« Thoughts on Novel Revision | Main | Cypress Hollow Red »

WeavingFebruary 22, 2011

It was the one thing I said I'd never do.


No one could make me. No one would make me. I didn't have time. I had zero interest. None. What-so-EVER.


Nope. I didn't have the time, the room, or the desire. It was never going to happen.


Then Jasmin of the Knitmore Girls (whose superhero name I've decided is Ms. N. A. Bler) started tweeting that it took her an hour to warp her Schacht Cricket loom. (An hour! I got yer hour right here! I'd always thought it took a whole day to warp any kind of loom.) She tweeted she made a herringbone scarf on her second or third time out the gate. (I like herringbone!)

And the loom was so cute, there at Stitches, just waiting for me to buy, buy, buy. The above is my first attempt (it did indeed only take me an hour to warp, but that was after putting the dang thing together, which was tricky for someone who doesn't do well with tools), and it's really clumsily woven in places. I just used Cascade 220, one handpainted, one variegated. But I love it.

[Tech question to Those Who Know: See the right side of the pic, where you can see the warp? I like that. But in order to get that, I wasn't draping the yarn at a 45 degree angle before beating, I was draping it much closer (15 degrees?) which gave me a good selvedge, but it was pulling in quite a bit. When I made sure to drape it out at 45 degrees(ish), my selvedge went ragged again, and the warp disappeared under the weft, no matter how softly I beat with the heddle.* Whazzup with that?]

And just for fun, to prove I still knit (I haven't shown you the last THREE sweaters I've made! I swear I will! Eek!) here's my Swallowtail, preblocking, with Digit as guard.


Green cashmere of some sort, and I don't remember where I got it. Rhinebeck, perhaps? At the moment, it's blocking on the bed, which was a bad idea, because I feel like napping, and that's the best place since my feet are cold. Poor knit-planning. I suppose I could kick some dogs off the couch, if it comes to that.

*Look at me using all those new words I didn't know a few days ago!!!!


Weaving is something I'd really like to do but I just don't have the space for a loom--even one of those little ones! Your weaving looks great, though!

Start making room for a floor loom. Don't ask me how I know! RHL weaving is the gateway drug!

Really? Only an hour to warp?
You are so amazing!

Slippery slope, ain't it?

I will not weave! I will not!

(Didn't I say that about spinning? Oh, dear.)

Also, it's always good to see Digit!

I used to love weaving and miss it terribly but it's not practical in my life for a lot of reasons (you can't get even the smallest loom in your purse). But it was wonderful! No matter how bad things might get, and for a while it was prety low, weaving could get me entirely out of my misery and take me over completely in a way that neither knitting or sewing could. I think it saved my sanity at one point. It's such a joy to watch the design emerge as you work. My little (well, narrow and with a fine warp on a small table loom) first sampler with it's panels of different designs and even some tapestry, is a prized possesion. and has followed me to some unexpected places. Enjoy, enjoy enjoy!! And I'll try to contain my envy!

FYI there are some really wonderful ways to combine it with knitting, just in case you feel you need an excuse!

Welcome to the dark side. :)

And so it begins.....muwahahahaha.....

By the way, the scarf/runner is absolutely gorgeous!

P.S. You may already have it, but if not, the go-to beginner book is Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler:


I used to feel the same way about weaving too. I do not own a loom but the idea of weaving does not turn me off like it used to.

Don't even try to tempt me with the weaving thing.

I just re-read this as it came up in my blog reader and that first sentence made me laugh all over again. Maybe we should start a club!

(And I second the recommendation for the Chandler book.)

Heh. About time you succumbed. Very nice scarf you got there. And officially, you can make whatever angle with the yarn that gives you the selvedges you want.

(Cassie's next, but I'm not telling her that.)

I wish I'd known you were buying a Cricket. Mine's less than a year old and I'd love to trade up for a wider loom. I wasn't shocked that I loved weaving - I'd been putting off learning for years.

No room for a floor loom, you say? Call me another Enabler. Harrisville has some that fold up. Yep. Mine's an 8-shaft 36"-wide model that I assembled myself from a kit for half the cost of pre-assembled. Sadly, it's been collecting dust lately.

Welcome to the world of weaving. It's only a small slip and you'll have your very own alpaca farm (just like in your first book). ;-) BTW, your first scarf looks really good!

Gorgeous!! I've never tried weaving, but now I'm intrigued.

Welcome to the weaving world! It's awesome (and here is a third or forth suggestion for Deb Chandler's book - worth every penny).

I don't know a lot about rigid heddle looms, but sometimes you can change how much of the warp you are seeing by changing the sett (or EPI - ends per inch - the number of warp threads per inch). To get a warp faced weave (where you see the warp and not so much of the weft) you could try doing a tighter sett (more warp threads through each dent in the heddle). Weft faced weaves (where you completely hide the warp threads) are made by beating the begezus out of it every time you place a shot, as well as playing with your warp sett.

Clear as mud, right? The best thing I ever learned about weaving was to put a few extra inches worth of warp on every time. You can mess around at the beginning of the project as a sample, and then just cut it off. That way you don't have to re-warp the loom but you still get an idea of how things are going to look. Hope that helps!

Ok, stop it! Professional writer, first responder, knitter, pet owner/owned...now weaver. What's next? Ikebana in that 25th hour you've pulled from a wormhole?

Srsly, that's one pretty scarf. You may make more...
{clearly you've made me feel a tad underachieving}

I got a cricket last year and didn't love it until I took a rigid heddle weaving class at A Verb for Keeping Warm. I made a herringbone scarf too. Very fun.

I'm the Abigail who got your second book at Stitches (Yay! Thank you!) and I started it last night. I had to force myself to stop reading and go to sleep but I look forward to more quality time with it tonight. Woo!

Herringbone is freaking MAGIC. I took the class with Abigail at AVKFW, too, and I enjoyed it so much.

But here's my justification for weaving rather than spinning! It uses the yarn I ALREADY HAVE! I just make stuff out of my yarn that is waiting patiently to be consumed. I'm not creating more stash! Hah. This is why I bought more yarn to weave at Stitches, no? hahaha

Hey--I'm currently studying weaving in college right now, which means that we are enabled by our professor to do insanely fancy stuff practically right out of the gate but also means that we have a total expert in the room in case of emergency. SUPER exciting. Anyways, I have found that the loopy selvedge vs. pulling in still vexes me occasionally, especially at the beginning of a project. For something super precious, it's VERY worth it to sample. But the best solution that I have is to have a larger weaver's angle--for knitting yarns, you really shouldn't be going under about 30 degrees--but to make sure to "snug up" the end of the yarn at the selvedge. The thing about your weaver's angle is that it will be different for every variation (yarn & epi/ppi) and that you just have to weave a bit and your weaving will tell you what to do. And if you think you might have put too much yarn into the shot, you probably didn't--just weave a few more shots and you can always undo if it's really bad.

Please don't tell me you used the Ashford mini loom that I never used and sold to a friend who went on to make gorgeous scarves with her handspun wool ok thanks. ;)

I just started weaving too! I got a Kromski Fiddle 16" RH and I love it! I'm still working on a scarf on it... been too distracted by knitting/spinning lately... but I think weaving is going to be a great stashbuster! I have a lot of fantastic space-dyed sock yarns and some gorgeous handspun that needs to get used somehow, and weaving is just the thing! :)

Gorgeous! I think I am going to get my mother a Schacht for Christmas. Did you find it manageable once you got the hang of it? I don't want her to be frustrated as soon as she starts. Can't wait to see your sweaters!

Congrats on weaving! Looks great. Try beating before you close / change the shed - the tension will self correct (I never bother with the angles - just beat before the next treadle).

Also the Weaving for Beginners book by Peggy Osterkamp is awesome! (I like it better than the Chandler book - I have both) Good luck! Happy Weaving!

Weaving does look very good, I must say...

your first results are awesome. I will resist, I will resist. Right now I'm resisting spinning.

Hey! I have one of those too! I even use it sometimes. The kiddo always butts in. One of these days, I'll make him warp it himself.

Nice scarf!

Anyone mention the Weaver's Idea Book by Jane Patrick yet? (I skimmed the contents) all rigid heddle.

Very nice first weaving!
I am going to assume that you wanted and even sett (equal amounts of warp and weft showing, same number of warps/inch and picks/inch). So, if the warp tension is too tight and you allow too much slack in the weft, you will get weft faced, with limited draw in and a good chance of loops on the selvage. You should have enough warp tension so the yarns are not sagging, but not so much they are like guitar strings! Try an angle somewhere between 15 and 45 degrees, make sure your weft is relaxed before you beat it and don't beat it too firmly. Think of it as "pushing" the weft into place rather than "beating" it.

Hope that helps! Welcome to the wonderful world of weaving, it eats up yarn a lot faster than knitting! Certainly not a replacement for knitting, just an additional fun way to use yarn.

I love the Digit!!!

Oh yeah, also keep in mind that the warp is under tension. 10 weft picks per inch on the loom could end up being 12-16 picks (depending on the elasticity of the warp yarn) after the project is aff the loom and relaxes.

The comments to this entry are closed.