Here I am, threading heddles…. won’t you join me?
So if you think back a week ago, I had moved the reed containing all my yarn over into the loom. From there, I had started threading the heddles. For this project, the plan is to fill every bit of the width of the loom. What that translates to is 36+” of yarn, set at 8 ends (yarns) per inch. (Doing the math, multiply by… add this guy… carry that dude…) Lots of yarn!!!
My loom is a 4-shaft loom, meaning I have 4 frames that lift and lower – controlled by the pedals at the base. Each shaft holds a whole bunch of heddles, who in turn hold each of the yarns.
In the photo above, you can see the 4 rows of heddles – each row is connected to one of the shafts!
Heddles come in a variety of styles and sizes. I use a flat metal heddle. But, there are also wire heddles that are a thinner style, plus a whole line of Texsolv heddles that are made from a lightweight polyester. I’m sure the heddles on my loom are louder than the others when the weaving begins. But, the noise has never bothered me! Just means progress…
I have a great weaving bench that adjusts down so I can sit at “heddle height”, if you will! Considering it typically takes me 3-ish hours for this part of the process, it’s good to be as comfortable and ergonomically positioned as possible! (To be honest, it doesn’t hurt that I’m only 5’3″! Easier to sit that close to the ground!)
For this pattern (plain weave), I’m using a consecutive sequence for the yarns. Meaning, the first yarn will go into a heddle on shaft 1, the next yarn will go into a heddle on shaft 2, etc. So, when I am weaving and lift shaft 1 and 3, every other yarn will raise up. Then, 2 and 4 together. Back to 1 and 3, and repeat again and again! It’s really just pot-holder-making 101! Same thing! Over, under, over, under…
I’m wrapping it up! Next on the agenda, tie the yarns to the back of the loom and start winding them on! I know the excitement is killing you! Hang in there and I’ll talk to you soon!