I had decided I could manage without a raddle, but quickly changed my mind.
So what's a raddle and why do I need one?
It's a stick with pins in it and it keeps your warp nice and even as you wind it onto the back of your loom.
It's so useful, the question should probably be why isn't it included with my loom; especially as it's shown in the instructions?
The cynical answer might be that they can then sell us something else, or to keep down the cost of the loom. It's also true to say that not everybody will need one, only if you thread from the back.
The bought raddles are finished nicely and come complete with some extras, but are not cheap.
If we weren't good with our hands, we wouldn't be weaving. Making one is very simple, you just need to tap some panel pins into a piece of wood. It took me about ten minutes including smoothing the edges of the wood and waxing it.
Cut a piece of wood the length that you want your raddle to be. The other dimensions don't really matter, as it'll be tied to your loom. Mark a centre line so that your pins are nicely lined up, mark points along that line, starting in the very centre. (The Ashford raddle has its pins half-inch apart, I've gone for 1cm. ) Remember that tapping pins into the wood closely together along the same line (probably along the grain) is a great way to split the wood, so take care to avoid this. One trick is to blunt the pointed ends of the pins with your hammer before tapping them in.
I've marked my centre pin with a piece of red cotton, and used some elastic bands to hold the warp in.
I must give credit to sweetgeorgia for her post which I have mentioned in a previous newsletter.