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Geeking Out: Shuttles

Shuttles do just what their name implies. They shuttle the weft back and forth as you weave your cloth. Here are some ways to think about selecting a shuttle for your rigid-heddle weaving. Stick Shuttles Stick shuttles come with most rigid-heddle looms and are available in a wide variety of sizes. I like to pick …

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Geeking Out: Warping Choices

My teaching philosophy is pretty much summed up this way: If it works, then do it. If it stops working, try something else. When it comes to warping, there are so many ways to get the job done—from the super speedy direct method that uses a peg, to the somewhat less speedy and versatile indirect method where …

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Geeking Out: Help, My Slot Layer Has Gone Slack!

You have been weaving along with nary a care in the world, and then suddenly the slot layer of your shed goes slack. It happens for lots of reasons. Here are three fixes that will get you out of a jam. Add A Supplemental Stick Looms without front and back beams can sometimes lose even tension …

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Geeking Out: Swatching Structures Other Than Plain Weave

As most of you know, I’m a fan of the swatch. I make them for four specific reasons: to test out my ideas, try yarn substitutions, check my sett, and experiment with color. To make this process easier, I worked with Purl & Loop to develop the Swatch Maker Looms and subsequently wrote A Weaver’s Guide …

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Geeking Out: Get Multiple Setts From a Single Rigid Heddle Reed

The question of how to modify your threading in a rigid-heddle reed to alter its sett comes up from time to time. Similar to the floor or table loom reed, the threading of the rigid heddle determines how many warp ends you have in an inch of warp. The difference between a rigid-heddle reed and …

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Geeking Out: Doing a Loom Waste Audit

Most weaving patterns tell you how much loom waste they allow in the warp length within the project specs. In general, I allow 18”– 22” for the direct method, which requires that you tie onto the front apron rod and 22”– 26” for the indirect, which requires that you tie onto the apron rod in front and back. How much loom waste you need for any given project depends on how much yarn you use to tie on your knots, your loom type, and your finishing technique.

Loom waste is the length of warp that you can’t weave due to loom mechanics and the bits that you use to tie onto the apron rods. I’ve observed that beginners tend to use more loom waste than more experienced weavers. This is largely due to dialing in your knotting technique. Your style of loom can also dictate your loom waste. On my Cricket, I use about 6” of loom waste in the front and 11” in the back. I increase this by 15% when weaving on my Flip. If my project includes fringe, much of this length isn’t wasted, it is used in the final project.

Loom Waste on the Front of a Schacht FlipThe next time you weave a project, take the time to do a quick loom waste audit to determine how much loom waste you actually use. If using the direct method, you can do this by measuring the amount of warp left that you can’t physically weave at the end of your project, before you cut it from the loom. Then you can cut the project free of the back apron rod, unwind the project from your front beam, untie the warp from the front apron rod, and measure how much warp you used in the front. Include your headers in these measurements. If using the direct method, you will need to untie in the front and back before taking the measurements.

By taking the time to do this, you have your own personal guideline as to how much yarn you need to allow for any given project. If you are trying out a new Loom Waste on the Back Apron Rod of a Flip Loomtechnique or fiber, I recommend increasing this amount by 10%–15%, to allow for the learning curve.

Schacht Spindle Company wrote an article in their July newsletter about lashing as a way to reduce your loom waste. It is a tried-and-true method weavers use to decrease their loom waste, particularly when they are trying to eke out those last few inches at the end of a project. I generally don’t recommend this technique for beginners because it can be tricky to get your tension even when your learning curve is steep, but after you have a few projects under your belt, you may want to experiment with lashing. That said, you never know what you can do until you try.

Heddles Up!

Liz

Geeking out on Sett Charts

Yarn selection and sett are at the heart of what makes woven cloth great. When pondering the question of sett, fabric design, and yarn substitution, an underused resource by rigid-heddle weavers is a sett chart. A sett chart is a list of yarns described in generic terms, their yardage, and a range of suggested setts. …

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Geeking Out: Increasing the Capacity of your Cloth Beam

We just wrapped up—pun intended—another weave-along, tackling the Hudson Bay Inspired Throw from Handwoven Home. It was our second doubleweave weave-along, this time tackling a larger, wider, and bulkier piece. I often get asked, “How much warp can I pack on my beam?” I included my answer to this age-old question on page 149 of …

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