Category Archives: Weaving

Hemstitch and other weaving lessons

I have a new rigid heddle weaving book 9781603429726and it details how to calculate yarn required for a project. I tried out the short method using one ball of the fine cotton I bought recently. All went well, I wove the scarf using the same yarn for warp and weft, but I had quite a bit left over on the shuttle at the end.

It was when I measured the finished length, 48″ instead of the planned 55″ that I realised I must have made an error. I went back to my calculations. I had added 12 for the unusable part of the warp instead of 20. Never mind, I am still happy with the delicate scarf.

I really like the hemstitch finish at both ends, also something learned from the new book. My selvages are a bit wobbly in places, cotton doesn’t stretch so it is not as forgiving as wool.


I hope the tonight’s Kris Kringle recipient likes it too.

The weaving sampler is done, but I think the rya knots are too fluffy for it to be a table runner.


I had quite a bit of the blue warp left on the loom once the pattern reverse was complete, so wove as much as I could using the textured blue and cream yarn from the knots. Once the zip is added and some lining fabric it will be a little pouch.




Weaving Sampler: More Patterns

My weaving sampler is growing. The patterns from bottom to top are Window Weave using two different novelty yarns, Pile Loop which involves the use of a knitting needle to form the loops and Weft Floats again with a novelty yarn.

The pattern that forms the middle of the sampler is called Brooks Bouquet.

I have reached the halfway point. Now to repeat the other seven patterns  in reverse order.


Weaving Sampler

Last week I finished my second piece of weaving. A scarf using just one yarn that comes in an interesting ball. I bought the Sirdar Colour Wheel in Nature’s Palette when visiting Showcase in July.

naturespaletteI am really pleased with the way it made a subtle lengthways stripe and had fun combining the colours in random patterns in the weft. The fringe is made by twisting the warp ends together.

As I am very much a beginner in finding out what can be done with a rigid heddle loom my next project is the sampler as detailed in the instruction book. All the wool I am using comes from my stash. Some of the novelty yarns are leftovers from kids’ jumpers I knitted over thirty years ago. The warp and the weft are an 8 ply Elle Caress in Blue Bell. This was bought for a toddler cardigan, but the child in question grew faster than I could knit at the time.

First pattern is rya knots. These are traditionally used to make warm shaggy rugs and cloaks in Scandinavia, the word is the name of a village in Sweden. They are often used to make fringes.

Next a two rows of Soumak stitching with a coloured thread in between. This is a style of tapestry weaving associated with the rugs of the Caucasus region. They make a smooth strong weave.

The textured weaving which is the third part of the sampler is created using a pickup stick behind the heddle. It is a method of creating a different shed pattern.

In case you are concerned, the cardboard strips in the first photo are used to start spreading out the warp threads after they are tied in bundles to the front warp stick. They are not part of the finished work.


The rigid heddle loom is direct warping, meaning that the loom is threaded at the same time as the warp is measured out. This apparently saves a lot of time. I read the instructions, watched a video just to make sure and had a go. It is really easy.

Step 1 is to anchor the loom, attach the warp thread to the back warp stick, pull a loop through the heddle slot and wind it around a peg placed the length of the warp away. Keep doing this until all the slots are filled.

Step 2 is to wind the warp onto the back roller, keeping the tension on the thread even and insert card between the threads as they wrap around the roller. Reasonably straight forward but some dexterity is required.

Step 3 is to cut the loops and then pull one thread from each slot through the adjoining hole in the heddle. The supplied hook makes this easy. Lulu as supervisor and wool aficionado made it quite difficult.

Step 4. The warp threads were then tied in bundles to the front warp stick. Tension checked to make sure it is even and final knot made. The colour stripes were formed as the yarn came off the ball, it is the Sidar Colourwheel I bought at the Quilt and Craft Show last week.

Now I am set to weave again.

This time I am using two shuttles and the same yarn as the warp. The first is filled with a dark grey and when the colour changed to mustard I filled the second shuttle. I am weaving two passes in grey, one in mustard to start and may change the sequence as the work progresses.


Cutting off the loom

After many peaceful hours of practising weaving on my new loom I have reached the end. It is time to cut off the warp from the back warp stick, wind the finished cloth from the front roller and untie the knots from the front warp stick.

I have endeavoured to keep the edges straight and the weaving even, and on inspection it is looking pretty good. I think I have done most of the work; the loom was all set up when I bought it and the weaving started.

After knotting the fringing threads in bundles of four, a finishing wash and press was all that was needed. The washing causes the fibres to expand into the space around them. You might be able to see the difference.

I am really pleased with the finished rainbow scarf. It is light and soft and not a bit scratchy.

Now I have to read up on warping the loom and having a go for myself.