Ashford SampleIt Loom Review
|Junior (Anders Lervad Loom) and The Loom Without a Name (at the moment)|
So I found out about the new Ashford SampleIt Rigid Heddle loom a bit late; I don't subscribe to any of the magazines and I've been a bit scarce on Ravelry lately, so when I found out about it, I was very intrigued. See, I've owned Junior since 2009, and have been on the lookout for another small rigid heddle loom ever since he came here, because he's the loom I use most often, without a doubt. And yet sometimes, when I'm weaving something with really thin yarn (like my Thankful Scarf), I have to finish that scarf or whatever I am weaving before I can weave another one.
I tried the Cricket (from Schacht) when it first came out, used it twice, and promptly resold it. It was awkward, the sides were too high, and I thought it was really difficult to warp the full width. And since then, there haven't really been any contenders.
My Ashford SampleIt loom came in the mail Wednesday. It took me about 30 minutes to put it together (and wax it; it does come unfinished like most of the Ashford rigid heddle looms (but not the Knitter's Loom) but I didn't get it warped until tonight. And yeah, I know, writing a review before I'm even done with the first scarf might not be a good idea, but I'm going to do it anyway.
|The SampleIt. The only thing I really dislike is the name. Why couldn't they have picked something cute?|
Price (I paid $129 and got free shipping)
Quality (Made of Silver Beech like all (?) of the Ashford products.)
Versatility (It's compact, portable, can be used without propping it against something like most rigid heddle looms not on stands.)
Easy to assemble. (As long as you pay attention.)
--The instructions to put it together, while thorough enough, assumes the person on the other end knows which screws are wood screws and which are not (I'm talking about the short ones.) It's rather easy to figure it out, but there are two sets of 3/4" screws and I could see someone getting confused.
--I find the heddle 'rest' section a bit fiddly. I think after more use it will become more natural, but I struggle sometimes to get it out of the 'rest' section (which really seems a bit deep.)
--If you drop your shuttle and reach down to get it while attempting to wind the woven section on the front beam and release more warp from the back beam, don't release the clicker! Because your warp might just end up unwinding, because that sucker is under tension. (This is actually user-error.)
--The name--I mean, SampleIt? Why not "Little Bit" or something cute? Or just pick a cute name and go with that?
|Sock yarn warp, mohair sparkly weft. It will fluff out nicely after washing.|
I like it overall. I really like it overall. It's easy to use, will fit in a larger tote bag (I have to test mine to see what size it fits in yet, but it will fit) and it's a bit more portable than Junior, since I can weave with it in my lap or even on a table, if needed. It's very sturdy, which is nice, and 8" is not too narrow to be versatile. I make a lot of scarves to begin with. Now that I have two scarf-width looms, I'm going to start experimenting a bit with warps.