Tag Archives: rigid heddle weaving

Woven Women- Essence

For the last few months, I have been working on a very large mixed media tapestry in my series of ‘Woven Women’.

This one is called: ‘Essence’.

Woven Woman (Essence) by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c)

Woven Woman (Essence) by Noreen Crone-Findlay (c)

She’s over 6 feet tall, and has about 2 feet of warp strands hanging below the lower edge, so she’s about 8 feet tall in total.

I used many different looms to weave her…. beginning with my ‘Story Loom’ (designed by Susan Barret Merrill of

Weaving a Life LINK)

"Essence" on the Story Loom (c) Noreen Crone-Findlay

“Essence” on the Story Loom (c) Noreen Crone-Findlay

I also used:  A rigid heddle loom, a narrow band weaving loom,  peg loom, weaving sticks, Star Loom, tatting and wire work.

I posted links to 3 videos that I made about various looms and techniques I used in weaving ‘Woven Woman: Essence” here: LINK

And, made a video so you can see her a little more clearly:

Happy Weaving, and here’s to Essence, however it reveals itself (or in this case: Herself).


Filed under Dewberry Ridge looms, hexagon loom, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, Peg and Stick Loom weaving, tapestry, weaving & handwoven, Woven Women tapestries and woven works

Woven Women: Stardust Woman

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

For many months, I have been working on a new Woven Woman that is based on Rumi’s poem:

‘We came whirling out of nothingness

Scattering stars like dust…..

The stars made a circle

and in the middle

we danced’

I wove the words on the magical narrow band loom that my son and I created- LINK

using a double slotted rigid heddle.

To weave the letters, I graphed out my hand writing and experimented until the letters wove up in a pleasing manner, both technically, and aesthetically.

I also used the dragonfly and star looms that I designed for Dewberry Ridge looms – LINK

And, I included some tatting, too.

I made the face and hands from 1/2 inch plywood and the backdrop from 1/4 inch plywood.

She’s a departure from the direction I have been going with my Woven Women, so I really questioned myself about her.

She spent quite a long time on the dining room table as I moved her component parts from here to there.

And now,  completed, she measures 11 inches wide and from the top of the arch to the tassel at her hem is more than 60 inches.

But, I feel really drawn to weave words right now, so I will continue to do more….

The next Woven Woman is on the loom already. 🙂


Filed under band loom

Quirky wonderful loom

My son, Angus Findlay, and I have just co-created a loom and stand that I absolutely love.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Last January, I asked Angus to build me a box that I could turn into a loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I made the ratchets and pawls from purpleheart wood, cut the ends and sides into the shapes I wanted, made the warp and cloth beams and started painting it.

I loved it, but found it a bit too big to hold in my lap while weaving, and I didn’t have the perfect table to sit it on and weave comfortably.

So, I asked Angus to take some funky old legs that I had bought at a garage sale, and build a stand for the loom.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Woo hoo!  I love it! I am enchanted by Angus’ design and how he built such a whimsical and quirky (and VERY solid and sturdy) loom stand.

He intuitively made it just the perfect height for me.

I brought it home and started playing with embellishments.

I cut out some of my favorite wooden shapes to glue on it, and then painted 3 coats of gesso to prime it.

Then, I slowly began the layering on of paint:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

Painting was a long slow process, as I applied layers of  acrylic paints in thin washes to build up the color shifts.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

The screen behind the loom shows how I use this layering technique on other pieces, too.

I was quite surprised when the loom started to lead me in this direction, as I had had a totally different concept

in mind before I started painting.

But, I believe in listening to the piece and allowing it to tell me how it wants to be.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com


The ‘Dancing Girl’ and ‘Resting Rabbit’ motifs are a theme that I have used for more than 40 years.

They’re just me.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

I made the metal image of the Dreaming Lady of Malta with sheet metal, using the repousse technique of pressing and shaping the metal from the back.

Because I work with my dreams and use them as one of the main sources in my art and artisanship, I felt that placing an image of the Beautiful Dreamer was a great metaphor.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

and on the stand, I attached another repousse image that I had made at the same time as making the Dreaming Lady.

This is Xchtel, the Mayan Goddess of weaving, with her companion Rabbit.

So, the metaphor and message of these two images is:

Dream weaver.  Weaver of Dreams…..

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

It is just pure bliss to weave on this loom.

Words cannot convey the delight.

I LOVE how my beloved son, and dear friend, Angus, and I created a loom that is so completely US.

I feel blessed.



Filed under band loom, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven, woodwork

Happy times at winter festival

Yesterday, and the day before, my daughter, daughter in love and I were participants in the artisan’s market of the Deep Freeze Winter Festival in Edmonton, Alberta.

It was great fun- the volunteers were a delight – here I am with darling Bernice in her wonderful winter celebration hat that she lovingly made with paper mache and all manner of glitteries:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I loved the wonderful conversations that I had with people who were enjoying the festival.

One little guy just charmed me to bits…. he was an epic weaver, and a total cutie….

He had me hopping, as he was Mr SuperFast and keeping up with his flying little fingers was a challenge! 😀

I wish that the video was just a few seconds longer, to catch our discussion about him wanting me to give him the shirt that I will be making from the fabric.

He didn’t see that I really wanted to keep it for myself as being at all reasonable! LOL!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

After each artisan’s market or maker’s faire, I am always very touched when I think back to some of the remarkable conversations that I have with people.

Often, people will share deeply meaningful glimpses into their lives.

I always feel like I have been offered a precious little jewel in the glimpse of their journey that they reveal to me.

It’s one of the many things that keeps me coming back as a participant in these magical events.

And, I also feel enormous joy when someone comes to my table or booth, and then responds with delight, and laughter and, sometimes, even tears, when they connect with something that I have designed and made.

Now, THAT is magic beyond measure!!!!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

There were all kinds of wonderful things happening outside during the festival.

This gorgeous horse was carved in snow outside our venue. I LOVED it!

It was a delightful weekend, and even though I didn’t get to see the festival as a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed my little corner of it! 🙂

PS: This post: Viking Dress LINK explains why I am dressed the way I am in the photo.


Filed under craft shows and makers faires, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Homage to a Viking woman’s dresses

In Edmonton, Alberta, in deep bitter cold mid-winter, there is a festival that is appropriately called, ‘Deep Freeze’.

It’s a celebration of the arts, food, music and the many cultures that have met and melded to become the very arts oriented city of Edmonton.

Part of the Deep Freeze festival is an artisan’s market, and I am going to be one of the vendors (January 11 and 12, 2014).

The theme of this year’s festival is: The Vikings are Coming – and they are!

A fabulous team of ice and snow carvers from Scandinavia is here already,  carving huge icy statues of Odin and Thor.

The festival organizers really like it if the artisans get into the spirit of the theme, so I got inspired and researched Viking women’s clothing.

Knowing that the Vikings were magnificent weavers made me want to see what I could come up with for my days at the artisan’s market.

I found lots of images on Google and Pinterest, so I set to work:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Archeologists have learned that Viking women wore under dresses woven in wool or linen.

Then, on top, there’s an apron over dress that was embellished with woven bands that were also the shoulder straps.

Sometimes, they wore underskirts or trousers.

Don’t forget that they rode sturdy horses, so pants are  a very good idea.

They also wore over coats, called kaftans, that were also embellished with woven bands.

The wove their bands using tablet looms, which I really don’t like.

Instead, I warped up my Swedish double slot rigid heddle, (which I love) and wove 9 yards of narrow bands, using sock yarn.

(Note: I bought my Swedish double slot rigid heddle from Vavstuga: LINK)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

The short supplementary slots hold the pattern threads.

To weave the pattern, you pick up the threads from the pattern group of threads that match the pattern on a gridded graph.

It’s rather slow, but deliciously contemplative and incredibly satisfying to weave these bands.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

I was going to make the tunic, but then I remembered that I had found the perfect soft green linen tunic in my fave thrift shop last fall. Yay!

And, then, miracle of miracles, I found a linen skirt in the thrift shop – and wowsa… it was perfect to convert into the apron over dress! (Oops… it’s too big, and I should have taken it in, so will have to do that at some point).

And…. there was also a green cotton flounced skirt that works perfectly for the underskirt. YAY!!!!

I planned on sewing the coat, but then discovered that the pattern that I was going to use to make it was missing the sleeve pattern. erg…..  I ordered another pattern from Club BMV, but it’s not going to get here in time.

Ah well, c’est la vie!

I stitched the bands onto the overdress by hand, but stitched the straps on by machine to really secure them to the dress.

The bands were usually pinned in place on the front of the overdress with Celtic interlace brooches.

But, in one of the photos on Pinterest, the over dress is embellished with 2 golden hands.

I LOVED this, so I used a pair of hand charms that I had used in a doll making book that I wrote many years ago.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

It  was a lot of work to make, but I love it, and will wear it over a t shirt and leggings,  (after taking it in a little to make it more comfortable and less tent like).

Viking women also wore belts with tools hanging from them, and pouches for their cellphones and lip gloss.

All right, they  weren’t tweeting, but I am willing to bet that they made and used lip gloss in some form or another.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Their pouches were usually leather, but I prefer to weave mine :o) using yarn that my clever daughter in love spins for me.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.crone-findlay.com

Viking women wore a fair schwack of jewelry, so I decided to that I would join in the spirit of things and put on a few more pieces than I would normally wear.

Yesterday, there was a press conference for the Deep Freeze festival, and I was invited to come to represent the artisan’s market.

I took along my Norwegian Cradle loom (these are hand made for the Vesterheim museum, and are available online at: LINK

and wove some bands while mummers mummed and singers sang and film crews filmed.

Weaving at the Deep Freeze press conference

Weaving at the Deep Freeze press conference

Since most of North America is freezing cold right now, we really need to find something to light up the deep mid winter, right?

Yes, indeed!

So, I shall weave to warm my heart and hands….. and I will  join with other artisans in making beauty!


Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

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!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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.


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!


Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, tutorial & how to, weaving & handwoven

What’s on your loom for Christmas?


It wouldn’t be a proper Christmas without at least a little weaving!

My daughter and I are co-creating a present for her husband.

I warped up my Cricket (love that loom!) and am weaving up the bands that she is going to use to make him a pair of suspenders.

I wove about 20 feet of really nice bands…. I’ll show you pics when she’s got the suspenders done….


By the way, my husband made me that shuttle one year for my birthday. Isn’t it gorgeous?

He also built me my inkle loom, which I am working with to weave bands that say different things for different members of the family:


That’s for my son’s camera bag…. hope he likes it.

I love doing pickup techniques on the inkle. It’s slow, but satisfying!

So, what’s on your loom for Christmas?

Happy Weaving!

Image source: Noreen Crone-Findlay copyright


Filed under gifts & easy to make gifts & presents, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven

Another healing/prayer shawl made with the mitered loop method


Last week, I wrote about weaving healing and prayer shawls on my Cricket Loom, using a method that I have developed (the mitered loop shawl). Here’s the link to the tutorial


This is one of the shawls that I have just woven for my daughter. The colors didn’t show up at all well… sigh. It’s much prettier in person! Much more turquoise-y.

Image Source: Noreen Crone-Findlay copyright


Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving

Weaving a healing or prayer shawl on the Cricket loom

Recently, my sister-in-law had an abscess in her brain, which is devastating and life threatening.

Her friends and family rallied around her and have formed a loving caregiving team.

I decided that as part of my caregiving, I would weave healing and prayer shawls for her and some of her closest friends.

So, I warped up the Cricket Loom from Schacht (I love this loom…. it’s beautifully engineered and weaves like a dream. It’s small enough to be portable – you can weave in the car, and big enough to handle full size projects.)

Here’s the Cricket warped up for one of the healing / prayer shawls:


I put approximately 150 inches of warp onto the loom, which is pushing the limit, but there’s a reason for that.

I used Caron Simply Soft combined with some tweed weaving thread from my stash for the warp, and the tweed thread for the weft.

I used 2 strands of yarn in each of the slots and holes. I put the tweed yarn only in the holes and the mixture of yarns in the slots.

After I wove the long strip of fabric, I folded it, and stitched the ends together like this:


This forms a long loop. Trim the excess warp strands to a few inches. If you use a sewing machine, use a zig zag stitch. If you do it by hand, work a Philipine edge first to secure the warp strands

Now, fold the ends into points:


Pin the folds in place, and sew the center seam. Stitch the ends in place, and steam and press.

Voila! a beautiful  healing or prayer shawl:


Image source: Noreen Crone-Findlay copyright


Filed under Loom & looms & small loom weaving, weaving & handwoven