The Cricket

111209-Schacht-05-Cricket-15 004After Granddaughter F completes her second weaving project on the Harrisville Designs Lap Loom A (see previous post), I am moving her to the Cricket (the 15 inch version), a rigid heddle loom by Schacht Spindle Co.

As noted on Schacht’s website:  “The Cricket is made of high-quality apple ply and hard maple and is left unfinished. Each Cricket comes with an 8-dent reed (sorry, no substitutions). We also have 5-, 10- and 12-dent reeds. Included are a threading hook, warping peg, table clamps, two shuttles, and two balls of yarn.”

Cricket2Cricket3I have never owned or even used a rigid heddle loom, so I looked forward to opening the box.  This is what was inside the box.

Raised by a father who loved restoring and sailing wooden sailboats, my childhood was filled with stripping, sanding and finishing.  So of course I wanted to finish the pieces to the Cricket4Cricket before assembling.  I sanded the pieces with something that resembles a wire scouring pad, cleaned off the wood dust particles, and coated the pieces with a light pecan stain.  The finished loom looks like this.

Cricket6Schacht offers a nice bag to carry the Cricket, but I didn’t want to pay $60 for a cotton tote bag.  So I decided I’d use the Cricket to weave material out of which to sew a carry bag.  While I had several cones of good cotton that I bought Cricket5to weave dishtowels, those yarns wouldn’t fit an 8-dent reed.  Lo and behold, I found a couple of cones of plied heavier weight cotton that will work just fine in an 8-dent reed.

Cricket_warpedI decided to weave a faux pinwheel pattern for the body of the bag Cricket_warped2and make large pockets on either side in blue.  I quickly warped up 48 inches of the blue yarn.  Sitting on the couch, my feet on a footstool and the Cricket on my lap, I finished up the length of material and cut it off the loom before I went to bed.  Easy.

Cricket7I think the 15 inch will be a bit too big for nearly 7 year old Granddaughter F to weave with on her lap; she will probably have to use it on a table.  After a few projects on the Cricket, if she wants I will get her the Cricket floor stand.

If she stays interested in weaving, I look forward to teaching her how to weave on my floor loom.  If Granddaughter F’s interest wanes, however, I will have a little rigid heddle sample loom.  🙂

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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19 Responses to The Cricket

  1. Pingback: Weaving for The Cricket | The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

  2. Do give it a try! I first took up weaving about 25 years ago when I was deep in my spinning phase and couldn’t knit up my handspun quickly enough! 🙂

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  3. I look forward to trying out the Cricket for a 15 inch wide runner of manipulated thread patterns. I’m thinking either linen or a perle cotton 12 epi (I just ordered a 12 dent reed for the Cricket). >

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  4. marissafh says:

    I don’t recall seeing that book by Liz Gipson, but will go and check it out. The finger manipulated weaving patterns also sound intriguing 🙂 Haven’t heard of Spanish Lace or Danish Medallion so off to research some more. Thanks!

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  5. fabrickated says:

    What an interesting post. At school we had the opportunity to learn weaving but I always passed it up as it seemed too slow (I did pottery, basketry and soft toy making instead!). Your work is inspiring me to consider having a go.

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  6. Yes, the 15 inch weaving width definitely provides some limitations. Have you seen “Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple [Rigid Heddle] Loom” by Liz Gipson? There are some nice ones in there (over and above scarves): two different bag patterns, a spaced warp place mat pattern, and one for some jazzy pillows (which I am hoping Granddaughter F will want to make). After I finish the weaving the material for the Cricket Carry Bag, I think I’m going to warp the Cricket with cotton perle or linen and, utilizing finger manipulated weaving patterns (e.g., leno, Brooks Bouquet, Spanish Lace, Danish Medallion, etc.) and make some curtain panels.

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  7. I am so happy to be passing the traditions of hand art my grandmother passed onto me! And it’s encouraged my daughter to pick up the needles again!

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  8. As I’m giving my wrists a break from knitting/crocheting, I have enjoyed being able to weave on my lap with the Cricket. At the same time, I gnash my teeth and mutter, “I could do this so much faster on my floor loom.” But the floor loop is a tad too large to put on my lap while I’m lounging on the couch! 🙂

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  9. Libby says:

    I have had a look! I have got an old Spears (child’s) weaving loom – the largest size available at the time, (rigid heddle, max weaving width approx 9 ins.) which I bought for my daughter many years ago and which I have used a bit. The Cricket looks larger and more substantial. I’m very tempted! Mostly I do tapestry rather than cloth weaving. I can also watch TV while working on my small tapestry weaving loom!

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  10. kiwiyarns says:

    Fabulous! Your granddaughter is very lucky to have you.

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  11. marissafh says:

    Sounds like you and granddaughter will have so much fun! I too have that loom, and am just now experimenting and learning how to use it. I haven’t done much more than the plain weave, but I already know one limitation – it’s not wide enough for some projects I have in mind! lol Not quite ready to move up to a wider loom yet, but eventually I’m sure I will.

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  12. I hope she will have fun with it!

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  13. I am thrilled to teach her fiber arts, the love of which my grandmother inculcated in me!

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  14. Susan says:

    Wow, that was quite the project. Good job! What a treat for her/you 🙂

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  15. suth2 says:

    Your granddaughter is so lucky to have you to teach her these skills.

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  16. Do check it out. I am about to put a two-color warp on it to weave the fabric (in a faux pinwheel pattern), I will use for the body of the Cricket carry bag. Compared to my floor loom, of vp course the Cricket has enormous limitations – but for a beginner weaver or a child I think it is great! Besides, I can hold it on my lap and weave while I’m comfortable on the couch watching “Madam Secretary” – can’t do that with a floor loom! 😄

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  17. I hope so! She hasn’t yet received the pillow I made out of her first weaving project, but it should be there soon. I hope she will be thrilled to have something like that that she made herself!

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  18. salpal1 says:

    sounds like the two of you will be having fun together!

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  19. Libby says:

    I have never heard of the Cricket loom, I will check it out! Looks like you have had fun.

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