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Baa Humbug!

Baa Humbug and Wreath and Presents Bookmarks

I love taqueté, the works of Charles Dickens, and a good pun!

For the curmudgeons among us I present the "Baa Humbug" bookmark, featuring a festive sheep and a musical little bug.

Feeling the holiday spirit this year? Then try the more classic bookmark: "Wreath and Presents."

Both are 8-shaft designs woven on the same threading. So you can warp up the loom and then weave either design or both, depending on how your holidays go.

For weavers with more complex looms, I've provided a 16-shaft variation of the "Baa Humbug" bookmark.

These are fun to pop into cards, or you can attach a string and hang them up as decorations.

Project details

Baa Humbug (16 shaft version)


  • An 8-shaft or 16-shaft loom, depending on which variation you are weaving.
  • Three shuttles or weaving bobbins for the weft.

Note: I recommend using either a table loom or a dobby loom for this project. Taqueté designs tend to have a lot of variation, and if you tried to weave this one on a floor loom, you'd soon run out of treadles. Because of this, taqueté drafts are typically presented as peg plans, as they are here.



I used 8/2 Tencel, but other fibers work equally well.

Warp: White (approximately 140 yards).

Weft: White, green, and red (approximately 50 yards of each).



30 epi sleyed 3/dent in a 10-dent reed.

I reccommend sleying the selvedges at 4 ends per dent for greater strength.

This sett will produce a fabric with less drape than you'd want for a scarf, but these are bookmarks, so you want them to have a little body.


Weave Structure


Note: For more information about the taqueté weave structure, see Lillian Whipple’s excellent articles: Summer and Winter to Taqueté and Designing for Summer and Winter and Taqueté.


8-Shaft Weave Drafts

Download as WIF file
8-shaft wreath and presents draft
Download as WIF file
16-shaft humbug draft


16-Shaft Weave Draft

Download as WIF file
8-shaft humbug draft



Wind a warp of 56 ends, 2-1/2 yards long.

This will yield between five and seven bookmarks, depending on the length of fringe you leave between bookmarks.

You can weave this project either as a single bookmark on a narrow warp;

one across


or as multiple bookmarks on a wide warp.

weaving six across

If you would like to weave several bookmarks at once, wind 56 ends for each bookmark and then position them in the reed so there is 1/2 inch of empty dents between each bookmark.

Note: If you decide to weave multiple bookmarks at once, remember that you will need the amount of warp and weft listed above for each bookmark stripe.


Weave 1/2 inch of plain-weave header of at either end of the bookmarks. Between bookmarks, use either thick yarn or strips of paper to separate the bookmarks and leave unwoven warp for the fringe.

As you weave, keep the beat tight and even.

Taqueté patterns tend to have long repeats, and this one is no exception. If you are using a mechanical or computerized dobby loom, it will handle picking the shaft lifts for you.

If you are using a table loom, you will do this manually. I've found the following procedure useful for keeping my place in the lift plan.

I open the WIF file for the draft in a text editor or word processor. Because a WIF file is a human-readable text file, it contains a listing of the shafts to raise for each pick as numerical columns.

I print these out, place them on a piece of foam-core, cork, or styrofoam and keep track of my place with a T-pin.

Keeping track of your place


One of the challenges when weaving with more than one shuttle (in this project, we use three) is to create tidy and consistent selvedges. The video below shows how I manage multiple shuttles.


If you are weaving several strips of bookmarks at once, floating selveges sleyed 1/2-inch beyond the main body of the warp can keep the selvedges of the edge bookmarks looking the same as the ones in the middle of the warp.



Apply a textile glue at each end of the bookmarks and, if you are weaving multiple stripes of bookmarks, also down each side of the bookmarks. I use Frayblock from June Tailor, but there are several on the market. If you use a thick glue, like Sobo, I recommend diluting it.

Gluing the fringe

Wash the bookmarks in a mild, inert, detergent and allow to air dry until slightly damp. Iron the bookmarks on low heat until they are dry and then carefully cut apart.

If you are weaving multiple bookmarks, trim the strips apart very carefully at the sides.

The amount of fringe you leave on your bookmarks is a matter of preference.


Happy Holiday Weaving!


Nancy-Cassandra LeaNancy-Cassandra Lea was introduced to weaving by Carla Giuffrida. She then studied Woven Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology under Nell Znamierowski and Desirée Koslin. She has worked in the industry, woven tapestries designed by Michelle Lester, and worked on textile conservation with Judith Eisenberg.

She has a workshop in Alabama, Selma Handwovens, and has been in love with taqueté since she first saw one of Lillian Whipple’s cards! This was followed by a workshop with Lillian in Texas and it will be quite a while before she gets “over it!” So many little pictures-so little time! She blogs as Alabama Weaver.