For new rigid-heddle weavers, sometimes the thought of using pick-up sticks can be intimidating. As with much in weaving (and in life, if we’re being honest), it’s not as complicated as it might seem at first, especially if you’ve got somebody to help you along. While watching Sara Bixler’s new video course, Huck Lace on the Rigid-Heddle Loom, I picked up some fabulous new pick-up tips. For example, apparently I’ve been holding my pick-up stick upside down this entire time! Now I know.
Curious? Here’s Sara with 5 amazing tips on getting you familiar with your pick-up stick and using it on your rigid-heddle loom, all in a short, 3-minute video.
Of course, those aren’t all the tips Sara shares in her course—in fact I’ll give you 2 bonus tips that didn’t make it into the short video above.
First, when you’re setting up your rigid-heddle loom, it can be tempting to angle it so the back is higher than the front. While this is completely fine if you’re weaving plain weave or doing hand-manipulation techniques such as Danish medallions, with pick up, the odd angle can cause the pick-up stick to move when you don’t want it to and mess up your pick-up shed.
Second, when you’re advancing your warp, it can be tempting to do it as you would for any non-pick-up project, but that can cause problems. The pick-up stick can act as a counterweight and cause you to advance the warp farther than you’d like; also, if you’re not careful, the stick can move and drop some of the previously picked-up warp ends. Sara recommends moving the pick-up stick back up against the heddle, carefully releasing the tension, and then advancing the warp. This keeps the pick-up stick safely in a place where it can’t cause any mayhem. Easy peasy!
For more on weaving pick-up lace on the rigid-heddle loom from an incredible teacher, make sure to check out Sara’s new video course.