This is my birthday present from DH. I've been looking at HandyWoman's beautiful work for a few month's now. I decided these are the weaving shuttles I wanted, rather than a fancier and more expensive brand name ... And I'm tickled that it's a woman doing the wood working. ;-)
I put my order in on the weekend, and was greeted to these beauties a few days later. Apparently, she makes the specialty wood shuttles to order. In my case, I wanted the Brazillian Rosewood boat shuttle and a rigid heddle shuttle for narrower sheds. On the website, she states these are made of scrap wood -- the one that came is definitely oak. Very solid!
Kudos to Janet in Texas for making a fine product!
Here's a round of sample weaving with different yarns.
The brown at the bottom is a Lion Brand Homespun in plain weave and 2/2 Twill above that.
The middle yarn in browns and neutrals is a wonderful alpaca someone gave me ... Same for the blues at the top. Weaves up beautifully!
I'm learning that all the different shuttles have different uses. You can only wind so much yarn onto the boat shuttle bobbins. It may be that the stick shuttles will be the more appropriate tool for weaving yarns.
I was also experimenting with using strips of cloth leftover from quilting for weaving rugs. These strips were cut a variety of widths, and sewn end-to-end. They compact when you beat the cloth. They weave up fast -- It won't take long to make a rug when I get down to it. We set this warp a little wider with rug weaving in mind. As you can see from above, it seems to do just as well for finer yarns--especially the twills.
I signed up for an online class on Floor Loom Weaving at Craftsy. The teacher is Janet Dawson. In one of the first lessons, we're learning how to read weaving drafts, the pattern notation. She gave us several very common drafts to start with. I used the cheap white walmart yarn above to practice Half Basket (lower half of pic) and Basket Weave (upper half). I'm amazed at the complete coverage of the half basket weave, and how it completely covers the warp strings. By the names, and the pictures on the drafts, I would not have expected that.
Here are a few other weave patterns
Playing with Pointed Twills
Plain Weave at the bottom -- I'm using that as a seperator between the different weave patterns in this samplar. Sorry for the blurry image. The white was harder to photograph.
There are so many variations and possibilities with a 4-shaft loom!