Rigid Heddle Weaving: Scarf Adventures at Schacht

On Sunday, I had the good fortune to practice my rigid heddle weaving. I went to Schacht Spindle Company HQ in Boulder for a scarf weaving class with both Jane Patrick and Stephanie Flynn-Sokolov, co-authors of the new book Woven Scarves: 26 Inspired Designs for the Rigid Heddle Loom.I’ve really loved my new 15-inch Cricket rigid heddle loom, and this was such a great chance to learn from the experts!

Woven Scarves 26 inspired designs for the rigid heddle loom

We learned to warp in pattern – which is much easier than I thought it would be! The pattern tells you exactly how many strands of each color to put on, and then exactly what to do next.  I’ve been intimidated by weaving patterns, but am slowly learning the lingo.  If I can read a knitting pattern, I can learn to read weaving patterns, right?

rigid heddle weavingHere’s a view of my scarf – yellow bamboo, pink wool, yellow mohair with two strands of glittery gold on the edges.  My weaving is a bit uneven, but I’m really happy with how my selvages are looking!  I’m getting better and better with every scarf.

After my scarf is off the loom, I’m supposed to hand-felt the center wool strip, and the whole thing becomes like a big ruffle.  The bamboo softens up and plumps up — the sample from Jane and Stephanie’s book was so gorgeous – I’ll be happy if mine finished up even remotely as well.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Here are some of the other colorways of our class scarves.  Jane’s is on the right, and Stephanie’s is on top.

Rigid heddle scarf colorways

Here’s Stephanie working on her scarf, with projects from the book behind her:

Stephanie Flynn-Sokolov

Look at all of the fun things that can be done on the rigid heddle loom.  I was sitting facing Stephanie, and looking at the scarves behind her. Every few minutes, I had a new favorite! Stephanie and Jane are amazing teachers! We had a great time.


Surfer tee finished and blocking

Finished it! I finished my surfer tee last night and couldn’t be happier with it.

Mazie took this pic of me trying it on:

It’s a bit damp in this pic, I like to soak the knits in the sink, then spin out the excess water in the washing machine.

After that, the sweater’s still damp, moldable, and block able, but not so wet that it takes days to dry. I like to try it on at this point to see if I need to do anything special while blocking, like stretch the length or width.

I didn’t add the kangaroo pocket to mine, and I leave it up to you to decide if you want one on yours. I think it’s really cute with the pocket, but the look is a bit slimmer without.

I still need to weave in my ends. Usually I weave in ends before blocking, but I was too excited to see this one on!

Here it is blocking in the sun:


I’m in love with these rusty colors. Probably because I’m a redhead., I just love the array of reddish browns and deep oranges.


To think that I dyed this in my crockpot! So amazing.


One thing to keep in mind after finishing a knit:

blocking will sometimes open up the yarn and change your gauge. Think about this before judging your FO for size and fit. Block to gauge and THEN judge! :)

Here’s another pic that Mazie took:


Surfer tee: how to add waist shaping

This is a very poor sketch of the basic measurements that you’ll need to take:


The measurements are:
1. Bust
2. Waist
3. High hip
A. Bust to waist
B. Waist to hip

Take these measurements and write them down.

Mine are:
42, 36, 41, 5, 4 inches, respectively. Now that I know these measurements, I can use my gauge to figure out how many sts to decrease for the waist and when to work them.

I don’t want a super fitted waistline, I just want to take it in about an inch on each side, and then increase back out for the hip.

Another measurement I’m going take is from under arm to waist, which on me is about 9 inches.

Gauge:4.5 sts & 6 rows to one inch.

If I want to take the sweater in by about an inch on each side, I’ll need to decrease 4 stitches before the piece is 9 inches (54 rows) long from the under arm.

I like the slope created by working the decreases about 8 rounds apart, so I want to start them 54 -16 = 38 rows from the under arm.

Then, I’ll need to increase back up to my desired number of stitches for the hip. I like this slope to be made of increases about 6 rows apart. I’ll work those increase rounds, then knit to desired length before hem.

Surfer Tee progress: Joined and almost to the waist shaping.

Here’s Olive wearing her surfer tee, while holding MY surfer tee.  This might fall under the category of Double Dealing (how hilarious are my glasses in that post!?) but then again, she’s just a baby!

Olive with the Surfer Tee

More Olive:
Olive with the Surfer Tee

You can see how the neckline is going to come together by looking at hers. I can’t wait!!

I dyed this yarn myself using low-impact dyes in the crockpot…what feels like AGES ago with my friend, Cindy.  It’s got some white spots where I had tied the skein to keep it from tangling.  See how every so often there’s one white stitch? So, I think I’ll have to go back with a paint brush and touch those spots up when I’m done.  Maybe it won’t bother me as much when the whole thing’s knit, but they’re driving me crazy now.

How my dark batch came out

In general, though, I love the color! It looks much darker in the hank than it does knit up.  I think I did a good job of adding depth to the color without it taking on a trippy look, and of keeping it from pooling.   So far, it looks like I’ll have plenty of yarn for at least a short-sleeved yarn with pockets.  Would have been handy to have some notes on the yarn!  I know it’s a BFL, and a light worsted weight.  I’m using 7s and I like the fabric I’m getting.  If I went up to 8s, it’d be too loose a weave for my taste.

Olive with the Surfer Tee

I threw some bust darts into the front of my sweater, and now I’m just knitting down to a few inches below the bust, so that I can do a bit of waist shaping.

The pattern isn’t written to have any shaping, but I’m going to put some in this one. Tune in next time to see how I do it. I’m not going to do a full calculation like I do in my Fit Your Knits class, but I’ll show you how to nip in the waist a bit for a more flattering silhouette. I left it out of the original pattern because this is really meant to be a sweater that you pull on over a tee or Henley, a great casual top layer.  When I designed it, I wouldn’t have wanted (or needed) a shaped waist at all (Olive was about 6 months old!)

I’m actually finally losing some baby weight and want mine to be a bit more fitted.


Surfer Tee progress…how to separate the sleeves

I haven’t knit a sweater for myself in a while! I’m excited to have this one in my size. I think that I may just have a chance to wear it if I can get it finished up in the next few days.

Last night I stayed up knitting until I finished the yoke.

Surfer Tee in progress

The first couple of rows are pretty easy. They set up the increase structure and the simple lace repeat for the front details.

Next, you’re instructed to repeat the last 2 rows a certain number of times. This does mean to repeat them x more times, ending with a WS row (ready to work a RS row.)

In the above photo, I’ve worked through all of the increase rows and have started the Separate Sleeves and Join the Body section.

Surfer Tee in progress

Here, I’m using a darning needle and length of yarn recycled from my swatch to put the second sleeve on waste yarn.

Surfer Tee in progress

I’m ready to knit around to the second front, and start working in the round.

How are your Surfer Tees coming??