New Crafty Obsession: Rigid Heddle Loom

November 27, 2012By

I think it was about six years ago that I first had the idea of getting a loom. I was still fairly new to knitting, and heard on a podcast about “knitting looms” that used knitting yarn. They were small, portable looms that didn’t require too much space. But I was so happy with my knitting, I put that idea out of my mind for awhile.

Then, a couple of years ago, I started seeing more knitters using looms to make projects. I kept thinking, “Someday, I’ll get a loom,” but never actually did.

Then I saw that Craftsy has an online class for the rigid heddle loom. I had a discount code, so I signed up for it, just to see if it was something I would like. I think I watched it at least three times, and knew it was time for me to get a loom.

So I did. As it happens, we live less than an hour from The Woolery (the country’s largest retailer of spinning and weaving supplies). Rather than order it online as I normally would have, we took the Friday after Thanksgiving to take a mini-roadtrip to Frankfort, KY. Frankfort is totally adorable and I definitely want to go back someday.

Frankfort, KY

St. Clair Street, Frankfort, KY.

The Woolery!

The Woolery – seriously, SO MUCH FIBER GOODNESS. 

My New Loom!

My new loom, home and ready for assembly!

I looked at quite a few, and finally decided on the 16″ Kromski Harp with a stand. It came with some great extras, and even flips over to be a warping board (more on this in another post).  It’s small enough that it doesn’t take up much room, but big enough that I can make a variety of projects.

I spent Saturday morning putting it together. Normally I’m a whiz at assembling flat-pack items, but this had me scratching my head a few times. The stand especially was a little tricky, but eventually I got everything together and in working order.

Loom and Stand

All assembled and ready for warping!

Speaking of warping – one of the things I learned was that setting up your project for weaving is about 80% of the weaving process. Attaching your warp (the lengthwise yarns) is super-important and somewhat time-consuming. But doing it correctly means your project will be a success.

Here’s my first warp on the loom:

Warped

That’s Socks that Rock Lightweight in Zein, in case you’re curious.

And my first few rows of weaving:

Weaving Started

The gray yarn is the “header” that protects the project weaving and keeps it in place. I was still a little wobbly at this point, and my edges on the left side are very loose. I persevered, figuring this was my first project, and therefore it was important to make mistakes so I knew how to fix them. I experimented and eventually got in the swing of things.

How I Spent my Sunday Afternoon

My weaving set-up.

This is how I spent Sunday afternoon, weaving and watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. Awesome.

By Sunday evening, I had a scarf:

First Scarf - Off the Loom

I chose this yarn from my stash specifically because I knew it would pool when knitting. But I had no idea the variegated color would create a plaid effect! How cool is that?

The scarf still needs a soak and its own photo shoot, so I won’t call this a completed project yet. I’m already planning my second project, and looking at my stash yarn with a new eye. I see a LOT of scarves in my future! And placemats. And table runners. And dishcloths. And more scarves. I think you see where this is going.

Anybody else out there have a rigid heddle loom? Any advice you could share?

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Comments (5)

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  1. Annika says:

    Your weaving is beautiful! I wove for a few years as a kid and mine never was as even as yours.

  2. Beccy says:

    How fun! I love this. Your scarf turned out beautifully!

  3. This is really, really cool. I was just saying to my husband the other day that I’d like to get into weaving. I think it would be very meditative (well, once I got the hang of it — maybe not assembling the loom!)

  4. Brooke says:

    Ah! Now the “weaving project” makes sense! I just acted like I knew what you were talking about at the craft store. :) And that looks AWESOME!

  5. Susan (the other one) says:

    Susan – That’s BEAUTIFUL!!! You never cease to amaze and impress me with your skills.