I recently knit an orange and green pumpkin hat for a friend’s infant granddaughter. Wearing a pumpkin hat is hard to get away with when you are an adult and is probably best reserved for those under the age of 10. What you can get away with are autumn-themed weavings that are fun and seasonal but still sophisticated enough that your friends and family won’t shy away from you.
I searched the Handwoven indexes using key words such as witch, ghost, Halloween, and skeleton. “Witch” brought up a lot of shaft-switching articles, and “skeleton” brought up articles about skeleton tie-ups, both nice to know about but not terribly useful in terms of autumn weaving.
The Hearts ’n Bones Scarf by Nancy Peterson has been a favorite of Handwoven readers since it was first published in 2013. Photo by Joe Coca
It appears we have only a couple of fully Halloween-themed weavings, one is the Black Cat Towels (shown at top) that we asked Sherrie Amada Miller to design and weave for us after we saw how much people liked her Fishing for Compliments Towels. The other is the Hearts ’n Bones Scarf from Handwoven September/October 2013. Both are available as free pdf downloads, although the towels are subscriber-only. The towels are a 12-shaft pattern that can be woven either on a table loom or with a dobby; the scarf is an 8-shaft pattern.
Cynthia Newman’s Turning Autumn Towels. Photo by Matt Graves
I had better luck searching for “autumn” in the indexes. In September/October 2020, Cynthia Newman’s Turning Autumn Towels woven on 4-shafts with hemp are drop-dead gorgeous. They say fall without using oranges and yellows. Another project for the home that is also just so pretty is the Autumn Fire Runner by Jean Sparks from the November/December 2013 issue. It’s an 8-shaft twill. The orange in the runner is deep and luscious, again saying fall, but saying it subtly.
Jean Sparks’s Autumn Fire Runner. Photo by Joe Coca
Finally, if changing foliage is your thing, check out these two Autumn Leaves Scarves woven by Deanna Deeds for Loom Theory: Eight and Over Eight Scarf Collection. She used differential shrinkage and networked doubleweave as her structure and used an 8-shaft loom for one and a 16-shaft loom for the other. Deanna wove her scarves in shades of rust and orange, but you could shift the colors to golds or even purples.
8-shaft Autumn Leaves scarf on the left; 16-shaft version on the right. Photos by Caleb Young, Good Folk Photography
I hope these ideas spark your autumn weaving. You can also check out this autumn-themed pattern pack that includes Jean Sparks’ runner and some other projects that use autumnal color palettes. Halloween is coming soon, but fall will be here for a while yet, and who knows, you might actually get that Thanksgiving runner done in time if you start now. Well, yeah, maybe.
If all else fails, try knitting a pumpkin hat! It will get you in the spirit.