Hello! I am eyeball deep in heddles! (See now, that’s a phrase you just don’t hear every day…) Each yarn gets its own heddle, which sits on 1 of 4 shafts in the loom. And I’m currently somewhere about 3/4 of the way through the project!
The heddles (especially the metal ones) rattle around in the loom and some folks find it loud and distracting. For me, I don’t even notice! I think it’s like living near a train or on a busy road – you don’t even hear it after living there about a week!
So why thread heddles, you ask? Well, astute student, each shaft in the loom has the ability to lift up, separating some yarns from the others. When you thread a yarn into a heddle, you assign it to that particular shaft. For instance, I have a green yarn in the middle of the project that gets threaded through a heddle on shaft #2. When I am doing a weaving pattern, I know that this specific green yarn will lift up with all the others on shaft #2. This helps you establish your pattern! (Not the most graceful explanation, I know. But, rest assured, it is an important part of the process!)
So once the heddles are threaded, it’s time to unfurl the back of the loom and tie the yarns to the rod. Part of the reason I love my Schacht loom is that the back collapses and the back beam lifts off. Meaning, I can get as close as I want when threading the heddles. Then, it is easy to expand everything back out when it is time to start winding! Go, Schacht, go!!!
You know, each step of the process has little things to watch out for. Once, I had a project where my cord holding the rod to the beam snapped! I kept wondering why things seemed loosey-goosey! Thankfully, it’s an easy fix (not mid-project, but if you catch it at this stage it is!). You tie the ends together, even everything out, and carry on! Just like life, right?
Next, I’ll begin the winding process. And after that, there will be weaving – woohoo! I love the weaving… Have a lovely week and I’ll talk to you soon!
Hi, didn’t understand purpose of green thread on 2nd shaft. Is it a marker for something? Is it woven into the fabric?
My husband was a terrific weaver, specialized in early american patterns. He wove several coverlets for queen-size, two pieces, sewed them together. He taught himself double weave in last several yrs. He died in July. I wove a little in the late 70s before my career became too busy. So I have two looms, an old 4 harness and a nice Pendleton 8 harness. Hope to work up enthusiasm to learn to weave all over again.
Enjoy your photos and comments.
Hi Carole! It’s so good to hear from you! The “green yarn” comment was simply meant as an example to show the connection between the heddles and the shafts and ultimately, creating a woven pattern. I’m so sorry if it was confusing! I think it is so wonderful to have a weaver in the family! I would love to see some of his work! And maybe one day, you’ll find that enthusiasm to pick up a weaving project! I have no doubt you would be great at it! Good luck! chris