I'm playing around with 7 shaft patterns on the little Louet W30 table loom. I like the front; I'm not as crazy about the back. I think I'll unweave (okay, I'll admit that unweaving may involve scissors) and try another geometric pattern. There are several interesing point twill patterns with this threading.
Quite awhile ago, in fact nearly three years ago, I posted what I thought was an impressive list of all the little weaving and knitting looms I had accumulated up to that time. It was just about then I started becoming interested in weaving, and I was making a pretty clear switch from knitting to weaving. I still do an occasional knitting project, but most of my time is spent in weaving world. So, maybe it's time for an updated list? I think it's interesting that all of the looms from my old list could have probably been stored in one medium-sized plastic bin, but I still thought it was excessive.
- The Knifty Knitter round loom set (four looms)
- The Knifty Knitter flower loom and spool knitter (two looms)
- The purple Knifty Knitter rectangle loom
- Five 4" Square Looms: Two 4" Weave-its, One 4" Simplex loom, One 4" Hazel Rose Multiloom, One 4" Wonder Weave
- One Weave-it Rug loom
- One Regular Gauge hat loom
- One 24" Homestead Hideaway triangle loom
- Two potholder looms
- One extra fine gauge DecorAccents oval sock loom
- Three small flower looms
Now… (I've kept every one of those, plus added a few.)
- Glimakra Emilia rigid heddle loom 18" (with stand, extra heddles, etc.)
- Erica 25" rigid heddle loom
- Kessenich 14" two harness table loom
- Peacock 12" two harness table loom
- Louet W30 12" eight harness table loom
- Ashford 16" four harness table loom
- Soon-to-arrive 7' modular triloom
- Schacht inkle loom
- A teeny tiny wooden rigid heddle loom called a Samuel Gabriel loom
- Two more Weave-Its. (Why stop? They jump into my hands at antique stores.)
- Two Authentic Knitting Boards (10" and 28") plus the extenders for weaving
- Another Wonder Weave ($5! I bet you couldn't resist, either.)
- A 1940's blue plastic EZEE Knitter fine gauge loom
- A homemade wooden knitting rake
- A homemade round hat knitting loom
- A couple more daisy wheel flower looms
- A backstrap loom, made by me (For the record, this is the only loom I actually made that works, and yes, it's essentially four sticks and some yarn.)
Okay, we've gone way past the medium plastic bin storage idea!
For some reason–and not just because I'm running out of room in my tiny 8'x9' office–with the recent purchase of the 7' triloom, I feel I've actually come full circle. The first looms I had an interest in were the 4" square looms and the little Wonder Weave rigid heddle loom. I then bought my first triloom. Little did I know that those simple looms would teach me the basics of weaving. From there, I let things slide, weaving-wise, until the next fall, about a year later, when I suddenly had an urge to buy a "real" loom. But first, with my inquisitive nature and with some helpful words from a Ravelry weaver, along with Laverne's fantastic series on backstrap weaving at Weavezine, I put together a backstrap loom (and chiseled my hand in the process!), and figured out lifting patterns for plain weave, weft-faced projects. It was about five months later that I bought the Emilia loom.
My looms, every one, are still portable and small enough to fold up and store on a shelf or under the desk. So, my little saying on the top of my blog, "weaving and knitting on small looms," still holds water. (Do I sound a little defiant?) And yet, I think I really started weaving because I wanted to follow the fibers visually and figure out how structure was created. If you've ever seen a triloom, you'll know the weaver walks the yarn from side to side, hooking it onto opposing nails and weaving over and under the horizontal threads that are created in the process. It's called continuous weave, where the warp and weft are woven at the same time. It's not fine weaving with silken threads, but it suits me. (And if I want to use silken threads, well, I just fire up the little Louet W30!!)
With all that said, I have two looms in the mix that will probably need new homes, the Peacock and the Kessenich. Both also need some work, but I'll post more about that in the future if I decide to wave goodbye.
It looks like a sweater! (Awful picture, I know… It's another iPod, low-light, no editing picture.)
I plan on sewing some backing onto it to make it more dust proof. Although it ended up a tad too wide and a smidge too short, it'll do. To weave the final few inches, I had to pull some of the weft yarn out of an old sampler project I made a few years ago. Whew! I thought I was going to have to buy another huge skein of the Red Heart acrylic, when my goal was to use up what I already had.
I am playing around with four shafts on the Louet W30 loom. Believe it or not, the yarn is the old Red Heart acrylic I kept meaning to put in a giveaway box. I finally decided to use it up. I “think” this is a twill, but it reverses the patten. It’s on page 71 of The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon.
I’m so pleased with the Schacht Inkle Loom I found in a thrift store this week. Actually, my husband spotted it as I was leaving. He thought it looked kind of loom-like and asked me what it was. 🙂
I had tried weaving some Sami bands on the little Peacock loom, but it was only working so/so. I had to take off several pieces of the loom, and that didn’t seem quite right. I never considered getting a regular-sized inkle loom, however, because I did have a mini one that was really cute and I never used it. I gifted it to someone and figured that was the end of my band weaving. But never say never!
I have to admit, weaving on a decent-sized inkle loom is great. I knew how to tie the heddles and warp it already, and so I picked a very simple pattern from the Helene Bress book that came with it, and away I went, weaving a ladder band. For anyone who is interested, Jane Patrick has a great how-to video on warping and weaving an inkle loom that can teach the basics.
(The inkle loom is not very big, but it looks huge next to the tiny Louet in the next picture. I’m warping the Louet for a rep weave project.)
I took a few weeks off, but now I'm back at it, finishing the scarf. However, I'm still unhappy with the selvedges. So, I think I figured out why… the pattern is still wonky on the right side as it encompasses the center area of the diamond, where the dark ends or the spiral begins, causing the darks to jump out too much. Also, this yarn is too thick to comfortably loop black over white. The entire thing needs more balance. So, instead of a husband scarf, this may end being a bag for a flute. That way, it will be stitched up the sides.
It's better this time around. I rethreaded the edges to continue with the pattern. I also got rid of the floating selvedge. The bottom half is woven with the black thread always over the gray. The second set is with the black thread under, but only on the right side. I think it looks the best with it over. Lucky thing, I only have to "unweave" one pattern set. Always learning something new…
If you check the January/February 2012 issue of Handwoven, there’s an article devoted to weaving pinwheels on an eight shaft loom. If you also check Ravelry, you’ll find there’s a weave-along featuring pinwheels. So my loom was empty, and I wanted to try eights shafts. Guess what I decided to weave?
With the yarn I chose (crochet cotton at 40 wpi), doubled in a 10 dent reed, the designs that worked the best were the ones marked B and C in the article. After trying five different ones, I finally decided to try either B or C in a slightly longer sample (the second from the bottom and the third from the bottom in these pictures). I have no real goal other than trying something with eight shafts. Because this is only a 3″ wide warp, it could become something crazy like a bookmark.
Next up: another scarf. I’m crazy about scarves!
Or is it a wrap? It’s 11″ across, so it’s debatable. This time I’m using a white cotton/rayon warp (Henry’s Attic) with a lavender/pink alpaca/wool weft (Berroco Ultra). I was worried about the obvious differences between the two, not just with thickness but with softness and color, but so far I really like how it’s turning out. I think the pattern is really pretty and now that I know it by heart, it’s going along quickly.
I spent some time studying my loom to figure out how to add the 25 extra heddles to each shaft. It came with just 25 on each, but there was also a package of 200, all connected together with little twist ties and the tops looped from one to the other. I knew there was a trick to getting them on without tangles, and so I watched a Youtube video and twenty minutes later, done! I snipped all the connecting threads and it was kind of fun. No tangles, no tears.
I nearly cried with the warping of this project, however. Strange how I can have very few problems as a beginner, but then as I progress, the problems I read about start happening to me. I was really careful, too! Somehow, while transferring the warp onto the loom, I started getting tangles in the length of it.Some of the threads near the end slipped into the middle. I’m grateful I wasn’t using wool, or it would have ended up felting together and I would have tossed it in the trash. In the end, I got the entire thing on the loom, threaded the heddles and reed and then unwound it all so each thread passed through each heddle. When the warp was unwound all the way to the warping beam, I rewound it. This unwinding/rewinding while the threads passed through the heddles and reed straightened up most of the crossed threads and small tangles. It’s still not perfect, but I’m used to that, so it’s progressing nicely at this point.
I also took a cotton ball of rubbing alcohol and managed to take off a little bit of the black Sharpie marks on the reed. It’s still there but much fainter, and the alcohol didn’t harm the plastic cover at all.