My first loom was a Schacht Spindle Co. Cricket loom which my bride gave to me for my birthday following our trip to Allegan (See “In the Beginning”). She chose it because of its portability and quality. One of the things I would like to be able to do going forward is to take a project along when we travel.
The loom came with a sample scarf project. The yarn was not the color I would have chosen but it was a great way to start out and learn to warp and weave on my own. I watched a couple of Youtube videos on warping a rigid heddle loom. There are several good ones. The one I liked the best was created by Schacht. It turns out that with a little practice warping on a rigid heddle is fairly simple and quick.
So I was off and weaving on my own loom. Once I started it went pretty fast and for a first project the results were ok.
So, I bought another loom. I thought at some point I would want to weave something a little wider than 10 inches so I purchased a 25 inch Schacht Flip rigid heddle loom. Both of my looms were purchased from The Spinning Loft (http://thespinningloft.com). At about the same time we were visiting one of our favorite places on earth, Black Mountain, NC. While in town we visited a new fiber arts gallery called Nice Threads (http://www.nicethreadsgallery.com) and got to talking to one of the owners about weaving. In the course of the conversation she recommended that I check out a store in Lansing Michigan called Woven Art (http://www.yarnandfiberart.com) for classes to accelerate my learning as a weaver.
As soon as I got home from North Carolina I contacted Woven Art, connected with a teacher for a rigid heddle class, confirmed that I should bring my own loom to class and waited the agonizing several weeks until the class.
When class day arrived I was up at the crack of dawn and on the road for my hour drive to Lansing Michigan to learn to weave. There were only four of us in the class so we all had the attention we needed to get our looms warped and start to weave.
We spent the day weaving and getting pointers about tension, salvage, etc. and how to keep our work looking consistent. The teacher had infinite patience for all of our questions. We were all beginners and all working with different materials. Mine was wool which I picked out and purchased just before class. They have a large selection of yarn at Woven Art. I had very little time to look so I didn’t end up with something as brightly colored as I would have liked but purple is my favorite color so I was good to go.
When it came time to leave we all had weaving left to do. So we were going to have to fly solo and finish at home. Over the next couple of weeks I found time to sit down and weave and I finished the project and cut it off the loom. I got it washed and blocked and ended up with something I am quite proud of. It is a really good feeling to create something that is useful and attractive with your own hands! And winter was coming…