Kind of like a charcoal rubbing…

So this is the new scarf and supplementary warp project…

Supplementary warp project on the loom

I lurve it! On the loom it was looking so much like a pencil or charcoal rubbing of some highly textured surface that I almost stopped weaving to get out some charcoal and paper; such was the inspiration! Thankfully, I kept weaving and am very happy with the result.

Of all the colours of that Noro Silk Garden comes in, you might think me mad to have picked the “Solo” and in brown (!!!!), but this was a yarn that just spoke to me. I’m not much of a browns person, but I do like the colour and particularly¬† flecked like this.

Being me though I’d forgotten that you can’t warp with this yarn! (I know, I know…) Thankfully, my stash had an appropriately matching 4ply in it. I could have put grabbed the appropriate reed and used the 4ply as 4ply, but I didn’t think the sup’ warp Noro would survive that much abrasion. So I threaded it double using a 30/10 reed.

Suplememtary warp project off the loom

So happy with the result. Such is the serendipity of my approach to weaving!

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A little present for myself

Do you ever buy yourself a present that you know you don’t need, but you just really want? This was me the other day. I bought myself a ‘vari dent’ reed.

This allows you to mix-and-match different spacings across the width of the reed. Of course, I have a rigid heddle loom so the point of this isn’t predominantly to vary the spacing of the warp, but to weave different size yarns. That sounds like a lot of fun to me!

And this is what the Ashford’s vari dent reed looks like:

A picture of Ashford's vari dent reed

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Heddles, reeds and beaters

Loving words comes in handy when there is a bunch of new terms to learn. Weaving is a treasure trove!

I particularly like “heddle” because it’s fun to say. (Also fun is “raddle”, which I’ll talk about another time.) But what is a heddle, and why is my loom a “rigid heddle” loom?

Like the eye of a needle, the heddle is the part of the loom that holds the warp thread. Usually looks a bit like this:

Image of a plastic heddle

 

 

 

 

 

Or this:Image of  metal heddles

 

 

 

The heddle is what keeps one warp thread separate from another and, ultimately, what lifts a set of warp threads up to allow you to weave.

As well as passing through the heddle, each warp thread also passes through a comb like thing called a reed. This helps to keep your weaving tidy and – to some extent – image of a metal reedcontrol the density of the cloth. It does this by setting the spacing of the warp threads.

The reed, while a thing in itself, is also a part of the beater that you use to “beat” the weft threads into place. Usually the reed sits inside a frame of sorts so that you can easily pull the reed forward to beat the weft when you need to.

So, why is my loom a “rigid heddle” loom? Well, that’s because in this type of loom the heddle, the reed and the beater bar/frame are all together as one thing. How? Like this:

image of the reed from a rigid heddle loom

You can see the long “slots” are just like in a reed for other looms, but the solid area between each slot is a heddle (“hole”) and it’s altogether used as the beater. Very clever way to combine 3 things into one!

I’ll talk more about this type of reed when I get into the specifics of rigid heddle looms, but it has both benefits and limitations. So far, I’m just loving the benefits.