Monthly Archives: January 2012

Now the corrected video for weaving on double hole rigid heddle loom

I am so excited- I have just learned more exciting things about weaving with the double hole rigid heddle loom!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

The other day, I posted a video about how thrilled I was because I had finally figured out how to weave with the double hole or 2 holed rigid heddle loom. Link to previous blog post

I had extrapolated from how I wove pickup on the inkle loom, and was, to put it bluntly, wrong wrong wrong about so much of what I was doing.

A lady on the Braids and Bands list LINK on yahoo very politely, graciously and gently let me know that there was a much better way to weave with the double hole rigid heddle.

She told me that the Latvian way is to NOT drop the background strands, but to keep them in the weaving- and ONLY drop the pattern threads when they are not called for in the pattern.

That way, they would form tabby weaving, with no long floats (Happy dancing!) with the pattern threads showing up beautifully in reverse on the back of the band!   H A P P Y  HAPPY  DANCING!

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Look at the difference! the bit of band on the left was my first way, and the bit of band on the left is the right way!

Who wouldn’t want their bands to be sturdier, and reversible?

AND here’s MORE good stuff:

I also decided to get over my attachment to the weaving stick, and to keep my hot little hands out of the weaving, and to weave it like a traditional weaver (I almost added the ‘put on the big weaver panties, but didn’t, oh wait, I just did….) and weave the band ONLY with my shuttle.

Well, of course, that speeds things up and I am now clipping along like Daisytrains, merrily weaving MUCH nicer bands!

Not perfect, but oh soooooooooooo much better!

I have deleted the first video, and have made another, showing my next stage of the journey.

Once, when I was a child, I must have said something very stupid, because my father raised his eyebrow, fixed me with a baleful gaze and pronounced that Abraham Lincoln had declared that it was better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.

ouch.

Well, I think that Abraham Lincoln and my father weren’t ~always~ right about remaining silent.

If I hadn’t had the courage to speak up and be willing to be found wrong about what I was doing with this, I would STILL be doing it wrong.

So, I say: Be willing to be thought a fool.

Speak up and ask.

There are kind people out there who are willing to show you a different way of doing something, and that way may make a world of difference in a skill that you are learning.

BUT… you’ll never know if you don’t have the guts to say:” This is what I am working on – got any suggestions?”

Besides, when you have big ‘aha’ moments in your learning curve, it can really be useful to other people!

So, that being said: Here’s the latest installment in my voyage of discovery with the 2 hole rigid heddle loom!

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The story of my Saori loom and a new shirt for my husband

Last year, I wove my husband a shirt to wear while his Jazz trio performed at the Jazz festival and other gigs. Link to Jim’s shirt

It’s time to weave him a new shirt!

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So, I have warped up my Saori floor loom and have started weaving the yardage for his shirt, and maybe some for one for me, too… we shall see….

The loom in the photo has a neat story.  Her name is Toshi-san.

I bought her several years ago from my dear friend, Terri Bibby, who is a master Saori weaver- check out her website: Link

When Terri announced, a few weeks ago, that she is hosting a Saori weaving conference in September 2012 on Salt Spring Island: Announcement

she received a lovely email from the lady who originally bought Toshi-san in Japan in 1990.

She went to the first international Saori weaving conference in Kobe, Japan, fell in love with Saori weaving, and bought a loom.

They took Toshi-san apart, and shipped her to Canada in little pieces, which she then re-assembled.

Later, she sold Toshi-san to a weaving dealer in British Columbia, who sold Toshi-san to Terri.

When I walked into Terri’s studio not long after Toshi-san arrived, it was love at first sight, and I bought Toshi-san on the spot.

I wove like mad on Toshi-san for a couple of years, but then got involved with other looms and she sat empty and neglected.

I felt guilty about her being abandoned, so I thought that I might sell her.

Luckily, my daughter-in-law said- DON’T!!!! And she took custody of Toshi-san.

She wove merrily away on Toshi-san for awhile, but then spinning and making roving with her hackle and combs became more and more of a passion.  She discovered that she’s not a weaver, but is a passionate spinner.

So, Toshi- san sat unused again…. but I was feeling sooooooooo called to her…………. so, now, she is happily ensconced back in my studio!

Yay! Toshi-san! Welcome back!

and…. now, I am having soooooooooooo much fun, weaving Jim’s new shirt.

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I have a fondness for weaving inlays, so Jim’s shirt is going to have a lot of random squares and other shapes inlaid:

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I love the philosophy of Saori weaving- it’s based in the belief of generosity of spirit, and exploring creativity and freeform expression.

It’s completely meditative and contemplative.

I follow my inclination to work with this color or that, and place shapes here and there, and allow the weaving to grow in a very organic way.

The bands for the shirt, and the cuffs and collars are also coming along on my Cricket loom-

I posted about my excitement in mastering the double hole rigid heddle loom yesterday:  Double hole rigid heddle

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All in all, it’s a complete expression of love and delight and a celebration of my adoration for my soul mate, the wonderful man that has been my beloved husband for more than 3 decades 😀

Here’s a picture of Jim (wearing the shirt that I wove for him for last year’s jazz festival) and his trio.

You have to look hard to see the bass player- he’s wearing black and it makes him kind of invisible.

I was holding our gorgeous grandbaby, who fell asleep while Grampa and the guys played.

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Yep… that’s one of my Saori Gypsy jackets that I wove.  Link

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How to weave narrow bands on the 2 hole or double hole rigid heddle loom

I love weaving narrow bands, and have been hooked on pickup techniques on the inkle for more than 20 years.

Last year, I became fascinated by Sami bands -thanks to the online workshop taught by Susan Foulkes on the wonderful Yahoo groups: Braids and Bands Link and Band Snoddar Link

I loved the workshop so much that I bought Susan’s book, and I highly recommend it – when you click on the blurb link, you’ll still have to type in Sami band weaving.

I wove my husband a  shirt last summer, using the Sami rigid heddle technique for the bands: Jim’s shirt LINK

One thing lead to another, and I became obsessed with the double hole rigid heddle.

I bought one on etsy,  from Grace and Fred Hatton’s shop: LINK

(I drew and burned the bunnies on- it comes without decoration) and then couldn’t figure out how to weave with it. ARGH!!!!!

BUT… this is what I do! I am a professional designer, with small loom weaving being my special area of expertise…

so I just wasn’t willing to give up on it.

SO!!! I am THRILLED! that my dogged determination to figure it out has paid off!

I am now happily weaving away on the 2 hole rigid heddle loom.

And, I decided to make a video so that you can weave on the double hole rigid heddle loom, too!

Full of excitement,  I made a video, showing what I was doing, but a kind weaver on the Braids and Band group gently pointed out to me that there is a MUCH better way of weaving the bands.

So, I went back to my  loom, did it the way she said to, and VOILA!  I now have beautifully reversible bands with no ugly floats!

I have deleted the first WRONG video and have made a new video, showing the much better way of weaving!

I love it- the internet wins again- I get to learn a new technique and be mentored by people half a world away!

And, then I get to share the learning curve with you! Wheeeee!

I am now weaving ONLY with a shuttle, and not inserting my hand into the shed, and I have stopped using a pick up stick.

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These are the shuttles that I prefer to work with. I made them from old rulers that I found at the thrift shop.

POINTS TO REMEMBER WHEN WEAVING WITH THE DOUBLE HOLE RIGID HEDDLE LOOM:

Disclaimer: I  offer this chronicle of my learning curve with this technique humbly, with the best of intentions, and with a fair amount of delight and excitement at finally being able to weave nifty bands on the double hole rigid heddle loom.

NOTE: Many weavers choose to use backstrap looms for narrow band weaving, but I find them too painful for words, so I use my Cricket loom   Don’t have the tension set too tightly. You need a little give with the tension. You’ll find the perfect tension on your loom.

1: When you thread the heddle, take all your pattern strands through the upper set of holes.

2: The pattern threads should be heavier than the background holes. I also like to have the weft strands be a little heavier than the background strands.

3: The selvedge strands can be heavier than the background strands of warp, if you wish.

4: The selvedge and background strands are threaded into the slots and lower set of holes. Threading the double hole rigid heddle is deliciously quick and easy.  I do use a warping board to make my warp chains first, but you don’t necessarily have to do that.  See: warping board link

5: It is a really good idea to add extra length to your warp strands for sampling and experimenting.

6: Traditionally, wool is used to weave decorative bands, but I prefer to work with cotton. I use one strand of cotton for the background strands, and 2 strands for the pattern strands, and depending on how beefy I want the selvedges, more than 2 strands of warp for the 2 outside selvedge strands.

7: Each square on the graph paper represents one set of warp strands. I copied out a 15 strand pattern from Susan’s book, but traditional knitting patterns often work really well for band weaving. I clip my pattern to a metal board and use a magnetic strip to keep my place.

8: You will be following the pattern, slipping warp strands onto your shuttle, and will drop the pattern strands below to the bottom of the shed when your grid square is white.  The background strands are always woven in every row, forming a tabby weave. When the background strand is dropped, it forms the reverse pattern on the wrong side of the band. Nifty, yes?

9: Look carefully at your pattern to decide if your odd or even rows will be the ‘up’ position of your heddle.  The ‘UP’ position (heddle lifted, which brings all the pattern threads to the surface) is the best choice for rows that have the most pattern strands in them. The pattern that I am using in the video happens to have the most pattern threads in the even rows, so I chose to have the ‘Up’ or lifted position be the one I’ll use for the even rows.

10: Start weaving with the shuttle at the left hand of the band, with Row 1, of the pattern revealed on your chart. Cover the rows above it.

11:  The odd rows will have the heddle pushed down. The slot threads are on the surface, and you can see the pattern strands below them.

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In the photo above, the background threads from the slots, as well as the border strands, are in my hand.

The odd rows are lovely to weave. The shed is open –  slide the border strands onto the shuttle,  then, read the pattern, block by block. If the grid is  white, pass the shuttle further into the shed, allowing the background strand to stay on the shuttle, but if the square is colored, pick up the pattern strand and put it on the shuttle.

Push the shuttle against the fell line (the last woven row) and tap it to beat it into place.  Pull the shuttle all the through, and  it is now on the right hand side of the weaving. You are ready to weave an even row.

12: On the even rows, lift up the heddle. The pattern strands pop up to the surface.

Read the pattern, block by block. If the grid is white,  put the background strand onto the shuttle while passing the tip of the shuttle over the pattern strand, which will push it out of the shed.

If it’s colored, move the shuttle through the shed, picking up both the pattern thread, and the background strand that is in the lower hole of the same vertical bar as the pattern thread. And carry on across….

Bring the shuttle to the fell line, and tap it to beat the last row in.

Pass the shuttle all the way through and Voila! another woven row!

And, here’s the NEW video showing a MUCH BETTER way of weaving with the double hole rigid heddle loom:  Happy weaving!!!!

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4 panel blanket woven on the triangle loom

I love geometry, and am intrigued by sacred geometry. I think that’s why I like working with looms that are different geometric shapes.

Last autumn, my nephew and his bride asked me to weave them a blanket as a wedding present.

Hmm- there were so many options on how to weave the blanket.

I settled on using my triangle loom that had recently arrived from Dewberry Ridge looms.  Link

I set it up to the 5 foot configuration and started weaving:

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I decided that 4 triangles on the 5 foot configuration of the loom, stitched together with the hypotenuse of the triangles forming the outside edge of the blanket, would work best.

I wanted to try giving it a bit more texture and interest than just plain weave, so I went with Over 2/Under 2, and loved it.

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The yarn is gorgeous Kertzer wool that has been discontinued. It took 12 balls of

Kertzer Rejuvenation, 100% wool, 100 gm/3.5 oz, 200 m/220 yds, color # 8006 to make the blanket.

I used  2 strands of yarn held together to weave the triangles for the blanket.

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To stitch the 4 triangles together, I laid them on the dining room table and stitched 2 triangles together (remembering to have the hypotenuse on the outside, and not stitched), then stitched the other 2 triangles together.

Then, I stitched the long center seam together.

I used the ‘V’ or ‘Baseball’ stitch to do the stitching.

This video shows how to do it:

After I stitched the 4 triangles together,  I spool knitted about 21 feet of spool knitted cord for the outside edges.

I stitched it onto the blanket edges….

Here’s a video that shows how to do that:

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I thought that loops at the corner would be pretty, so I added them

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It was a crazy amount of work to make the blanket.

The weaving took 12 or 13 days of full days at the loom, and  the spool knitting, fulling, stitching etc added several more days.

So, this is NOT a quick and easy project.

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I hope that my nephew and his bride like it, and if they don’t, I gave them my permission to give it away, so that someone else can enjoy it.

No point in having it fill up a cupboard and not be used, so hopefully, it is keeping someone warm and cozy!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

 

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Filed under knitting, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, spool knitter & spoolknitter & spool knitting & spool knitting, Triangle loom weaving, tutorial & how to, weaving & handwoven

Alternate uses for triangle loom and easel

I love my triangle loom-( I have the Dewberry Ridge adjustable one that is a wonder of engineering and fine craftsmanship. LINKIE

I know this, because I do some woodworking myself, so I know how hard it is to create such precise joins! And the math and geometry is amazing.)

Anyhow… back to my starting point here…. so, I love my triangle loom and the easel it hangs on.

(Although, I have to admit that I have royally bopped myself by smacking into the loom and having it fall on me- yow! And, ahem… I’ve done this MORE times than I care to admit, and each time, I reel away, muttering- “Man! that thing’s heavy!” And it HURTS when you, pardon the pun, ~nail yourself~ with it. I even got myself on the head with it one time. oi vey.)

ANYHOW>>> back to my starting point! I keep wandering astray here!

Okay, so I loves me my loomie…. right… and sometimes I bop myself with it, right, which has NOTHING to do, whatsoever, with what I want to show you….

Which is- that I love that I can multi-task with it!

I mean… after all, if you are going to be living with a big loom, that no matter how much you love it, it still jumps out and thumps you, you better be able to use it in more ways than just weaving with it, right?

So, here’s the deal….

My brilliant daughters are both gifted craftswomen and artists, and they are doing another craft show together this weekend.

So, Daughter #2 (technically, she’s my daughter-in-law, but I love her like she’s my very own, so she’s Daughter #2, not just ‘DIL’) is a fabulous spinner and maker of gorgeous yarns and rovings.

She has knitted up some  lovely lace shawls for the show, and mentioned that she needed to do the dreaded blocking. (ugh)

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This one is a combination of shetland and camel that she spun.

Looks pretty gnarly before blocking!

I had a flash of inspiration-

I asked her what size she wanted to block them to, and she said 4 feet on the hypotenuse for one of them and 5 feet on the other….

AHA!!!! my triangle loom will work PERFECTLY for blocking the lace shawls!

So I whipped out the different sections to change it to 4 feet (as I had been weaving cowls using the 3 foot configuration -here’s the link to the cowls LINKIE)

And, in 2 shakes of a lamb’s tail, we had her shawl on the loom and blocking!

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The shawl is now a thing of beauty!

AND… I have discovered that the easel for the tri loom is also wonderful for multi-tasking-

I have a grotty, ugly old warping board that needs to be supported when I am using it.

I foolishly gave away the folding screen that I used to hang it on when I warp. (in a vague attempt at downsizing and de-cluttering)

I figured that I have another folding screen, and that it would work just as well, right?

Wrong! it goes all shrinking violet on me when I try to hang Mr Plug Ugly Warping Board on it. Rats!

So, when I got the brilliant notion of using the tri loom easel to support Mr Plug Ugly Warping Board, imagine my delight at having it be PERFECT!

(The fractious folding screen had me in conniptions, so you need to understand just how VERY happy I was!!!)

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And, yep, that is the evil un-co-operative folding screen to the right.

and eegads… the studio is one honkin’ mess…  well, it was either clean the studio, or write this blog post.

(I obviously opted to blog instead of clean. )

ANYHOW>>>>

I am pleased…. warping is, once again, a pleasure!

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I love the way the long low winter sun makes such neat shadows:

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And, here’s the back of the easel, showing how Mr Plug Ugly (but oh so essential) Warping Board hangs so nicely on the easel.

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Multi-tasking is a very satisfying thing when it means that I get to use my tools in ways that they weren’t originally designed for.

Happy dancing! 😀

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Dragonfly shawl woven on the triangle loom

Last summer was a dragonfly summer. Countless dragonflies zipped and zoomed in glorious flashes of color and startling aerial acrobatics.

It was fabulous!

What wasn’t fabulous was the reason for their huge population upsurge: A vicious swarming plague of mosquitoes. UGH!

Ah well… here we are in deep mid winter, and now it’s just the memories of the dragonflies that are a pleasure, without the nasties of the mozzies.

I celebrated my love of dragonflies by weaving a shawl on the 7 foot configuration of the Dewberry Ridge triangle loom (LINK)

triangle-loom-dragonfly-shawl-copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I wove it with handspun wool that has shots of silk and angelina in it.

I also included rows of eyelash yarn every 28 nails, which gave me the perfect grid for embroidering the dragonflies.

triangle-loom-dragonfly-shawl-copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I embroidered the dragonflies onto the shawl while it was still stretched on the loom- the loom is the perfect embroidery hoop!

It is definitely a one of a kind, as all the combination of elements that came together to make it just won’t happen again.

triangle-loom-dragonfly-shawl-copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

When I was doing the embroidery, I turned the loom every which way to make it easier to get to each square.

The dragonflies are embroidered with silk that I spun on my support spindle.

triangle-loom-dragonfly-shawl-copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I didn’t use a pattern or drawing to embroider the dragonflies.

Pardon the pun, but I just ‘winged’ it. :p

triangle-loom-dragonfly-shawl-copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

People stop me to admire the shawl when I wear it. It gives me an opportunity to talk about weaving, spinning and embroidery (and spool knitting, too!)

triangle-loom-dragonfly-shawl-copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I don’t like fringes on shawls- so I spool knitted a looooooooooooooooong cord, and stitched it onto the shawl while it was still on the loom.

That was wonderfully easy! I held the spool knitted cord up against the outside of the nails, and ‘v’ (baseball stitch) it to the shawl.

This video shows how to stitch cord to a finished woven edge:

Happy dragonflies! Happy triangles! Happy everything…. 😀

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Video tutorial for NOT chained finish for woven squares

My favorite method to weave on looms that have pegs or nails, like the Potholder loom, or  Lil Weaver looms from Dewberry Ridge (LINK), is to weave with the continuous Potholder loom weaving method.

Usually, when you weave a square on the potholder loom, or other small loom, using the potholder loom method, you will need to chain the edge to finish it.

BUT… that can really affect the finished size of tiny squares, when working on the little 2 or 3 1/2 or 4 inch size looms.

So! I have come up with a way of finishing the edges of the squares, while you weave them.  Voila! No need to chain the edge!

Why would anyone want to weave on such tiny looms?

Well… they are so portable, you can take them anywhere,

AND… because weaving miniatures is so much fun :o)

Wee-woven-monster-and-kitty (c) Norteen Crone-Findlay

The Wee Woven monster in the photo above was woven using the Kitty pattern from my book: WEAVAGARUMI LINK

You can see the difference in size- The Weavagarumi Kitty is woven on the potholder loom (also from Dewberry Ridge POTHOLDER LOOM link )

and the Wee Woven Monster is woven on the 2 inch Lil Weaver.  Fun!

Here’s the youtube video with the tutorial on how to make some ‘edge magic’!

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3 new video tutorials about spool knitting and potholder loom techniques

I took time away from blogging over the Christmas holidays, but I have been a busy bunny making video tutorials.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to stitch spool knitted cords to woven or other finished edges:

And, another how to on stitching things together- this time, it’s how to stitch potholder loom squares and motifs together

Here’s a video tutorial on how to spool knit  with the Martha Stewart loom:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWoYAs-L3yM

How to spool knit on your fingers:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-nEfmge_Ygvi

And, there are lots more spool knitting video tutorials on my youtube channel: LINK

So there you have it Lotsa video tutorials…. hope they are helpful!

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