Rigid heddle workshop – jan 21, 2012

21 01 2012

Today was the scheduled Rigid Heddle Workshop. There were 4 openings in the class, 3 registrants. As the day greeted us, it was cold and very wet. I was glad to have a workshop scheduled, rather than a bike ride.

We began at 9 am with winding yarn balls from skeins, and found this a good way to begin class since students often arrive in stages and yet the first student should be able to begin at the scheduled start time.  by 9:30, we were well on our way to measuring out the warp.Each student in class had her own loom and each loom had a stand. This makes for easy weaving, I think. The warp is Louet’s washable merino. Perhaps Pearl. Each student’s project was to be a 10″ scarf. One student had dressed her Kromski Harp previously.

The student with the Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom direct warped her loom, while the Kromski owner measured her warp on the warping board on the back of the loom. Using this method of direct warping, we sley each slot and dot, rather than double sleying the slots only, then re-sleying after beaming. It was easier, however to double-sley from a front installed set of lea sticks on the Kromski. The loom owner said this was more clear for her than the method she used previously. Love to hear that! The looms were dressed in record time.  Since the Ashford loom arrived with a cardboard version of warping sticks, we used them: For the Kromski, we simply used bathroom tissue for warp separator.  Both ladies were weaving very quickly after lunch. We had a warm bowl of chicken soup and biscuits for lunch by a fire provided by my DH. Quickly back to work, the weavers began their work.

Progress was quick and the only real question of the day was about those darn edges!!!!! I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t need to fidget with them, and yet….. if that’s the only thing that brings results for you…….   The ladies did convince me that the selvage loops are a result of my method of beating…… humility is a very good lesson;0)

The student using mohair for weft opted to remove her piece from the loom although it wasn’t complete, so I could demonstrate hem stitching, and she was a quick study and did a great job. We then moved to the sink with the sample fabric (approx 18″ long) and wet-finished it. At that point, the ladies pack it up and we said our Goodbyes.  I’m thankful to have met/re-met these ladies and hope they are new friends. On student asked about a local guild and I told her that Richmond used to have, and may still have 2 weaver’s guilds. James River Weavers was one guild and Richmond Weavers Guild is the other. There is also a spinning guild in Richmond: Clothos Children. I’ve heard that Clothos Children are active in a variety of the fiber arts.

Weave Joyfully!

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