Saturday, April 27, 2013

Beka Rigid Heddle Loom

 From the archives: 20" Beka rigid heddle loom that I owned back in 2008-2009. I bought it on craigslist with the manual, and all the stuff above. Notice the little teeth on the front and back beam. The tension is held with nuts that are tightened to hold the beams. You have to loosen and tighten the nuts to move the warp beams as you weave. I think it was made in the 1970s.  
The upright device is a stand that one would use by sitting placing on a chair, then sitting on the flat square area with the upright portion in front of you to support the loom. The person who sold it to me told me that her husband built the stand following a set of plans they saw in a weaving magazine.

Here I am sitting on the stand with loom in approximate weaving position. I don't have any pictures of the loom being used. I sold the loom in 2009 when I was cleaning out the closet and needed to make room. I kept my Erica rigid heddle loom.

These towels were finished in January 2009.
(click on picture for larger view)
Woven on Beka 20 inch rigid heddle loom, 8 dent (threads per inch warp), wet finished (wash & dry), hand hemmed, finished size 14 x 24 inch.
This is woven with peaches and cream cotton yarn, the worsted yarn weight, not the heavier double worsted.

No. 1 white, I bought a 14 oz cone at Walmart about $7 No. 205 gumdrop, 2 oz ball, $1.75 ea, two balls

That should be enough for 4 towels altogether, I wove two at a time on the loom.

It takes most of one colored ball to warp for two towels.

Here is the pattern, 128 ends wide, 8 dent heddle

8 white, 8 color, 96 white, 8 color, 8 white

I warped with about 78 inch threads, allowing 15 inch for cutoff.
Your yardage may vary.

Wet finished means after weaving and cutting off the loom, I put it
through the washer and dryer.

Here is a video that showed me how to hemstitch with the fringe.

hemstitch video by Cherri Hankins

My fringe is almost all three strand, but there is one two strand fringe because 128 is not divisible by 3.

The pattern should work with any variegated color yarn that you think would look good with white.

Have a good day!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Hunt for Biil

Biil wool/biil dress/rug dress

A biil (beehl) dress is traditional Navajo womens' dress made from two woven panels sewn together with openings for neck and arms.

Here are some links I found

Juanita's dress is coming home

see last picture bottom right

woven dress show

Native Treasures website - nice pictures

see mbm332 first picture
It evokes the old-style biil (Navajo dress) as well as the skies of Dine' Bike'yah.

the navajo - juvenile books

Navajo weaving spirit pathways or spiritlines

24 blankets come to Navajo Nation

Biil pictures

see manta blanket dress

rug dress

More pictures

A portrait

Online book Indian Blankets and their Makers

Bayeta blanket

look for biil dress

about churro wool

Have a good day!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Backstrap Workshop Day 2

I just threw together some pictures out of over 100 pics taken today. Back at it on Sunday morning. Some of the students worked on the brocade (supplementary weft)  bands overnight. Laverne remarked at the creativity exhibited as weavers modified patterns to create new figures,.

Laverne demonstrated how build a warp with stripes on the sides. 

Weavers partnered up and built new warps of their own.

 Sometimes you need to get up close to build a warp.

Setting up string heddles on a new warp.

 Students learned to create patterns with warp floats and how to make the pattern reversible.

Laverne also demonstrated pebble weave. 


A closer looker at the pebble weave band.

Class picture. Students learned to weave on a backstrap loom, to build warps, build string heddles, to weave supplementary weft pattern, warp floats, and pebble weave. In two days. Awesome.


Here I am with my friend Laverne Waddington. It was fun to help out with the class.

I will be posting more pics over the next several days.  

Many thanks to Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild for hosting this workshop.

It was a good day!

Links of interest
Backstrap Weaving - Laverne's blog
Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Backstrap Workshop Day 1

Some quick pictures from today's workshop in West Sacramento Calif., hosted by Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild. Laverne Waddington shows samples of weaving and holds a sample of "coccoon" shuttle made by winding yarn around a small hank of yarn.

 Weaving stations are setup around a table near a door with lots of light coming in. Laverne is sitting to demonstrate.

Laverne shows basic band weaving.

Weavers practice band weaving.

After lunch break Laverne shows samples of supplementary weft weaving.

Betsy works on supplementary weft pattern.

Laverne helps Janet with her supplementary weft pattern.

More workshop tomorrow!

Have a good day!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Weaving in South America - Laverne Waddington

Laverne Waddington addressing a group in Sacramento CA on Weaving in South America
 On Thursday April 4, Laverne Waddington gave a presentation on behalf of the Sacramento Weavers and Spinner Guild. The subject is Weaving in South America. The venue is Generations Church in MidTown Sacramento, Calif.

Members and guests of Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild listening to Laverne.
 The Thursday night presentation is different schedule than the usual daytime meetings, but members and guests came out to hear Laverne's presentation. Far right on the above picture is Rachel, who drove all the way from Berkeley!

Watching pictures and videos while Laverne explains what we're seeing.
Laverne travels have taken her from one end of South America to the other, from Chile to Ecuador. She describes differences in fiber uses of the Highlands (wool, llama, alpaca) and the Lowlands (cotton). She showed some of the differences in patterns. Patterns can be unique from village to village, and from country to country. Looms and equipment are variable. While Laverne is expert in backstrap weaving, she also showed us pictures of ground looms, vertical looms and others.

Laverne had to sit in the back juggling mouse and microphone with her laptop computer plugged into the projectors.

Laverne had to sit in the back of church with her laptop plugged into the church projectors. Laverne speaks very clearly, and is adept at pronouncing the names of products, peoples and tribes in languages that reach back hundreds of years. When she speaks English she has a little trouble when her Australian accent gets in the way of her tongue.

After the video presentation, Laverne answers a few questions.
After the pictures and videos Laverne sat down and answered questions. It was a wonderful presentation and I'm grateful that Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild invited her to come to Sacramento. I'm also grateful to Generations Church in Sacramento CA for letting us use the meeting room for the evening presentation. Special thanks to Darren for hooking up the projectors and microphone for us.

This coming Saturday and Sunday some lucky weavers will have a two day workshop in Backstrap Weaving taught by Laverne Waddington.

It was a good day!

Links of interest
Backstrap Weaving - Laverne's blog

Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild

Generations Church 
(formerly Capitol Foursquare Church)