sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rigid heddle weaving on a Schacht Flip the Folding Loom

I've been dancing around buying a rigid heddle loom and finally succumbed to the 25" Schacht Flip folding loom. Mind you, aside from weaving on a weave it I'd never touched a loom before, nor seen the one I wanted in person. If you're thinking about the twentyfive incher, it's big. With a 7"+ scarf in progress...


Okay, instead of a coke zero can for scale, how about my Schacht Matchless?


Coolest thing about this picture? My Matchless is 20 years old, and made from the same wood as my new-to-me Flip. Excited thinking it'll honeypot up over the years :)

As with each of my tools it seems, I bought it gently used with the stand. I wasn't planning on buying the stand, but am glad I did-- the loom, like I said, is huge! It really would be unwieldy on my lap leaning against a table's edge, and takes up more than half of my already-taxed dining room table. I thought to myself that I really would like the Flip, one of the reasons being I could fold it to put it away. Honestly I haven't in the week it's been here-- the loom's attached to the stand by four screws, two of which need a screwdriver (read: I'm lazy) and I'd still need a place to store the stand. So, it's been out and about, enjoying the living room instead.

For the size, perhaps if I saw it in person I'd have bought the 20" size instead. No matter... I've already found a creative way to use the length up (for a later post). I really do like the loom, no matter the length. Like I said, I was looking (erroneously?) for a folding version, and was torn between the Flip and the Kromski Harp. Initially I wanted the Flip, just for my happy relationship with my Matchless and the whole made in the USA thing... but I did ask opinions on Ravelry and got several good answers about the differences, including a link to a very helpful blog post side-by-siding the nonfolding Schacht + the Flip. Finding this one used sealed the deal for me, and I'm glad I went with my gut.

I love it. (Did I say that already?)

Sheep and Wool Co. Plain and Fancy Sport, "Fall Foliage"
(a gift from Margene I'd been hoarding!)

used and warp and weft

for a scarf.
7" wide, 6'+ long not incl. fringe (76 ends, 10dpi reed)

leftover waste, reminiscent of that shaving time

I immediately warped (using the direct warping method, no need to fear warping time w/ a RH loom) after cutting that one off...

Regia Bamboo, another gift! from retroknit

detail of fabric

another scarf. 7.5", 6'+ excluding fringe
(80 ends, 8 rpi, 10 dpi reed)

I love woven scarves so much. Too much. Committing stuff white people like atrocities like scarf + tshirt much. They're just different from handknit scarves-- thinner, not squishy, have a body and hand that wants to stand and be molded. Oh, did I mention they took me about 2 days each?


I'm really enjoying the loom though. It's very plug and play-- with a single copy of Hand on: Rigid Heddle Weaving (only reading the first chapter ;) I was impatient!) I was able to crank these, plus more, out. Weaving won't replace knitting for me, though-- it's not portable, limited in fabric shaping and items able to be made. Still, there are a lot of exciting options out there with a rigid heddle-- using pickup sticks to create patterns like in Textures and Patterns for the Rigid Heddle Loom, or patterns with more than one heddle like in The Xenakis Technique I don't see myself outgrowing the rigid heddle anytime soon.

If you're in the Bay Area/East Bay, both A Verb for Keeping Warm and Article Pract can order the Flip looms for you :)

Off to warp for some more scarves :)

ps... Schacht is doing so well with their folding rigid heddle Flip version that they're discontinuing the 25" non-folding model... so there are a few retailers out there discounting them for sale (from $199 to $140-159-- here's one, here's another, here's one on SF craigslist with a stand...). It doesn't fold, isn't equipped with the second heddle block standard, a few other changes (Schacht can tell you exactly the differences), but still-- buying it + a stand at $160 would be $300-320, $35-55 more than the 25" flip with no stand. I might have gone this way had I realized I wouldn't be folding Flip up much as it is :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

catching bullets

my brain's all over the place the past week, i don't even dare try to number these :)

* the asymmetrical cardi grows.


norah gaughan has created a super interesting construction here-- you knit the two front panels separately, increase on either side for the arms, work out the neck opening on either side, then join for the back and knit on down. fold at the shoulder, seam up the sides and under the arms for a non-interrupted pattern (and no need to set in sleeves when seaming.)

i've modded the arms to have more pattern and less cuff (and under the arms for a faster increase rate), we'll see if it works when its time to origami this thing up.

the color in both of these is really off... but who knew a cable could pop so much?


yay o-wool :)

* i went to the bay area bead extravaganza and brought home fistfuls of new pearl strands for my knitting stitch marker shop. my new favorite? biwa stick pearls. paired with other pearls and semiprecious stones the stitch markers look like little surfers on surfboards...

biwa stick pearl knitting stitch markers at

less valleygrrl but still fun...

stitch markers
sample of what's to be added to the shop over the next week

* i warned christina. when i went to this month's tahki stacy charles yarn tasting at article pract, i warned xtina i'd sit up at night and weave all of the yarn samples when i went home (i took my weave-it instead of knitting needles). which wasn't bad...

top left and clockwise: takhi tweedy alpaca, filatura di crosa zara, loop d loop moss, s charles trapper

...because, oh do i love stacy charles collezione trapper. 70/30 merino-cashmere, very reminiscent of felted tweed. but cashmere. oy. i want to marry it and have red tweedy babies. or a sweater. or knit it a sweater.

filatura di crosa superior may object though. i can't tell who's been leading who on.


i think there's enough squares to tack them together tip to tip (five times fast!) and end up with a cravat. of brushed cashmere and silk.


absolutely gorgeous woven up, the cashmere just fills in the blanks.


doesn't it always?

seriously, superior is the most decadent feeling yarn i've ever, ever encountered. thinking hard about making mary-heather's lace capelet with it (only one skein of superior! and i have a 25% coupon from the yarn tasting for as many tahki yarns as i'd like!)

* speaking of weaving, while at article pract (best yarn store in the bay area), i fell down on the no more yarn oh goodness no the boxes are still overflowing sort of not announced diet i've been on.

a verb for keeping warm 70/30 alpaca-silk

don't tell anyone, but i think kristine sold her soul to be able to dye such glorious colors using only natural dyes.


how could i help myself though? it is an article pract staff pick for november (20% off!) and can you imagine what a great scarf it'll make? i'm really drawn to green lately too. weird.

* if you're in the bay area, this wednesday (11/12) there's a spinning meetup at knitoneone in berkeley between 7 and 9pm. well lit studio space (plenty of room for wheels tho i'm bringing a spindle) and BARTable via ashby. it's really neat sitting in a circle of spinners. tactile fiber arts' trunk show will still be on display, if you need a fiber/yarn fix mid-spinning :)

more info here on ravelry in the bay area spinners forum. we're renting the space ($60) and splitting the cost amongst us-- last time we had about ten people? good times! i'm bringing wisteria for show and tell :)

photo by wondermike-- header for the fabulous yknit podcast re: knit one one!

* did you have a good hallowe'en? we did. yes we did ;)


i think i'm all caught up :)

miss you!

Monday, November 03, 2008

in case you were wondering (no knitting content)...


oh, and...


Fingers crossed. I'll be spinning some baabaablacksheep to keep my nerves still til then. You?

In any case and in any choice you make, yay for this country!! :)

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