A Tale of Two Looms…

The thing about weaving is that you kind of have to do it with some
regularity in order to get good at it.  Okay,  not exactly
unique to weaving, but I, for one, have been a little terrified of
the prospect of figuring out the warp for each project, deciding on
threading/pattern, and the actual measuring of the warp, carting it
over to the loom, and getting the loom dressed.   It slows
me down — by months.

To short-circuit some of that trauma,  I bought a
hand-painted warp kit at MDS&W 2012 — from Earth Guild.
Isn’t it pretty?  I finally got it on the baby wolf about 10
months after I bought it.  And by “onto”, I mean pretty much
that:  draped.  Not beamed on, threaded, or sleyed.

warping bw

The other thing about weaving is that you have to be in the same
place as your loom in order to do it.  Well, I suppose the same
is true for knitting, but needles tend to be a little more portable
than looms.   For me, it’s not enough that I can fold up
the Baby Wolf and put it in the back of an empty SUV.  I need
something that will fit in the back of an SUV that’s already loaded
with everything ELSE we need for a couple of months.

So — this year at  MDS&W 2013, I bought another kit from
Earth Guild — this time, for a rigid heddle loom.  It’s
pretty, too!

lump of warp

Oh, but that requires a rigid heddle loom, you say?  Well,
yes.  Schacht Flip 15″ fit the bill 🙂 

The Flip was delivered while I was away on a business trip (of
course).  Within 2 days of getting home, I had it open, set up,
and the warp was….

rh set up

On the loom.  Just like that.  Wheee!   
Here’s a closeup of the weaving — just plainweave, of course,
because I did not instantly dive into trying to do a multi-heddle
effort with the loom.

rh weave

So, with the rigid heddle loom, I was off to the races!  And,
as promised, the loom folded up nicely and slipped into the
already-full SUV to head away for a bit.  I’m progressing
nicely with this scarf, thanks for asking 🙂  .  I’m
hoping that some of the waviness of the weft will settle out when it
is wet-finished.  The wonky selvedges are mine to own,
though.  I hope I’ll get better at them, with practice.

As for the Baby Wolf… will I ever go back to it, now that I’ve
Flipped?  You betcha.  I got the threading done (and fixed
— required an emergency heddle to fix a threading mistake) the week
before we left.   And, having spent the time working out a
threading plan, I have this twill pattern to look forward to (done
in waste yarn to settle the warp out):

bw - ready to roll!

Throwing the shuttled, beating the full beater, was pretty
magical.   The rigid heddle loom is a lot more fun than
nothing, and certainly people have done some pretty amazing things
with them.  But I’m looking forward to getting back to the
painted warp on the Baby Wolf — maybe soon I’ll get past my
trepidation about warping it more regularly.

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