Try Something New: progressing from a rigid heddle loom to a shaft loom

For the past 10 years, I’ve been weaving on the Flip or Cricket Loom, exploring and writing about rigid heddle weaving. Now I’m yearning to get back to working with shafts (also called harnesses) to study weave structures again.
If you are currently weaving on a rigid heddle loom, the difference between a rigid heddle loom and a shaft loom is that you have more pattern possibilities. On a rigid heddle loom, you create patterns with either a pick-up stick or by using finger-controlled weaves (You can check out my book, The Weaver’s Idea Book, to see the vast possibilities that the rigid heddle loom has to offer.) On a shaft loom you have shafts, or harnesses, that hold heddles. To thread the loom, you thread the reed that determines the sett (number of warp ends per inch) and then separately thread the heddles. The pattern is determined by the order in which you thread the heddles on the shafts. For example, you might thread the first thread in a heddle on shaft 1, the next thread in a heddle on shaft 2, and so on. Different than a rigid heddle loom where you can change the pattern by changing the pick-up stick, once you have the pattern threaded on a shaft loom, you can’t change it. What you can do, though, is change how you weave the pattern.
On a shaft loom, once you have the pattern threaded, you have the option of how you are going to lift the shafts. Let’s say that on a 4-shaft loom, you have threaded the shafts in what’s called a straight draw: 1,2,3,4; 1,2,3,4; repeat. To weave this you might lift shafts 1-2 together, 2- 3 together, then 3-4, then 1-4. This would weave what’s called a 2-2 twill. But you could change this pattern by changing the combination of shafts that are lifted. For example you could lift 1-2-3, 2-3-4, 3-4-1, 4-1-2. This is also a twill pattern, but it is called a 3-1 twill.
What I’ve given you is a very broad overview. To delve deeper, I recommend Deborah Chandler’s Learning to Weave. Working through this book is just like taking a class with this encouraging and knowledgeable teacher. Deborah really understands the different weave structures and is able to explain how to weave, for example, summer & winter, overshot, or Bronson lace (if these names intrigue you then you are on the way to exploring shaft loom weaving).
Up to now I’ve referred to just “shaft loom”. A shaft loom could be a table loom or a floor loom. A table loom is what it sounds like, a loom that sits on a table with levers for lifting the shafts. Table looms are wonderful for learning about weave structure because it is easy to change the pattern by using different levers. Examples of Schacht floor looms are the Wolf Pup, Baby Wolf, Mighty Wolf, and Standard Floor Looms. Floor looms are handy because they have treadles, or pedals, which you push with your feet to move the shafts, leaving your hands free to throw the shuttle and beat in the weft. All these looms come with 4 or 8 shafts. Essentially the more shafts, the more pattern possibilities (see book resources in the accompanying article).
On my journey back to shaft loom weaving, I decided I’d start exploring 8-shaft twill, threading up an 8-shaft table loom for a set of luncheon napkins, weaving a different weft sequence with each napkin. The yarn I chose was one I’ve wanted to use for a long time. It is a beautiful unmercerized 8/2 cotton from Mayan Hands that is commercially spun in Guatemala and hand-dyed with natural dyes by the Mayan Hands cooperative and available kit form from Cotton Clouds. To try out the colors, I threaded up broad stripes and wove the weft colors in the same way, creating a plaid. I love how the colors play against each other. This kit is sold as a kitchen towel yarn kit—but you don’t have to use the yarn this way!

progressing from rigid heddle to shaft loom

Here’s how I threaded up my loom in a straight draw: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. I also put a floating selvedge on each edge, which is a warp thread at each selvedge (in this case the floating selvedges are doubled) threaded through the reed but not a heddle, thus floating midway in the shed. When you enter the shed you go over the floating selvedge. When you exit the shed you go under the floating selvedge. After a while it becomes an automatic motion that you don’t even notice. A floating selvedge is a good idea when you are weaving a structure where the edge thread is not caught every other row.
Here are the details:
Loom15″ 8-shaft Schacht Table Loom
Yarn: 8/2 unmercerized cotton from Mayan Hands, in 4 colors.
Color order: 34 blue, 32 white, 32 orange, 32 gold, 32 orange, 32 white, 34 blue.
EPI: 20 ends per inch (2 ends sleyed together in a 10-dent reed)
Width in reed: 11 3/8”
PPI: 20 for a balanced weave
Below is the chart, called a draft, that tells you how to thread, lift, and weave


In blue box across the top is the threading. This tells you that you are going to thread the first thread on shaft 1, the second on shaft 2, and so on. You repeat this for as many times as needed. In this case you will repeat the threading 28 times (don’t forget that the first 2 threads and that last two threads will not be threaded in a heddle).
The purple square is what’s called the tie-up. This tells you which shafts you will operate with each row of weaving. On a floor loom each column represents a treadle to which the shafts are tied, creating the lift pattern. On a table loom, as I’ve done here, you will pull down the necessary levers in each column. In this example, the first row of weaving, you will pull down levers 1,2,3 and 5. On the next row, you’ll pull down 2,3,4 and 6, and so on.

Finally the red vertical column represents the treadling, or the order in which the shafts are lifted. In this first example, I’ve repeatedly woven 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8—which makes a straight twill. You can see that the weaving makes a diagonal line in one direction.

8-shaft twill

For the next sample, you can see what happens when I changed the tie-up. The threading and the treadling are the same. I’ve only changed the tie-up box–a super easy thing to do on a table loom. 

This is just the beginning of my pattern explorations. I hope you will be inspired to try something new in 2017.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Best Boats

 

SHUTL 1

When you graduate from a stick shuttle to a boat shuttle, you’ll exclaim that you’ll never go back. The spinning bobbin unwinds the yarn automatically as the shuttle passes back and forth. Your weaving speed increases and you’ll notice a marked improvement in consistency. Here are a few tips for choosing the right boat shuttle for the project at hand.

Usually weavers like a longer, heavier shuttle for wider warps and narrower and lighter-weight shuttles for narrow weavings. A longer shuttle has a longer bobbin and therefore holds more yarn. Another consideration to your shuttle size is the size of your hand. If you have small hands, you may find a larger shuttle not as comfortable to use. Schacht Boat Shuttles come in four lengths: 9”, 11”, 13” and 15”.

Bottom or no bottom? Some weavers like the glide of the shuttle with a closed bottom. I like an open bottomed shuttle because I like to place my finger under the bobbin to stop it rotating when I draw the shuttle out of the shed. This is a preference and the best way to know what you like is to try both kinds.

Regular or slim? What about shuttle height? If the shed on your loom is narrow, then you might want to use a low profile shuttle, such as a slim boat shuttle. Also, a very narrow shuttle is excellent to use if you are taking the shuttle in and out of the shed. Note: that a narrower shuttle will hold slightly less yarn. Slim and regular shuttles are available in 11” lengths only.

SHUTL 6

What’s a double bobbin boat? If you are doubling wefts, then using a double bobbin boat shuttle solves the main problem that occurs when weaving with two wefts wound together on a bobbin: the two yarns never unwind exactly at the same rate when wound together on a single bobbin. The consequence is little loops developing at the edges, ruining your otherwise perfectly even selvedges. Winding two separate bobbins eliminates this problem. I love our Schacht double bobbin boat shuttles with two separate bobbin shafts so that just one bobbin needs to be changed out when the yarn runs out. You know, they will never run out at the same time no matter how much you try!

100510_Schacht_ 104

End Delivery Shuttles: the cat’s meow

End-delivery shuttles always seem to be a mystery. But as far as efficient and dreamy weaving, once you start weaving with an end-delivery shuttle, you’ll think your boat shuttle is slow. An end delivery shuttle speeds weaving, so it is an advantage over a boat shuttle, which is weighed against the higher cost.

How an end delivery shuttle works: instead of a free-spinning bobbin like a boat shuttle uses, an end delivery shuttle has a pirn that remains stationary. The weft yarn unwinds off the pirn’s tip when the shuttle is in motion and stops unwinding when the shuttle stops. It is the motion of the shuttle that causes the yarn to unwind. If the shuttle stops, the yarn stops, as opposed to a boat shuttle where the bobbin keeps spinning even when the shuttle stops. This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Because the yarn unwinds as the shuttle moves, perfect selvedges are possible with no fiddling whatsoever. Weaving is also more efficient because the hands stay close to the shed to send and receive the shuttle.

There are different ways to tension the thread in an end delivery shuttle. The Schacht end delivery shuttle has a set of tension pads through which the yarn passes. These pads are controlled by a screw that adjusts the amount of tension applied to the yarn. To create a perfect selvedge, adjust the pads until the selvedge neither pulls in nor forms weft loops. Once set, your weaving will proceed rapidly with perfect edges every time (no kidding!).

The Schacht end delivery shuttle was designed with handweavers in mind. It feels good in the hand, is light weight, adjustable to a variety of yarns and super easy to thread. Available in 12” and 15” lengths.

Which shuttle to choose? Boat or End Delivery? 9” mini or 11” slim, open bottom? As I always say to my students: It depends. On what you’re weaving, how much efficiency matters to you, your budget, and what feels good in your hand. Happy weaving!

Jane Patrick is Creative Director for Schacht Spindle Company. She has been weaving for over 40 years and is a former editor of Handwoven magazine, author of The Weaver’s Idea Book, teacher and lecturer.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Three Easy Woven Brooklyn Tweed Projects Perfect for This Fall

 

Earlier this year, We e-mailed the team at Brooklyn Tweed to see if they wanted to participate in one of our collaborations for 2016. I was thrilled when I heard that Jared Flood, Founder and Creative Director of Brooklyn Tweed, wanted to see what we could do. Not only were they game for a collaboration, they mentioned that they were releasing a new yarn in the fall that would be ideal for weaving.

Be still my beating heart.

I have been following Brooklyn Tweed since before they carried yarn, when they were primarily a knitting pattern powerhouse, so this opportunity was one I could not pass up. After talking to the team here at Schacht, and the team at Brooklyn Tweed, we decided to do a 3-piece woven collection focusing on their new yarn, Arbor. This series includes a zoom loom hat, a modern poncho, and a lovely fringed pillow. These projects are primarily made out of Arbor, but two of them also utilize Quarry, Brooklyn Tweed’s chunky weight yarn.

Before planning anything, we played around on the Zoom Loom weaving swatches with all of Brooklyn Tweed’s main yarn lines, Loft, Shelter, Quarry, and now Arbor. All of these yarns (except for Quarry) wove up easily on the Zoom Loom, and never was I concerned about the lofty-spun yarns separating. I did find a work-around for Quarry on the Zoom Loom which will be featured in a how-to on weaving bulky yarns on the Zoom Loom in the future.

 

Zoom Loom Plaid Redux Hat – Benjamin Krudwig

bt-hat

 

Difficulty Level: Easy

Equipment: Schacht Zoom Loom, weaving needle.

Yarn: Arbor from Brooklyn Tweed – DK weight in Alizarin – 1 skein 145 yards per skein

Quarry from Brooklyn Tweed – Bulky Weight in Moonstone – 20 yards (200 yards per skein)

Weaving: Weave 17 squares with Alizarin. While each square is still on the loom, weave 4 supplementary rows in a contrasting yarn, Quarry (bulky weight) in color Moonstone. Weave these accents randomly so there is little repetition from square to square, windowpane fashion. I call this pattern “Plaid Redux”. Use caution when pulling the bulky Quarry yarn through the woven fabric.

Assembly: Create two strips of 8 squares. Sew the ends of each strip together to create two loops of 8 squares. Offset these two loops by half a square and sew the loops together (see diagram below).

Take the final square and sew each side to every other square along the top of the upper loop (see diagram below). There will be 4 squares on the upper loop that won’t be attached to the crown square, take some excess yarn and weave through the top edge, then cinch it tight to close the holes. Stitch the holes shut if necessary.

assembly-of-the-hat

Finishing: heavily full the hat until felted; stop when you reach a good fit for your head.

Optional: AFTER felting the hat, create a large pompom out of Quarry and sew it to the top using a length of Arbor.

 

Pale Blue Fringed Pillow – Jane Patrick

 

pale-blue-pillow

Difficulty Level: Easy

Equipment: Schacht 15” Cricket Loom Kit, 1 15” stick shuttle.

Warp Yarn: Arbor from Brooklyn Tweed DK weight in Treehouse, 2 skeins, 145 yards per skein.

Weft Yarn: Arbor from Brooklyn Tweed DK weight, 1 skein each of Dorado and Rainier, 145 yards, per skein.

Warp length: 56” which includes take-up and 18” loom waste.

Width in reed: 15”

E.P.I.: 8

Total warp ends: 118

Total yardage needed: 185 yards

PPI: 8 (1 skein is perfect for this project, if you beat more than 8 ppi or weave longer, you’ll need another skein of Dorado.

Weaving: Use Dorado for the plain weave. Use Rainier doubled for the ghiordes knots. Weave 1” of plain weave. Tie the first row of ghiordes knots. It is important to begin at the correct place, as this first row of knots sets up the remainder of the rows. Using the key, make a row of knots following pattern A, weave 4 rows of plain weave, and then make a row of knots following pattern B. Weave 4 rows of plain weave and repeat.

 

Key to ghiordes knots rows.

ghiordes-knot-key

Note: Alternate rows A and B checking to be sure that the rows of knots alternate and line up. Working right to left, work in this way: count over 9 warps and then tie two ghiordes knots (each ghiordes knot is tied over 2 warps, so 2 knots require 4 warp ends [XXXX] on the diagram), skip 12 warp threads and tie another set of knots, and so on.

Measure weaving off tension until the pattern is square. Weave the backing in plain weave for 20”.

Finishing: Remove the fabric from the loom and secure the ends. Wash by hand in hot water with mild agitation. If the fabric is not fulled sufficiently, place in hot dryer for a few minutes, watching carefully. Lay flat to dry and then steam press.

Assembly: Zigzag and straight stitch between all cutting lines. Cut three pieces: the front leaving a ½” seam allowance at either end, cut the two pieces for the back which includes a flap closing–1 piece 8” long and another piece 9” long.

Sew a 1” hem in the longest piece and then attach the hook side of a 2” piece of a hook side of Velcro (the Velcro will stick to the wool fabric) and sew this to the hem on the wrong side. Turn under 1/2″ along the long edge of the other back piece and stitch.

Place the pillow front (fringe) side up (I used lengths of masking tape and temporarily taped the fringe to the inside to make sure it would not interfere with stitching). Place the back pillow piece with the Velcro facing up on top of the pillow front, and finally, overlap the short back flap piece on top of the Velcro piece. Sew around all sides. Press and turn right sides out.

Fill with your own pillow form or make your own with fiberfill and scrap fabric and insert in to your pillow. Enjoy!

 

Windowpane Poncho – Denise Renee Grace

rolled-collar

Difficulty Level: Easy

Equipment: 20” Flip loom with an 8-dent reed, tapestry needle for sewing.

Warp yarn: Arbor from Brooklyn Tweed DK weight in “Cobbler” 2.8 skeins, 145 yards per skein – 408 yards total.

Weft Yarn: Arbor from Brooklyn Tweed DK weight in “Cobbler” 1.2 skeins, 145 yards per skein – 174 yards total.

Quarry from Brooklyn Tweed Bulky weight in “Sulphur” 1 skein, 200 yards per skein

Warp length: 92” which includes take-up and loom waste.

Width in reed: 20”

EPI: 8

Total warp ends: 160

PPI: 6-8, this may need adjusting since you are using two weights of yarn.

Weaving: Hemstitch at the beginning.

fabric-detail

Weave plain weave through out. Weave Arbor for 1″ then, alternate between Arbor and Quarry every other pick. Be sure to weave a balanced plain weave so the picks of Quarry look square. Weave to the end of your warp, ending with 1″ of Arbor like in the beginning. Hemstitch at the end.

Assembly: Lay length of fabric down in a straight line. Bring one end down to a point. Bring the other end to a point overlapping the other end. With a 10 yard length of arbor, sew a square with a whip stitch where these points overlap.

Finishing: Hand wash, dry flat. Once dry, put in the dryer on medium heat for about 10 minutes until sufficiently fulled, checking often.

We hope you enjoy these fun and versatile projects. We hope you will be inspired to try these great projects and would love to see them. Be sure to tag your social media posts #schachtspindle, and #weavingwithbt so we can see them and share them!

Benjamin Krudwig

Benjamin has a double degree in biology and photography (he also spins, weaves, knits and crochets)--so he's a great mix of data and creativity--all wonderful traits as a member of our sales team. You'll often hear his friendly voice on the phone and you've probably noticed his name pop up in many places: Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube. Ben is our digital media manager—the main reason you've seen more activity from us in social media.

Denise Renee Grace

Denise Renee Grace first learned to weave as a student at Bethel College. She later moved to Boulder and worked in a re-purposed product company where Barry Schacht discovered her and hired her to work in our sales and service department. Denise’s first love is spinning and she is especially fond of working with natural fibers on all four of her Schacht Wheels. When it comes to weaving, tabby tickles her. In charge of customer care, Denise spends her days here helping people—something she does so well.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Zoom Loom Color Block Potholder

 

color block potholder

Bright and cherry, this simple felted potholder is easy to make for holiday giving.

Difficulty: Easy

Number of Squares: 18

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun, Sport weight in Fox Red N46, Goldenrod 125, and Blue Boy 116.

Loom: 4 x 4 Zoom Loom, 6” weaving needle

Notions: Tapestry needle

Weaving instructions: Weave 6 squares of each color. Do not sew in the ends.

Assembly: Each color block is 2 squares of the same color stacked together. Double all squares. Butt sets of squares together and use a lacing stitch to attach them, just catching the edge loops along the edges so as not to overlap them. When all squares are sewn together, use a loose end of yarn to stitch the sides closed, always matching the sewing yarn to the color of the square. Do not sew the ends into the fabric, this will create extra bulk and the fabric will not felt evenly. Just clip the ends leaving a teeny tiny tail.

potholder before washing

Finishing: Wash in the washing machine with hot water and detergent along with an old towel. My potholder felted in about 5 minutes. Your machine may take longer. Check often so as not to over felt. Once the fabric is sufficiently felted, remove it from the machine and rinse in cool water until the water runs clear. Lay flat to dry. Steam Press.

zoom loom with hands

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Road Trip Weaving

Road trips are in! So, take to the highway with these favorite books for summer learning, weaving and felting.

The Schacht Zoom Loom can slip into backpack or carry-on for weaving on the go. Two terrific books: 100 Pin Loom Squares by Florencia Campos Correa. More than just squares, this inspirational title with the Zoom Loom on the cover (!) includes color and weave patterns, novelty yarns, and projects that are hip and inspirational. Pin Loom Weaving by Margaret Stump. If you want a lot of cute patterns for making animals, quilts, or even a Barn House Tote, Pin Loom Weaving will take you there. Warping and weaving instructions are included along with clear step-by-step project details.

100-pin-loom

Pack your inkle loom in the back seat of your Rambler, along with the Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon. You’ll never be without patterns with over 400 of them included between the covers. Also, pack some of our Schacht Card Weaving Cards (we love everything about them) and weave away with these on your inkle loom using the classic book, Card Weaving by Candice Crockett for instruction and inspiration.

We have a few copies left of Time to Weave by Jane Patrick which will give you lots of ideas to use objects you find along the way to create a woven memento of your time on the road. Lots of great ideas for kids, too.

Combine felting with weaving, or just create cute felted critters. All you need to do is to pack some colorful fiber, your felting needles and pad, and take along the fun Making Felted Friends by Sue Pearl. You’ll find that once you get started, it’s hard to stop.

felted-friends

Happy trails and we’d love to see your projects made along the road, no matter where your travels take you. Happy summer! Your Schacht team.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Sett Yourself Up For Success

“It depends.” That is often the answer I give when I’m asked how to sett a yarn. It depends on the fiber content of the yarn. It depends on the size of the yarn. It depends on how the fabric will be finished. It depends on the intended use of the fabric.

Generally, once you’ve established what it is you’re going to make and what yarn you’re going to use, I always recommend sampling. (Now begins the common refrain, “I hate sampling!”) Without going into excessive detail, just let me say that sampling will tell you up front if your sett is correct for the project at hand.

To illustrate how helpful sampling can be, as well as how versatile yarn sett can be, I conducted a series of samples (with the help of our able in-house weaver Betty Paepke) using variable dent reed sections to help me. I tried all four dents: 5-dent, 8-dent, 10-dent, and 12-dent using four different yarn weights. Each yarn was re-set for each sample. (I didn’t, for example, do a section of both 5-dent and 10-dent in the same sample but rather wove a sample at 5 and another sample at 10). All samples were woven in a balanced weave. That is, if the sett was 8 ends per inch (e.p.i.), it was woven at 8 picks per inch (p.p.i.). All yarns are wool yarns from Brown Sheep (no super wash which won’t bloom), except for the bulky weight yarn which is 85% wool/15% mohair blend.

Sett Study

Each sample was warped at approximately 6” wide and woven 5” long. Hemstitching secured the ends. I hand washed all the samples in very hot water and Dawn detergent wearing rubber gloves, dried them flat, and steam pressed with a lot of pressure using a press cloth and high heat.

Assessing the results

Yarn 1: This bulky yarn sett at 5 epi is flexible enough for a large bulky scarf, at 8 epi the fabric is sturdy and somewhat flexible, and at 10 epi the result is a dense fabric suitable for table mats.

bulky study

Yarn 2: I usually recommend an 8 epi sett for this wool worsted weight yarn, but these samples illustrate that it is good at all four setts. At 5 epi, the fabric is surprisingly stable and very flexible—I see a large, oversized scarf. At 8 epi the fabric is flexible with a nice tooth which would work as a smaller scarf or cocoon wrap. At 10 and 12 epi, you have a serviceable fabric that would be hard wearing, say for a jacket fabric or even a bag.

Worsted Study

Yarn 3: At 10 epi, I find that this sport weight yarn is nicely balanced with good drape and is my usual sett. However, it works at 5, 8, and 10 as well. At 5 epi, the fabric is open and flexible but somewhat unstable. If I were to use this yarn at this sett, I would probably give the fabric a bit more finishing, placing it while still damp in a hot dryer for 5-10 minutes. After these samples, I actually prefer the sample at 8 epi to my usual 10 epi sett. The fabric has lovely drape with a bit of openness that would be good as a scarf. The 10 epi sample is a bit thicker and less open, as is the 12 epi sett.

Sport Study

 

Yarn 4: Here I’ve tried to push the possibilities of a fingering weight yarn. The two finishing techniques also show that the more open the weave, the more shrinkage, something to keep in mind should you want to felt a fabric on purpose. At 5 epi, the fabric is very open and not stable, but when subjected to extreme finishing, transforms into a dense, felted fabric with a lot of texture that might be used for a vest or hat. At 8 epi, the fabric achieves a good hand and solid structure when given more finishing than the hand-washed example. At 10 epi you have good structure but the hand is softer in the more heavily finished fabric. The finish is harder at 12 epi and is softer with very little more shrinkage in the more heavily finished fabric. This sample would be my preference were I to use this for a lightweight top or shawl.

fingering weight study

So, you can see that much of how you sett your yarn really does depend…and I hope this will help you explore yarns and sett so you get the results you want. Below, I’ve provided all of the detail of my sampling project which I hope you’ll use as a jumping off point in your own explorations.

 

Yarn 1: Brown Sheep Bulky (85% wool/15% mohair) at 500 yd/lb. (Because of the bulkiness of this yarn, we could only sett it at 5, 8, and 10.)

5-dent, 30 warp yarns, 5 ½” wide x 5” long before washing, 5 ½” wide x 4 ¾” long after finishing.

8-dent, 48 warp ends, 5 ¾” wide x 4 ¾” long before washing, 5 ¾” wide x 4 ¾” long after finishing.

10-dent, 60 warp yarns, 6” wide x 5” long before washing, 6” wide x 5” long after finishing.

 

Yarn 2: Brown Sheep Nature Spun, Worsted weight (100% wool) at 1,097 yd/lb.

5-dent, 32 warp yarns, 5 ½” wide x 5” long before washing, 5 ¼” wide x 5” long after finishing.

8-dent, 48 warp yarns, 5 ½” wide x 5” long before washing, 5 ¼” wide x 5” long after finishing.

10-dent, 60 warp ends, 5 ½” wide x 5” long before washing, 5 ¼” wide x 5” long after finishing.

12-dent, 72 warp ends, 5 ½” wide x 5 ½” long before washing, 5 ½” wide x 5 ½” long after finishing.

 

Yarn 3: Brown Sheep Nature Spun, Sport weight (100% wool), 1,682 yd/lb.

5-dent, 32 warp ends, 5 ½” wide x 5” long before washing, 5 1/8” wide x 5” long after finishing.

8-dent 48 warp ends, 5 ½” wide x 5” long before washing, 5 ¼” wide x 5 1/8” long after finishing.

10-dent, 60 warp ends, 5 ¾” wide x 5 ¼” long before washing, 5 ¼” wide x 5 ¼” long after finishing.

12-dent, 72 warp ends, 5 ¾” wide x 5 ½” long before washing, 5 ¾” wide x 5 ½” long after finishing.

 

Yarn 4: Brown Sheep Nature Spun, fingering weight (100% wool), 2,800 yd/lb. To illustrate how far you can take finishing, I finished one set of samples like all the others and then subjected the other set to 10 minutes washing in the washing machine with regular agitation and hot water.

5-dent, 30 warp ends, 4 ¼” wide x 5” long before washing, 4” wide x 4 7/8” long after finishing, 2 ¾” wide x  3 ½” long after extreme finishing.

8-dent, 48 warp ends, 5 ½” wide x 5” long before washing, 4 ¾” wide x 5” long after finishing, 4 ½” wide x  4 ½” long after extreme finishing.

10-dent, 60 warp ends, 5 ¼” wide x 5 1/8” long before washing, 4 ¾” wide x 5” long after finishing, 4 5/8” wide x 4 ¾” long after extreme finishing.

12-dent, 72 warp ends, 5 ½” wide x 5 ¼” long before washing, 5” wide x 5” long after finishing, 5” wide x 4 ¾” long after extreme finishing.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

What’s New??

The Wolf Pup and Wolf Pup LT have been gaining in popularity and new Pup owners are asking for more accessories. We’ve responded with three new products to make your Pups even more wonderful.

Wolf Pup High Castle Tray You can now order this for your current loom or a new one. The tray can be fitted on both the Wolf Pup and Wolf Pup TL. FL3095 Retail price: $135.00

Wolf Pup Section Beam (serial number needed). The sectional beam comes as a kit and can be added to any new or existing Wolf Pup or Wolf Pup LT. Use with our Schacht Tension Box and Spool Rack. FL3040 Retail price: $120.00

Wolf Pup LT 4-shaft with Height Extender. If you are 5’6” or taller (or with long legs), you might consider ordering a height extender with your Wolf Pup LT (it is not available for Wolf Pups). This will raise up your loom 2”. It is most economical to order the height extender with the loom. FL3009 Retail Price: $1,533.00

Wolf Pup LT Height Extender for WP LT. When adding to any existing Wolf Pup LT, you can order the height extender for the WP LT. It is not available for the Wolf Pup. For looms built before March 30th, 2016, you will need to drill some holes for the attachment. FL3084 Retail price: $284.00

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Spin Texture with the Bulky Plyer Flyer

bulky-head-blog-730169Want to spin art yarn? Want to Navajo Ply? Want to spin really fat yarn? Want to ply a lot of yarn onto a bigger bobbin? Then, the Bulky Plyer Flyer is for you.

You can add the Bulky Plyer Flyer to any Schacht Matchless, Ladybug, or Sidekick Spinning Wheel. The same flyer and bobbin fit on all three wheels, only the front maiden varies. If you have more than one Schacht Spinning Wheel, you can purchase one Plyer Flyer Package for a specific wheel and then add a Bulky Front Maiden for each of your other wheels.

The Schacht Bulky Plyer Flyer features include a generously-sized 7/8” orifice, large capacity bobbin (about 8 ounces), sliding flyer hooks with incremental stops, and large round guide hooks. The Bulky Plyer Flyer comes with its own special front maiden, bulky flyer, and bulky bobbin. A cherry wood version for cherry Matchless Spinning Wheels is also available.

Note that the regular, travel, and high speed bobbins fit on the bulky flyer shaft, so you don’t need to change flyers to use your existing bobbins.  The bulky bobbins fit on the Schacht Tensioned Kate, as well as on the Ladybug Lazy Kate. The whorl ratios do not change when using the bulky flyer. When Navajo plying and spinning art yarns, we recommend the slow whorl.

Ask for the Schacht Bulky Plyer Flyer at your favorite Schacht dealer.

 

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Double Back Beam: Weave with two tensions

Our floor looms (except the Wolf Pup and Wolf Pup LT) can be fitted with a double back beam. A double back beam is a second beam that is attached behind the first beam and has a separate brake drum and brake release.
The main purpose of using two beams is so that two warps can be separately tensioned. Why would you want to do this? Well, let’s say that you want to weave a double weave fabric where one layer weaves longer than the other, for example to weave pleats. In order to do this easily, you need to beam one layer on one beam and the other on the other beam. That way, when you weave one layer you do not affect the layer on the other beam. (In this example, you will also need to figure add extra warp length for the pleats.)
You might choose to use two beams if you are weaving a plain weave ground and a supplementary pattern warp (think turned overshot). In this case, the ground threads would be threaded on one beam and the pattern threads on the other beam. You need two beams with separate tensions because the ground warp will have more take-up because it interlaces more often than the pattern warp which interlaces only at intervals (and therefore will not take-up as much as the ground warp). This matters because over the length of the warp, the pattern threads will become looser and looser, causing tension headaches that can easily be avoided by using a second beam.
Tips for threading two beams:
• Measure two separate warps, one for each beam.
• You’ll need two sets of lease sticks.
• Use the back to front warping method.
• Start with the second beam first: spread the warp in a raddle, wind onto the beam.
• Wind the second warp on your original beam in the same manner.
• Suspend the two warps on lease sticks hung on the back of the castle, hanging the two leases at different heights will make it easier to see both sets of threads.
• Follow the threading draft, choosing the appropriate threads from the two sets of lease sticks.
Turning a draft in brief
You can turn a draft 90 degrees for the same woven appearance. To do this, the threading becomes the treadling, the treadling becomes the threading, and the tie-up is used sideways. For example, if you turn an overshot draft, you will thread the pattern and the background threads in the warp and just weave with background threads in the weft. This means that weaving proceeds quicker because just one shuttle is used. Be sure to include the tabby picks in the treadling when you turn the draft for the threading.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Winter Berry Shrug

Winter Berry Shrug

We partnered with Skacel to create this stunning piece which is featured in their Magalog, volume 8. Our Winter Berry Shrug is woven in a subtle plaid using five lovely shades of HiKoo Sueno in the warp. For weft we alternated HiKoo Sueno and Tiara for just a hint a sparkle.

This was a true collaboration of all of our local talent. Sara Goldenberg, Jane’s co-author of Simple Woven Garments, designed the fabric. We engaged our shipping clerk, spinner and weaver, Betty Paepke, to weave the fabric on a 25” Flip Loom. Jane adapted the original shrug pattern from Simple Woven Garments by adding a pick-up pattern to the cuffs and tapering the sleeves. Judy Pagels, our shipping manager and one of our resident knitters, created the perfect cuffs that add a layered look to the piece. You can find the instructions at:  http://www.skacelknitting.com/Winter-Berry-Shrug/

Check out all of Skacel’s dreamy yarns at www.skacelknitting.com

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Fiber Art by Denise Renee Grace

The purpose of the Schacht blog has been and always will be to share and inspire ideas about weaving and spinning. Looking at all the weaving patterns, yarns, and colors, the possibilities really are endless. All of us could do projects for the rest of our lives and technically, we will never do the same thing twice.  We have shared projects and patterns in the crafts of weaving and spinning, but this week we want to share something less “functional”…art. FACE of Fiber in the Rockies is a juried art show that is scheduled this year to accompany the Estes Wool Market. A few weeks ago Denise applied for the show, and just received word that all of her pieces were accepted! Here are a few images of her work, and a brief statement about her art.

“I find it fascinating to see people’s different expressions in art or music or life in general. We have “voices” that evolve over the years from one style to another, but for the most part still seem to have a similar thread. Looking back on the art I made in college, I can tell that it was made by the same artist, but there are subtle differences in the techniques and execution of the art. I love working in a simple style and allowing the material speak for itself. I am just the instrument that molds it into what it wants to be. I hope this will inspire you to step outside the box a little and explore your voice.” – Denise Renee Grace

Peak Ascension

Peak Ascension, 29″ X 14″ – Fabric, handwoven fabric, photographic print on fabric.

Ancestors’ Garden

Ancestors’ Garden, 14″ X 29″ – Fabric, handwoven fabric, turitella agate.

Emerald Sea

Emerald Sea, 29″ X 14″ – Handwoven fabric, fabric, glass marbles.

 


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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Pocket Weave Sachet – Jane Patrick

“The most common materials can become works of art if the ideas and the execution are approached creatively.”

–Jean R Laury quoted in Weaving: A Handbook for the Fiber Craftsman by Shirley E. Held.

Every late summer our neighbor would come over to help my mother prepare our clothes for the next school year. We’d see what fit, and what didn’t was passed down to the next girl to which Mildred made the necessary adjustments. Our hems went down or up depending on style and growth spurts.

I remember my mother telling about her mother making over clothes during the war, because fabric wasn’t readily available and money was scarce. Whole garments were dismantled and remade in the current style. Nothing wasted, everything saved.

How many of us today have a rag basket or button jar? Today I would guess most of us begin a project by going to the store. There’s never a question of not finding just what we’re looking for. The selection can be astounding. It is even more astonishing if we think that not long ago, just over 200 years, fabric was still made by hand. Starting with raw fiber such as wool, it had to be spun into yarn, dyed if color was desired, and finally woven and finished. With so much labor invested in each piece of fabric it is not surprising that it was mended and remade and used and reused until it had nothing more to give except to be cut up and rewoven.

Besides their humble beginnings, what I find appealing about textiles woven with rags is what happens to them when they are woven. Nothing is consistent, the surface is irregular and unpredictable. Fabric strips twists and fray, creating lively, dynamic color and texture. Even if their only past lives were as bolts of fabric at the store, even woven rags today hold little secrets about what they once looked like in their former selves.

This easy pocket trick is a fun way to weave a no-sew bag on a simple cardboard loom. The pocket is made by weaving around and around a form, first weaving across the front, then around to the back and back to the front and so on. After the pocket is woven, the flap is made by weaving back and forth on one layer only.


Materials: Orange print cotton quilting fabric cut in ½” (1.3 cm) strips, ¼ yard (23 cm) is sufficient for weaving the bag and the inserted herbal sachet pillow; 6 ½ yards (6 m) of 5/2 pearl cotton in avocado, matching orange sewing thread, antique pearl button with shank. You’ll also need herbs, either purchased or from your garden.

Equipment: Mat board cut to shape, weaving needle, sewing needle, scissors, rotary cutter, straight edge, cutting board, pencil, masking tape, tape measure. You’ll also need a steam iron and press cloth.

Resource: Fabric, yarn, quilting, and hobby stores stock fabric, yarn and thread. Look at health food stores in the bulk herb section for sachet herbs. Alternately, dry herbs from your garden for sachets.

Finished Size: 3 ¼” x 3” x ¼” (8.1 x 7.5 x 6 mm).


1. Cut mat board in a T-shape following the illustration. While the pocket could be woven straight up, the flap draws in somewhat during the weaving and doesn’t cover the top sufficiently. Increasing the flap by two threads on either side of the pocket solves this problem. Score the cardboard 3” (7.5 cm) from the end and fold up to form a square. Mark and cut slots every 1/8th inch (3 mm) slot along bottom and top edges (this will yield 8 warp ends per inch (2.5 cm).

2. Warp the loom. With the loom folded, attach the warp yarn with masking tape on the inside, lower right. (Note: It is important to begin at the correct place so that the proper number of warps result—an odd number of warps is necessary to make the over-under-over-under weaving work with each round of circular weaving.) Bring the warp end up on the short side, around a tab and then continue around to the back (long side) round the tab in a direct line. Continue on the long side down around to the front and around the second tab. Finish by winding the two short warps, carry the warp yarn across the top to the other side and wind the last two warps. Secure the end with masking tape. You will have a total of 29 warps.

3. With rotary cutter or scissors cut strips ½” (1.3 cm) wide. Thread one length onto a weaving needle. Leave a 3” (7.5 cm) tail. Weave from right to left, over-under, over-under across the front. Slide this first weft pick to the bottom edge of the weaving.

4. You’ll now begin weaving around and around. Turn the loom over and weave across the back from right to left and then around to the front. Continue weaving around and around until the short side is filled. To compress the weaving, after you’ve inserted the needle, but before drawing the weft through, push down with the needle to slide the previous rows down so that about 7 picks per inch (2.5 cm) are achieved. To finish, weave as close to the edge as possible so that the weaving will be as snug as possible. If you have trouble getting the needle through at the top, switch to a smaller needle and trim off 1/8” from the width of the fabric strip. When you can’t weave any further, cut off the weft and secure.

5. With a new length of rag, weave the flap by weaving back and forth only. Weave as close to the top edge as possible. When you can’t weave further, remove the weaving from the loom by sliding it out of the cardboard slots. Turn the weaving inside out and sew the weft tails into the weaving.

6. Finish the sachet by steam pressing with a damp press cloth and hot iron. Hem flap edge by turning under 1 row and hand stitching in place. Press. For closure, attach a small pearl button with a shank in the center of the pocket, ½” (1. 3 cm) from the top edge. For sachet, make a pillow 2 ¾” (7 cm) square and stuff with herbs and insert in woven pocket.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Woven Heart Card – Jessica Knickman

Card design by Jessica Knickman

Craft your special Valentine a handmade card this year with this simply-woven card. The effect is lovely—and the technique is easy: just draw the design on the wrong side of the front of the card, cut slits in the card, weave across with paper, and back with a like color. Using good quality cards will contribute to the elegance of your greeting.

Materials: 4 ½” x 6” (11. 5 x 15 cm) white note card with beveled edge. Thin off-white paper, stiff white paper for backing, glue stick.

Equipment: Exacto knife, cutting mat, straight edge, ruler, pencil.

Resources: Paper, card and stationary stores.

Step 1. Draw the design on the wrong side of the card front. Measure and mark alternately 1/16” (2 mm) and 3/16” (6 mm) across the image to be woven.

Step 2. Cut out the 1/16” (2 mm) space completely.

Step 3. Cut ¼” (6 mm) paper strips.

Step 4. Weave them across, leaving about 1/16” (2 mm) space in between each row.

Step 5. Secure the weaving by gluing down the ends of the woven paper ends with a glue stick. Cut a piece of paper to match the card and glue it to the back to cover the raw edges of your weaving.

This project appears in Jane Patrick’s book Time to Weave, which is currently available as an e-book. This book is out-of-print, though we have limited copies here in our Schacht offices.
Make up your own design and share it with us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #schachtspindle.
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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

The Mini Loom Takes a Trip – Jane Patrick

If you’ve been trawling Pinterest, then you know that it’s back to the 70’s. At least, if you were weaving in the 70’s like I was. Little tapestry wall hangings with lots of texture and fringe that are reminiscent of what we were weaving are everywhere. Even Oprah magazine featured a weaver making these little textured hangings. The difference between then and now is that this time around the colors are brighter, lighter, more fun. Oh, and even macrame is back; fat, thick yarns worked over thick sticks. Really, I never thought we’d go there again. But that just goes to show you that what was old is always new again.

This little wall hanging, just 6” x 11”, is perfect for trying out ideas, learning techniques, and escaping from wintry ice and snow (whether it’s a fantasy trip or a real one). Cheerful colors call out for warmer climes and sunshine and working with them made me feel light of spirit.

I used the Schacht Mini Loom for this project. At about 8” square, it is small enough to pop into your carry-on (or your project bag if this is a stay-cation). The Mini Loom comes with a little hand beater, 2 shuttles and a weaving needle—which you’ll need as you get closer to the top edge. I also used a knitting needle as a shed stick which I wove over, under, over, under, leaving it in place–which makes weaving across in one shed super easy and the alternate shed easy to pick (you’ll see the knitting needle in the photo below).

For warp yarn, I took a trip to the hardware store and bought a ball of #24 cotton cable cord. I like this cord because it is a chunky size and sets well at 7 ½ epi on the Mini Loom. You could use most any sturdy, thick  string, though. I warped the loom the full width and after winding it on, tightened each warp thread by taking up the slack starting at one side of the loom and working to the other.

For yarns, I used some thrums and leftover bits from my stash. Since this doesn’t take a lot of yarn, you’ll find that little hangings are the perfect use of these yarns.

Yarns:
White background: white worsted weight yarn, such as Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride.
Bottom fringe: Worsted weight yarn in three colors, two shades of each.
White loops: Two white sport weight yarns, one wool and one cotton.
Blue bumps: a bit of blue wool top
Pink tufts: The same two pink yarns used for the bottom fringe.

Weaving:
1 Weave 4 rows of background yarn, packing it in very tightly to cover the warp.
2. Make a row of ghiordes knots (directions below), leaving a 4” fringe. Using two yarns as one, make a green knot, then a blue knot, and then a pink knot. Repeat in this order all the way across the warp.
3. Weave 2 rows with background weft.
4. Make another row of ghiordes knots as you did in step 2.
5. Weave 4 rows of background.
6. Make a row of picked-up loops using two yarns as one (instructions below).
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 five times, ending with another 4 rows of background.
8. Using wool top, make a row of loops, pulling them up to about ½” for a raised line.
9. Weave 6 rows of background.
10. Using two pink ends as one, make a row of ghiordes knots (instructions below). Start working over the 3rd and 4th warp threads, skip warps 5, 6, 7, 8 and make a knot over warp threads 9 and 10. Repeat in this fashion to the other side.
11. Weave 7 rows of background.
12. Make another row of ghiordes knots as before, but this time start the first knot over warps 6 and 7, skip 4 warp threads and then work the next knot. This will stagger the knots to make an alternating dot pattern.
13. Repeat steps 10-12 two more times and end with step 10.
14. Finish weaving with the background weft all the way to the top edge. As you get closer to the top, you’ll find that it is impossible to use the shuttle and you’ll need to change to the weaving needle.
15. When you can’t weave any further, remove the weaving from the loom. I found that there was a little space at either end of the weaving. I filled this by needle weaving two more rows of background to close up the space.
16. To finish, trim all pink ghiordes knot dots to ½”, trim bottom fringe so that it is even and about 4” long. Fold down the top of your hanging ½” to the back side and stitch down to make a hem.
17. Enjoy.

How to make a ghiordes knot using a continuous length of yarn
1. Insert the end of yarn between two warps (from top to bottom).
2. Bring the end out to the right of the two warps.
3. Travel over the top of the two warps to the left.
4. Bring the end up through the middle of the two warps.
5. Pull down the ends to tighten and trim off end.
6. Repeat.

How to make picked-up loops
1. Weave across with the loop yarn (if you are right handed it is easiest to weave from right to left).
2. Using a knitting knitting needle or your fingers and working from your dominant side, draw a loop up and place it over the needle (the size of the needle determines the size of the loop). Pull up loops between all of the warps or just some of them. This can be very flexible.
3. Carefully remove the knitting needle and press down on the loops with a beater.
4. Weave at least 2 rows of background and beat it in well to further secure the loops. Note: since the loops are not tied, they can be pulled out, so beating them well into place helps prevent them from pulling out.
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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Dancer in the Dark – Jane Patrick

Simplicity with a twist—that’s what I love so much about my Woven Scarves co-author Stephanie’s design sensibilities. Her Gypsy Dancer, woven in bright pink with a dark red streak down the center and a pop of gold and yellow along the edges, creates such a happy piece. While this scarf looks tricky, it’s really just plain weave with differential shrinkage—which means some yarns shrink and others do not. For the Gypsy Dancer, Stephanie placed a fine alpaca warp stripe down the middle, which she spot-felted during the finishing process, gathering the fabric along the center line for a wavy result.

My version uses similar materials: the same bamboo yarn in warp and weft in a deep chocolate brown. The edges are trimmed in a metallic gold and mohair, just as Stephanie did in the original. For the center stripe I used Helen’s Lace from Lorna’s Laces—which readily felted by rubbing the stripe with hot water and soap on a washboard.

This is just one of the many great projects in Woven Scarves. All of the scarves in the book were woven on a Cricket Loom, either a 10” or 15” weaving width. I find myself continually astonished by the variety that can be achieved with such a simple loom—which goes to show you that creating great stuff is all about pushing materials, color combinations, and processes.

If you are are curious about weaving on a rigid heddle loom, visit your local Schacht dealer. You may also check out Stephanie’s excellent Pickup Stick and Finger Control Techniques class on Craftsy. We hope you are as inspired by this powerful loom as we are!
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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Connecting with Traditional Textile Makers

Today we want to highlight textile good works around the globe that you can help support through your purchase of hand-crafted products for your holiday gift giving. We’re including a link to the WARP Artisan Textile Resources: Your Guide to Global Handmade Textiles. Reading through the Guide you’ll find heartwarming stories about projects worldwide, along with many dedicated folks helping support traditional textile making in parts of the world where handcrafting goods is a means of supporting families—as well as maintaining age-old textile traditions that we here at Schacht are passionate about the importance of helping to sustain.

Mayan Hands is one of the featured groups highlighted in the Guide and is a textile community that we help support with our Cricket Bag, designed especially for our Cricket Loom. It all came about several years ago when Deborah Chandler, then the director/president of Mayan Hands in Guatemala, was visiting us here in Boulder, Colorado and mentioned that her weavers needed more outlets for their products. At the same time we were looking for a sturdy bag for our Cricket Loom. As a way to support the weavers, we commissioned Mayan Hands to weave bags for us, which are then sewn by another woman/group in Guatemala before shipping to the US. These bags are offered in several traditional colors and patterns. The weavers and sewers are paid a fair trade wage and their purchase truly makes a difference in sustaining the weavers’ families and their traditional way of life. The Cricket Bags are available from Schacht dealers.

I asked Deborah to write a piece about some of the weavers of Mayan Hands so that we can know them better and the impact weaving makes on their lives. This story of Mayan Hands is similar to the other stories you’ll read in the Artisan Textile Resources Guide. – Jane Patrick

Mayan Hands and The Story of the Cricket Bag 

Looking at the finances of a typical Mayan family, it can be understood how important weaving is to their family income. For example, a Mayan family consumes about two pounds of corn per person per day. So a family of six needs 12 lb/day or 84 lb/week or 4,368 lb/year. Maria Ana Lajuj and her husband Paolino Sarpec and their four children are blessed to have their own cornfield, which in a good year produces enough to feed the family. But 2014 was not a good year. A wide-spread drought killed almost the entire corn crop in the “Dry Corridor” of Guatemala, which means that at the current price of $.24/pound, it would cost a family like Maria Ana’s and Paolino’s $1,048.00 for their most basic staple. To put that in perspective, at minimum wage, working full time, it would take three months to earn enough to buy that much corn.

Cricket Bag fabric in Bronze – Look at that roll fabric!

In the 1980s the country of Guatemala was in the throes of an internal conflict that affected every person in the country. During that decade Guatemalan anthropologist Brenda Rosenbaum lived with different communities of Mayan women while conducting her field work. She was profoundly impressed with the strength and beauty of the women, including and especially their attachment to weaving on the backstrap loom, an important part of Mayan life that has been passed down from mother to daughter for thousands of years.

Equally profound was the awareness of the difficult lives the women faced, from both the “Time of the Violence” and staggering poverty. Combining Brenda’s heart with the business skills of Brenda’s husband, Fredy, the couple founded Mayan Hands, a fair trade organization that for a quarter of a century has provided Mayan women with a way to earn a living with their greatest skill – weaving.


With the passage of time Mayan Hands has branched out and groups now include basket makers, felters, crocheters, embroiderers — and foot loom weavers. Since 1996 Mayan Hands has worked with the group Flor de Algodón – Cotton Flower – in Chuaperol, Rabinal. The women started out in life as backstrap weavers, then as adults learned how to weave on much faster and therefore more lucrative foot looms. In many cases, once the women learned, they taught their husbands, and now couples work as teams in their own homes. One big advantage of working at home is that it makes caring for children much easier. While many of the families also have parcels of land and/or other lesser sources of income, as a “steady job”, weaving is their best option for earning a living – at least as long as they have a fair trade client like Mayan Hands. Selling locally is a climate of fierce competition. Of the 15 million people who live in Guatemala, more than 40% are indigenous Maya. Of these, more than half a million are weavers.

Flor de Algodón, Cotton Flower, a group of foot loom weavers.

Maria Ana is the leader of Flor de Algodón, Cotton Flower, a group of foot loom weavers in the village of Chuaperol, outside of Rabinal, Baja Verapaz. As a child Maria Ana traveled with her family as migrant workers within Guatemala, picking cotton and other crops. Even so, she learned to weave on a backstrap loom, as did most Mayan girls. Maria Ana is smart and a hard worker, and as an adult she became a public health promoter, traveling to small villages throughout the area. Then the opportunity came to learn to weave on foot looms through a program sponsored by the Center for Integrated Families in Rabinal. Maria Ana jumped at the chance. In time she founded Flor de Algodón and has been weaving ever since.

The worldwide economic crash that began in 2008 had a big impact on the group. In an effort to keep the group working, Mayan Hands has designed new products made from the same cloth: leather-edged shoulder bags, assorted pouches for electronic devices, notebook covers, and smaller pieces like coin purses and coasters. The structure of the cloth itself stays constant; what changes are the colors, for which Guatemala is famous among the textile cultures – and tourist destinations – of the world. In Guatemala, it begins and ends with color. The family histories of the women and men of Flor de Algodón are tales of being migrant workers within Guatemala, losing too many family members to violence, lack of education, droughts that kill off crops, the pain of watching children suffer with terrible health problems, and the circumstances of daily living that drag people down. But their stories also include tremendous resilience, hard work, strong families, a determination that their children’s lives will be better, and a deep faith that the seemingly impossible is in fact possible.

To learn more about Mayan Hands visit: www.mayanhands.org

To learn more about the Cricket Bag visit: www.schachtspindle.com
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Deborah Chandler

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Back to School – Mini Loom Lunch Bag

For this bag in jewel tones, I used the Schacht Mini Loom, a simple frame loom that’s easy to take along. I wove 8 rectangles and then heavily fulled them in the washing machine. For a design detail, I used the seams on the outside. I inserted grommets for the handles and then made Incredible Rope Machine handles for carrying.

Equipment: Schacht Mini Loom with 1 shuttle and 1 hand beater, tapestry needle, sewing machine for stitching the pieces together, Incredible Rope Machine for making the rope handles.

Notions: 4 grommets with setting tool.

Yarn: I used Lamb’s Pride Bulky from Brown Sheep Company (85% /15% mohair singles). I used colors I had left over from previous projects. You’ll need a total of 8 rectangles. Here’s what I used (feel free to mix and match):  1–M08 Wild Oak, 2—M124 Persian Peacock, 2—M162 Mulberry, 1—M210 Forest Shadows, 2 M29 Jack Plum. You’ll need about 25 yards for each rectangle.Note on substitutions: You’ll want to use a wool yarn that will readily felt. If you have a question about the content of the yarn in your stash, I suggest you weave up a sample and try felting it before weaving all of your squares.

Finished size: 10” wide by 8 ½” deep. Handles measure 15” long, fringe to fringe.

Weaving notes: Warp the full width of the loom and take up any slack so that the warp is evenly taut. Weave with the same yarn pressing in the weft for a balanced weave. You want to fill the full length of the warp on the loom for a rectangle that will be finished on all edges. At the top, when the space is too narrow for the shuttle, use a tapestry needle to weave the remaining rows.

Finishing: After you’ve woven all of the swatches, place them in a pillow case and wash in hot water and detergent in the washing machine. Check progress often. When rectangles measure 4 ¾” x 6”, they should be sufficiently fulled. (This will vary with other yarns. What you want is a very dense and solid fabric. This is critical for installing the grommets.)

Assembly: Mix and match the colors for two sets of 4 rectangles. Sew together with ¼” seam allowances. Place the two sides together, seams to the inside. Stitch around three sides of the bag using a ½” seam allowance. Turn the bag right side out and poke out the corners with a knitting needle. Install a grommet 1 ¼” from the top edge, centered side to side. Repeat for the other three rectangles. Make a rope using one of the colors (I used Persian Peacock). Tie a knot in the end to secure the handle and trim the ends for a 1” fringe.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Jillian Moreno

 

Jane Patrick, Creative Director at Schacht Spindle, left, and Jillian Moreno, Spinner, Knitter, Editor of KnittySpin

Barry (Schacht) and I took the opportunity to dine with Jillian Moreno when she was in town filming her plying class for Craftsy. Between teaching trips, Jillian is busy working on her next book on spinning to knit for Storey, due out in 2016. You know Jillian particularly through Knitty and KnittySpin–both great sources for inspiration.

It’s always great to get together with fiber folk, especially when they are as passionate as Jillian. Check out her classes on her website for your next guild or shop class.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Schacht Office Inkle Challenge – Fringy Jean Trim

Fringy Jean Trim – Designed and woven by Jane Patrick

This design appeared in my Inkle Weaving A to Z video published by Interweave Press.

This perky trim looks trickier to weave than it actually is. It requires two shuttles, one weaving the band and the other carrying the supplementary fringe weft, which gets caught every 3/4” by a pair of warp threads. The supplementary fringe weft is left looped during weaving and trimmed afterwards to the desired length.

Size: 5/8” wide (with fringe, 7/8” wide) X 36” long (cut in half for two pant leg trims). Adjust accordingly for your particular pants. Measure the circumference and then add 20% and at least 16” for loom waste.

Warp and weft:  DMC Pearl cotton #5. 14 yards (1 skein) #778 pink, 16 yards (1 skein) #744 yellow, 32 yards (2 skeins) #3371 dark brown, 3.5 yards (1 skein) #902 wine, 32.5 yards (2 skeins) #794 pale blue. Use dark brown for the weft and 10 strands of pale blue for the supplementary fringe weft.

Note: There are 27.3 yards (25m) per DMC #5 skein.

Equipment: Schacht inkle loom, 2 belt shuttles, Aleene’s OK to Wash It, sewing thread and needle, scissors, sewing gauge.

Warp Color Order:H                         O                                   2x   2x

Note: You will begin and end in a heddle.

Warp Length: I warped the shortest length on this loom, 63”. The length required for this project is 60” which allows 20% take-up and 16” loom waste.

Number of Warp Ends: 29

Picks Per Inch: 14

Jeans with the trim

Weaving: Wind two shuttles, the first with 1 strand of dark brown and the other with 10 strands of pale blue. To avoid breaks in the pale blue weft, measure each pale blue strand 104” long then wind them together on the shuttle. Using the dark brown, weave plain weave for an inch and then begin your pattern. Weave as follows:

  • Up
  • Pick-up the two center wine threads
  • Down, holding the picked up threads up weave with the background (dark brown) shuttle.
  • Still holding up the wine threads, insert the shuttle with the blue supplementary weft yarn under the two wine threads, leaving a 2” tail.
  • Weave up, down, up, down, up, down
  • Repeat

Detail of the trim on the jeans pant leg.

Note: Each time you insert the supplementary weft shuttle, leave a loop that curves outside the band width about 1/4”.

Finishing: Remove the band from the loom and wash it by hand in hot water before cutting the loops. Air dry and then press on the wrong side. Cut the loops with sharp scissors, trimming to the desired length. Cut the band in half. Use fabric glue such as Aleene’s OK to Wash It to secure the band to the bottom of your jeans. Overlap the ends at the inside seam.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Weaving to Woo Week – Friendship Towels

Valentine’s Day isn’t all about having a significant other, but is a reminder to us all to spread love to everyone around us. This project is a wonderful way to share your love of weaving with friends, giving them something they can treasure for years to come. – Benjamin
Friendship Towels

Friendship Towel with shuttle

I wanted to share my favorite towel design with you. This is a project originally designed by Mary Ann Geers which we published in the May/June 1985 issue of Handwoven magazine when I was editor. I loved it so much that I included it in A Handwoven Treasury, a collection of articles and projects from the first 10 years of Handwoven magazine.  The threading is huck-a-back blocks from Marguerite Davisons’ A Handweaver’s Pattern Book. (If you don’t know about this compendium of patterns for the 4-shaft loom, it is a marvelous resource that you could spend a lifetime exploring!) I love this block pattern for a towel because it has small floats that are practical for a towel. This is a one-shuttle weave so it means that the weaving goes quickly. I call them friendship towels, because you can put on a long warp and weave many towels, each in a different color.

Equipment: 4-shaft Baby Wolf, 10-dent reed, shuttle (I used a 12″ end delivery shuttle).

Yarn: Warp—I used cottolin (cotton-linen blend yarn) instead of 8/2 cotton that was used in original. Either is fine. You’ll need 2,320 yards for 4 towels.Weft—I used cottolin in pink, you could also use 8/2 cotton or 16/2 linen. You’ll need 645 yards for each towel. Embroidered heart: I used pink embroidery floss.

Finished dimension: Warp length for 4 towels: 5 2/3 yards which allows just under 36” loom waste. Each towel takes 43”.Width in reed: 20 5/8”.Total warp ends: 414EPI: 20. Sley 2 ends per dent in a 10-dent reed. PPI: about 24

finished towel

Draft: See below. Note: because the selvedge threads don’t catch every time, thread the last 4 warp threads in the same dent. Alternately, you could use a floating selvedge, though it will slow the weaving somewhat.

Weaving: weave 2” plain weave for hem and then weave pattern for 39”, ending with another 2” hem, repeat for three more towels. I made a pink embroidered heart in the center on one end of the towel. Doing this on the loom when the fabric is under tension makes fast work of it. It’s a fun touch!Take-up and shrinkage: about 15% in width and 30% in length.

Finishing: Machine zigzag between towels and cut apart. Machine wash, tumble dry, press. Make a double rolled hem and hand or machine stitch in place.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Weaving to Woo Week – Inlay Heart Inkle Pattern

The symbolism of the heart depicting love dates back to around the 15th century according to some art historians, while others say it was the 13th century. No matter what century the heart became a recognized symbol for love, we know that it is a symbol that has lasted and will last for many more centuries. Jane explores this symbol in today’s project.
-Benjamin

Inkle Loom Heart Band

Inlaid hearts allow for color changes along the length of a band. Instead of threading the pattern in the warp, I’ve created it in the weft with a supplementary weft. This technique is based on dukagang, a Scandinavian technique, in which a weft is inlaid in and tied down at intervals by a single warp yarn.Create a band to wrap a package, trim a top, or put on a long warp and weave several book marks for your best buddies.  What you need: Schacht inkle loom, Schacht belt shuttle, tapestry needle, popsicle stick, 4 colors of pink embroidery floss, 10/2 pearl cotton in natural, 5/2 pearl cotton in pink.

Warping: Determine the length of your warp for the project you have in mind. Follow the warping guide below.

Weaving: Use 10/2 pearl cotton for the weft and weave an inch.

Prepare the pick-up pattern: Lift the open threads and on these threads only, pick up 1, leave 3 down in the center only, beginning and ending at the edge of the pink warp threads. You’ll end with 1 up. You should have 6 warps lifted which will yield 5 spaces. Place these picked up threads on the popsicle stick and slide it to the back peg. This will store your pattern for each pick up row so you don’t have to pick the pattern each time.
Weave as follows:

1.Weave a heddle shed leaving a loop at the selvedge.

2. Change sheds, beat, pull the weft thread even with the selvedge edge.

3. Weave an open shed, leaving a loop at the selvedge.

4. Change sheds, beat, pull the weft thread even with the selvedge edge.

5. For the pattern row, push the warp threads together so that there is no shed opening.

6. Slide the popsicle forward and place the pattern tie down threads on your finger. Slide the popsicle stick back to the back peg.

7.  Cut a length of embroidery floss and insert it up from underneath. You will come up in the center space entering and exiting just outside of the tie down threads. The ends of the supplementary weft will both be hanging off on the underside of the weaving.

8. Repeat steps 1-5 and then weave a pattern row following the pattern guide.

Hints: There is always a heddle row and an open row between each row of supplementary weft.
Press in the weft well for best effect. You will carry the supplementary weft across the back of the weaving when there is no pattern showing in a square on the pattern guide. You will sew in the ends on the back when the band is removed from the loom. I wove 6 rows between each heart motif.

Heart Motif Pattern Warping Guide: 3x      21x      3x H1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1O 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Weaving to Woo Week – Mini Loom Heart Patch

The term “wearing your heart on your sleeve” shouldn’t be taken literally, however if you make this heart patch you really could wear a heart on your jacket or sweater. Show the person you love how much you love them and the environment by using leftover yarn!
-Benjamin

Mini Loom Pile Patch

By Jane Patrick

Take the Mini Loom along with you and weave up this pile patch in time for Valentine’s Day. Learn a traditional rug technique, the ghiordes knot, for an overall textured patch. I’ve applied my patch to a pillow made from leftover handwoven fabric scrapes, but it could just as easily be sewn to a jean jacket or tote bag.

What you need: Mini Loom, 1 or 2 small shuttles, small hand beater, sewing needle weaving needle (optional), scissors, narrow stick (optional), cotton carpet warp in brown (shown on loom) or red (shown on project), worsted weight wool (we used Lamb’s Pride from Brown Sheep) in 2 shades of brown, deep purple,
deep red, bright red, and orange.

Warping: With carpet warp wind 22 warp threads in the center of the loom. After measuring, take up the slack so that the threads are tight on the loom. Tie off.

Weaving:

Step 1: Insert the stick, weaving over, under, over, under all the way across the warp. Slide to the top of the loom. This will help you weave one of the plain weave rows and will serve as a guide for the opposite row.

Step 2: Wind a shuttle with cotton carpet warp.

Step 3: Insert the shuttle about 1 ½” above the bottom of the loom.  Leave a tail about 3 times the
width of the warp. Weave 10 rows, packing the weft tightly with the beater.

Hint: I used the weaving needle to pick the opposite shed before inserting the shuttle. Remove the needle after weaving across.

Step 4: Hemstitch over 2 warps and 2 wefts. See illustration
for how to.

Step 5: Wind a shuttle with worsted wool (I used red).

Step 6: Weave two rows of plain weave.

Step 7: Cut 3 ½” long lengths of yarn for the ghiordes knots.

You will need: 41 light brown, 34 dark brown, 6 purple, 11 dark red, 17
bright red, and 23 orange.

Step 7: Make a row of ghiordes knots following the pattern guide.

Making ghiordes knots with cut ends.

Step 1: Place a length of yarn around two warp threads. The ends will be pointing to the left.

Step 2: Take the two ends and insert them between the two warp threads bringing them up to the surface of the weaving.

Step 3: Pull down firmly.

 

Step 8: Repeat steps 6-7 until pattern is woven.

Step 9: Finish as you began with 2 rows of plain weave in red worsted yarn and 10 rows of cotton carpet warp, ending with 2 over 2 hemstitching.

Step 10: Before removing your weaving from the loom, trim the pile with small sharp scissors to between ¼” and ½” long.

Step 11: Remove the weaving from the loom and trim the fringe to about 1” or desired length.

Weaving guide resource: This pillow was featured in Time to Weave as an alternate idea. Here, we’ve provided the details for making it. This book is out of print, but it can be downloaded in e-book format. Schacht also has a limited number of books available.

Pillow was constructed by Louise Bradley.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Weaving to Woo Week – Zoom Loom Pin

Pinning is a term many might know if they grew up in the 1950’s, but has gone out of fashion in the modern era. When a couple decided to commit to each other before getting engaged, the guy would give his girlfriend his fraternity or club pin. This now meant  the couple was “going steady” and they wouldn’t date anyone else.Though this tradition has since disappeared, you can still express your love for someone with Jane Patrick’s Zoom Loom Heart Pin. -Benjamin

Zoom Loom Heart Pin

Tap your inner multi-media crafter to create this heart pin for yourself or a special friend.

What you need: Zoom Loom with weaving needle, Red sport weight yarn (I used Brown Sheep Nature Spun in N46S Red Fox), off-white embroidery floss, thin piece of cardboard, decorative paper (I used a sheet of origami paper), embroidery scissors, fabric scissors, gem glue (I used Gem-Tac), white glue (I used Elmer’s), 2” pin clasp, 2 vintage buttons (mine are mother-of-pearl, 1—7/8” 1—1/2”), tapestry needle, sewing needle, white sewing thread, # 11 seed beads in blue and white, #5 clear twisted bugle beads, white pearls (all of these were leftover from other projects, the white pearls are recycled from an old necklace), heart cookie cutter 2 ¼” across the widest part (or make your own pattern).

Step 1: Make one Zoom Loom square and sew in the ends.

Step 2: Hand wash to felt. I used Dawn dish detergent and as hot of water as I could bare, rubbing the square vigorously until felted. Iron if necessary after the square has dried. It will measure about 2 ¼” across.

Step 3: Place the cookie cutter over the square with the point at a corner of the square. Cut around to make your heart.

Step 4: With off-white embroidery floss, trim the outside of the heart shape with a blanket stitch. I made the stitches about 1/8” apart and 1/8” deep.

Step 5: Place one button on top of the other, place in the center side-to-side but slightly above the center line top to bottom. Sew to secure.

Step 6: Using embroidery floss, create 10 strands, each 6” long. To secure, tie in a square knot. Thread the strands with beads, making some short and some long strands. Secure the beads with knots or thread the end of the embroidery thread back through the holes. (I tied knots in the ends and then applied a dab of gem glue to the ends for added security.)

Step 7: Make the backing. Cut a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than the heart. Cut the decorative paper a ¼” bigger than the cardboard heart. Place the paper over the heart and cut little slits from the edge of the paper to the heart. Smear the wrong side of the paper with a thin layer of white glue. Place over the cardboard and fold the paper around the cardboard to the back side. Allow to dry.

Step 8: Glue the backing to the wrong side of the heart. Let dry.

Step 9: Glue the pin clasp to the backing using gem glue, placing it in the upper third of the heart. Dry.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Weaving to Woo Week – Lover’s Knot

In many marriage ceremonies there is a tradition that symbolizes the union of the couple. Two or more ropes are joined together by the couple to signify the intertwining of their lives. This knot is named the True Lover’s Knot, and could be used in such a ceremony.

Incredible Rope Machine True Lover’s Knot

Making knots is an art form in itself and I love to create custom ropes to make beautiful knotted interlacements, both decorative and useful.What you need: Incredible Rope Machine, two colors of linen (or use pearl cotton or even embroidery floss). I used 16/1 linen in pink and bleached white (16/2 linen would also work). Generally, you’ll want to add a third more length to your desired rope length, but this also depends on the size of your rope. The bigger in diameter, the more take up. This rope is about 1/16” in diameter and is made up of 36 strands or 6 complete windings. See the directions below for how to make a rope.

1. Clamp the separator to a table top. Determine the desired length of the rope and then tie the yarns to the first hook on the Rope Machine. The Rope Machine should be as far away from the separator as the desired length of rope, plus additional for take-up (the amount is determined by the kind of rope being made – the fatter the rope, the more take-up),Following the diagram, carry the yarns around Peg A, around the middle hook on the Rope Machine, around Peg B, then around the last hook on the Rope Machine, and finally return around the outside of Pegs B and A, ending where you began. There should be two lines of yarn from each peg. For a thicker rope. repeat the process as many times as desired.

2. Begin to make the rope by turning the Rope Machine crank clockwise (this is the direction of the twist in most yarns you will use; you want to put more twist in the yarns and so you need to crank in the direction of the twist). Keep the yarns taut as you crank. The more turns, the tighter the finished rope will be. As the yarns become more twisted they will take up, shortening the rope strands. Crank until the twist is so tight that when tension is released, the yarns kink back on themselves.

3. Now twist the three strands together to make a rope. Take hold of the yarns at the back of the separator. Hold the three strands and pull them slowly away from the separator, twisting them together in a counter clockwise direction (opposite what you did in the first step). It is helpful to have a second person hold the Rope Machine while you pull the yarn through the separator. Add more twist, if needed, by cranking clockwise.

4. The three strands will naturally twist together. As you pull them through the separator, guide the yarns to ensure that they are even and smooth. As the Rope Machine moves closer and closer to the separator, occasionally give the crank a few clockwise turns to keep the strands tightly twisted. When the Rope Machine reached the separator, slip the three strands off the hooks and tie an overhand knot in the end to prevent raveling.

Supplies:

Making the knot:

1.Tie a loose overhand knot with the pink rope.

2. Slip the working end of the white rope through the opening in the first knot.

3. Tie a second overhand knot with the white rope.

4. Pull on both ropes to tighten.

Now, use the rope to wrap a special gift, surround a beautiful vase of flowers, or even create a special necklace or bracelet.

Resource: Handbook of Knots (expanded edition) by Des Pawson has excellent illustrations.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Laramie Squared Tote – A Zoom Loom Project

This tote has it all: classic colors, nice finishing details that you can change to fit your style, and enough room for all your things and your latest Zoom Loom project. There’s a bit more sewing – the tote is fully lined – but worth it for the results.

Finished size is 17″ x 10″ x 6″.

Download the PDF.

See other Zoom Loom projects.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Book Signing with Jane Patrick

If you are at TNNA right now, Jane Patrick will be at the Interweave booth signing copies of her new book Woven Scarves. The signing is at 2 pm Pacific Time today (1-12-14)

Snag your copy today!

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Checkerboard and Bag: A Zoom Loom Project

Here’s a project that would make a great holiday gift for a family that likes to travel: a felted checkerboard and a little bag to hold the checkers. It’s easy to make, and the dense fabric created by felting will hold up for years of play. Roll it up and it’s ready to hit the road!

Rolled-up checkerboard and bag for checkers

Download the project instructions.
See other Zoom Loom projects.

Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Patterned Squares Cowl – A Zoom Loom Project

Just in time for the winter weather, we have a cozy patterned cowl designed and woven by John Mullarkey.

The cowl uses just fourteen squares. Seven are plain weave, and the other seven use a diamond pattern.  A solid, or semi-solid, highly-spun yarn will show off the pattern. Our instructions include written directions as well as a chart to help you weave the diamonds, and it’s easier (and more fun!) than you might think.

Click here for the PDF.
Click here to see other Zoom Loom projects.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Keep Your Wheel Tuned Up for Spinzilla

We’re off and spinning!

Ladybug

How’s your spinning coming along? Is your wheel performing as it should?  The answer could be NO, even if you are a fanatical spinner. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE… We want all of you Schacht aficionados to be spinning with optimum spinning capability.

Let’s begin with the basics for any spinning wheel, and work our way into specific details for each of the Schacht wheels. First, find a comfortable place to work. I would recommend the dining room table (protect the top); it’s a good height for most of us.

Here are the tools that are essential to any toolbox for these spinning wheels:

Ladybug: 1/2” wrench, 7/16” wrench, Philips screw driver, 3/32” and 1/8” Allen wrenches

Matchless

Matchless: 5mm and 4mm hex wrenches, Phillips screw driver, extra drive cord

Schacht-Reeves: 3/32” and 1/8″ Allen wrenches, Phillips screw driver, Ivory soap, paste wax, extra drive cord

Sidekick: 3/32” Allen wrench, Phillips screw driver

Optional but important: Schacht oil bottle, white grease, external ring clip pliers, Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP


Tighten things up
Make no mistake, spinning wheels are machines. You wouldn’t drive your car or ride your bike across the country with loose bolts or screws.Begin at the bottom front by tightening all the fasteners, work your way around the wheel systematically.

If the front feet of the spinning wheel are adjustable, level the wheel at this point, though you may need to level them again when the wheel is on the floor. Tightening and leveling your wheel periodically is a good habit to get into especially if you take the wheel to spinning functions. Every floor is different so leveling the feet is essential to optimal functioning of the wheel.

Sidekick

Tie a new drive cord: I cannot stress this point enough: if you are using a drive cord of cotton, linen, etc., you must change it regularly, like NOW. A good drive cord is essential to the functioning of your Matchless or Schacht-Reeves wheel. Absolutely nothing will improve performance like a new drive cord tied or sewn correctly. Clean the excess grease and fiber off the flyer shaft while you are working with this portion of the setup. Test the rotation of the bobbin by spinning it on the flyer by hand before assembling it to the wheel. If it doesn’t spin freely it will not draw on once assembled.

Before you tie a new drive cord, I want to discuss the proper alignment of the front maiden, flyer, bobbin, and whorls. Start with the flyer arms parallel to the top surface of the mother-of-all. The Matchless flyer is tensioned by moving the rear bearing, so setting the flyer arms parallel allows the maximum amount of adjustability. The front bearing should rest about 1/32” off the shoulder of the flyer. An excellent way to test free rotation of the flyer is with the drive cord dropped off the flyer—the setup is correct if the flyer rotates freely when spun by hand.

Schacht-Reeves 30″ Cherry

To tie on the drive cord, think of the drive wheel as a clock face. Beginning at 2 o’clock, wrap the drive cord clockwise twice for double drive, returning to tie it at 2 o’clock, right over left, left over right. You may find that you like a slightly heavier single cord for scotch tension or you can use your double drive cord for scotch tension by simply using both loops over the whorl.

If your wheel has a poly band and you spin consistently with one size whorl, your drive cord probably functions fairly well. Nevertheless, when you are finished spinning, drop the drive cord off the flyer to allow the poly band to rest. If you are switching from one size whorl to another frequently, let the poly band relax for about a half hour to allow it to regain its shape before spinning with a smaller whorl. Using the tensioner will help achieve the right amount of tension if you don’t have time to wait.

Schacht-Reeves 24″ Ash


Check and adjust the maidens
In the case of the Sidekick, be sure that both maidens are square and fully upright. It is also important to note that the bearing in your front maiden should not rotate; the flyer rotates in the bearing.

On the Matchless, Ladybug and Sidekick, the flyer should be able to move back to front just a little bit—1/8″ or so. If you don’t have this little bit of play in the flyer, adjust the front maiden.

The Schacht-Reeves maidens are essential to the free rotation of the flyer. Perhaps the hardest part of using this wheel is finding the sweet spot where the flyer rotates freely.

Oil, oil, oil
Your last step is to regularly re-apply lubrication in the critical places listed in your maintenance book. If you don’t have it handy, you can find it on our website. These simple adjustments should help you reach your maximum spinning potential.

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.

Team Schacht is Winding up for Spinzilla

A Pile’O Hi-Los

With Spinzilla right around the corner (Oct. 7-13) and the Flood behind us, we at Schacht Spindle Company are ready to hit the treadles and fill those bobbins. Our Schacht Team spent an hour last Thursday teaching some of our employees how to spin on a drop spindle. Our team is brimming with enthusiasm to pile the yardage on! Most of the company is participating; even Barry picked up his drop spindle. Our new spinners are already catching on to the spindle and are spinning yards of yarn; they will be well-prepared for battle in the week to come.

Half of the team spinning.

We are thrilled that this event has inspired many people to pick up a spindle and spin. We hope to infuse the future generation with the passion for creating yarn.

We will be holding “help” sessions for our new spinners throughout this week to prime them for the big event next week.

Not all of our team will be spinning on the Hi-lo drop spindle; as a handful have their own wheels ranging from the trusty Sidekick to the powerful Schacht-Reeves.

We are excited to dive into our fiber and exhaust our “collections.” However it is certain that we will fill up on more fiber immediately after the event is over.

Spin, Spin, Spin!

Are you participating in Spinzilla? Let us know what you are spinning and if you have a personal goal.
Are you part of a team or are you going Rogue?

Happy spinning, and good luck!

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Jane Patrick

Jane Patrick is Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Company. She is an author, lecturer, and teacher. You can find her class: Creative Weaving Techniques on the Rigid Heddle Loom, on Craftsy.