Using a pick-up stick allows you to efficiently create additional sheds, breaking the over one/under one sequence of plain weave. Now you can make floats on purpose! 

This particular style of pick-up has the weaver place the stick behind the heddle, picking up the desired warp ends, then leaving the stick there. The weaver only engages it when needed. 

This class is taught in two parts. First we tackle the fundamentals: how to select a pick-up stick, place it in the warp, create two new sheds, and eleven essential structures that will introduce you to the wonders of how structures work. 

In Part Two, we take a deep dive into design, looking at how to lay out your repeats; how color, fiber, and sett affect the final cloth; the relationship between these structures and weaving drafts; and how to be a pattern detective, gleaming important details for projects written for floor loom and using them as a jumping off point to design your own rigid-heddle projects. 

Included with the class is a robust pattern for a scarf, written for three different setts. It will serve as a template for designing your own projects. 

Let's dive in!

Tools and Materials

Rigid-heddle loom with at least a 9" weaving width; 8-, 10-, or, 12-dent rigid-heddle reed of choice; pick-up stick at least 10" long; 2 shuttles, tapestry needle. 


8-dent scarf: worsted yarn approximately 1,000 -1,200 yd/lb; 154 yd warp, 125 yd weft.

10-dent scarf: sport-weight yarn, 1,200-1,800 yd/lb; 210 yd warp, 178 yd weft.

12-dent scarf: fingering-weight yarn, 1,800-2,400 yd/lb; 244 yd warp, 199 yd weft.

Skill Level

Advanced beginner. Students should be familiar with basic weaving vocabulary and have warped and woven a few projects. I assume you are comfortable with the concepts and skills discussed in Weaving 101 and 102

Recommended Resource

You may find it helpful to refer to A Weaver's Guide to Yarn during Part Two on design. It is available in digital and print editions, or you can bundle the two together for extra savings. 

A special thanks to the Patrons of the Yarnworker School who make the School possible. 

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Getting Started

  • 2

    Part 1: Techniques

    • Choosing a Stick

    • Charging the Pick-Up Stick

    • Meet Two New Sheds

    • Warp Floats

    • Weft Floats

    • Combining Warp and Weft Floats

    • Adding More Weft

    • Measuring + Packing the Front Beam

    • Double Weft Floats

    • Supplementary Weft Floats

    • Double Warp Floats

    • Double Warp and Weft Floats

    • Placing Plain Weave Between Weft Floats

    • Placing Plain Weave Between Warp Floats

    • Offset Warp Floats

    • Using a Heddle Rod + Offset Warp Floats Without a Tie Down

    • Before Moving Onto Part Two

  • 3

    Part 2: Design

    • Introduction

    • Selecting Sett

    • Color

    • Substance and Style

    • Drafting Handouts

    • Drafting for the Rigid Heddle

    • Drafting for Shafts

    • Threading Repeats, Balance, Design

    • Learning to be a Pattern Detective

    • Ideas for Exploration

    • Resources

About the instructor

Liz Gipson

Yarn is a big part of who I am—growing it, spinning it, and then making it do tricks, particularly the over/under kind (i.e. weaving). Passing this love on to newcomers is what makes my heart happy. I spend my days weaving, writing about weaving, teaching others to weave, and enjoying this thing called life.I host Yarnworker, a site for rigid-heddle know-how and inspirations. I dream-up, films, edit, and hosts the courses myself from my home in central, New Mexico. To learn more about me and the Yarnworker community, visit