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CarolynL wrote
on Aug 12, 2008 8:15 AM

Hello All,

 I am so glad to find this forum!  I love knitting and have just taken up weaving.  I have started taking a wonderful series of weaving classes at our local J.C., but it is nice to have daily contact with other weavers.

I have an inkle loom (built by my husband and father our of wood milled from our land!) and an old, rescued two harness sinking shed loom.

Something I am wondering about is generating different patterns and textures on my 2 harness loom.  (I would love to have a 4 or even and 8 harness loom, but that will have to wait till we have more space.)  On the suggestion of my instructor at the JC (who has an incredible depth of knowledge!) I found the Xenakis Technique book, but it is really intended for rigid heddle looms (mine has string heddles), and involves inserting additional heddles into the loom in order to get the effect of a multi-harness loom.

Maybe I could build a second tower for my loom and add another 2 harnesses that way, but it really isn't very big? 

I have done some pattern variations using a big shed stick (picking up the warps myself in order to create different patterns).  This is really fun, I wonder if there are any books out there since rigid heddle weaving seems to be so popular?

Does anyone have thoughts or experience on expanding patterns for a 2 harness loom by increasing the # of harnesses or using a shed stick?

So glad to find this forum!!


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Liz Gipson wrote
on Aug 12, 2008 11:04 AM

Yippee! We are glad you are glad.  If J.C. Means John Campbell you are a very lucky girl and if the weaving teacher is Pam Howard you are even luckier.

I would suggest techniques such as inlay, pick-up, and hand-manipulated lace weavers such as leno as a way to push the patterning choices on a 2-shaft loom. The May/June 1994 issue of Handwoven was dedicated to finger-manipulated weaves. If you can get your hands on it, it should give you a preview of what's possible. Maybe your local shop has a copy?

We also were delighted to announce in the September/October 2008 issue of Handwoven that Betty Davenport has rereleased her book Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom ( it is a real treasure trove of pattering using the pick-up stick.

We have two dozen entries under "pick-up" in Handwoven's 25-year subject index on our website. There are also more recent articles under the yearly indexes.  You can find these at

Any other ideas out there?


 Liz Gipson

Managing Editor, Handwoven

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CarolynL wrote
on Aug 12, 2008 2:02 PM

 Thanks for the suggestions!  I bookmarked

J.C. is Junior College.  I live in California, where we have a really great junior college system, inexpensive and very high quality classes.  My instructor is Holly Brackman, who sometimes writes for handwoven.  She is wonderful!  So I do indeed consider myself a very lucky girl.

I'll look at the library for the May/June '94 issue of Handwoven.


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AnnM@2 wrote
on Aug 12, 2008 3:30 PM

I too thought she was talking about John C Campbell Folkschool.  I was a lucky one who did get to take a class from Pam Howard.  (She is awsome!!) I highly recommend taking some sort of workshop, or if you can swing it, a week long weaving class. Try to find a local guild too. The guilds sometimes have short programs on different weaving equipment- and spinning wheels too.



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