This Christmas my husband gifted me perhaps the greatest present you could ever buy a fiber artist: an Ashford rigid heddle loom! I took a couple of weaving courses in college and have really been missing the art form over the past few years.
While I am knowledgable in weaving on a floor loom, the rigid heddle is a new venture for me. Things that I’m loving about it so far:
It’s so light! I can move it wherever I want.
It doesn’t take up a lot of space. Slide it right under the bed if you want!
Warping it is a breeze. Less than an hour? Yes, please.
It allows me to use a wide variety of yarns. Suddenly yarn scraps have a purpose again!
Hands down, an awesome option for beginner weavers as well as those who may not have the room to dedicate to a floor loom or the money to invest in one.
My new loom is the 32” model which is amazing because it allows for me to create patterns up to that width but also as narrow as I would like. This means I can make blankets as well as scarves!
Because the rigid heddle loom is new to me, I’ve been using the last six weeks as a learning period – experimenting with different yarn weights, colors and patterns.
So far, one of my favorite designs is buffalo check. This trendy pattern is honestly the simplest you could create on the rigid heddle loom and, when created with contrasting colors, yields striking results.
Warp: 4 red, 4 blue (8 ends)
Weave: 4 red, 4 blue
I followed this pattern using Caron Simply Soft yarn in red and navy to create this super cozy scarf.
Seriously, so simple! I’m curious, what are your favorite buffalo check colors?
Today I’m bringing some DIY to the site with woven placemats! Having taken a number of fibers courses at SUNY Cortland, I have been looking for a way to incorporate more weaving into my life. I can across this idea in a book and decided it would be a fun and inexpensive weaving project.
True to what I thought, this project was enjoyable, simple and may prove inspirational to those of you who are already planning holiday gifts. Below you will find instructions on how to make these placemats for yourself.
Fabric: The first step, of course, is to pick out your fabric. I used fabric from Walmart, picking several designs from the quilter’s quarters you can find in the sewing section. Of course you can also find fabric at most craft stores or reuse textiles from around your house.
Cut: Once you have your fabric you can proceed to rip it into 1”-wide strips.
Warp: In weaving, the vertical strings (or in this case fabric) that you weave onto is called the warp. To make my warp, I tied the fabric strips onto my small tapestry loom which, conveniently enough, is the same size as a standard placemat. If you do not have a tapestry loom, you can make your warp on a cork-board, securing the fabric strips with push-pins.
Weave: Once your warp is finished you proceed to weaving. Simply follow the basic over-and-under weaving technique (like I did) or feel free to get more creative!
(If you are using the cork-board technique you may need to use pushpins to keep your weave in place.)
5.Tie: The last step is to tie the tails of the fabric strips together, giving the placemat a fringe. You can leave the fringe as long or as short as you want.
So, whether you are making these for your own dining room or plan on giving them away as gifts, these placemats are a fun project that will also give you a sense of accomplishment!