Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Inventive Weaving Weaving on a Little Loom by Syne Mitchell


Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom: Discover the Full Potential of the Rigid-Heddle Loom by Syne Mitchell

Last Christmas, my husband "surprised" me with a loom  -- and by surprised, I mean, I researched them, sent him a link to one I was interested in, and then a very large box showed up under the tree ;) I knew basically nothing of weaving beyond those pot-holder looms from childhood, so of course, I did what any good librarian would do, and started checking out all of the weaving books and magazines I could find.

A quick explanation of weaving terms -- Warp is the threads that run lengthwise and are strung onto the loom; weft is the crosswise threads that are woven with a shuttle.  The warp threads pass through heddles, which are manipulated to make designs.  On a traditional loom, those heddles are usually wire, and they are suspended from shafts, so the weaver raises and lowers the shafts to create intricate textures.

Morse Code Scarf
Rigid Heddle loom is much simpler --  instead of wire, there is a solid plastic heddle that is raised and lowered to create plain weave, a fabric where the warp and weft threads cross over each other evenly (if you look closely at most pieces of cloth, you'll see this plain weave texture).

Because Rigid Heddle weaving is relatively simple, I found that many of the books and patterns I checked out were a bit... limited.  The designs were pretty, but were mostly just variations on plaid and stripes, and I wanted to do more.

And that's when I found Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom.

Syne Mitchell takes the readers/weavers through the basics -- various ways to warp the loom, how to decide which size heddle to use, the math required to figure out how much yarn is needed, and then she continues onto much more advanced techniques -- using 3 heddles together to create twill patterns, designing lace patterns with pick-up sticks, weaving tapestries.

Christmas Dish Towels
So far, I've made one pattern from the book: the Morse Code scarf (a Christmas present for my husband... the stripes spell "I love you" in morse code), and used what I learned to make dishtowels for our families as well.   I'm looking forward to trying more of the advanced techniques as well... I just ordered more heddles, so I can finally try twill!

Search for Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom in the VBPL Catalog

Interested in learning a new craft this summer? Check out our other reviews of craft books here on VBPL Recommends!

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