Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Right Tool

I once had a co-worker tell me the importance of using the right tool. Even if you knew how to use a hammer really well, it just wasn't the best tool for cutting, say...window glass.

Well, I have a new tool. My little rigid heddle loom is awesome! It's like the first loom Martin made for me, with all the bells and whistles added! The heddle is only semi-rigid, though. It's made with texsolv heddles that can be shifted from side to side. That becomes important later on!

I got the loom two weeks ago. I used the leftover warp that was on it to get the feel for the loom, then warped to make a bag handle. I am really pleased with how it turned out! And the loom, while it is bulky, was portable and I took it outside and wove while the kids played.

Last night I warped and wove project #2 on the new loom. I had made some knitted I-cord with some handspun yarn and wanted something ala potholders to show off the color variations.

(I'm only mildly crazy. The 16 yard skein of I-cord was knit with a mechanical cord knitter.
I couldn't do that much I-cord with double points!) I was hesitant to try this. Using a warp this thick would be like rag weaving which requires lots of beating. But, what could I do? I'm using the floor loom to hold 15 yards of muslin fabric for a few days, so it was unavailable!

Well, the project produced one potholder. I had warped enough for 8, but it was a painful process. The texsolv heddles moved just enough that the warp threads would bunch together. The comb that I was using to pack the weft in worked, but I couldn't pack it tight enough. And on and on!

I will try my potholders again in a week or so on the floor loom. In the mean time, I wonder what pattern I should make for my next belt?

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