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Fiber Friday - Double Double Toil and Trouble

I purchased double heddles for my rigid heddle loom about five years back, but haven't gotten around to trying them yet. The biggest reason was simply confusion, which often leads me to not try something. Personally, I dislike attempting something I'm not good at, and by good at I mean I understand what's happening.

Back in August, a lady at the Saturday Artisan Market asked if I made baby wraps, which I didn't, but wanted to try. When I spoke with the lady who owns the weaver store, she said the weavers who do baby wraps use a 24 epi which I didn't have on any of my looms. Until I remembered my double heddles, and realized that 12.5 dpi twice equaled 25 dpi, and my reason to experiment was born.

In the photograph (and even looking at the warp) everything looks green, but it's actually two different colors - peacock and mustard. It's warped up in a log cabin weave, so I'll have to see how it looks when it's woven, but it should be interesting.

The hardest part actually wasn't sleying the reeds, but winding the warp up since I now have two heddles to manage. Once I found the rhythm of sleying, I found it easy. It took longer to establish the warp than it normally does, even though I was threading two strands at a time. For this, you definitely need a sley hook, though. Sometimes I can warp my rigid heddle loom without using the sley hook, but for this, I needed it.

After several annoyances, including having to re-sley the loom twice, I finally managed to reach a point where I could weave with some certainty. The biggest problem has been maintaining the proper location of the threads within the heddle - if one strand is out of order, the weaving is impaired.

I did manage to weave up a couple different items, however. In the photograph below, are two samples:

The top portion of the photograph has a sari ribbon weft, giving a more pronounced block, while the sample at the bottom is utilizing the mustard and peacock colors in a log cabin weave.

Both samples turned out well, but I think for the colors I chose, the rep weave (top sample) is the better decision. The one on the bottom tends to be muddled. All in all, I think I'll enjoy weaving with two reeds.

** The Buffalo mug rugs I mentioned last week are not available yet - there's been some problems with the sewing machine.


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