I’d said for a long time that I wasn’t going to take up weaving, at least not in the near future. Although it’s a logical next step in textiles after knitting and spinning, the costs involved (full-size looms run several thousand dollars) kept me from even considering it until a few months ago. That’s when I started to listen to people who said, “You can get a rigid heddle loom for a couple hundred bucks” and “weaving is a great way to use up all that yarn you spin and don’t know what to do with.” I was therefore in the right state of mind when I saw a rigid heddle loom for an extremely low price on Kijiji.
After exchanging cash with a guy in a Tim Horton’s parking lot in rural Ontario, I became the owner of a 24″ Leclerc Bergere loom manufactured sometime in the 1970s:
One of the great things about Leclerc is that they’ve been around forever and support all of their looms, no matter when they were made. This loom is still manufactured, although I’m told some of the wood has been replaced by plastic. Thanks to a lesson from Elizabeth, I was able to get it set up without having to rely on the somewhat arcane documentation that accompanied the unassembled loom in the box. Here it is as I thread the warp ends through the heddle:
One thing I learned about this loom is that it mimics the design and set up of a floor loom as closely as possibly, so it’s a good model to learn on if you’re going to eventually move up to something bigger. It’s meant to be used on a tabletop but I found that put it at an awkward height, and had better luck on the floor or holding it on my lap. It would benefit a lot from having its own stand (unfortunately, Leclerc doesn’t make one for it). It is very easy to weave on, though, and it goes satisfyingly quickly once it’s warped. Here’s a regretably blurry shot of the first inch or so of a scarf:
The yarn is Briggs and Little, hand-dyed by Elizabeth. She also dyed the yarn for Heidi‘s scarf, shown here on a Schacht Cricket loom:
I really like how portable the Cricket is, and how it fits comfortably in your lap, and has notches in the back if you want to lean it against the edge of a table. I could see myself getting one of these at some point, but I’m getting way ahead of myself here… Anyway, here is what the scarf looks like after I finished weaving, washed it, and trimmed the fringe:
I’m amazed at how quickly it went (much faster than knitting), how much yarn it used (so much for relying on weaving to use up all those partial skeins I have sitting around), and how addictive it was. I don’t have any other projects planned but I’ll dig through my handspun yarn soon and see if I’ve got enough for another scarf.