Last month I decided to participate in Liz Gipson's online weave along. She recently lost many of her sample projects due to a freak shipping train-wreck and had the idea to create the weave along as she rewove some of the projects. My husband can attest to the fact that I usually watch quietly from a distance rather than getting involved with most things. I was interested in doubleweave and I've been trying to put myself out there more, so I thought "Self, let's participate!...in this online format..." Whatever, whether online or face to face participating is still participating to the introvert.
There are four basic variations of double-woven cloth: 1. To weave two separate pieces of cloth at the same time on one loom. 2. To weave two pieces of cloth at once that are attached at on one side of the selvages. 3. To create a tube. 4. To weave one double thick piece of cloth that can have color blocks peaking through. It's pretty amazing, really. I downloaded Liz's new video, Double Your Fun: Doubleweave on a Rigid Heddle Loom, ordered a second heddle for my Beka, and then thought about starting for a few weeks. I did my normal "watching from afar", observing the progress of others on the Facebook group, and then I finally geared up my motivation. I had invested in the video and in an additional heddle and I just needed to go for it and fully invest myself into this little project. And by golly, I did it! I participated. I posted work in progress photos and commented and even shared a video. Most importantly, I learned to doubleweave cloth on my rigid heddle loom.
I was a little nervous about how my Beka would do working with two heddles. A neutral position is frequently used in the process of doubleweaving on rigid heddles. The Beka looms do not have a designated neutral position. This means that in order to be in neutral the heddles are neither in up or down position and are, therefore, just sitting freely on the yarn, hanging out. This was not as much of an issue as I had feared it could be. Beka looms normally can be held against the work surface in two different positions, either by the claws on the end or by the back of the heddle blocks.To weave double cloth you must use the claws on the back to secure the loom. This is because it is necessary to frequently move the second heddle behind the heddle blocks in order to achieve a needed neutral while actively using the first heddle . Holding the loom this way also keeps it more horizontal which is helpful for keeping the heddles and pickup sticks from sliding around too much. Don't get me wrong, they all are going to slide around a little, but it is manageable.
I highly recommend Liz's video for those wanting to learn the basics of doubleweave. She is clear in her instructions and explanations and is super encouraging to the (possibly overwhelmed) viewer. Threading the two heddles can be a little tricky and being able to watch (over and over again) while having it explained really helps. After weaving the first two inches I couldn't wait to be done and thought that I would never do it again, by the time I reached the end I couldn't wait to warp up the loom again to try out a tube. I was definitely enchanted by the magic of doubleweave. Click here to lean more from the pro herself, Liz Gipson.
This video shows one round of the four step sequence used to create double cloth. In it you can get a taste of the sliding and wiggling around that occurs with the extra heddle and pick up sticks.
And here is the big reveal! This is in x6 speed. You may notice that I have a fair amount of warp left on the loom, early on I had a tension problem and decided to make the throw shorter than I originally planned. The tension problem turned out to not be as severe as I had originally thought, but I kept the piece at the smaller size in order to keep the modified symmetry.