I’m a big fan of plain weave. It is perfect for so many projects…hand painted warps shine, stripes in tea towels stand out and for a purely meditative weave, nothing beats plain weave. But have you tried pick-up sticks? They will explode your weaving world! pick up sticks weaving
What are pick-up sticks? Essentially, they are just like stick shuttles except they have rounded ends, or a point. The pointed end makes it easy to pick up some threads and go under others. When inserted pick-up sticks create an extra shed (or 2) so it’s possible to do more than plain weave. (If you don’t have any pick-up sticks shuttles work too)
- Place the heddle in the down position, this brings all the ends in slots to the top. Stand behind the loom slide the point over and under the threads as the pattern directs. It might be over 1, under 1; over 2 under 1; over 5, under 5, or any other combination.
- Place the heddle in the down position. Working in front of the reed place the pick-up stick as the pattern directs. Turn the pick-up stick on its edge to raise up the threads on top, slide a second pick-up stick under the raised threads behind the reed.
I always use method 1 but my books all use method 2. Method 2 works well for those with back or neck problems who don’t want to lean over the back of their loom. Here’s a video because it’s so much easier to see than write!
Sometimes it can be difficult to see exactly which threads to go over and under. If the warp is dark, slide a white piece of paper in the shed after placing the heddle in the down position. If the warp is light, use a dark piece of paper.