handspun · process · spinning · weaving · yarn

warping a rigid heddle on a board.

Although I sold my 32″ Rigid Heddle to a dear friend, I decided to warp up my small Knitter’s Sample-It loom (11″ weaving width) with the yarn I’d spun for the Crafty Jak’s Fibre Club installment in March. I’d mentioned this project on the podcast recently and I finally had a chance to warp up the loom.

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Part of the reason I was so delayed in getting this onto the loom was because I wanted to use my warping board to do this project but it wasn’t actually free due to warping tea towels! Regardless, I finally got a chance a couple of weeks ago.

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I knew it was possible to warp with a board for the rigid heddle and if you’ve never done it, I highly suggest you go and check out The Yarnworker School of Weaving — it is a wealth of information and Liz Gipson is a great teacher. Find some podcast episodes in which she’s interviewed too — she’s just great!! She’s been on The SweetGeorgia Podcast and Weave Podcast to start with.

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Please ignore the secondary warping line beneath the diagonal that runs across the board. The zig-zag warp guide is for the tea towels but the one that goes diagonal is the guide I used for this warp.

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Why use a guide? I started using a guide because I was having trouble as I wound the first few warp threads with not only where to go but how long the warp needed to be. By using a guide, I pre-measure the thread, add a few inches and then wind it onto the board however it’ll fit for the length and that becomes my warp-guide. To start the guide, I tie it onto the back of my loom as pictured below in the centre for the most accurate measurement.

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From there, I started winding the warp! In total, it took about 30 minutes because I was being extra gentle with the Teeswater singles. I had a couple break on me at the beginning but once I got started, it was totally fine.

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I wound on the back beam and although I haven’t started weaving yet, I’m loving the gradient across the loom. If the loom were slightly wider, I would have been able to finish the gradient all the way across to the true cream-white. I ran out of space with this warp so I could have made the scarf slightly longer.

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This warp was 98″ long. I’m hoping to finish with a scarf ~85″ long taking into account waste and a small amount of loom waste. The nice thing about rigid heddle weaving is the lack of loom waste – I’ve found that it is very minimal.

Now, onto the weaving!

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