I’ve talked a fair bit over the last year or so about my interest in getting a loom and learning to weave. I’ve been reading and researching and conversing with other weavers over that time to find out a good fit for me, not really knowing when I’d be able to take the plunge. I knew I wanted something with some versatility when it came to project size. I knew I wanted to weave with my handspun and being able to weave shawls as well as scarves was important to me. At the same time, I don’t have space or the price range for a floor loom or a table loom. From early on, I was pretty sure I was looking at a rigid heddle loom — the question was just which one.
I waffled for months over whether I wanted a folding one or a fixed rigid heddle. And then I wavered over what size I wanted. Of course, all this while I was thinking my loom was a year or two off in the future. And then, about a month ago, on a whim we went early birthday shopping for Mr. Knitting Sarah and when we got home, he said, “Would you like to order your loom now? I mean, I can do it, but I’m guessing you’d prefer to get exactly what you want.” I really hadn’t considered that I’d have the opportunity this year, but of course he’d been planning it for months only lobbying so hard against it so I wouldn’t ruin his surprise. He was right, though, I was glad to take the reins on picking and choosing and I got down to making my final decision.
I’m excited to share that about a week and a half ago my early birthday & Christmas present arrived at my doorstep…
It’s a 28″ Ashford Knitter’s Loom and I love it. We got it on a Monday while the kids and I were working on school and I stoically waited until we finished up our studies. Then I opened it all up and assembled the stand immediately. I made some quick calculations and I had everything out of the box, set up, and warped within a couple hours.
For the record, I’d heard a lot of horror stories about warping so I studied ahead of time for it. I watched some tutorials from Ashford ahead of time and took advantage of a Craftsy sale and took the beginner rigid heddle weaving class they offer. Going in prepared in this way, warping was a snap and done in under an hour.
I had intended to just use this one behemoth skein of handspun that’s been hanging around in my stash for a good long while.
I really didn’t have a great idea as to how it would knit up, but I had a feeling it would be beautiful woven.
And it didn’t take long for me to realize I’d woefully miscalculated the warp and I’d either have a very weird, stubby rectangle of fabric or I could find another yarn to finish out with. I hemmed and hawed a bit, but ultimately went with this skein of handspun…
And then on a whim, I used a bit of this handspun, too…
You’ll see why in a moment.
Before we got there though, let me spend a moment gushing about the loom itself.
It’s less than a yard across all set up and only 24″ deep and yet it has a full 28″ weaving width. It’s the perfect size for my small space. You can get a better idea for scale with my daughter in the photo…
My Our new loom is extremely light-weight and easy to move around. When not in use, you can actually fold it in half even with a project in the works (I tried it and it’s a slick feature). Knowing there would be a fair bit of this and that I would have to store it out of sight when not in use, I got the specially made bag from Ashford for the loom, too. It makes storage and transport really easy. Because of the size, should you be considering this loom, I’d also recommend getting the stand. It is simple, but sturdy and adjustable and it makes working with this loom much more comfortable than I think it would be without.
Suffice to say, I chose wisely. This beauty is perfect for me. I just cannot say enough good things about it.
My first project was highly addictive and I quite literally finished in no more than 3 days. Would you like to see?
All in all, it’s a little weird and a little funky, but I really love it.
I’ve had a few other things on my to-do list so I haven’t had the opportunity to get my next project warped, but I do have the yarn picked out. I’m hoping to get it on the loom sometime this weekend. This whole weaving thing is a new and exciting journey that I’m over the moon to be on. I have much to learn, but I’m looking forward to every lesson!