start off in the day as your typical brownish-desert mountain color, but as soon as the sun starts going down, they transform as they turn first orange, then pink, and then purple before the sun finally dips below the horizon.

These gorgeous runners by Tuija Hannikainen remind me of those sunsets on the mountain with their subtle and beautiful color palettes. The dusky colors woven in such a striking, elegant design make for a set of runners that I would be more than happy to display on my New Mexican table.


Anne Recommends: “Table Runner with Twill and Leno Borders” by Linda Ligon, from Top Ten Table Runner Patterns on Four Shafts

Anne Merrow

Anne Merrow

Woven table runner projects like this twill and leno runner are wonderful for practicing a new weaving technique. They're samplers you can use!

This runner can be woven with butcher’s twine, making it a very inexpensive project. It’s also a perfect intro to leno lace! Check it out in Top Ten Table Runners on Four Shafts.

As a rigid-heddle weaver, I’m always looking for patterns that I can translate for my rigid-heddle loom, and this sweet and simple runner by Interweave and Handwoven founder Linda Ligon fits the bill.

I love the clever use of hand-manipulated leno to highlight the stripe of colorful twill at either end. It’s such an elegant addition to the piece; the little bit of lace just makes it that much more special.

While I doubt I’ll do pick-up twill to recreate this runner on my rigid heddle, I think some colorful striping, perhaps a bit weft dominant in nature, would give a similar effect.


Andrea Recommends: “Harvest Berry Runner in Warp Rep” by Jean Scorgie, from Top Ten Table Runner Patterns on Four Shafts

Andrea Lotz

Andrea Lotz

Learn new weave structures and techniques by weaving table runner patterns like this warp rep runner.

Warp rep is a classic weave structure that’s very useful for household goods like runners. Master the technique in Top Ten Table Runners on Four Shafts, and then experiment away!

Warp rep is a wonderful structure for runners, sturdy, firm, and durable. Plus, you can easily create a reversible runner with two dramatically different sides!

A great example is Jean Scorgie’s “Harvest Berry Runner,” which is mainly raspberry with turquoise accents on one side and rust-colored with purple accents on the other. Projects like this take some time and care to warp, but are relatively fast to weave, as the thick weft used to create the ribs makes for relatively few picks per inch.

I haven’t woven any table runner patterns before, but my goal is to create one in time for Thanksgiving this year. I think this one’s a great candidate with its rich berry colors.

Happy Weaving!


P.S. What are your tips for weaving a successful table runner? Let us know in the comments!

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