Baltic with an added string heddle

I like to weave Baltic patterns on an inkle loom, but I’m not a big fan of having to dive down to retrieve the warps I want for the pattern. Now, I know I could warp through a rigid heddle with pattern slots in it, and that’s a totally valid solution. But I didn’t wanna.

So this week I warped a band on my inkle loom in the usual way. There are 11 pattern threads here and a simple zig-zag pattern (it can be found in Heather Torgenrud’s book Norwegian Pick-Up Bandweaving). But then before I started weaving I went ahead and added an extra set of string heddle to just the 11 pattern threads. I’m not so great at getting all my heddles the same length, so bear with me here.


My extra heddles are those blue-gray strings up top of this picture. I know this doesn’t look very interesting, but trust me, they are. I haven’t pulled them up yet in this picture, but you can see I’ve opened one of the plain sheds and drawn the shuttle down to the weaving line.

OK, so in this band I’m clearing the plain sheds, then lifting the pattern heddles and selecting the pattern threads, then joining the two sheds together.

So that leaves a speckled pattern in place (dare I call them pebbles? I do not. Don’t call them pebbles! There are already too many pebbles in the bandweaving world. How about freckles? Yes, that’s good. When you weave plainweave with Baltic threading, you get freckles, and that’s what we have here surrounding the Baltic pattern bit.)


This is the plain shed, no pattern threads lifted. Hopefully you can see the top and bottom layer here. There is a gray thread on the left edge in both layers if that helps you see the layers distinctly. Because I clear this shed all the way before manipulating the pattern threads, you can see that half of the pattern threads are already in the upper shed. They are going to stay there no matter when I do at the string heddle, so that leaves the whole band looking freckled.




Here are the pattern threads being lifted after clearing the plain shed.


It’s going more quickly than the old hunt-and-pick method of picking up and dropping.


And it looks like this in the end. Freckly and quick!