Weaving and the Rigid Heddle Loom

I have many projects on-the-go in many crafts like quilting, bookbinding, jewellery, and sewing, but I recently became interested in weaving again due to the influence of a group of knitters and weavers. Years ago I was sort of keen on it but the looms were so expensive. Someone I talked to online periodically had a floor loom but she had to put it away after her son was born due to limited room. It didn’t seem too practical a craft to me, and since her loom was down I wasn’t able to see her weaving and get some tips.

However, I have recently discovered the rigid heddle loom, manufactured by several companies in different widths. The 12-inch width seemed too limiting to me and there is no way with my tendinitis and carpal tunnel that I could throw a shuttle across a 32-inch width or even 20 or 24 inches. In between there are some 16-inch rigid heddle looms, so I’m saving up for the one by Ashford and two extra heddles to take finer yarns. Hopefully I can get it some time in late November.

The loom rests against a table and then sits in your lap where you work, so it’s portable and not too big. The projects I’ve seen are mostly scarves, but I was interested in working up some tea towels in cotton as well as decorator pillows for new furniture and some funky things for handbags. I’ve been having trouble using my sewing machine due to hip and knee problems and I’ve been getting some yarn for machine knitting projects so I’ll probably have leftovers I can fiddle with.

It seemed doable anyway. It’s another way I can work with colour and be creative, which is appealing to me. I don’t want to get involved in buying too many things in middle age, I need to simplify my life and declutter my home, but I have three books on order to learn from and practice:

Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Linn Davenport

Considered the bible of the craft by many and a good basic book for a weaving library.

Weaving Made Easy : 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom by Liz Gipson

I bought this for a basic project book, something I could go to for patterns and then jump off from there.

The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom by Jane Patrick

Newly published, this is getting excellent reviews and has technique, patterns, and lots of inspiration.

I managed to find two books from the library that were interesting, but not comprehensive enough to buy. They gave me simple ideas for colour and techniques though:

Creative Weaving by Sarah Howard

Small Loom & Freeform Weaving by Barbara Matthiessen

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