field notes from the woolworks
... working at making and other joyful life strategies
Heidi Wulfraat • woolworker • maker • dreamer
Confession. I am a weekend weaver. For me weaving needs to be a leisurely exercise that is relatively simple and a whole lot of fun. Enter the Ashford Rigid heddle loom. While powerful pieces of equipment Ashford's rigid heddle looms are straightforward, compact and lovely to look at. Add a large selection of RHL models ranging from 10-48", (including those which will fold into a great- looking padded carry bag), 6 wide eye reed sizes as well as an incredible vari-dent reed, and the (weaving) world is your oyster !
Here's a look at just how manageable weaving really can be ...
If you're interested in an Ashford rigid heddle loom of your own check out our online shop. I'm happy to help if you have any questions.
Weaving is a fantastic way to play with novelty and leftover yarns. I've picked out some happy colours, a variety of textures, gathered my stick shuttles and a warping clamp. Ready to go!
The warping peg is set up across from my loom. I've separated the two (loom and peg) by the length of cloth that I want to make plus some extra to accommodate yarn along this length being stretched, tied and so on.
My Warp yarns are tied to a warp stick on the back beam of the loom .
In this method of direct warping yarns are attached to the back beam, pulled through reed slots, carried across the room and looped over that warping peg that I've clamped onto a table.
And here we are with the full width of the loom being warped.
Now all of those warp threads can be bundled up and lifted off of the warping peg. The loops can be cut at this point. Note: it's easier to cut these warp loops before taking them off the warping peg!
Having a helper makes this next step much easier, though one person can get the job done. Standing in front of the loom, hold the warp under tension. A heavy pile of books can do this for you if need be!
From the back of the loom, the back beam (or roller) is rotated to wind on the tensioned warp threads. Paper, cardboard or plastic "spacers" (the white slat seen here) are wound along with the warp to keep layers of warp threads separate as they wrap around the back beam.
Because I carried a LOOP of yarn through each reed slot and over to the warping peg, I now have two strands of yarn in each slot. Here, they are separated so that one strand remains in each slot and one strand is passed through each of the smaller "eye' openings on the reed.
I've continued to thread a slot and an eye, a slot and an eye ... along the length of the reed and I'm almost finished warping!
Each warp strand is tied to the loom's front beam and now I'm ready to weave!
I'm working on a 24" Ashford rigid heddle loom with stand. This is a fantastic size for weaving lengths of cloth to sew, scarves, shawls or double width throws. I love the convenience the this compact little loom affords.
The first of my weaving involves lessening the gaps between those warp threads. I've done this by loading up a flat stick shuttle with a "waste yarn" and passing it back and forth so that the warp is spread.
By lifting the looms reed up and pushing the reed down "sheds" or spaces are created through which the shuttle passes back and forth. Each pass lays down another strand of horizontal or warp thread, building the cloth one step at a time. It's this rhythmic, back and forth motion that's more satisfying to me than the cloth itself. Though I do love cloth!
And there you have it. A small snippet from my weekend weaving chronicles. Perhaps weaving is something that you'd like to try? I hope that you've discovered just how doable it can be!
Everyday I try to find a little something that makes life interesting. A good book, a wagging dog, a cool breeze, tea with a friend.
Here are my field notes about making, discovering, and enjoying a simple, slow, handmade life.
Thanks so much for visiting. I appreciate your spending time with me.
STITCHER, MAKER, DREAMER, BOOK REVIEWS summer 2016