Learn to Weave Today with Weaving Made Easy
Ten years ago this summer, Weaving Made Easy hit the bookshelves. I mean physical shelves, as this was before digital copies were available. I wrote the book in response to the heady atmosphere of the rise of the maker movement and the DIY ethos. I was a young weaver who could not keep up with all the ideas banging around in my head for cloth making, and I wanted to share them.
Although I was already a floor loom weaver, when I found the rigid-heddle loom, I found my muse. Here was a loom that I could warp with virtually any yarn my heart desired within the span of a few hours, and I could weave a project while dreaming of the next one. I consider the rigid-heddle loom to be the sweet spot between frame loom and floor loom. With a rigid-heddle loom, the “one day” that you tell yourself you are going to learn to weave, can be today.
Four years prior to the release of Weaving Made Easy, I sold my electric guitar and bought 5 rigid-heddle looms from Schacht Spindle Company. I started teaching weaving at the local recreation center. By teaching others to weave, I learned what I knew, what I didn’t know, and where new weavers often run into trouble. This fundamental know-how has been the focus of my entire career of helping weavers get off to a solid start. Soon, I began the first of many road trips, loading my looms into the back of my car and heading off to conferences, fiber festivals, and shows to teach weaving.
My day job, as managing editor of Handwoven, afforded me the opportunity to see the weaving world from a unique position. I learned about its history, the players, the new kids on the block, and current trends. At the time, loom manufacturers were redesigning their rigid-heddle looms to entice shaft-loom weavers and knitters to the world of rigid-heddle weaving. New yarns were hitting the market as indie dyers and small-batch yarns were making their debuts. Craft publishers were revisiting their foundational works and updating them with full-color, step-by-step photos and fresh photography. Bloggers and social media sites were emerging. This was a heady time—what was old was made new again. Today, we are reaping the benefits of all that great energy. There has never been a better time to be a yarnie.
I am as bewitched by the rigid-heddle loom’s simplicity, versatility, and style as I was 10 years ago. If you haven’t considered the rigid-heddle loom, perhaps now is the time. Celebrate with me the 10-year anniversary of Weaving Made Easy!
Liz Gipson is hosting a series of weave-alongs with projects from her second book, Handwoven Home. You can learn more about the weave-alongs and rigid-heddle weaving by visiting her website at www.yarnworker.com. Check out Weaving Made Easy and Handwoven Home and learn to weave today.
Featured Image: Piping Hot Pillows. Photo Credit: Joe Coca.