It should be no surprise that not long after the holiday, I bought myself a loom! It didn't take long for my 20" Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle loom to arrive from Webs, and I've been slowly getting acquainted with it. There's a lot to learn!
I've done a lot of research to determine which loom I should get, and figured I should share my reasoning here for anyone who is interested in giving weaving a try but isn't sure where to start.
Initially, I had my heart set on a Schacht Cricket loom because it's affordable, compact and known for being user-friendly. I liked the idea of something that wouldn't take up too much room AND that wasn't a huge monetary commitment (the 15" Cricket is just under $200) - but then I became worried that I might begin to feel limited by such a small weaving width and that it might not be enough "loom" for me.
When I think back to how I started handspinning, I remember being frustrated by the limitations of the drop spindle fairly quickly - once I got my hands on a wheel, things started to come together and I became more engaged. My first spinning wheel wasn't particularly great, but it was enough to ignite the spark - then I got a really nice spinning wheel that suited me better (and a few years later, a second spinning wheel that I also enjoy spinning on), and that was that.
With that in mind, I wondered if I should just skip the "I'm too cheap to invest in something that might suit me better in the long run" step and just get a nicer loom - something that was still beginner friendly and relatively affordable, yet could also do more, provided I stuck with it to learn the skills to unlock the potential. In Syne Mitchell's book, she describes the Flip as an excellent teaching loom that holds good tension with a sturdy frame - and apparently, it's the only rigid-heddle loom with a second threading slot. I assume this is something that will be really exciting to me once I am able to weave a project that uses multiple heddles!
|The Schacht Flip Rigid Heddle Loom (photo from Webs site)|
Lastly, I read somewhere that the projects you'd like to weave should help inform your choice in loom width. Seems pretty obvious, right?? I suppose, but for whatever reason, that hadn't quite clicked on in my brain. Honestly, what attracted me to weaving in the first place was that I heard it was a great way to use up your yarn stash quickly. I didn't really think too hard about what I would make, just that I would make it!
Once I thought about it more, I decided that projects such as scarves, tea towels, pillows bags and maybe even a small blanket would be the kinds of projects I would want to weave. While a 15" loom would probably serve my purposes well, it seemed like something that was a bit bigger would have more staying power. I'll let you know how sound this logic turns out to be, but that's more or less how I landed on the 20" width of the Schacht Flip.
Above is my brand new loom, fresh out of the box....which Robin enjoyed inspecting, of course. I think he approves?
I plan to share more of my (mis?)adventures with learning how to weave on future blog posts - next week I'll let you know how I fared getting it all set up for my first weaving project!