You know that anticipation is something else.  I am new to the world of real weaving.  I started out with a kiddie frame loom on a built stand and working with tapestry weaving until the 32" Ashley Rigid Heddle arrives.

I am hyperventilating these last couple of days because as a "newbie", I am learning a lot of things like what yarn and warp to use on certain projects (still need help in that direction).  I am trying to decipher the patterns when they state project completed with 4 shafts, 2 shafts etc. 

My question is how do you determine what your RH can do if you only have 2 heddles?  It may seem a dumb question, but I want to pick out projects that I can do on this loom vs all the talk about 2, 4, 8 shafts, etc. 

Any help is appreciated.


P.S.  Until I can purchase the wood slates that go between the weft and warp, I read somewhere you can use mini blinds.  I hope this is not a flukeFoot in Mouth



Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 18:10

The mini blind thing is correct, assuming you can get one that are a bit wider than your warp and not wider than your warp beam. I hope that make sense.

Which heddles do you have? Essentially whatever heddles you have pretty much determines what sett you can work with on your rigid heddle loom.

Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 18:35

If you have 2 you probably do either have a 7.5 dpi or 8dpi and another size as well, maybe 10.

So the easiest thing to do would be to look for projects which require a sett of 8 epi. Does that help?

Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 18:38

If you have 2 you probably do either have a 7.5 dpi or 8dpi and another size as well, maybe 10.

So the easiest thing to do would be to look for projects which require a sett of 8 epi. Does that help?

Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 18:53

Great and thank you for the online class information.  I did learn that I have 7.5 dents per inch (dpi).   Based on the information you shared above, I am understanding that if I have 2 heddles that are 7.5 dpi that I can complete projects 8 epi.  

Thanks again.

Posted on Fri, 04/01/2016 - 23:04

Ask all the questions you can to everyone you see!! Thats how to learn and most weavers love to share, there are lots of ways to do one thing depending on which grandmother you learned from, try them all until you find the one you like.

Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 00:49

Welcome to the Rigid Heddle group, CoffeeBrown. (Cute name)

I am a beginner also. Many things about the weaving you can learn in books or the Internet. I was really glad that I took a beginner class, like the one recommended by Erica. I got to really make something from the start. And, I learned the names of basic things. That made it much easier to word many of my questions later. All questions are good questions. We will learn together.

It has been fun finding out what different materials weavers use. For instance, you asked about the min-blinds to roll up with the warp. I have read about weavers using paper grocery bags, brown craft paper, slatted sticks, card board strips.

I have learned to think of weaving as a historical craft. There was not always a store near by in the olden times. Can I use something that I already own while I wait in 'anticipation' for my mail order to arrive?




Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 02:02

Thanks for the warm welcome. Actually,  I  got me  a kiddie loom for tapestry and I did one sample and just started my first one to finish.  I am a newbie to this as well.  I  hope my youtube lessons work lol 


Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 04:20

Hi CoffeeBrown,

I've never used a Rigid Heddle loom, only floor looms, but weaving is the same, weft over warp, or visa versa.  Take your time and enjoy the process.  I use either old rolls of wall paper or paper shopping bags when I wind on a warp.  The important thing is not what you use, but the tension of the warp when winding on.  It should be as even as possible (but if not, we have ways of fixing that).  

There's a plethora of information, books and classes for rigid heddle looms not, so you have a great deal of support--and of course, the class Erica mentioned here.  

Have fun!


Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 06:27

Hey Coffeebrown,

Weaving is addictive! It's a way of controlling the outcome of something, in a world where we have little control. It brings a measure of peace to the soul and happiness to the heart. It demonstrates, before our eyes, the inter-connectedness of all things. It's a form of Zen.  Excuse my while I wax philosophical  ;-)  

2 1/2  years ago I had no interest in anything fiber-related = ZERO. Then I began twining rag regrets!

^What Nassajah said about the warp packing! I use bamboo blinds (thanks to Laura Fry) You can cut the rolls to various lengths. They wind on easy and are very forgiving. But that's for a floor loom. Work on RH for now. You'll likely be working with 2 shaft patterns. I don't have a RH loom, but i've seen alot of beautiful RH projects. Here's a link on 4S patterns on a RH loom:

It links to the U of AZ archive of weaving info. That's a great site too!

Start building up your bookmarks and get a jumpdrive for weaving stuff!!

Enjoy the process of getting to know the terms, the yarns and the differences.  And like Nassajah said, TENSION is your friend!  Jim Ahrens (the A in AVL) said, 'the only string that won't get tangled is the one that's under tension'. You'll make mistakes and get frustrated. We all do. But keep moving forward. It's just string! Don't get overwhelmed. If you find you are, walk away. Come back later with a fresh mind.There is a lot to learn. But you don't have to know it all to warp a loom or throw a shuttle! The most helpful thing to learn is patience. Ask me how I know!! And the most important part of weaving is learning to enjoy each of the processes that go into it - there are several very different processes. Actual weaving is only about 30% of it. Warping is not the favorite of beginners. But when you get comfortable with it, you'll enjoy it.

If you can find another weaver in your area, or a guild,  it's helpful to talk one on one. But if you can't, these forums are the next best thing. The internet will be a HUGE help. The folks here are VERY generous with their knowledge, and there are a lot of experienced weavers here. Peruse through the posts and blogs and other forums too, to see what others weavers are discussing.  The bits of information you'll glean from them will add up in no time. Above all have fun learning. "Always green and growing". There's no deadline. 


Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 12:06

I'm glad to see there was so much great advice here over night (for me in the UK).

Back to the sett question, if you have 2 7.5 dpi reeds, then you will be able to do plain weave projects at 7.5-8 epi, or 2/1 twill weaves at 11 epi. There is more information on how to use 2 heddles and a pick up stick to weave 2/1 twill on a rigid heedle at the WAL I hosted several years ago. 

Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 12:14

Good Morning Everyone,

Thank you Tom and everyone who has been so kind to share knowledge of weaving.  I did in fact join 2 groups, newly gnarlies and rigid heddlers to start.  I  stumbled onto this website by accident and was hooked instantly.  As I learn and create, I am sure I will become a fantastic weaver, especially with my new Web friendly expert weavers.   Glad to be welcomed into the fold.


P.S.  I will be taking a class.  Searching for the closest guild in my area.  Not looking too promising 

Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 12:23

Good morning  Erica, 

Thank you for being here to help me. I'm  still exploring the Internet for info and doing a lot of reading on the subject.  I feel like it's my first day of school. I am trying to absorb as much knowledge about weaving and tapestry art so that my first project will  be  well worth the wait for the loom to actually get here.  

I hope I can handle that thing since I  am on the small side.

Posted on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 13:34

Hi - if you're not already a member, you might also want to join Ravelry. It's primarily for knitting and crochet, but there are some good, active weaver's groups, too, with some crossover members from here. Weavolution and Ravelry are the best places I've found online for finding really knowledgeable people, who willingly share what they'be learned.

Posted on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 03:01

i love fibre arts,,,spinning with a hand spindle...dyeing yarn...knitting,crocheting,etc. But for decades i have wanted to learn to weave. Someone recently offered me a brand new ' "little quick weaver".Is anyone familiar with it?Is that a good learning loom? Is there a "site" i can find a list of weaving terminology?(about the only weaving terms i understand are warp and weft).Can i use my hand spun yarn for the weft?Recently I made a so-called loom out of canvas stretcher frame. I used my yarn as weft and it seemed to turn out ok. (i just made a wall hanging with it).I tried to find a group of weavers in my town but there isn't any.        any suggestions would be welcome.Smile thank you.


Posted on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 17:31

Good Afternoon Spinning to learn,

I have no idea about spun yarn and how it is worked and developed and whether it can be used for warp.  I guess I  will need to learn about yarn from beginning in order to be a good weaver.  I  am sure someone here can help answer your question. 


Posted on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 18:23

This question comes up all the time, but when you really think about it we shouldn't even question this. The first woven threads were handspun, so yes you can weave with your handspun. I know we all ask this question, because we question our ability as a handspinner and perhaps a weaver. (I don't mean this to be condescending, please read that with a gentle tone. :)

There are several factors that determine a yarn's suitability for weaving. Well one factor that has a few facets. The real question is can the yarn withstand the tension the warp holds while weaving and the abrasion. So it really comes down to whether your yarn is spun well enough to withstand however much tension you put on your warps and teh abrasion your loom causes. 

For tips on spinning well enough to use your handspun as a warp yarn, I highly recommend Sara Lamb's book Spin to Weave. Sara dispells many of the myths that surround handspun and weaving and is really worth the time and expense!

I hope that clarifies and doesn't muddle things even more!

Posted on Sun, 04/03/2016 - 22:11

Good luck with your weaving.  I would love to hear how you go with patterns for 2 and 4 shafts with 2 heddles as I am thinking of investing in them but not sure how easy it is to convert 2 and 4 s as I am not technically or mathematically minded.  

Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 22:39

I've used mini blinds. They work great. If you get the plastic ones, you can easily cut them to the appropriate length, but don't do it with your good fabric scissors. I found mine in someone else's trash.

If you intend to do 2-heddle weaving,  you'll need two heddles of the same size (dent) to use with your double heddle blocks. If you're new to weaving, I'd suggest becoming familiar with loom and one heddle first.

Your Ashford loom will most likely come with a 7.5 dent loom. Size 4/worsted weight yarn works with this one. Less springy yarn is easier to learn to weave with.

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 00:15

Weave and spin, thanks for the info.  I  am  a little nervous about this loom and do intend to work with one heddle until I  understand the process.   I  will start with samples first.  

Posted on Thu, 04/07/2016 - 16:30

Good Afternoon Weavolutionaries!

I am thrilled to report I picked up my 32" RH today from the UPS Center.  I can't wait to get home to unpack it!!!!

Currently, I'm working on a tapestry; however, this will be placed on hold for a hot minute Laughing

Posted on Sat, 04/09/2016 - 00:16

I began warping my RH last night and saw that I had a couple of strings crossed and I doubled two top rows (argg). I got too tired to figure it out.  Got home this evening with fresh eyes and, by George,  I  believe I am weaving, lol.  Whatcha think?

Posted on Sat, 04/09/2016 - 00:17

I began warping my RH last night and saw that I had a couple of strings crossed and I doubled two top rows (argg). I got too tired to figure it out.  Got home this evening with fresh eyes and, by George,  I  believe I am weaving, lol.  Whatcha think?

Posted on Sat, 04/09/2016 - 01:23

Applause. Getting through your first warp on the rigid heddle is a major accomplishment.  Those first few inches tell a lot. A nice weave and even selvage. 

Posted on Sat, 04/09/2016 - 21:22

What did you learn or practice while weaving this sampler? 

I like the touch of blue you added to the weft. A nice fabric without it; improved with the blue.

Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 12:54

I learned not to rush the warping and noticed my mistakes before going forward.  I  also learned that the heddle needs to have continous tension.  I  noticed that  I  need to try that boat shuttle lol.

As I  was weaving it, I  saw the colors were not poppin out and hence, I  added the blue.  I'm  still learning to keep my edges clean and not to tight.


Posted on Sun, 04/10/2016 - 19:33

You got it m'dear!  You're on your way! You even found the crossed threds and fixed them. Great job! And a beautiful sample too!

Now you'll gonna begin to feel guilty about a naked loom! Each time you weave, you'll be thinging about what's next. And that doesn't include the lust for more yarn that accompanies all this! It's just part of the territory. You'll be buying bins and totes and shelves...LOL  Just kidding ;-)

You're having fun though! That's the bottom line. Always green and growin'.

Posted on Tue, 04/12/2016 - 21:40

born weaver.  It has been exciting and I  am  learning fast. Like you said  Tom, I  can't keep it naked, mind just jumping all over the place to fine my own trademark design.  I  am sure it will be a challenge with so many wonderful weavers from the past and present.   Happy weaving everyone. 


Posted on Thu, 04/14/2016 - 19:07

And I agree, the blue gives it a nice pop.

Now, did you remember to take and write down all your measurements: warp length, warp width, woven length and width under tension, with slack tension, off the loom, and after wet finishing? For some projects, it doesn't matter. But at some point, you'll want a finished object of a specific size, like a placemat.  And alas, you need to know how your yarn will behave and change dimensions  BEFORE you start weaving - or even measuring out your warp. But that's what sampling is for. Also the online calculator, which can shave a lot off your prep time.

I'm a little slow at getting to my next projects because, in one case, I have yarn that I'm also overdyeing for two of the yarn colors. So unless I want to do whole skeins - not - I need to calculate my estimated amount of yarn for each color before I can dye anything - Gaaahhh!!

Oh well, I wanted an absorbing new hobby.   ;-)

Posted on Tue, 05/17/2016 - 17:51

I am not a novice yet and still have a lot to learn.  I am going to take a weaving class so I can learn how to read, calculate patterns and so forth.

The only thing I'm doing is creating weaving samples and trying to decide what project to do.  I also have to learn about the washing of the product, when you say wet finish, etc.  

Still alot to absorb and learn.  I'm willing and happy to do so!!!


Happy Weaving all!!


Posted on Sun, 05/22/2016 - 06:51

Here is advice I wish I would have followed when I first started weaving. Put on a straight draw warp and play around with what you can do. There are 15 different sheds you can create on a 4 shaft loom threaded for straight draw. Most of them we use is sets of 4, such as 2/2 twill. You can combine the different lifts in a variety of different ways.

I love this method so much, I recorded a Cyber Fiber class with all the information you need. It's called Exploring Twills and is hosted here on Weavolution. If what I said above makes sense, then you wouldn't really need the class, but if not, check it out. The class includes the hour of video instruction, access to a student only group, and drafts!

Happy Weaving,


Posted on Thu, 06/16/2016 - 15:24

I have now purchased my floor loom.  I got a really good deal ($500.00) which included the bench and 2 boat shuttles and a warping board.  It is a 4 harness, 6 treadle Gilmore in perfect shape.  Although I attempted to try and warp it up last night, I hate to report I failed.   Although I failed; I'm a warrior and will get through this cycle.  I have a new set of fresh eyes and after reading the Pattern Weaving by Rabbit Goody, I was able to read and see where I made my mistakes last night.

My problem was figuring out how to use the warp that I completed on the warp board and transfer to the reed/heddles.  Now that I have seen the error or my ways, I will attempt to warp this baby this evening. 

I am hoping that I can figure it all out as I did the RH.  I believe I can; but I will be submitting questions when I get confused.  


Happy Weaving

Here's a pic of my "Monster".   I call it that because the owner's husband called it Monster when I picked it up and it was said in a good way.  Also, it will be cranking out some Monster projects!  Sorry pictures are side views.

Posted on Thu, 06/16/2016 - 15:39

I have heard great things about Gilmore looms - I am sure you are in for a wonderful adventure. 

An important decision for you is whether to warp front-to-back or back-to-front.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, but in general, most weavers believe your warp will be wound with better tension and precision using back to front. 

My first warp was wound using the legs of chairs that I placed upside down on my kitchen table.  I still have that first project, partly to remind me of how difficult it was.  I know you will get it! 

Posted on Thu, 06/16/2016 - 16:38

Woo hoo, a new floor loom!  So exciting.  You might want to check out the floor loom weaving class on Craftsy.  She takes you through all the basics, and you can go back and rewatch parts to help you remember.  You can also interact with the instructor electronically.  Have fun with your monster!

Posted on Fri, 06/17/2016 - 01:33

For the  info on craftsy.  I  took the advice of the forum and joined a Guild.  I am going to take a class from my Guild which is perfect for me.  I have to really learn because I am to do an exhibition at our State Fair this Sept.