Monday, February 18, 2013

Where it begins

We celebrated Valentine's Day on Sunday with brunch at a favorite restaurant, Normandie Farm.  It's an old fashioned place.  The type where most everyone gets dressed up and popovers are served shortly after you are seated.  It was delicious.

In our Lotsaknots Etsy shop we sell pre-wound warps and my warping mill makes it easier.  Determined to accomplish something yesterday, I wound two new warps for sale in our shop.  The first is a 2.5 yard striped warp of mercerized cotton that would be nice for towels or a table runner or a reusable bag.  I often photograph the warp on the warping mill because it's easier to see the colors in the stripes.  You can read all the details about the kit here.

The second warp is a 2.5 yard warp of unmercerized variegated cotton in my favorite color, purple.  I failed to photograph it while on the warping mill and it's a bit harder to see the different colors in this fun yarn.  Purple, green and off white combine to make an interesting yarn which I believe will create great towels or a table runner.  More details can be found here.

Brunch was here at Normandie Farm

Friday, February 15, 2013

So, what about a rigid heddle loom?

I received a request this week from a woman looking for beginning weaving classes.  We exchanged a few emails and by the third response it was clear she was only interested in learning on a floor loom.  I gave her the following information:
I teach beginning weaving using rigid heddle looms.  If you would like to rent or purchase a floor loom, I am happy to assist with the loan or purchase.  In reply she wrote "No, I do not want to learn on a rigid heddle loom.  I want to learn on a real loom".
Houndstooth scarf woven on the rh loom
What can I say?  Rigid heddle looms are real looms and if Jane Patrick ,Creative Director of Schacht Spindle Co., can write an entire book about weaving on a rigid heddle loom, what further endorsement do you need. In fact, Jane wrote "This is what I mean about the power of the rigid heddle loom.  It is simple and complicated at the same time." (p. 88 of The Weaver's Idea Book).

There are three words in that statement that stand out, power, simple and complicated.  Those three words describe the rigid heddle loom.  It is a powerful loom because it is both simple and complex.  You can weave simple plain weave or you can design patterns incorporating complex lace structures.  There is so much you can do and so many projects you can make with this very simple, inexpensive tool.
Plus, a new rigid heddle loom is one tenth the cost of the average floor loom!  What better way to learn to weave.

So, back to my insistent emailer.  What to do?  I want to teach and I enjoy working with people who have enthusiasm for weaving.  I don't own a floor loom I can rent or teach on and it's not in my budget at this time to buy one.  I encouraged her to consider the rigid heddle loom and gave her several good reasons why it's a great way to start your weaving exploration.  I don't believe I'll hear back from her.  I hope she finds a teacher who can meet her needs and requirements.  It's a shame she is not open to a different possibility.  Several people I have taught to weave on a rigid heddle loom have purchased and enjoyed weaving on floor looms.  After their experience on a rigid heddle loom, they felt confident about how a loom functions and had the skills to weave on a different loom.  It's a shame so many people discount how versatile a rigid heddle loom is and what an excellent tool it is for a beginning weaver.

I  offer classes on weaving on a rigid heddle loom in my home studio in Poolesville Maryland and online via web conferencing.  Please feel free to contact me if you are interested.  My email address is

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'm back but from where?

Yes, it has been two months and I could spend the entire page explaining why I haven't posted anything.  Here's the flash version of where I've been and what I've done.  We celebrated Christmas, did a whole lot of cooking, sent the last batch of brownies to Afghanistan, ate lots of good food, enjoyed a brief snow fall and spent a week eating and walking in New Orleans. And now it's time to talk about spring.

I am really excited about spring because I am expecting 2 Schacht Matchless Cherry special edition spinning wheels in April.  These are phenomenal spinning wheels!  I can speak from personal experience.  This is a great opportunity to own a fabulous wheel that is a true one of a kind.  The special edition Matchless Cherry wheel will be the only Matchless with a unique design by the manufacturer, Schacht, which will differentiate this wheel from any other Matchless.

I have ordered 2 wheels and with a deposit of $500 it can be yours.  Feel free to contact me at or for more information and to schedule a time to try spinning on this wheel.   The remaining payment will be $950.  In addition, I have ordered the matching Spinning wheel cart to make it easier to transport your wheel.  The cart is $65 and if you purchase both you will receive the cart for $55.

Here are all the details on the Special Edition Cherry Matchless double treadle spinning wheel:

The Matchless Spinning Wheel is the most responsive spinning wheel available today. With the double treadle you will appreciate this wheels' matchless capabilities. 

Also included with each wheel: 4 bobbins, threading hook, matching cherry Lazy Kate and a carrying strap. 

The Schacht Matchless Spinning Wheel offers double drive, an updated tension system, and bobbin lead modes of operation. Wheels come with two flyer whorls (medium and fast); four additional flyer whorls offer spinning ratios from 4:1 to 22:1. This limited series run will also have a special marking (though what it will be exactly has not yet been announced)

The 19 1/2" drive wheel and flyer shaft are supported by self-aligning bronze bearings for precise action. Each flyer is individually balanced and the bobbins and flyer whorls are trued on center for long and superior service.

Treat yourself to the only spinning wheel you will ever need or want, the Matchless special edition cherry wheel.  

I'll be back next week with lots of weaving news.