How to measure YPP or MPKG without a yarn balance

If you don’t have a yarn balance you can determine yards per pound (YPP) or meters per kilogram (MPKG) of a yarn by measuring a known length and extrapolating from its weight. A short length is bound to be too light for most scales to weigh accurately, so the best approach is to wind yourself […]

Burn tests: How to identify the fiber content of a mystery yarn

If you’d like to figure out the fiber content of a mystery yarn, the quickest and easiest approach is to do a burn test. A burn test is just what it sounds like: you light a piece of yarn on fire and record the results. Things to watch for include: You’ll find any number of […]

How to calculate sett using Ashenhurst’s Rule

Need to calculate sett for an unfamiliar yarn? Ashenhurst’s Rule will help. In this blog post and its sequel, we’ll explain how Ashenhurst’s rule works and how you can apply it in your weaving. What is Ashenhurst’s Rule? Thomas R. Ashenhurst (1849-1902) was the chief instructor in weaving and pattern designing at the Bradford Technical […]

How can I fix twill floats that are too long?

When a twill’s floats are too long, the solution is to change the float lengths in its tie-up. “But tie-ups don’t have floats!” you say? You’re quite right: a tie-up doesn’t have actual floats. A tie-up is the connections between the shafts and treadles that make the sheds required while weaving, and those connections don’t […]

What to do when you haven’t got enough heddles on a shaft

A question came up in a Facebook group from a weaver who wanted to use a huck threading like this… …but she didn’t have enough heddles on Shafts 1 and 4. If she was working with a four shaft loom, she would be limited to either moving heddles, or adding repair heddles to Shafts 1 […]

Making and Fixing Spaghetti

No matter what the actual topic of my in-person weaving classes happens to be, there’s always someone who says that some random, unrelated tip is the best thing they’ve learned that day. It’s usually a tip for fixing a problem that they’ve struggled with several times, and more often than not it’s this simple trick […]

Using a Trapeze

Side view of a warping trapeze on a loom, with jugs hanging from it for weight.

This blog was written by Sue Willingham. Each year, about this time,  I’m preparing the looms in my studio for a three day class that Janet and I call “Towelapalooza”. All ten looms in my studio are pre-warped with ten different drafts, checked, and ready to weave on when folks arrive.  Since we have up […]

No Fuss Floating Selvedges

I’m not a fan of floating selvedges. Moving their weights, separating them from the threaded ends they’re next to, lifting them up to go under or pushing them down to go over – that all detracts from my weaving experience. Anything that slows me down and interrupts my weaving zen irritates me every single time. […]

How to use any reed, for any Sett.

There are lots of denting charts online (often called reed or sett substitution charts) but in my opinion a chart just doesn’t cut it. For one thing, there are often entries missing. Want to know how to get 22 EPI in a 10 dent reed, or 17 EPI in an 9 dent reed? Good luck […]