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Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 06/09/2009 - 01:37
Just started working with two heddles at once. Would love to hear of different type of patterns with two heddles. I have an Ashford 16inch rigid heddle loom.
I've woven one scarf using two heddles. You can see it under my projects - the painted warp scarf. The goal was to waste as lillte warp as possible as I has such a limited amount - just the two 1 oz skeins I had dyed. Since the yarn was Zephyr, I needed a denser sett than I could get with 1 heddle, so I went to two and settled on 24 epi. It came out wonderfully. Eventually I'll have more pictures up, but on one of them, you can clearly see the set up.
Do you have Betty Davenport's book?
I have only used two heddles to increase the sett density, not for patterns. It works beautifully for that. It's so nice to have a small, quiet, portable loom that works so well.
There are two resources that I know of for pattern work: Betty Davenport's Textures and Patterns for Rigid Heddle Weaving, which was recently re-published by Fine Fiber Press.
There is also The Xenakis Technique, OOP. You could also look for copies of Prairie Wool Companion, an out of print magazine from the 80's, with patterns by Xenakis. These might be in guild libraries, on used book sites.
My favourite book for doing patterns with this technique, and the one I was taught from, is David McKinney's Book "Weaving With Three Rigid Heddles: An Introduction to Multiple Rigid Heddle Weaving Without Pickup Sticks." The author sells the books directly through an Ebay storefront, which is where I got mine: http://cgi.ebay.com/Book-Weaving-With-Three-Rigid-Heddles-Heddle_W0QQite...
The book deals specifically with using three heddles to do 4-shaft patterns (i.e. tabby, basic twills, double-weave, etc.), but the technique is the same for using 2 heddles to do 3-shaft patterns. I've done a few samples of 3-shaft patterns using two heddles (and no pick-ups!). Eventually I'll add all the samples I've done this way as projects, but until then, here are pics of the 2-heddle (3-shaft) patterns that I played with last summer:
A 2-1 Ripenkoper Twill
A 2-1 lozenge twill
Both of these were woven on my 20" Beka RH, using Cottolin warp and weft and 2 heddles. The patterns were taken from an online site (Complex weavers? I'd have to check my notes) and "translated" from the 3 & 4-shaft drafts for use on RH using the technique covered by the McKinney book.
Lovely samples! Now I am curious about this book, thanks for the mention and the links.
I'm relieved to see others looking for double heddle patterns - I was beginning to despair! Thanks everyone for pointing the way.
Thank you all for the tips. I actually have this book. I guess I better open it up and read it.
Beautiful work and I totally agree with your recommendation on this book. It is WAY more easily understood than the Xenakis book (I have it too and find it extremely hard to read - headings, bullets, and streamlining would've been nice).
Your weaving is inspiring me to try to pick this back up and go for it again. I found it cumbersome to weave with three heddles - but seeing what you've done makes me want to rethink my previously formed opinion.
Wow, I'm impressed. I'm going to have to check out the book.
EDIT: I bought the book! I can't wait for it get here.
I actually have this book, but haven't even opened it up yet - mainly because I don't have three heddles of the same dent yet (nor two of the same width, for that matter). But now I see I'm going to have to get that book out *and* my credit card. :-D
Now, should I buy the extra heddles for the 15" loom or the 24" loom....
Although my teacher based what she taught us from that book, she simplified things considerably - for instance, we didn't do a multi-colour warp, so in our samplers we didn't do anything more complicated than 2-1 and 3-1 twill, basic tabby including some moorman inlay, and double weave as a tube, open on one side and open on both sides. That was more than enough in order to learn the technique!
This important things to get from the McKinney book are 1) how to warp multiple heddles so that the warp threads aren't crossing, and 2) how to open all the possible shed combinations - in other words, how to "translate" a treadling draft - that are needed to do the 4-shaft (and 3-shaft, obviously) patterns. It is possible to get them all (so, more than just 1 up, 2 up, 3 up, 4 up... you can do 1&3 up, 2&4 up, 1&3&4 up, etc). Sometimes it involves putting one heddle on the block, holding another heddle up with one hand and letting the middle one dangle while you throw the shuttle. But it is definitely do-able, and as with anything, it gets faster with practice.
In short, you can do any pattern on your RH, using three heddles, that can be done on a 4-shaft loom. Using 2 heddles, you can get any 3-shaft pattern.
Once you get into it, if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer as best I can, even if it turns out to be a lengthy reply. ;)
I'm hoping (within the month, if I'm lucky?) to get a RH explanation of the drafts for the two patterns above, at the very least, including the warping instructions. When I do, I'll post it here.
This online brochure shows a few things that can be done with a second heddle. Maybe you already received it with the second reed blocks? http://www.ashford.co.nz/helpandadvice/RH2HKweb.pdf
This continues to pique my curiosity, but I think I'll stick with sticks and string-loop heddles for patterns for awhile. I have the Xenakis book and just ordered the McKinney booklet from ebay. I'm hoping the McKinney booklet has more photos/illustrations than David's entertaining-but-hard-to-wade-through prose.
The Xenakis Technique book is alive and well and I have at least one copy for sale at the shop.
WeaveZine has a couple of free double-heddle projects/patterns:
Thanks so much for posting the link. I knew there was a book out there and came here specifically to see if anyone had posted the name as I couldn't recall it.
Have you considered starting a 3 heddle WAL? I would love to explore the technique!
That would be a great idea if someone wants to run it - I'm sure there are lots of rigid heddlers who would be interested, or how about a WAL? after Christmas is over? Just a thought, as I've got the kit and want to learn.