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Tips for beginning weavers

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    Tips for beginning weavers

    Hello fellow weavers!

    If you would have told me a year ago I would own a loom and weaving, I would have shaken my head thinking you were mistaking me for someone else.

    Anyway - I was hoping we could start a thread where we could consolidate tips and tricks for weavers. I hope that is ok.

    Please tell us:
    • “If you knew then what you know now” items
    • warp tips
    • weft tips
    • free patterns
    • yarn recommendations
    • oh - and the fusible thread tips
    • anything else I missed
    Thank you in advance!!!
    Knitting is happening here! ❤️

    Stashbuster MAL 2020: WTD: zero; YTD -276

    #2
    I love this!! Great idea! Looking forward to learning from the best! I own a RH loom, so any thing esp. related to RH weaving would be appreciated, but it's also a great place for us to learn about weaving with the "big" looms as well.

    Comment


    • rkennell
      rkennell commented
      Editing a comment
      FreedomLover - it is so fun to learn! I'm already thinking I need a bigger loom.

    • Char
      Char commented
      Editing a comment
      FreedomLover - rkennell and I found great deals on FaceBook Marketplace on used ones if you are on FaceBook.

    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not on FB but my husband is. I watched the beginner's class on Bluprint yesterday. I feel silly admitting this but I didn't know about these looms, I thought I'd need to have a floor loom. There's no place for me to put one and I'm sure I couldn't begin to afford that.

    #3
    FreedomLover did you watch the Rigid Heddle or a floor loom?
    Knitting is happening here! ❤️

    Stashbuster MAL 2020: WTD: zero; YTD -276

    Comment


    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      The rigid heddle start up library class. I want to watch beyond the basics and any others, but DH is home today and on his second James Bond movie.

    #4
    To give a sense of the relative weights of yarns commonly used in weaving, Handwoven Magazine offers a free download of a chart that is very useful here:
    https://handwovenmagazine.com/master-yarn-chart/

    The three numbers given at the end of each entry represent the ends per inch for wide sett (as for lace), medium sett (as in plain weave), and close sett (as in twill).

    Comment


    • rkennell
      rkennell commented
      Editing a comment
      This is a handy chart!! Thanks!

    #5
    One thing I learned after joining Jane Stafford's online guild was to have fun...it's only yarn! This helped me a lot. I learned to play and experiment at the loom. You really don't need to have huge looms or many shafts to create beautiful cloth.

    Comment


    • rkennell
      rkennell commented
      Editing a comment
      Good reminder! I'm hoping to learn to use heddle rods with string as extra heddles! I've been watching Kelly Casanova and Liz Gipson in their online classes and I'm excited for the potential that gives!

    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      I found Kelly Casanova yesterday!

    #6
    I have two things I am struggling with...

    1) the beginning and end of the weft... how and how far to tuck in. As a knitter I am pretty obsessive about this. As a weaver, how do you guys do this? I just watched a YouTube video where a Kelly Casanova just overlaps two weft threads and calls it done. Does it get tucked in at the end?

    2) no can’t figure out why my weaving inclines in the right hand side. I am beating with my hands in the middle of the heddle, even tried moving them more to the right. I can’t figure it out.

    thanks!!!
    Knitting is happening here! ❤️

    Stashbuster MAL 2020: WTD: zero; YTD -276

    Comment


    • Char
      Char commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!!! I am going to start with the Kindle book and go from there.

    • Kathy7661
      Kathy7661 commented
      Editing a comment
      My favorite way to tuck in my ends, whether I'm beginning, run out of weft and starting a new bobbin, or ending, is the split ply method. I think there's less bulk this way.
      https://yarnworker.com/joins/

      I agree with Carlota that the issue with your selvages may be a tension issue. Perchaps this video will help:
      https://youtu.be/_HKH7HwDEZI

    • Carlota
      Carlota commented
      Editing a comment
      The ply split join referenced by Kathy7661 is my go-to join, because it reduces bulk and sort of feathers in the yarn. When weaving with wool singles yarn I've also done a felted spit splice overlap with no ends hanging out (same as for knitting) as it gives a really nice invisible result. I see that weaving teachers vary in the amount of recommended overlap at the join. Personally I feel better with at least 1-1/2 to 2 inches and in addition I like the idea of leaving a tail of a couple more inches hanging free to be trimmed off after the first wash, so it has plenty of length to take up and nestle into place and possibly felt a little before getting snipped off.

    #7
    I'm adding another question of a newbie--I warped my loom and didn't catch this until I went to do the pickup stick in the back. I had my loom warped at 2 threads per slot/hole, but one of the slots obviously has 4! It was a light-colored yarn and I didn't see it when I did it. I've already got the warp rolled on the beam and even have woven in the warp separator and am ready to weave the header. (Yes, it is a fluffy yarn, but it was acrylic and left over, so I used it. 😄) So my question is--can I just cut out 2 of the extra warp threads and hang them over the back and keep removing them as I weave? I have no idea if the 2 I cut out will be connected at the back, but my thought it was that it didn't matter. I did warp the slots separate from the holes, if that makes any difference in the potential fallout from cutting out the 2 yarns. (The reason being I had warped the whole thing in 1 thread per slot/hole and it was just too thin when I started weaving, so I cut off the woven part, stretched it all out and rewarped it, putting all the original warp threads in the slots at 2 per slot and putting two new warp threads in each of the holes, so they are entirely separate.)
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    Comment


    • Kathy7661
      Kathy7661 commented
      Editing a comment
      rkennell That's exactly what I would do! As you advance your warp just check now and then that those extra warp yarns are behaving and not tangled.

    • rkennell
      rkennell commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Kathy7661 -- I'll do that this evening! It's just sitting there, dying to be woven up and I have still too many things to do yet.

    • Carlota
      Carlota commented
      Editing a comment
      You can always weight any surrounding threads if something gets loose, or toward the end, tie any orphaned warp threads to the rod (you add a little piece of string to make it long enough to go around the rod. I feel like I've done that before, or seen it done.

    #8
    I made one and a half napkins. I thought I had a few more inches to weave when my down shed disappeared. Is that normal or did I do something wrong? At least I learned that I prefer the yellow weft with the Peaches and Cream Peace colorway. Click image for larger version

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    Shelly in South Carolina

    "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Dalai Lama

    US Gardening Zone 8B

    Comment


    • Kathy7661
      Kathy7661 commented
      Editing a comment
      Nicely done!
      When you can't get a good enough shed to fit your shuttle in you usually have to advance your warp and if there's no more warp to advance, then you're done. 😊

    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you! I didn't have any more warp to advance but I had at least 9 or 10 inches of warp left unworked on the loom.

    • Kathy7661
      Kathy7661 commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, it's normal to have loom waste. My Louet David floor loom has about 15" of loom waste and I try hard to weave as far as I possibly can to reduce that waste.

    #9
    Tip: Don't do this.

    Click image for larger version

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    Shelly in South Carolina

    "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Dalai Lama

    US Gardening Zone 8B

    Comment


    • Carlota
      Carlota commented
      Editing a comment
      This is one of the things I love about weaving. If you aren't looking around the house for a makeshift tool, you are having to analyze stuff that happens.

    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      That's what I'm doing right now, "What happens if I ...." And I love the idea of looking for makeshift tools around the house. I watched Kelly Casanova for the first time and instead of using waste yarn as a spacer she uses cardboard which I think will slide out easier at the end.

    • rkennell
      rkennell commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, drat! 🤣🤣🧐

    #10
    I'm at the end of the warp and have 10 inches of yarn in front of the heddle.

    Click image for larger version

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    Heddle in up position:

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    Heddle in down position:

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    Shelly in South Carolina

    "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." Dalai Lama

    US Gardening Zone 8B

    Comment


    • Kathy7661
      Kathy7661 commented
      Editing a comment
      Check out this video. Kelly Casanova demonstrates how to use pickup sticks to clear the shed.
      https://youtu.be/-whQf54WGto

    • Char
      Char commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Kathy7661 - this is just what I should have done... last night before I cut my warp. 🤣😂🤣😂 Next time!!!

    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      I will, I just discovered her a couple of days ago and love her. I can listen to an Aussie talk all day.

    #11
    Check out this tip by Peggy Osterkamp! https://peggyosterkamp.com/weaving-twostick-heading/

    What a handy idea!

    Comment


    • maryemilee
      maryemilee commented
      Editing a comment
      I love Peggy, I warp my floor loom using her method. Works for me every time. She has some great tips and tricks.

    • Readyfox
      Readyfox commented
      Editing a comment
      I have Peggy's DVD for warping back to front. That's how I started weaving. Great teacher

    • maryemilee
      maryemilee commented
      Editing a comment
      I have used this method for several years very successfully. The only way I warp now.

    #12
    Two new YouTube videos by Poff Studios are worth a watch for rigid heddle weavers seeking ways to improve their weaving:
    https://youtu.be/mb64jH-Pe_s
    https://youtu.be/CzLgm-iT6NI

    Comment


    • Char
      Char commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!!!

    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for sharing these.

    • rkennell
      rkennell commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks! Looking forward to watching these!

    #13
    Found this article with simple math to be helpful. (I'm all about simple math!) A good quick way to guess if you have enough yarn for a scarf.
    https://handwovenmagazine.com/souven...yardage-scarf/

    Comment


    • Char
      Char commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow - this definitely helps!!! :-)

    • rkennell
      rkennell commented
      Editing a comment
      I know, right? I'm going to bookmark it

    • Carlota
      Carlota commented
      Editing a comment
      Such a great concise article - thank you!

    #14
    Another enabling tool--posting it here for my own reference.

    https://www.plaidmaker.com/?fbclid=I...FgwIzNvOUdNqow

    Comment


    • Kathy7661
      Kathy7661 commented
      Editing a comment
      This is great!!

    • FreedomLover
      FreedomLover commented
      Editing a comment
      This looks like fun.

    • rkennell
      rkennell commented
      Editing a comment
      There are a lot of ideas already on the site as well--lots of inspiration!

    #15
    Hi everyone, I am thinking about getting a RH loom and have some questions.
    1. I think I want two heddles but Why? What can I do with the second one?
    2. I am willing to spend the money to get a good setup. I want good quality and something that will be good for the long term, not something I will want to upgrade soon. Brand/model Recommendations? And How wide? Anything to avoid?
    3. What accessories should I get right away? Again I don’t mind spending a little more money up front to have an enjoyable experience and not have to stop in the middle of a project and order things.

    Comment


    • crosstitchlinda
      crosstitchlinda commented
      Editing a comment
      I have the 32" Kromski with 8, 10 and 12 dent heddles, and the 15 dent heddle from Ashford which fits the Kromski. I have 2 32" shuttles and 4 24" shuttles ( for when I'm not weaving the entire width). I bought mine at the Woolery in person almost 2 years ago. They suggested the Kromski because it has a built in warping board. When doing longer warps direct warping gets to be unwieldy. I also have 2 pick up sticks for doing fancier weaves. I would say you don't need the double heddle accessories right away, they can always be added later. I made one modification to my loom which was to tie the apron rod on the same way it is attached on the cricket rather than with one continuous string as in the instructions. I can show pictures if you want.

      I don't know where you live but if at all possible trying a loom out in person is very helpful but of course difficult at the moment.

    • Char
      Char commented
      Editing a comment
      crosstitchlinda - did you know the Ashford now has a warping board on their looms as well? :-)

    • crosstitchlinda
      crosstitchlinda commented
      Editing a comment
      Char No I didn't, good to know. At the time I purchased mine they didn't. However I will say that I dream of purchasing a separate warping board that is sturdier. But I keep putting it off. Just checked and it's been 4!! years since I purchased this loom -- how time flies.

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