I sent off my second batch of woven scarves to the Bushfire Relief Centre last week, along with the crochet Meltwater Hat and Scarf and a knitted hat I made ages ago that’s a bit too big for me so it was in my ‘potential gifts’ bag.
I’d decided it was time for a break and to try a few new techniques with the loom. A while back I bought the second heddle kit and installed it, but hadn’t got around to trying it out. I wanted to try making tubes using double weave that I’d make into wine bottle carrier/cosies.
I was a bit worried about the warping, as I’d read of other weavers having trouble.
Hooking the threads to pull through the front heddle was a bit awkward, and the instructions have you work from right to left which is opposite to what I’m used to, but in comparison to warping up the table loom it’s still pretty straight forward.
I wound some yarn onto a shuttle to play with and started experimenting. Getting a tabby/plain weave happening wasn’t hard – and there are instructions for that in the Ashford Book of Rigid Heddle Weaving. But then I tried to do a twill and found that, even with a pick up stick, I couldn’t quite get the full pattern happening. I figured if I couldn’t get the four positions needed for twill I wouldn’t be able to do double weave.
I began to wonder where I’d go the idea I could do double weave with a second heddle. There were no instructions for it in the book. I searched the internet. I browsed forums. Eventually I gave up and cut the warp from the loom, deciding I’d just do the bottle cosies on the table loom instead.
Then I read on Weavolution that there were supposed to be instructions on double weave included with the second heddle kit. Following a link to the Ashford site, I found a pdf that I’d actually downloaded ages ago. So that’s where I got the idea is was possible! But I’d forgotten about it, and no instructions had come with my kit. Too late now!
In the meantime, I warped up the loom to try another technique. Using handspun as warp for the first time, I put stripes of it and machine washable Bendy classic 3ply on the loom, then started weaving a very loose weft of the Bendy. The idea is, you throw the scarf in the wash, the handspun felts and the machine washable wool doesn’t shink, instead forming ruffles.
Except, well, that I ran out of Bendy for the weft mid-way. I have some more on order, but it looks like this project is on hiatus for now. All of which has me thinking two things: my weaving mojo in on holidays, and Ashford need to put out a book of projects to try using the second heddle.