Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Rigid Heddle Weaving Class at Wooly Wonders

Last week to start the new year off I started two weaving classes, both beginning level classes, one in rigid heddle and the other in tapestry. Each class has only one student so it is like private lessons, but rather enjoyable.

For the rigid heddle class I lean heavily on the direct warping method that is covered in Rowena Hart's book, The Ashford Book of Rigid Heddle Weaving. There now is a second edition out that is an expanded version of the original book, with more projects and yarns. The Ashford books are very colorful and upbeat, with clear diagrams of the basic weaving techniques.

But for deeper and more complete information on rigid heddle weaving I rely on Betty Davenport’s book Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving by Interweave Press. The book’s been out since the late 80’s but it’s still a very valuable source for the rigid heddle loom.

With the resurgence in rigid heddle weaving, Betty Davenport has recently revised her 1980 booklet Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom. The revised spiral edition with the addition of some color pictures and additional projects makes it a “must buy” the advanced rigid heddle weaver. The book is now distributed by Fine Fiber Press.

Over the six weeks of the rigid heddle class besides direct warping, we will cover loom controlled weaves (such as weaving vertical and horizontal stripes), weaver controlled weaves (such as lace weaves, tapestry stitches, and rya), and finishing techniques (such as knots, braids, wrapped warps and hem stitch). The hour and a half classes easily go over the time limit, and we do cover a lot of ground. But I think the students get a good foundation in the basics.

Next the tapestry class...

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