Like many new weavers, I've always wanted to try twill on my rigid heddle loom, but if you're like me and have been brave enough to read about using double heddles, special warping, and lifting the heddles in a particular sequence, you may be exactly like me and put it off for another time. This morning, I wondered how difficult it could be. Isn't weaving simply raising and lowering threads and sending another thread over, around, under? Isn't it a fairly simple process to create a fairly simple piece of fabric? If my (extremely simplified) theory would hold water, could it be that twill is (gasp!) simple?
I dug out my little Wonder Weave loom and looked up twill online. I found a very simple pattern on Wikipedia, and started weaving 2 by 2 twill with a needle and yarn. It looked bad, but I could see a pattern emerging:
I then warped my Knitting Board (10"). I had purchased the AKB extenders which turn the knitting board into a frame loom for simple weaving projects. I used the identical pattern from the Wonder Weave, and after just a few inches, the diagonal weave of the twill jumped right out at me:
Basically, the pattern is two over, two under. To get the twill, your second pass will begin with a "one over, two under" then continue with the 2×2 pattern.
Here is a link to the image I used when weaving this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:22twillsm.png.
Experimenting is the spice of life. Now if I could just finish one of those projects on my "big" looms.
I'm nearly finished with my first project using my 10" Authentic Knitting Board. (Yes, I bought the 10" as well as the 28".) I'm using Berroco Vintage Yarn, which is a wool/acrylic blend, and a simple ribbed wrapping. The one little complaint I have about the yarn is that it snags quite a bit. I keep having small strands stuck on the knitting board pegs and then I have to carefully figure out where they belong and do that peg over. Other than that, it's a very soft, slightly worn-out yarn that is really warm and cozy. I'll post pictures of it later, as it is a Christmas present.
I've spent the past two weeks thinking about rigid heddle looms after visiting Susan Johnson's Alavanche Looms workshop way out in the backwoods of Wisconsin. It's worth the drive. Not only is she an extremely talented weaver, the store is beautiful and chock full of cool goodies. Susan chatted with me about weaving and got me wondering if I should give a loom a try. But then that led to another week of thoughts about somehow obtaining a rectangle loom to do continuous weave scarves and shawls… And then that led to yet another fascination: Peg Looms.
I've never heard of peg loom or stick weaving until I happened across a Ravelry discussion, but it appears to be a very old form of weaving, mainly used for making rugs. Although there are some peg loom sellers in the UK, I haven't spotted a US seller as of yet. However, there are instructions out there, so perhaps, with a little bit of patience, I could piece one together.
Here are some peg loom links: How to make a peg loom; How to use a peg loom; Examples of peg loom weaving.
Last night, I knitted a small sample on the 28" Authentic Knitting Board using just 22 pegs (and 22 pegs on the opposite side, too). I used some Berroco merino and followed the beginning of the pattern for the Luxurious Alpaca Scarf. What I learned is that I need to tighten the gauge because the knitting was a little bit too loose and the ribbing, which starts after six rows of stockingette, was not very distinct.
This board can be adjusted. Do you see the bolt on the end? There's another one on the other end, too. You may remove the bolt, take out the spacer in between each side, and then put something smaller in between, such as a washer. I'll have to scrounge around in the toolbox tonight for something appropriate. The closer the two sides of the board, the tighter the gauge. So, if you're working with a chunky or bulky yarn, or if you want a very loose knit, you would actually put more space in between the two sides instead of keeping it snug.
I was brainstorming last night and came up with a way to, possibly, turn this two-sided loom into a round loom by adding my own type of spacer (a piece of wood with two metal pegs). That way, I could knit socks or other small-gauge items in the round. We'll see how it goes.
I caved and purchased the 28" small gauge (84 pegs!) Authentic Knitting Board today from Hobby Lobby. However, I waited until Hobby Lobby had a 40% off weekly special and so the $37.00 board was purchased for just about $20. Not a bad deal. Why do I need another loom, you may wonder? Especially, when I already own…
- The Knifty Knitter round loom set (four looms)
- The Knifty Knitter flower loom and spool knitter (two looms)
- The purple Knifty Knitter rectangle loom
- Five 4" Square Looms: Two 4" Weave-its, One 4" Simplex loom, One 4" Hazel Rose Multiloom, One 4" Wonder Weave
- One Weave-it Rug loom
- One Regular Gauge hat loom
- One 24" Homestead Hideaway triangle loom
- Two potholder looms
- One extra fine gauge DecorAccents oval sock loom
- Three small flower looms
Someday, I'll take a picture of them all 🙂 . All 22 of them…
But back to the question–why do I need another loom? In this case, the answer is pretty simple–I don't have a small gauge loom. At all! Plus, I really like double-knit. So, there. That's why I plotted and planned and waited and finally purchased my new knitting board today. I have plans for two Christmas presents to be knitted on this board, so I'd better get knitting.
As far as patterns, there are some free patterns on the Authentic Knitting Board website. I discovered a few more on the Lion Brand pattern site, and there is a fairly new Yahoo group for the knitting board, not to mention the other sites, boards, listservs, and Ravelry groups that include knitting board information along with knitting looms, so I think I'll have more than enough to think about. What I'm most excited about is moving away from super bulky yarn for a few projects.