Beginner rigid heddle

Hello everyone,

My daughter and I have started weaving. I have been weaving for about a year on a 4 shaft loom and she has started recently on a Harrisville Easy Weaver loom that I found at the thrift store. This comes with an 8-dent reed with about a 7.25" weaving width. She recently decided to make up her own plaid and warped up her loom with her plaid pattern using a light green and heathered purple. She used fingering weight Pallette yarn from Knit Picks, which is a wool and is using that as her weft as well. But as she started weaving it turned out as a regular striped pattern, the plaid did not come through. Thinking that the reed was the problem I had her rewarp with two strings per dent but still it is not coming through as a plaid.  As I said, I am a new weaver and for the life of me I cannot figure out what we did wrong. I thought it was an easy project for her but it has turned frustrating. I realize that I am not grasping something here that I'm sure I should already know.

Can any of you shed some light on what we should have done?  Thanks so much! 


Posted on Mon, 02/26/2018 - 15:15

perhaps post photos of the project? That might make it easier for us to analyze what is happening.


Posted on Mon, 02/26/2018 - 20:46

Sure!  Of course, she cut it off and is trying something else now but here is a photo of the cut piece. I'm assuming it has to do with the fact that we are using an 8-dent reed with fingering weight. I should have had her use worsted and then it might have worked out.

Posted on Tue, 02/27/2018 - 12:48

with the 8 dent reed a heavier yarn you have helped to give better definition. She might try doing a sample off the loom - wrap a short length of the warp yarn in her pattern around a piece of cardboard and then needle weave the wefy through to see of the plaid is showing up. Good luck


Posted on Wed, 02/28/2018 - 15:06

with the quite wide sett of  8 epi, you have  made  a weft faced fabric.  You need a closer sett.  Try  wrapping the yarn around a ruler for 1 inch to get ends/inch and divide by 2 for sett.

Posted on Thu, 03/01/2018 - 14:50

I agree. Fingering weight should be between 24 and 30 wraps per inch. Which you would set at 12-15 epi for plain weave. If you have a 12 epi reed, you can use that with the finger weight yarn. If you only have the 8 epi reed you should use worsted or DK weight yarn. My son is weaving a plaid on his rigid heddle loom right now too! His is purple and blue. :)

I look forward to hearing more about your weaving and your daughter's weaving!

Posted on Wed, 03/07/2018 - 15:11

I am a rigid heddle weaver and also have a floor loom.  It may be time for some classes that can be taken on line.

Liz Gipson hosts an online school for rigid heddle weavers of ANY level.

You won't regret it!