Fish and Houseguests

I’ve recently learned something disconcerting. When you live in Colorado, friends, family, and sometimes casual acquaintances will come visit you en masse during the hot summer months. They all say they will only stay “a couple of days,” but after the tenth long weekend those “couple of days” add up. (Oddly, when I lived in southern New Mexico no one ever visited during the summer.) So far my first summer in Colorado has been spent working on Handwoven, cleaning up for guests, entertaining guests, cleaning up after guests, and going on the occasional hike when my husband’s mournful looks at the mountains become too much for my conscience to handle.

I’m told that when people ask me if I plan on taking a weaving class soon I get a crazed look in my eyes and start to laugh disbelievingly. I’m almost certain they’re exaggerating.

Who wouldn't love a subtitle

like this?


Until I find a weaving teacher who makes house calls at either 5 am or 11 pm, I just don’t have time to take a weaving class at the moment. Instead, I have a nice little rigid-heddle loom on order and just finished watching Jane Patrick’s Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom on DVD so when it comes in I will know what I’m doing.


I admit, at first I wasn’t certain about using a DVD to learn how to work my new rigid heddle. After three(ish) years of graduate school studying history I developed more than a few Luddite tendencies. Books are usually my go-to when I can’t find a human teacher to help me out.


Then I read the subscript of the title. “How to get set up in a hurry and weave just about anything you can think of.” Who wouldn’t fall for a line like that?


Jane starts off by demonstrating how to warp the loom in less than twenty minutes using her “lickety-split” method. I was hooked at this point. I don’t even have my loom yet and I couldn’t stop watching Jane as she showed how to weave everything from Danish medallions to doubleweave. I started taking notes when she broke out the pick-up sticks. And, of course, the beauty of this DVD is that I can watch Jane weave, rewind it, pause, and zoom-in until the cows come home.


   Jane Patrick stretches the limits of the rigid-heddle loom

Jane Patrick stretches the limits

of the rigid-heddle loom

In the end, what really matters is that Jane is a fantastic teacher. She explains everything in the simplest terms possible, making each lesson a snap to understand. She encourages viewers to take what she teaches and run with it. Jane shows her own weavings and how she uses each technique to create a multitude of different effects. It’s hard to watch the video and not feel inspired to make something fabulous.


Frankly, I’m ready for my rigid-heddle loom to hurry up and arrive. I can’t wait to try weaving using pick-up sticks and maybe play with the Brooks bouquet technique. Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom lets you know that the rigid-heddle loom isn’t just for scarves or placemats, and that with a little education and experimentation you have very few limitations. I have my warp and weft all picked out and two whole free weekends in a row. And no, I will not be accepting visitors during that time.



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