Take Advantage of the Bells and Whistles on Your Loom

When I talk to non-weavers about weaving and looms, I start by saying that if you work with yarn, it must be under tension. I go on to say that a loom’s ability to hold warp yarns under tension is its primary job, and that I consider all other aspects of a loom to be bells and whistles. I believe that to be true.

Virtually any type of weaving that can be done on a multi-shaft loom can also be done on a rigid-heddle loom with pick-up sticks, multiple heddles and hand-manipulation. If you weave on a rigid-heddle loom, take advantage of its qualities that make it fun to weave on, such as the ease of direct warping and doing pick-up. Best of Handwoven, Rigid-Heddle Technique and Pattern Book #2 can guide you, and it doesn’t exclude shaft loom weavers—each project includes drafts and instructions for multi-shaft weaving too.


Rainbow Chenille Scarves by Ellen Hess from Handwoven March/April 1994

Rigid-Heddle Technique and Pattern Book #2 contains 11 beautiful projects including shawls, scarves, table runners, towels, lace curtains and garments to weave. But it doesn’t stop there: you’ll find new skills that you can apply to all your weaving.

For instance, Betty Davenport’s article about using two heddles for a closer sett covers doubling the sett and increasing it by one-and-a-half. The article is well illustrated (a necessity when you are first considering threading two heddles). A Bronson-Atwater lace top and two towel designs in the book require two heddles, giving you the perfect opportunity to practice these skills.

Other techniques include hand-manipulated lace, warp color blending, log cabin, and weft-faced weaving. You’ll find projects for each of them, with instructions for both rigid-heddle and shaft looms.

Find your loom’s bells and whistles. If you have a warp under tension, your loom is waiting.

Weave well!

Featured Image: Plaid Towel by Linda Shively from Handwoven March/April 1993

You might also like these other books about weaving on a rigid-heddle loom!


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