A step by step guide to making your own boho pillow for those with advanced weaving skills.
By Andreia Gomes
In Little Loom Weaving (Ulysses Press, 2017) by Andreia Gomes, she utilizes her background as an interior designer to teach unique techniques on weaving for those just starting out and for those who have been weaving for years. Her book has everything you need to create trendy and timeless woven pieces on a small, portable loom.
Once you have improved your weaving skills and start feeling comfortable experimenting with new things, you can start making all kinds of woven pieces for your home. This project could seem a bit overwhelming at first because it’s a big project, but it’s really not that difficult. It just takes more time and patience. In this piece, you will experiment and practice another form of weaving, called freeform weaving. This will create pattern and movement by weaving abstract forms, resulting in a more organic design. I promise you will love the end result!
• Weaving loom at least 20 inches (50 centimeters) wide
• Thick cotton warp yarn
• Tapestry needle
• Worsted weight wool rug yarn in white and black
• Worsted weight cotton yarn in light blue
• Bulky weight wool yarn in teal and gray
• Lace weight wool yarn in yellow
• Shed stick
• White fabric
• Pillow stuffing
• Measuring tape
• Head pins
• Sewing machine
Finished size: 16 x 12 inches (40 x 30 centimeters)
Difficulty level: Advanced
1. Warp your loom starting with a double knot on the top left and wrap your yarn up and down the loom. End with another double knot on the top right. You will need approximately 17 inches (42 centimeters) of warp width to complete this project.
2. Using the scissors, cut three arm’s-lengths of your white wool yarn. Using the tapestry needle, start weaving from left to right using the basic tabby weave. Weave fourteen rows, or until you reach 6 centimeters high on the loom. On your fifteenth row, when you have reached the middle of the row, turn back to your starting point. On the next row, decrease the number of warp threads again. You might run out of yarn while doing this step; leave a 3-inch (7-1/2 centimeter) tail every time you change to another thread. In the end, you will weave in all the tail ends.
3. Change to the blue yarn and cut two arm’s-lengths. Continue using tabby weave, applying the open slit technique each time your yarns meet in the middle of the loom.
4. Now, to add a bit more texture to your piece, create a fringe with rya knots. Cut seventy strands of white yarn to 3 inches (7 centimeters) each. Make fourteen rya knots, using five strands for each knot, on the right side of your loom.
5. Grab the thick, bulky teal yarn, and cut two arm’s-lengths. Start weaving on the left side of your loom using tabby weave. Work with your fingers instead of a needle; when you are working with really thick yarns, it’s quicker if you use your hands to pass under and over the same way you do with tabby weave. Every time different yarns meet, do not interlock them, but use the open slit technique.
6. Using the white yarn again, first fill the unwoven space on the right and left sides of the teal yarn. Then weave twelve more rows, or until you are another 2 inches (5 centimeters) up the loom. Use your shed stick and shuttle to make this process easier. On the thirteenth row, when you reach the middle of the row, turn back to your starting point.
7. Change to the yellow yarn and weave an abstract shape on the right side of your loom. Then, switch to the thicker, bulky gray yarn to create texture, and weave another abstract shape in the middle of your woven piece. Don’t worry if you can’t replicate the exact patterns in these pictures; the beauty of this freeform weaving is that you can follow your own instinct and imagination.
8. Use the white yarn and fill the unwoven space around the yellow and gray yarns. Weave another ten rows on top of that, or until you have woven 2 inches (5 centimeters) using the white yarn.
9. Cut seventy strands of white yarn to 3 inches (7 centimeters) each. Make fourteen rya knots, using five strands for each knot, on the left side of your loom.
10. Start on the right side of your loom and add 5 rows of tabby weave using the black yarn. End your piece with a few more rows of the white yarn.
11. Take your piece off the loom. Cut the top warp threads and tie them together in pairs. Unloop the bottom warp threads and leave them uncut. Adjust your weaving a bit toward the bottom, if needed.
12. Weave your warp ends into the back of your piece, or if you prefer, tie them together. You don’t need to have perfect finishings on this project because you won’t see the back or the selvage of your piece in the completed version of the project.
13. Cut a piece of fabric to the same size as your weaving. Pin the woven piece and the fabric together, with the front of the woven piece facing the fabric.
14. Sew them together, leaving an open space (approximately 6 inches, or 15-1/4 centimeters) to insert the stuffing. Turn the pillow inside out and stuff it. Sew the open gap using your needle and thread.
15. Display your new pillow in a favorite corner of your house.
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Little Loom Weaving by Andreia Gomes, published by Ulysses Press, 2017.