This winter I thought it would be fun to weave some blankets on the rigid heddle loom using my hand spun wool for the weft and a commercial wool warp.
I used up all the left over colours from a dyeing day, spinning them onto one bobbin and then plying them with a mixture of blended red wool so that the overall colour was warm and cosy. I used the full width of my 20″ (50cm) rigid heddle loom with a 5dpi (20/10cm) reed threading every hole and slot.
The warp was 165″ (419cm) long and 20″ (50cm) wide. After cutting it off the loom and securing the cut edges with a machine stitch I gave it a good wash and a line dry where it flapped about vigorously. I then cut the length into two halves and hand stitched these together using the same yarn as the weft with an over hand stitch.
The cut edges were then bound with a velvet ribbon, machine stitched on one side and hand stitched on the other, giving it a lovely luxury feel.
I was so pleased with the results that I made another one in quieter colours using a commercial wool and silk warp and a hand spun wool and alpaca weft. This time I bound the edges with a satin ribbon. The rigid heddle loom is really so versatile and with a good range of heddles to choose from and a wide variety of yarns it is possible to weave so many different fabrics with different uses.
Keep warm and cosy and Happy Weaving!
This year I thought it would be fun to update my Christmas furnishings with some new handwoven cushions using the pick-up-stick with my rigid heddle loom to create some Scandinavian type patterns.
To create the patterns first place the heddle in the down position, then working behind the heddle insert a stick (a long shuttle or ruler works well) under a set number of warp threads. This can be any combination such as two up, two down as in the pictures.
The patterns appear when the pick-up-stick is turned on its side, lifting up the extra warp threads to create spaces for the weft to pop through. With several rows of plain weave in the background the floats are held securely in position.
Varying the thickness of the wool weft will give a good contrast with the background yarn. These three patterns were created by inserting the pick-up-stick under different combinations of warp threads. The yarn is pure wool, bought on cones at Wonderwool this April in Wales. The cushions were all woven on a 20″ (50cm) Ashford Knitters Loom using a 7.5 dpi (30/10cm) heddle. I used the iron-on-woven interfacing along all the edges before inserting the zips.
I cannot tell you how much fun this is to do! It is so simple and the patterns just grow before your eyes. I love the contrast here between the red and the white background. For more information about the patterns look for a lovely book called Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom by Betty Linn Davenport. There is also some reference to this method in The Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick. Give it a go. I think you will love it!
Now the days are cooler it is good to be wearing an extra layer and this simple tunic, made from cotton and viscose yarns feels just right. Woven on the 20″ (50cm) rigid heddle loom using a 7.5 dpi (30/!0 cm ) reed the warp is made up of cotton, viscose and ribbon yarns threaded on to the loom in a random stripe.
The weft is a cotton ribbon tape which is lovely to use as it weaves up really quickly and produces a soft but robust fabric which holds its shape and is nice to wear. We have used one of Sarah’s Get Weaving patterns #GWDR007 to create the tunic pieces. These patterns have been especially designed to fit onto narrow widths of handwoven fabric.
Once the fabric was cut out we used the Woven Iron-on Interfacing on all the cut edges before overlocking the raw edge. This guarantees that the fabric will not fall apart at any time! The seams were topstitched for a flat finish. As the fabric was so flexible there is no lining used in this version making it a perfect top for jeans and tee shirts. This and many other sewing patterns designed for fabrics woven on the rigid heddle loom are available from etsy.com/uk/shop/GetWeaving
Woolfest, hooray! Day two and we remembered to ask our fellow stall holder, the lovely Sew Sister to take our picture on the stand before the doors opened. It was great to meet so many enthusiastic rigid heddle weavers and to see what you had made.
I am always amazed that from the humble beginnings of a cattle market, still wet from the mornings livestock sale this vibrant and colourful show of all things woolly emerges. We had a brilliant spot this year and armed with cable ties and calico soon had the stand ready for action.
Really popular this year were the Get Weaving sewing patterns which are designed by Sarah especially for the narrow widths woven on the rigid heddle looms. We also had our three weaving books which show the many different weaves and colour combinations that you can achieve with just plain weave using the rigid heddle loom with it’s many different reeds. There is a good selection to buy now from a 15dpi down to a 2dpi which is great fun and lets you weave with all sorts of art yarns.
We bring a good selection of garments all made from handwoven fabrics as examples of the Get Weaving patterns so that people can try them on. Sometimes we even sell the odd item! The green pinafore dress (pattern DR009) has been a great success this year and I can’t wait to weave a linen version for the summer.
This is Sarah’s weaving on the Ashford 20″ (50cm) using the 15dpi reed and mercerised cotton from the Ashford range of cotton yarns. The weft is a wool and silk handspun singles spun on her Louet Victoria. It is going to make a wonderful piece of fabric just right for the pinafore dress. Spinning the weft to weave with a commercial warp is a great way to begin weaving with the rigid heddle looms and one of our favourite ways to make exciting fabrics for clothing. As always, Happy weaving.
Here is my new dress ready for our two days at Woolfest in Cumbria this coming weekend held on Friday June 22nd and Saturday June 23rd 2018.
The fabric was woven on a 20″ (50cm) rigid heddle loom with a 7.5dpi (30/10cm) reed. The warp was 2 picks of mohair and 2 picks of linen. The weft was a handspun singles, acid dyed with pink, red and peach. The fabric was hand washed and line dried on a windy day which always gives the fabric lots life and texture.
One of the great things about this pattern is the raglan sleeve which can be made up in either a contrasting fabric or the same fabric as the dress. These sleeves give a very comfy fit and the dress can be worn either on its own or with a T shirt underneath. The bias strip around the neck edge is also a feature as it is sewn on back to front so that the raw edge is on the outside. I always like to add a few buttons but they are optional!
This is the original version woven on the rigid heddle loom and made from handwoven cotton and corn fibre. The sleeves and hem are made from commercial denim. This dress was featured in our book Get Weaving and is also available as a pattern #DR005. We will have this and many other patterns for sale on our Stand J234 at Woolfest so do please come and find us and share your weaving adventures . We love to hear all about your ideas and of course we will be happy to help with any problems if we can. We will also be demonstrating during those two days, both the Quick Threading and Cutting out your Handwoven Fabric.
Some of you will recognise the dress from this copy (issue 27) of The Ashford Wheel magazine where it was fully featured on pages 38 and 39. That was a particularly good edition as there was a lot of weaving featuring the rigid heddle looms. We cannot praise these looms enough and it is wonderful to see them growing in popularity and to see so many of you having such fun making beautiful fabrics.
As always, Happy Weaving !
Here we are on our stand GET WEAVING at this years WONDERWOOL held on the Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales. We had a really great time and it was so good to meet so many happy rigid heddle weavers and to hear all about your ideas.
For 2018 we have made many new handwoven garments as examples of what you can make on these marvellous rigid heddle looms. To go with the garments Sarah has designed a collection of patterns to be used with handwoven fabrics, especially those narrow lengths made on the smaller looms. Every pattern has a sample garment for people to look at and feel so they can see how the pattern will look when it is made up. We do not sell the clothes but we do sell the patterns and our weaving books at these events.
Our next outing will be at WOOLFEST in Cumbria on June 22nd and 23rd so do come and find us there. We would love to see what you have made. We will be demonstrating on both days so please come and ask if you have any questions or need any help. Hopefully it will be a bit warmer than it was in April and we will not need our beautiful gloves, courtesy of the Ceredigion Guild stand!
It is always brilliant to meet up with old friends at these events especially when they are wearing their own hand spun, hand dyed, handwoven outfit made from her very own sheeps wool! How good is that!
This is my shopping from Wonderwool and I hope you will see it on the loom, being woven up when you come to see us at WOOLFEST in June. Happy weaving.
This brilliant pinafore dress is such fun to wear and so easy to make using one of Sarah’s patterns #GW DR009 which are especially designed to fit onto narrow widths of hand woven fabric.
The fabric was woven on a 16″ (40cm) rigid heddle loom using a 7.5dpi (30/10cm) reed. The warp was a mixture of wools, linens and viscose yarns and the weft was all hand spun wool and silk.
The weft is a plied yarn made from one bobbin of wool and one of silk. This is a lovely light weight mixture and weaves up really well giving a soft and airy fabric just right for a Spring outfit.
Two buttons attach the straps to the front body but are simply ornamental as the whole dress slips easily over the head. The wonderful Herdwick sheep broach is made by Jackie Cardy of Feltworks.
Two pockets are added to the front skirt and come in two different designs.
We will be at WONDERWOOL in Wales this weekend with this design and many other exciting new garments for you to see and try on. We will have the patterns too so do come and say Hello and show us what you have made on your rigid heddle loom. You will find us on stand T3 GET WEAVING and we will be there on both Saturday and Sunday weaving and talking or is it talking and weaving! Lets do it and have fun.