Rigid heddle weavers looking to go beyond plain weave have a wonderful new resource with CrazyShot!, a new book by Myra Wood. Try this overshot weaving technique with just-beyond-beginner weaving skills.
Myra is a talented fiber artist who has delved into all kinds of fiber arts, and weaving is just her newest passion. Myra is also a personal friend. I’ve watched her (virtually) as she discovered a passion for rigid heddle weaving and delved so deeply into it. Throughout the months of the pandemic, her enthusiasm for learning new skills was a bright light. Her concentration and excitement were inspiring! She turned a lockdown into a book. (Makes me feel lazy by comparison.)
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The questions are mine-the answers are Myra’s.
What is Crazyshot?
Crazyshot is a rediscovery of a supplementary-weft technique akin to overshot weaving that’s done with just one heddle, one pick-up stick and two or more shuttles on a rigid heddle loom. As with all supplementary-weft techniques, a background fabric is woven simultaneously with a decorative pattern that sits on top of the fabric.
Overshot techniques are typically done with multiple heddles or on a multi-shaft floor loom. The advantage of this technique is that it can be done on any sized rigid heddle loom with just one sized 7.5 or 8 heddle.
How did you come up with the idea? Why did you decide to make it a book?
I was so inspired by a class on Branoe weaving, a Russian variation, by Kelly Casanova. I started a deep dive into finding out as much as I could about it and came up sorely short of any more real instruction. There was very little information other than samples and basic history of supplementary-weft techniques from around the world.
Kelly’s class reminded me so much of my love for stranded knitting so I tried out a few Fair Isle charts and loved the results. I looked through all the different charted needlework designs I could find and realized that many could be adapted for Crazyshot. Once I started I couldn’t stop and I had to write the book to share my excitement with other weavers.
For knitters and crocheters who are less familiar with weaving, what makes this method so appealing? Can I use my stash yarn?
This technique is especially suited for knitters and crocheters or anyone else who uses charted designs for needlework. The charts are based on the same simple grids used for several kinds of stranded colorwork and should look very familiar. It’s also a great way to use up lots of leftover stash. The pattern yarns can change colors, like Fair Isle knitting, as long as they’re a consistent weight.
Do I have to be an experienced weaver to try this technique?
Not at all! As long as you know the basics; how to warp and do plain weave, the entire technique is explained in detail. It’s actually quite an easy technique since there is no special threading involved.
[Note from Edie: Absolutely true. I’m not an experienced weaver, and I found it perfectly easy to do with Myra’s instructions.]
What can I make with this technique?
You can make almost anything you’d like where you want a fairly firm, dense fabric. The supplemental wefts add to the thickness of the fabric so I designed all the projects in the book for home goods; coasters, mug-rugs, placemats, pillow and table runners.
I know you always have something new and exciting in your artistic mind. Can you give us a hint of the New Next Thing?
I’ve seen a few examples of international, ethnic clothing using similar techniques for bands and borders so that’s something I’m experimenting with now. And who knows? Might be another Crazyshot book in the future.
About Myra Wood
Myra Wood is an internationally know fiber artist, designer, author and teacher. She teaches a wide range of classes in knitting, crochet, embroidery and beading specializing in all things creative. Her online classes are available at Craftsy.com. Myra is the author of Crazyshot! Creative Overshot Weaving on the Rigid Heddle Loom, Knit in New Directions, Creative Crochet Lace and Crazy Lace, along with numerous published patterns in books and magazines. Myra has been a guest instructor on numerous episodes of Knit and Crochet Now, Knitty Gritty, Uncommon Threads and Knitting Daily on PBS, HGTV and DIY Network.