As some of you know, I’ve recently purchased a Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom. I didn’t post an update on it when I bought it, but I’ve been collecting weaving books (there aren’t a huge number for the rigid heddle loom, but there are a few).

Last night, I took my first class at the Chicago Weaving School! It was great fun. Natalie Boyett is a great instructor. If you are ever in the Chicago area and have thought of weaving, this is the place for you. She has actual dressed looms that you can use without having to work through the setup process, and thus can see if it’s even something you’d like to try or not. But believe me, it’s fun!

I’ve taken a couple pictures of dressing the loom, and wanted to share my experiences.

First, one has to put the loom together. I didn’t think to take before pix, but it was a challenge for me since I don’t translate 2-D to 3-D very well. But if you don’t have that problem, it’s easy, and even if you DO have that problem, I was able to follow the instructions and get things going.

Once the loom is put together, the next step is to dress it, or “warp” it. The warp are the long continuous threads in the fabric, the weft are the crossways ones. The Cricket comes with two skeins of Lion Brand Wool Ease, which would work, but Natalie suggested I try some weaving yarns and do a color sampler. Color interacts much differently with weaving than knitting, so I followed her advice.

My loom is ten inches wide on the warp surface, with eight pins to the inch – think of that as the gauge. The eight pins are one inch wide, so there are ten sets of eight across width – giving me ten colors, each one inch wide, to work with.

We went left to right, the colors of the spectrum (remember Roy G. Biv from art class? if not, read on and I’ll explain it) as well as black, brown and ivory. Roy G. Biv is a mnemonic to remember the colors of the visible spectrum, or, in layman’s language, the colors of the rainbow. They are Red, Orange, Yellow (Roy), Green (G.), Blue, Indigo and Violet (Biv).

Here’s what the loom looks like half dressed, with the warp threads still wound around the warping peg:

A view from the top, looking at the back of the loom, is here:

This particular warp will be the length of the table (and as I’m typing, I realize that I neglected to measure that, but I’d guess around five feet or 60 inches). If I wanted something longer, I would use a warping board.

We did finish dressing the loom last night, but it was very late so I didn’t take pictures. I will post another update once I get some more pictures to share.

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