I took 12 of my jumbo potholders and stitched them together into this rug, which I’m currently using as a bathmat. Strangely, I haven’t had enough of potholders. I’m right on the edge of plunging in and buying 10 pounds of loopers!
I needed a little inspiration for weaving, and I found these two great videos. The first is a short segment with weaver James Koehler. I was interested in his work because so much of it is monochromatic, which is what the first two months of this year’s WAL on Ravelry is focused on. The second is a great video about Navajo weavers:
The first part of the green loop was fun. Drawing a spiral with a marker on the warp threads is one thing… actually weaving it is another. I was surprised that it moved along really quickly. There are areas here and there with warp threads peaking out. I’m having some trouble beating the weft enough to cover them because the warp threads are a bit loose.
Orange is probably my favorite color. I don’t wear it, but I like it, especially when it’s bright and cheerful and nearly hurts your eyes. Here I’m playing around with embroidery floss on the vintage Lightning Weaver. (I drew a pattern on the warp threads with a Sharpie.)
This experiment started because I want to practice weaving with little patches of colors and shapes to see how the background (orange!) will build up and recede.
It’s amazing. I finally own a Lightning Weaver.
Is this the ultimate small loom? Could it be?
Not only is it cute, it’s a cheerful, cherry red. How neat is that?
As the box declares, The Lightning Weaver once sold for $1.50. Nowadays, you’ll be lucky to find one on Ebay, and it’ll cost more than a few dollars. This loom is in perfect condition. It has all the parts, meaning it can be adjusted to 12 different sizes of squares or rectangles, the smallest 2″x3″, and the largest 4″x6″. It warps from top to bottom, and then the weft is woven more like a typical loom. This little loom has rotating hooks on the bottom, however, which allow the weaver to pass the weft through. No “overing” and “undering” like with a Weave-It. Just push the needle through the shed. After you get the weft in place (which does, I’ll admit, take a little practice), you’ll have the fun of changing the shed. This happens by running your thumb over the bottom hooks and clickity-clickity-clickity they all shift the opposite direction, bringing up the lower threads and lowering the top threads. New shed!
I’ve found I can use a variety of yarns, too, as I can skip every other hook with thicker yarns, so it’s even more versatile than it seems. And it was already pretty versatile.
This loom was on my wish list for a few years now, but I’ve only seen one “junior” come up for sale. (FYI: The Jr. Lightning Weaver is not adjustable.) Because it was on my recent searches in Ebay, my husband noticed one come up for sale. I was sleeping at the time, so imagine my surprise and delight the next morning when he cautiously said, “Did you want a loom called the Lightning Weaver? Because I bought it for you.” Did I! Now, imagine my extreme surprise and delight when it arrived in perfect condition (seriously, was it even used?), with all the parts, the box, and the directions. Golly!
I’ve woven a few bits and pieces to get the feel for it, and then I recently found a great use for it: sampling. I sampled some silk one-ply yarn as the warp and used three different wefts to see what would happen. The top section was alpaca, the middle, a second silk, and the lower the same silk as the warp. I learned that the alpaca kept its form fairly well, although I didn’t care for the color combination. The middle silk gave me the most pleasing look, although I didn’t care for the overall texture, and the bottom silk, although interesting, didn’t stand out to me as something I’d like to wear as a scarf. So, it was a valuable thing to do before spending time warping up a bigger loom with enough to weave a scarf. For now, I’m setting the silk aside until inspiration hits.
But will I set aside the Lightning Weaver? Never! It’s a charming loom that is clearly a tool to be used.