I am very new to weaving (one class) and I got a knitter's loom for Christmas. I thought I wanted a rigid heddle. What is the difference? I want it to be versatile enough to do scarves, dish towels and other projects. Any help would be so appreciated.
A Knitters loom is a rigid heddle loom, with the added advantage that it folds for storage. I have one and love it! Also, it was designed so that it could use knitting yarns instead of weaving yarns, so the rigid heddles are made with larger slots and holes, ideal for worsted and fashion yarns. It also takes the more standard sized Ashford rigid heddles, so its very versatile and will do what you want it to do. I do recommend eventually splashing out for the second heddle kit.
The rigid heddle refers to the way that the sheds are changed on the loom: on a rigid heddle loom the beater and the shafts are combined into the one device that alternately lifts and lowers the warp threads so you can change sheds, thats all. Any loom that works that way is a rigid heddle loom, regardless of what else the manufacturer decides to call it.
You have a lovely loom there, I hope you get hours of enjoyment out of it. There are a couple of books in the Interweave bookshop that really extend what can be done on these looms once you have mastered the basics as well as some excellent dvd's for those who are more visual learners.
Thanks for that great reply Caroline. I was wondering about that also and came to that conclusion on my own but it's good to see the clarification. I just got my first loom and I'm looking upgrade my Ashford knitting loom from 20 inches to 32 inches and add in the second heddle. I'm using pick up sticks at the moment and that's neat too.
I like the idea of a folding loom as I am very short of space and I want to weave but I'm not sure which one to get and would like to clarify something if possible please. I emailed ashfords over a week ago and haven't received a response.
In the rigid heddle demo I watched on the Ashford website the lady was moving the beater/reed alternatively from the up position, then she would pass the yarn through, then she would move the beater to the down position and pass the yarn through again. Is its exactly the same process for a knitters loom? Or on a knitters loom do you physically weave the yarn over, under, over and under each individual warp thread?
Also do you think wool roving/sliver would fit through the largest sized knitters reeds (sorry I may have some terminology wrong).
Thanks in advance.
The "knitter's loom" works exactly the same way as you saw in that Ashford video. As was stated in this thread, the only difference is that you can fold up a knitter's loom with or without your work still on it.
Whether you could fit roving/sliver through the reeds depends entirely on how fat and dense your roving is. BUT: Do you really want to try to use roving as warp? You'd have to keep the tension loose enough not to break the roving but still tight enough to get a shed. You could certainly do this with practice, but.... it'd be easier to use the roving as weft.
Personally, I don't find using the larger-sized knitter's loom comfortable or consistent. I think this may simply be because I'm short and don't have enough arm reach to use them comfortably.