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Topic: Rigid Heddle - Ashford or Kromski?  (Read 1493 times)
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« on: December 01, 2007 07:50:28 PM »

I haven't woven on anything other than a cereal-box-loom (I was desperate!), and I'm going to Paradise Fibers at the end of the month to pick up a loom. Since it's their busy season, they want me to decide BEFORE I go so they can make sure they still have the one I'll want.

I thought I had decided on the 32" Kromski Harp, but now I'm not sure.

The Ashford 32" looks pretty good too, and it seems that the accessories are a little cheaper.

One of the biggest things against the Ashford is I don't think it has a built-in warping helper like the Kromski does.

I have some other questions:

1. Is a 32" width overkill for a first-time weaver? It's going to take up a fair bit amount of space in the one-bedroom condo that I share with a piano-player, so I'm trying to decide if I should settle myself down and just go for the 24", which would probably fit a little easier into a corner.

2. How necessary is a stand? It's either a stand, or putting it on the table, right? It's not like you can weave on a rigid heddle in your lap or anything.... right? Smiley I hate that stands are so expensive. Have any frugal tips? Would a TV stand work?  Grin

Thanks for any tips you can give me!
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007 10:06:54 AM »

A TV stand won't work for a 32" loom - I can't easily use one with my 12" knitter's loom, and I think even a 16" loom would be too wide (there's some extra space on either side, so they are much wider than their weaving width)

RH are designed to be leaned against a sturdy table or used with a stand.  I think with a larger loom, I'd probably prefer to use a stand.  I've been tempted to get the stand for my knitter's loom since it came out recently.

« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007 03:05:58 PM »

32" is waaaayyyyy big -- it's going to be hard to deal with on a number of levels.  I have a 25" Schacht, and it's almost too big to deal with.  A stand would be awesome, since you don't actually rest a rigid heddle on the table, so much as lean it against the table edge.  That means that, at least for me, the bulk of the monster is in your lap.  But again -- even that 25" that I thought would be way too narrow is actually too wide to work with easily.

Because the rigid heddle loom is fairly limited, I'd strongly recommend that you consider what you're realistically intending to weave with it.  Honestly, think scarves, not clothing -- even placemats are a stretch on a rigid heddle loom, unless you're really willing to invest a lot of time and energy into the thing.  For scarves, I think you'd do just fine with the 16" -- seriously.  I haven't done much with my monster, because it hurts my back to do more tahn a few inches at a time.

But all that said, I really like the idea of the warping board bottom on the Kromski.  If the price is comparable, I'd go that way.  Especially if you get the one that folds -- THAT would be awesome!

Good luck, and I hope this information was helpful.
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2007 07:43:12 AM »

I have an Ashford 32" and love it.  I put one edge up against my desk and weave with it in that position.  It is kind of big, but I like the freedom to do larger pieces if I want to.  It comes with 2 longish stick things (you can tell how much I know about weaving) to wrap your weft yarn around, which are way too long if you're just trying to make a scarf, but I went out and bough some in a few different widths, so I have some that are appropriate to more narrow projects.

I've woven scarves, placemats, and shawls on my loom without any problems at all.  Of course, I love plain weave, so I haven't tried to do anything really fancy with mine.  But the Ashford is easy enough to warp, and super simple to use.

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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2007 03:42:29 PM »

Thanks for your help!

I think I'm going to go with the 24" Harp & stand. It's a little more cash than I wanted to spend, but the resident male was stumped for a Christmas present, and was very relieved when I suggested the loom as my gift.

I listened to WeaveCast's rigid heddle episode where they interviewed the author of Hands-On Rigid Heddle Weaving and it was very inspiring to hear about all the options available, though I'm sure plain weave will be fascinating enough for awhile. Smiley
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