Recycling Spare Yarn with a Rigid-Heddle Loom

  Zigzag scarf by Deborah Jarchow, Handwoven May/June 2014.

imageplaceholder Christina Garton
Editor, Weaving Today

Has this ever happened to you? You are wandering your local yarn store, or perhaps a vendor booth at a fiber retreat, and find a beautiful, wonderful skein of yarn that captures your heart immediately. You buy the skein, get home, and then realize that you have no idea what to do with that skein. And so it goes in the pile with the rest of the pretty skeins for someday. I know I have such a stash of yarn, most of which are considered “knitting yarns.” Fortunately for all of us yarn hoarders, the rigid-heddle loom is a great way to use up this precious stash (without the loom waste of a floor or table loom) and rigid-heddle weaver extraordinaire Deborah Jarchow will teach you how to best design projects from these lovely yarns.

Want to learn more about Deborah and her weaving? Check out her question and answer section below to find out more about the woman behind the weaving, and then sign up for her webinar today!

Happy Weaving!


Where are you from originally, and where do you currently live?

I grew up in Ohio, but have lived in Southern California for over 30 years.

What’s your day job?

I am a weaver. For the past 11 years, I’ve had a studio where I spend my days doing production weaving, making garments and accessories for sale in several galleries, designing projects for patterns, writing about weaving, and planning weaving classes. Frequently, I travel around the country to teach weaving.

How and when did you start weaving?

I started weaving over 20 years ago.

Do you prefer to work from patterns, or draft your own?

I make my own designs rather than using commercial patterns

What other creative pursuits do you enjoy?
Sewing, knitting, crochet, travel

Tell us about your studio… what kind of space inspires you?

My studio is at an old elementary school that now houses over 40 artists. It is a wonderful creative space filled with inspiration and so I’m surrounded by good friends and creative people. My own studio is filled with cones of yarn, lots of counter space, 7 floor looms, and many rigid-heddle looms.

How do you stay motivated on long projects?

By looking forward to seeing the end product and by constantly evaluating how it’s going and deciding what I might change next time.

What has been your favorite project recently?

As I’m doing each one, it’s my favorite!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve made for a client?

Making a wedding shawl is always a favorite project. One of the other studio artists here had me make a shawl for her daughter’s wedding that I wove pearls and beads into. That was a satisfying project.

What would your dream studio look like?
I love my studio. It was featured in Studios magazine a couple of years ago!

What’s your current weaving soundtrack?

I love to listen to either blues on Pandora or NPR while weaving.

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