June 03, 2021
Introducing our newest kit for rigid heddle loom weavers: the Ripples Rigid Heddle Scarf. Wrapping yourself up in a cozy scarf on a chilly day is such a simple but powerful pick-me up. Especially when that scarf is handwoven, with beautiful depth of colour and touchable, lacey texture spreading across it like ripples on a pond.
In this case, the ripples are created by strategically placed warp floats--places where the warp skips over a few picks of weft, instead of sticking to simple plain weave. The way to create this effect on a rigid heddle loom is by using a pick-up stick: an extra shuttle or other flat stick that is used to manipulate some of the warp threads as you weave. Pick-up sticks are a wonderful tool to have in your weaver's tool belt! If you’ve already tried a few rigid heddle projects and are looking for your ‘next step’, this is the perfect project to try something new.
This scarf comes in two colourways, and uses some pretty special yarn. The warp is Beam: a strong, smooth organic cotton that is perfect for rigid heddle weaving. The weft is Revival from Ancient Arts Yarns: a lofty, fuzzy wool blend made from upcycled fibres that would otherwise be mill waste. This project is eco-friendly, fun to weave, and wonderful to wear.
The pattern was developed by our own in-house rigid heddle enthusiast Ali Hurlburt. Ali designed the scarf to take advantage of the extra width that her 20" Flip loom gives her. But she knows that many weavers work with 15" rigid heddle looms. To make sure everyone can enjoy this project, she included directions for weaving a wider scarf on a 20” loom, as well as modified instructions for making a thinner scarf on a 15” loom.
Trying out pick-up sticks will change your rigid heddle weaving life. Why not give it a whirl while playing with some beautiful new yarns at the same time?
Pick up the full kit to weave your own Ripples Rigid Heddle Scarf!
Interested in learning more about Rigid Heddle weaving? Check out our blog post on Where My Rigid Heddle Loom Can Take Me.
October 08, 2020
Introducing our latest rigid heddle pattern and kit: the Fall Checks Infinity Scarf! This scarf is perfect for days when the leaves are falling and the wind is starting to have a chill. Made from 100% cotton, it is comfortable and warm while still being light enough for sunny autumn walks. Slub cotton gives it a rustic, textured look and feel. You can sew your finished piece into an infinity scarf, as shown, or add fringe to the ends and make a conventional scarf. Either way, you’ll have a pop of colour and a comforting warmth to brighten up your days.
When we started getting more into rigid heddle weaving, we looked around for beautiful yarn that weaves well on rigid heddle looms. We ended up bringing in two fabulous yarns from Gist Yarn and Fibre: Duet and Mallo.
Mallo (right) has a slubby texture that contrasts beautifully with smooth 8/4 cotton (left).
This project features Mallo, which is a cotton yarn with “slubs”. So what are slubs, other than being a really fun weaving term to say? Slubs are wider sections of the yarn where it is plied together more loosely. Slubby yarn has a gentle thick-and-thin texture. And Mallo has just about the prettiest slubs you’ll ever see.
Slubby yarn like Mallo is a great option to add to your rigid heddle toolkit. It gives plain weave pieces body and texture. This adds visual interest, and also makes pieces that are snuggly to wear and feel amazing.
Different textures play together in the finished piece.
I designed this pattern with the beginner in mind. If you’ve never woven with slubby yarn before, the check pattern will let you see how it looks in the warp, in the weft, and when both cross. Hopefully this builds your confidence to experiment with adding texture to your own designs.
The Fall Checks Scarf is also part of Gather’s love of combining weaving and sewing. (To hear Kim and Angela talk more about this, check out the Weave Podcast!) By connecting the scarf with a flat-felled seam, you can up your sewing game and learn a new finishing technique. Or you can find a sewist in your network and collaborate on the project--I weave, you sew. Combining skills and working together makes craft more fun.
As fall settles in, we hope you stay warm and keep creating!