After having cleared my two Ashford 20″ Knitter’s looms of projects they’d been housing for over two years each, I decided I want to do more sampling or, rather practicing, before embarking on a project.

Here are my short range goals:

  • Learn pick-up patterns on the loom
  • Attempt some other pattern manipulation techniques
  • Consider weaving a color-and-weave study piece (though I’d prefer a color-and-weave-and-texture piece)

Here are my long range goals:

  • Learn to use two heddles (which includes learningĀ why one would want to use two heddles)
  • Learn to use three heddles (ditto)

Before plunging into another practice project, I’ve been hitting the books. I have several books on rigid heddle weaving and I like all of them. The ones, as a beginner, I’ve found most useful—well, really all of them are useful—but these are the few I’ve been consulting:

One thing I’ve learned as I studied each of these volumes is: WARPING TIME IS IMPORTANT. I feel the need to confess now that I have a third rigid heddle loom—a 32″ Kromski Harp. It also has a two-year-old project languishing on its frame. This is because I ran into a warping difficulty of such significance that I couldn’t proceed with the project, couldn’t readily fix it, and couldn’t bear to remove the third-of-a-project from the loom. I’m pretty sure this problem was caused by my own ignorance about weaving procedures as well as inattention to necessary details of warping. I hadn’t had any problems before so I wasn’t expecting any now.

I keep unrolling and re-rolling each end trying to straighten out my warping issues.

I’m not a novice at the loom, but I’m still a beginner. There’s a lot I need to read up on, but I want practical experience at the same time. In the past I haven’t understood the need to separate the layers of warp from each other. I did it anyway, but I didn’t understand why. I still don’t fully understand it, but what’s finally clear is that separating the warps (using warping sticks) will keep each layer level as I roll it up. My warping problem on the Kromski was an outer warp that somehow ended up excessively tight, or short. I’m hoping that using warping sticks will help eliminate a recurrence—planning to cut some to fit my Ashford tomorrow.

I also had an idea today while warping up my 20″ loom (for the first time in over two years). I started warping from one side of the warp beam intending to move across to the other end. But as I tied to one end, it seemed to pull the dowel out of kilter. I wanted the dowel in a secure position, so I tied a scrap warp to each end of it, to pull the whole thing into alignment while I warped.

The loom end of the warping process. The scrap warps are an aqua and white color on the far outside edges of the loom.

The length of warp (with messy room edited out of photo). Scrap warps are secured to outer posts of my warping peg board.

Warping process shown from warping peg board view. (Warping peg board made by my husband.)

I’m not sure it was necessary to have the scrap warp extend the whole length of the table. I probably could have tied it to the front of the loom.

For this practice piece I might want to switch out the purple yarn—I can decide tomorrow. I’m hoping we’ll find time to cut warping sticks to fit this loom (as well as make some pick-up sticks).

My goals are moving at a crawl, but they’re moving. Once we get the equipment made the goals will start toddling . . . walking . . . running . . . maybe even flying!

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