Rigid Heddle – Summer and Winter – Part II

I’m continuing to work on my summer and winter project on my rigid heddle, but first I needed to understand why it as set up the way it was. It didn’t make sense to me in the one reference I found online (here). Why on earth were we using just the slots (really shafts 2 and 4) for the pattern pick up?

While, I felt silly afterwards. But once I sat and worked out that because on the double heddle shaft 4 is blocked by shaft 2, to make summer and winter work you have to flip what are pattern shafts and what are tie shafts.

Basically you use shaft 1 and 3 (the eyes on the rigid heddle formed when heddle one is raised or heddle two is raised) as the tie shafts and then 2 and 4 (yep just the slots) as your pattern shafts.

To make the pick up you put both heddles in down position and then choose from the slots (shafts 2 and 4) your pattern pick up. For example then, when doing my pattern I had to choose all slots and then pick up for Pick Up Stick A (or shaft 2) all my threads that were originally threaded on shaft 3 in my pattern but now needed to thought of as on shaft 2.

Pick Up Stick A

To make this work in my weaving software I re-did so that my ties literally are on 1 and 3 and my pattern and 2 and 4.

Summer and Winter with tie shafts on 1 and 3, not 1 and 2. Pattern has moved to 2 and 4 (instead of 3 and 4).


To create Pick Up Stick B (or shaft 4) you pick up the opposites:

Both Pick Up Stick A and B in place.

I transferred my Fibeworks to a .wif file and added it to iWeaveit on my iPhone to track the treadling (yes the iWeaveit software does that – and threading tracking too – it’s an add-on, but it’s there and it’s crazy handy) as this is fairly complicated on a rigid heddle. Best way to do that is ensure that just have a lift plan in Fiberworks and transfer it. And VOILA:

Summer and Winter on the Rigid Heddle.

I’m using Venne Cottolin in the warp doubled (lovely stuff that Venne Cottolin), and my tabby weft in the picture is the same Venne Cottolin in green. My pattern weft is Valley Yarns Cotton that I had left in a pale yellow. I’m using it doubled as well.

My plan is to test out playing with the ties as well. For example switching from an alternating Front Heddle Up / Front Heddle Down I’m using now to using the Front Heddle Up / Front Heddle Down / Front Heddle Down / Front Heddle Up or whatever strikes.

One other note – because my warp is fairly thick and I probably should have threaded a little looser for a doubled warp (live and learn), I’m using a tapestry beater to actually get those threads packed in there (thankfully I took a Navajo Weaving class and have a few of those).

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