The new addiction: Agnes, the loom

So I may have a thing with naming my re-enactment stuff. My long axe is Damage, my sword is Audrey, and now my loom is called Agnes.

Agnes!

Agnes!

She’s not a full-sized loom, but is designed for doing heddle or tablet weaving to create braids. The society I’m involved with has a  dire shortage of braids (and after experimenting, I’ve decided the profit margins for selling braids are insane), so hopefully this will help solve the problem!

Agnes is made by the wonderful Lucy the Tudor, and is made so you can weave (or ”loom”, as it has come to be called in my house) braids on your lap whilst you do living history. So you do your normal heddle/tablet weaving, but wind the braid across so you don’t use so much room. With the Great British weather as it is at the moment, that’ll serve well in the probably wet summer.

I’ve now experimented with my heddle weaving with both non-authentic yarn (to get used to the motions) and 100% wool yarn (to see how authentic yarn works as a braid). I’ll post an image of how I’ve been doing heddle weaving, and hopefully you guys can let me know what I’m doing wrong or give any suggestions. A lot of what I’ve been doing has been guesswork, so hopefully any help will make the braids lovely 🙂

The next stage is now decorating Agnes so it’s definitely mine – another member of the group has one, and it would be a good idea to differentiate them. I’m also going to make a little bag for the heddle, beater and shuttle so I don’t lose them in between projects.

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2 comments on “The new addiction: Agnes, the loom

  1. I treid one of those little things (I did the demo piece that mulberry dyers have on display on thiers) and I hated it(And told John and Debbie as much) – not enough room to do anything useful before you have to wind on, I thought you spent more time winding and tensioning than actually weaving, and the thing was bloody fiddly to use – give me a five foot long oseberg style frame any day, its more than worth the faff of carrying (I weave across the kitchen table at home)

    • Fair enough. I’ve found that it’s been good for a beginner like me, especially since I’m a student and space is a luxury I can’t afford (seriously, I would kill for a kitchen table right now). Since space is at a premium, travelling to shows is even worse, and that’s where I intend to use it most. Since I’m with a student society, we only have cars and sometimes a van, so there is no way I could buy a full-sized one (if I could afford one) to take with me to shows. I think this may be a case of different needs means different opinions.

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