Easy Weaving With Little Looms 2016

August 25, 2017 | Author: mobydickstar | Category: Loom, Weaving, Yarn, Crafts, Clothing Industry
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HOW TO WEAVE • Rigid Heddle • Pin Loom • Tapestry




Projects to Make this


7 SCARVES to Weave

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Weave with KIDS! BO

from 3 Artists


DIY Woven ! A S


Tapestry Secrets


Projects for the Family

basics & beyond edition MORE Patterns & Techniques


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CONTENTS Easy Weaving with Little Looms • 2016




Plain Weave


Selecting Yarns for RigidHeddle Looms by Liz Gipson 64 A Designer from the Loom Up: John Mullarkey by Karen Donde 76 Inside the Weaver’s Studio 82 Tapestry Tech: Weaving Your First Wall Hanging

02 04 06 14 16

32 Woven Pools Scarf by Gladys We 33 Sea Glass Scarf by Anne Merrow 34 Slow Stripes Shoulder Bag by Deborah Jarchow

34 Down by the Lake Towels by Jodi Ybarra

35 Lobster Pot Scarf 36

by Stephanie Flynn Sokolov Latitude & Longitude Scarves by Denise Renee Grace

Pin Loom s 46 Flower Fascinator by Christina Garton Chevron Felted Bag by Deborah Shelmidine 48 Diamond Tote by Deborah Shelmidine 49 Ivy Lamp Shade by Judy Pagels 50 Mod Square Trivet & Coasters by Laurel Johnson 5 1 Pin-Loom Patchwork Scarf by Patricia Hokenson 52 Twill Basket by Stephanie Flynn Sokolov 52 Twice as Nice Pincushion & Scissors Fob by Angela Tong 53 Seven Squares Earflap Hat by Benjamin Krudwig

by Rachel Denbow

87 Book Excerpt: Both Ways Wall Hanging by Rachel Denbow 94 Making Sense of Weaving Drafts & Figures 120 How to Weave Great Towels with a Rigid-Heddle Loom

Editor’s Letter Welcome to Weaving Rigid Heddle Gear Guide Pin Loom Gear Guide Yarns to Use: Pin Loom by Benjamin Krudwig 18 Tapestry Gear Guide 20 Yarns to Use: Tapestry by Sarah Neubert 31 Anything But Plain Weave 124 Designer Bios 128 Project Index

by Christina Garton


On the cover: Woven Pools Scarf, page 32. Photography by Joe Coca.


Little Weavers 66 66 67 68

Slouchy Box Hat by John Mullarkey Watercolor Towels by Anne Merrow Treasure Box by Deb Essen Hopscotch Scarf by John Mullarkey

Weaver’s Hand 96 Book Excerpt: Theo Moorman


Scarf by Syne Mitchell

97 What’s Up Buttercup Pillow by Stephanie Flynn Sokolov

98 Sari Silk Soumak Tote by Sara Lamb 98 Stripes & Blocks Kitchen Towels by Susan E. Horton

99 Water’s Edge Scarf by Kate Gagnon Osborn

100 Summer Plaid Scarf by Cei Lambert 101 Vientiane Scarf by Marilyn Murphy




The Soothing Rhythm of Over and Under

Special Issue 2016 EDITORIAL EDITOR Anne Merrow

When the stress of the day is too much for me, I reach for yarn and loom. The passing of the weft and slow advancement of the warp are a form of meditation, a calming action that releases the pent-up tension of life.


Elisabeth Hill, Susan Horton COPY EDITOR AND PROOFREADER Katie Bright


More and more studies show that practicing a craft is good for your brain. Besides healing the mind, weaving has other beneits for well-being:




It connects you with the past.


Weaving is one of humanity’s oldest activities, the way we clothed ourselves and protected ourselves from the elements. You’ve heard of paleo diets? This is paleo craft.




It connects you with the present.

Weavers around the world are joined by a common thread. Especially with little looms such as pin looms, frame looms, and rigidheddle looms, you can get together with friends and share the joy of making.


James L. Ogle Sara Domville

Marc Okeon Phil Graham VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS Stacie Berger



It’s a great opportunity to play with yarn.

Yarn is one of the great joys of weavers (and knitters, spinners, and crocheters). Whether you’re whipping out cloth at great speed or savoring each yard that passes through your ingertips, weaving is a tactile pleasure.



Linda Ligon



Read on for some of our favorite things to make for yourself or for loved ones. Weaving is productive in the best sense, giving you something to show for your efforts.


Mark Fleetwood

It makes wonderful projects.

There’s always something to learn.

This magazine is designed for weavers at every level to ind something new, whether it’s playing with color, trying out a new loom, or treating fabric in a new way.

I hope you’ll join me at the loom and weave your cares away.

Easy Weaving with Little Looms is a special issue of Handwoven magazine (ISSN 0198-8212) All contents of this issue of Easy Weaving with Little Looms are copyrighted by F+W Media, Inc., 2016. All rights reserved. Projects and information are for inspiration and personal use only. Handwoven does not recommend, approve, or endorse any of the advertisers, products, services, or views advertised in Handwoven. Nor does Handwoven evaluate the advertisers’ claims in any way. You should, therefore, use your own judgment in evaluating the advertisers, products, services, and views advertised in Handwoven. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited, except by permission of the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A. For advertising information, call Sarah Rovelli at (770) 683-4714, email [email protected], or visit the website at interweave.com. For sales information, call (800) 272-2193, email [email protected]. For editorial inquiries, email [email protected].

Anne Merrow [email protected]

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VISIT US ON THE WEB weavingtoday.com • interweave.com • fwmedia.com

Halcyon Yarn 800.341.0282 • HALCYONYARN.COM • 12 School St. Bath, Maine INSPIRATION, GREAT SERVICE AND SELECTION, SINCE 1971.




Start now with fun and easy kits, perfect for a rigid heddle or table loom. Let us help you ðQGWKHULJKW\DUQV WRROV

Peaceful Harbor Placemats Kits Color & weave in a mix of cottons. Includes yarn and instructions to make four 12” x 18” inished placemats. See all six color combinations and details online. #0680---K • $59.95 Chill Chaser Scarf Kits An eye-catching and snuggly soft scarf that makes a great irst project. Shimmering Moonshine and self-striping Gina weave up easily in a combination of beautiful natural ibers. See all ive colors and project details online. #161000-K • $34.95 Schacht Flip Loom (with stand) Available in four widths, from 15” to 30” wide with optional stand. These durable and lightweight looms are portable and easy to use. Shop more rigid heddle looms, accessories and projects online. *offer expires 6/30/2016 • standard ground shipping, continental USA only.

• Welcome to •

WEAVING Whether you’ve been weaving a while or are picking up a loom for the irst time, there are some terms you need to know to make sense of the patterns that follow.



ed sh


ft p ar W





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p ar W ed sh

For directions on ixing a broken warp thread, hemstitching, joining pin-loom squares, and more, visit





Create Your Adventure with

WARP: The yarns attached to the loom under tension, running perpendicular to the weaver’s back.

WEFT: The yarn that passes back and forth, over and under the warp threads, running parallel to the weaver’s back.

SHED: The space that the weft passes through, created by the raised and lowered warp threads. SETT: How closely the warp threads are spaced, expressed in ends per inch (epi). On a rigid-heddle loom, this is determined by the spacing of the holes in the heddle. On a pin loom or frame loom, it is determined by how closely the pins or notches are placed.

SELVEDGE: The outer edges of the weaving where the weft turns to pass back through the warp threads.

PICK: One pass of the weft. How densely the weft is packed is measured in picks per inch (ppi). TAKE-UP: The amount of yarn used to pass over and under other yarns (in addition to the amount of yarn used to travel in a straight line). DRAW-IN: The amount that the back-and-forth of the weft pulls the fabric in, making it narrower.

WARP END: A single piece of warp thread passing from the back to the front of the loom.

WET-FINISHING: Washing woven fabric to help the yarn settle into place and the fabric become more cohesive. Unless otherwise stated in the pattern, wash your inished item in warm water with wool wash or mild detergent (avoiding agitation), rinse if needed, and hang unwrinkled to dry.

Free d ownlo adable patter from w n

Ad ww.br ownsh venture Mitts eep.co m Lanaloft

is available in a multitude of solid and handpainted colors. Our single-ply feltable wool yarn is soft enough for a baby yet tough enough to withstand any adventure. Try Lanaloft in sport, worsted and bulky weights.

Brown Sheep Company, Inc. MITCHELL, NEBRASKA

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e l d d e h rigid ves Must-Ha

“Rigid heddle” is a long term for a simple loom. On complex looms, two separate pieces control the spacing and movement of the warp yarns. Rigid-heddle looms have just a few basic parts, making them easy to use.

Glimakra Classic Shuttle and Quill

Kromski 5-dent heddle for 8" Harp Loom Kromski Stick Shuttle

SHUTTLE ~ A shuttle holds the weft yarn as it passes through the warp; it’s part yarn storage and part delivery system. Two common shuttles are a stick shuttle, a simple piece of wood with a notch on each end, and a boat shuttle, which holds a bobbin or quill that feeds out yarn through a slot. Schacht Variable Dent Reed for Cricket or Flip


~ A rigid heddle has slots and holes for the warp to pass through. When the heddle is raised or lowered, some yarns go up and down with it and others stay in place. On a complex loom, the heddles (which move the threads) are separate from the reed (which spaces them out). Dent describes how close the warp threads are to each other when they pass through the reed (expressed in spaces per inch or other unit).

Rigid heddle means that the spacing between the threads (sett) is ixed and connected to the mechanism that moves them up and down. Because the reed and heddle are combined into one piece, you may hear them called by either term. Most rigid-heddle looms come with at least one heddle/reed. The most common rigid-heddle dents are 5, 7.5 or 8, 10, and 12 or 12.5. There are some heddles with different setts at different points, called variable dent.


This is what it’s all about! A loom holds the warp in place and under tension, ready for weaving. The area where the heddle rests in the up, down, or neutral position is called the heddle block. Some looms have blocks that can accommodate two heddles, useful for more advanced weaving techniques. Some manufacturers offer add-on kits to hold a second heddle. Ashford SampleIt Loom

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A tool used to bring the warp from one side of the heddle through the slots or holes to the other side. “Sley” is another word for the verb “thread.” There are special sleying hooks, but some of them don’t it through the small holes in a rigid heddle. A threading hook will probably come with your loom.

Kromski Threading Hook

Glimakra Cord Threader Schacht Cricket Warping Peg


Many rigid-heddle projects are started by direct warping, or tying the warp yarn directly to the loom and measuring it from there. Measuring the distance from the back of the loom to a ixed peg makes sure that all of the ends are the appropriate length.

nice to have

You will also need craft paper or paper grocery bags about the width of your loom, sharp scissors, T-pins for ixing broken warp threads, and a tapestry needle.

Nancy’s Knit Knacks Wraps Per Inch Tool



To match your warp yarn with your heddle, it helps to have a handy measuring tool that counts the number of times the yarn its in a given space. To learn more about sett, see “Selecting Yarns for Rigid-Heddle Looms,” page 29.


FRINGE TWISTER You can twist fringe by hand, but for an even and speedy inish, you’ll be glad to have a special tool for the purpose.

Depending on the size of your loom and your comfort, it may be possible to weave with your loom clamped on a table or resting on a surface, but a specially made holder at the appropriate height can be a huge beneit in your weaving life.

nice to have

nice to have

Kromski Harp Floor Stand

Fringe Twisters by Jim Hokett, available from The Woolery

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Kromski Pick-up Stick

nice to have PICK-UP STICK A special flat, smooth piece of wood with beveled edges designed to lift and hold some threads up or down. Used in some advanced and hand-manipulated weaving techniques.

Ashford Small Warping Frame

nice to have

Schacht 4" Plastic Bobbin

nice to have

Glimakra Bobbin Winder

WARPING BOARD OR FRAME ~ If you’re working with many colors, need each warp end to be exactly the same length, or don’t have the space to set a warping peg very far from the loom, a warping board or warping frame will let you measure the ends and change colors all at once.

BOBBIN WINDER ~ If you’re ready to try a boat shuttle, a tool that quickly and easily gets yarn onto bobbin or quill is a lifesaver.

MANUFACTURER CONTACTS Ashford Handicrafts, 415 West Street, Ashburton, Mid Canterbury 7700, New Zealand. +64 3-308 9087, www.ashford.co.nz

United States Distributor: Foxglove Fiberarts Supply, 8040 NE Day Road W, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. (206) 780-2747, www.foxgloveiber.com

Canadian Distributor: Harmonique Fibre Arts Supply, (250) 294-4411, www.harmonique.ca Glimakra USA, 1471 Railroad Boulevard Unit 5, Eugene, OR 97402. (541) 246-8679, www.glimakrausa.com

Kromski North America, 1103 North Main Street, Box 247, Pavo, GA 31778. (229) 859-2001, [email protected]; www.kromskina.com

Nancy’s Knit Knacks, 104 Hobblebrook Court, Cary, NC 27518. (800) 731-5648, [email protected]; www.nancysknitknacks.com

Schacht Spindle Company, 6101 Ben Place, Boulder, CO 80301. www.schachtspindle.com The Woolery, 315 Saint Clair Street, Frankfort, KY 40601. (800) 441-9665, [email protected]; www.woolery.com 8 | little looms | h a n d wovenmagaz i ne.com

We a v i n g e d n e s d a y s blog.universalyarn.com/category/weaving



Universal Yarn it’s not just for knitting! www.universalyarn.com Now hiring sales reps across the country. Motivated and energetic individuals encouraged to apply! little looms |

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Selecting • yarns for •

rigid-heddle Looms By Liz Gipson

Our love affair with little looms is fueled by their ability to give us instant gratiication. You can set up the loom and have a inished product in as little as an hour. You can weave with almost any material your imagination leads you to, but you must match your desired outcome to the yarn’s construction. Two of the best things about weaving with little looms: they don’t create a lot of loom waste, and they work well with yarns used for knitting and crochet, handspun, and classic coned weaving yarns.

The Right Stuff: Construction and Content


The number of warp ends in an inch of weaving is called its sett. Matching yarn, sett, and style of loom to get the results you want is a puzzle that you have to work out based on what you want to weave. Doubling a ine yarn and using two ends as one will broaden your choices.

Many yarns in your stash can be used as weft. Try unspun iber, cloth, twigs, ribbon, rafia, tulle—whatever tickles your fancy. The yarns that you use to set up the loom, the warp, are subject to more stress and take more consideration. The warp needs to hold up under the loom’s tension. It also needs to withstand lifting and lowering the heddle, using a pick-up stick, or manually manipulating the warp ends.

Putting Your Yarn to the Test To determine if your yarn is strong enough as warp, give it the simple pinch-and-pull test: Pinch one end of a 4 to 6 inch section of yarn between the index inger and thumb of each hand. Apply steady, irm pressure as if to pull the yarn apart. If the yarn easily drifts apart or breaks, it isn’t a good choice as a warp yarn. If your yarn passes this test, repeat, but this time, observe the yarn both under tension and in its natural state as you tug and release. Note how much elasticity the yarn has—does it stretch and rebound or hold steady? This knowledge will come in handy when you are deciding how to use the yarn. Next take the yarn and rub it back and forth against the edge of a table. Notice if the yarn sheds or pills. If this happens, it will also happen while you are weaving. Be cautious about setting such a yarn too closely or consider using it as weft.

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Tightly plied, smooth yarns are traditionally considered good for warp; rigid-heddle looms accommodate a broader range. Tender, loosely plied, or softly spun yarns tend to fray or stick to one another. If you want to use fuzzy yarn, mix it with smoother yarn in the warp or allow enough space between the individual yarns to keep them from interfering with one another. Yarns such as brushed mohair or art yarns are generally not advisable for warp; an experienced weaver might give them a try in combination with smooth yarns, but save those until you have a few weavings under your belt.

Spacing Out

For the rigid-heddle loom, most sett decisions are based on a Balanced Plain Weave (BPW) sett. Balanced plain weave fabric has the same number of warp and weft ends per inch. To determine a BPW sett, wrap a yarn around a ruler under light tension. Mimic what the yarn will act like when relaxed, not under the tension of the loom. Count the number of wraps and divide this number by two. For instance, if a yarn wraps around the ruler 16 times, the BPW sett is 8. Yarns that are inconsistent should be wrapped for 2 or even 3 inches and averaged. Taking half the yarns away allows room for the weft to interlace with the warp. You may not want a balanced weave—that is, you may want your weaving to be more warp-dominant or weft-dominant— but you can adjust your spacing based on this number. In balanced plain weave, there are as many warp threads as weft threads per inch.

• selecting yarns •



5 1–3. The Three Faces of Weaves A light worsted-weight yarn is used as the warp in these swatches, which illustrate another element of how sett affects the inal fabric. In swatch 1, the yarn is doubled and warped at 8 ends per inch for a sett of 16. The same yarn is used for weft with a light beat of 7 weft picks per inch, creating a warp-dominant fabric. Using variegated yarns in warp-dominant fabric lets you see the color as it looks in the skein. Swatch 2 is a balanced weave using the same weight of yarn as the sample on the left, but here you see both warp and weft equally. Swatch 3 is woven with a 10-dent rigid heddle with laceweight yarn in weft-faced stripes. To create the stripes, the weft was passed two times in ¼ inch, then six times in ¼ inch. Same warp yarn, three completely different looks.


6 Shown here: warp: Cascade 220 Paints #9848; weft: 1 Cascade 220 #8311 Mineral Blue; 2 Cascade 220 Heathers #2452 Turtle; 3 JaggerSpun Zephyr Bottle Green.

4. Push the Limits If you have limited sett choices, consider mixing yarn weights, using a thicker or thinner yarn in the weft. This lofty yarn would typically sett at 6 ends per inch for BPW. Instead, it is sett here at 8 ends per inch and woven with thinner naturally colored cotton, creating a warp-dominant fabric with terriic drape. Shown here: warp: Imperial Yarns Anna Wild Rye; weft: Lunatic Fringe American Maid 3/2 light brown.

5. Optics By alternating lights and darks in a technique called colorand-weave you get a seemingly complex pattern quite easily. Another example


7 of color-and-weave is the famous houndstooth check (see page 28). Shown here: warp and weft: Louet Euroflax Sport Champagne and Smoke (dyed by Prism Yarns).

6. Mix it Up and Keep an Open Mind (opposite) Mixed warps are a great way to go for eye-popping cloth. They eat up your half-balls of this and that and are a great way to show off designer yarns. Shown here is a swatch on loom and off using three designer yarns of different weights. Note the difference tween the yarn on loom and off. The fabric is woven so that there is space between the yarns; this space disappears when the fabric is removed from the tension of the loom and wet-inished. Shown here: Trendsetter Yarns Duo Cream/ White #06, Artie Red Roses #9, and Phoenix Print Carnation/ Orange/Watermelon #249.

7. Sett and Color (opposite) How closely a fabric is sett can affect the appearance of color. The same warp is shown here in the three primary setts offered on the rigid-heddle loom (from left to right, 8, 10, and 12 ends per inch). The balanced plain weave (sett at 8) shows an equal amount of warp and weft; as the sett gets tighter, the warp yarns begin to dominate. This is neither good nor bad—it’s a design choice. A warp-dominant fabric woven with a light beat has terriic drape, perfect for scarves. If your intention is to felt the fabric, an open sett will give you a softer hand, while a tighter sett will give you a irmer fabric. Shown here: Brown Sheep Company Lanaloft Sportweight, warp: Sea Fog; weft: Sparkling Lemon.

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• selecting yarns • Increase the spacing for a denser warp or decrease it for a more open warp by choosing a yarn with more or fewer wraps per inch or using a different heddle, if you have one. There is nothing worse than battling your warp, so take time to wrap and sample. This will allow you to quickly measure the yarn, determine if it will work for your particular heddle, and adjust technique to accommodate the yarn if needed. This number still tells you nothing about the character of the yarn. Two yarns, one smooth and tightly plied and the other textured and loosely spun, can have the same BPW sett. Use your judgment about the yarn and how you will use it.

FINISHING CONSIDERATIONS Woven cloth comes to life when it is wet-inished. During washing, the yarns expand and settle, a process called blooming. Many weavers are disappointed to see their lofty wools become stiff in woven cloth. This is likely caused by not setting the yarn to give it room to bloom or beating too hard as you weave. Leave space between the yarns, particularly with wool. That space will likely disappear during wet-inishing. You also need to think about how yarn will act in the fringe. Singles often puff out in the wash, and some novelty or art yarns fray. Pick a

inishing technique that will show off the yarn and wear well over time. To test how a yarn will wash, take a small piece and wash it in warm, soapy water, vigorously swooshing it back and forth. Then compare the washed yarn to the unwashed yarn. This will give you some quick information about how the yarn will behave when inished.

SWATCHING Because these looms are easy to set up, take the time to do a little sample when trying out a new technique, using a new yarn, or substituting yarn in an existing pattern. The swatches themselves are satisfying little pieces of art, and you learn so much by taking your ideas for a test run. Consider setting up a play warp. Serendipity will lead you to great places. The best way to match sett and beat is to swatch your yarn irst and see what happens after inishing; this is particularly helpful with mixed warps. You want to strike the right balance between loose and sleazy. If your sett remains too open, the fabric loses its integrity and has a tendency to snag. Adding sticky yarns such as mohair may help you get the open look you want while keeping the fabric’s integrity. M

I’M A FRAYED KNOT If your yarn has the potential to fray at the ends, inish them off with twisted or braided fringes and trim them close to the knot. You can trim away ends that stray over time, and the fringe still shows off the yarn’s beauty.

Mix it Up

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little looms. big impact. We stock all of your favorite yarn brands for your next project on your little loom. If you’re looking for a new loom, we also stock Schacht’s Zoom Loom and Flip Rigid Heddle Loom and accessories! SAVE UP TO 25% OFF WITH WEBS YARN & BOOK DISCOUNT! DETAILS ON WEBSITE



May we build one for you? Voyageur 9½”, 15¾” and 24” 4, 8, 12 and 16s


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m o o l n i p es Must-Hav

A pin loom is a sweet and simple way to make cloth. The shape and size of the loom determine what you can make with it—a creative challenge to weavers to transform small pieces of fabric into inventive and sometimes three-dimensional weavings.


The most common pin loom is a 4" x 4" square; these have been made famous as Weavettes and Weave-Its (both brands now discontinued). They may look like the pot holder looms you remember from childhood, but the pins on a pin loom are arranged to weave a particular pattern.

Schacht Zoom Loom


To weave with a pin loom, you will need both a weaving needle (usually about 5"–6" long) and a tapestry needle for weaving in ends. Most pin looms will come with everything you need in the package.


You may also need a fork (a dining fork will do!) to keep the threads in place while weaving.

MANUFACTURER CONTACTS Blue Butterfly Originals, 1519 North Walnut Street, Muncie, IN 47303. (765) 282-0124, [email protected]; www.bluebutterflyoriginals.com

Carol Leigh’s Hillcreek Fiber Studio, 7001 South Hill Creek Road, Columbia, MO 65203. (800) 874-9328, [email protected]; www.hillcreekiberstudio.com

Dewberry Ridge, 3222 Massey Ford Road, Union, MO 63084. (636) 583-8112, [email protected]; www.dewberryridge.com

Hazel Rose Looms, Route 2 Box 4792, Trinity Center, CA 96091. [email protected]; www.hazelroselooms.com Schacht Spindle Company, 6101 Ben Place, Boulder, CO 80301. www.schachtspindle.com 14 | little looms | h a n d wovenmagaz i ne.com

beyond • the • basic square

The projects in this magazine all build on the simple 4" x 4" square, but the only limit in pin-loom weaving is your imagination—there are looms in more shapes and sizes than you can imagine. Here are a few we like.

~ Spriggs Mini-Mod Triangle Loom (available from Carol Leigh’s Hillcreek Fiber Studio)

~ Hazel Rose Tumbling Blocks Loom

~ Blue Butterfly 2" x 2" and 2" x 4"

~ Dewberry Ridge Dragon Fly Loom

Steel Pin Skipper Hand Looms little looms |

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loom Choosing the right yarn for your project is essential to a successful design. If you were knitting, you could change needle sizes, brand, materials, or even your knitting style to accommodate the demands of the yarn. With pin-loom weaving, your yarn choice is limited by your loom’s ixed sett. But fear not—there is room for innovation in yarn choices and how you use each type of yarn. The possibilities of weaving are as endless as the number of yarns in the world. Experiment and watch your pin-loom shapes come to life before your eyes! Here are a few pointers for choosing yarn.

plenty • of •

Possibilities By Benjamin Krudwig

WEIGHT Sock, ingering-weight, and DK-weight yarns are generally the best for pin-loom weaving. You may use laceweight on its own to create an airy and delicate fabric or double it up to create a faux basketweave. Anything larger than DK-weight is nearly impossible to weave with for many small looms. Mountain Colors River Wash Sport, colorway Mountain Twilight, www.mountaincolors.com

COLOR You don’t have to use just a single color yarn, or even just one strand of yarn when weaving on a pin loom. Choosing a self-striping or variegated yarn will create striking patterns. You can also use different colored yarns together in alternating layers to create other great color-and-weave combinations. Schoppel Yarn Zauberball Starke 6 (self-striping), colorway 2248, www.skacelknitting.com

Loom shown at right: Schacht Zoom Loom, www.schachtspindle.com

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STRETCH Wool, wool blends, and some synthetic ibers are the easiest to use, as the stretchiness makes weaving a breeze. You can use yarns with less stretch such as cotton, linen, or hemp, but you must add extra slack in the yarn as you warp the loom to make up for the yarn’s lack of give. Yarn like this creates a wonderful fabric with a great hand. Determine what kind of yarn you are using, then decide what kind of warping treatment to use with it. SweetGeorgia Superwash DK, colorway Lavender, www.sweetgeorgiayarns.com

TEXTURE Novelty yarns such as fun fur, ribbon yarn, ladder yarn, eyelash, bouclé, and others can add flair and texture to a pin-loom square. Use this type of yarn in your last layer to avoid tangles or splitting the yarn when passing the needle through the warp layers. These embellished squares add pizazz to your project and can use up small bits of leftover stash. Halcyon Victorian Bouclé, colorway 3410, www.halcyonyarn.com

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Get started weaving! We know weaving so let us help select the right loom for you.

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YARN BARN of Kansas www.yarnbarn-ks.com 800-468-0035

Check out our website: harrisville.com 800-338-9415 69 Main St. Harrisville, NH 03450 little looms |

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y r t s e p a t ves Must-Ha

Whether you’re weaving traditional-style tapestries or textured art pieces, there are a few pieces of gear that will make your weaving life easier.

Ashford Frame Loom

LOOM Looms used for simple tapestry are the most basic of tools, just enough to hold the warp evenly spaced and under tension for your creative endeavors. For the pieces demonstrated here, a frame loom or lap loom will do the trick. Some tapestry looms have another element, a mechanism for holding heddles and a shed. Another fun option is a circular loom (next page), which holds the warp threads in a radiating pattern.

Schacht School Loom


Depending on your yarn and the width of your warp, you may be able to use a typical tapestry needle (see page 14) or longer weaving needle to pass the weft.


Hokett Would Work Needle

A smooth piece of wood longer than the width of your warp, this will hold one of the weaving sheds open, making half of the weft passes a cinch. Most weavers use a pick-up stick (see page 8) for this purpose.

STICK SHUTTLES Although you could use a needle to place each pick, the short lengths of yarn involved can make for a lot of ends to weave in. A shuttle will hold more yarn and be easier to pass through the warp. (See page 6.) 18 | little looms | h a n d w ovenmagaz i ne.com


Majacraft Circular Loom 7" (available from The Woolery)

nice to have TAPESTRY BOBBINS f

Special tapestry bobbins help the yarn pass between warp threads.

Glimakra Tapestry Bobbin



To press the weft into place, you will need a device that slips between the weft threads easily. You could use a dining fork, but a specially made tapestry fork is more eficient.

nice to have nice to have

Schacht Tapestry Beater

Navajo Weaving Forks (available from The Woolery)

MANUFACTURER CONTACTS Ashford Handicrafts, 415 West Street, Ashburton, Mid Canterbury 7700, New Zealand. +64 3-308 9087, www.ashford.co.nz United States Distributor: Foxglove Fiberarts Supply, 8040 NE Day Road W, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. (206) 780-2747, www.foxgloveiber.com

Canadian Distributor: Harmonique Fibre Arts Supply, (250) 294-4411, www.harmonique.ca Glimakra USA, 1471 Railroad Boulevard Unit 5, Eugene, OR 97402. (541) 246-8679, www.glimakrausa.com Hokett Would Work, [email protected]; www.wouldworkifhewantedto.wordpress.com Schacht Spindle Company, 6101 Ben Place, Boulder, CO 80301. www.schachtspindle.com The Woolery, 315 Saint Clair Street, Frankfort, KY 40601. (800) 441-9665, [email protected]; www.woolery.com

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Inspiring Yarns • for •

free-form Weaving


By Sarah Neubert

Exploratory, three-dimensional woven art is all about the uniqueness of the materials. I often say that I don’t choose the materials—they choose me! When I shop for yarn, I often go without any prior ideas and purchase iber that inspires me to approach weaving in a new way. With that in mind, here are a few types of yarn that have given me inspiration and lend themselves to spontaneous weaving.

The rugged squishiness of a bulky singles yarn is so much fun to work with and looks beautiful in a completed piece. Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky, www.yarn.com

2. THICK AND THIN Yarns with a variegated thickness can provide lots of inspiration. Even simple tabby gets a wavy, undulating quality when it’s done with a thick-and-thin yarn. I also love pulling up little loops of this yarn or doing a soumak stitch. (See page 84.) Mango Moon Dreadlocks, www.mangomoonyarns.com

3. CORE SPUN Corespun yarn is tricky to work with but can be very rewarding. Because the iber is loosely spun around a core, when you weave with it, your stitches almost disappear and you’re left with a beautiful brushed texture.

Corespun squiggle yarn from LunabudKnits, www.lunabudknits.com

5. UNIQUE SILK I don’t like my work to look too polished, but I do love a good silk yarn. Silk is incredibly versatile, and there are so many natural colors, varieties, and processes that I could write an article just on silk! For example, silk noil is roughly processed, leaving bits of cocoon in the yarn, so it has a lot of texture but is still soft and luxurious to work with. Sari silk adds color and texture in weaving. Treenway Silks Recycled Silk Yarn, www.treenwaysilks.com

6. FINE YARNS While you probably wouldn’t want to create the body of your weaving with a laceweight yarn (it would take forever!), I enjoy using thin yarns for creating fringe or carrying multiple strands of yarn at once. Harrisville Shetland, www.harrisville.com


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Unspun iber is a dream to the senses and has a wonderful sculptural quality. When I work with roving, I usually select a iber with a long staple length, such as Corriedale. Just be extra gentle with roving—it can get shredded if you’re not careful pulling it through the warp. Ashford Corriedale Sliver, www.foxgloveiber.com and www.ashford.co.nz

Unlike traditional tapestry weaving, free-form weaving will often show your warp. Because of this, I often start with a thin, beautiful but strong linen or cotton/linen blend with some texture. Louet Euroflax Sport, www.louet.com Loom shown here: Hokett Would Work Hand Loom, [email protected]

Skipper™ Pin Looms With Blue Butterfly Skipper™ pin looms, the Weaving Fun has just begun! Made in the USA of solid cherry or walnut wood.

· 10 different interchangeable sizes. · Free project with each loom. · Creative · Versatile · Fun 765-282-0124 | www.bluebutterflyoriginals.com

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• special advertising section •

ASHFORD WEAVING From the early days of our company Ashford Handicrafts Ltd, founded in 1934, weaving looms have been an important part of our textile craft equipment range. From two to sixteen shafts and from 10–48 inches, there is an Ashford loom for everyone. We love particularly our range of rigid heddle looms—the SampleIt, Knitters Loom and Rigid Heddle Looms. These looms are so easy to use, go anywhere and can create the most amazing textiles! Quick and easy to warp—you can be weaving in minutes! The looms come complete with easy-to-follow instructions, reed, shuttles, threading hook, warping peg and clamp. Just add yarn! There are books and YouTube videos, too, to guide and inspire. To allow complete freedom for the weaver we have an extensive range of accessories. The reeds range from 2.5 to 15 dpi and there is even a vari-dent reed, so you weave with super ine to funky art yarn. With a second heddle the Rigid Heddle, Knitters Loom and SampleIt Looms can create even more complex weaves, double width or doubled layered. As we know many weavers like to travel with their loom or attend workshops and conferences, many of the Ashford looms fold, even when warped and have handy carry bags. Strong ratchets with clicker pawls keep the weaving in place. The looms are made from beautiful New Zealand Silver Beech, a hardwood from a sustainably-managed forest. A strong, dense timber, the looms are robust and look and feel wonderful. The SampleIt loom is one of our most affordable and popular looms. Now 10ins wide with built-in second heddle option.

Happy weaving!

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TOP: Joy Ashford with one of the irst rigid heddle looms in the 1940s. ABOVE: The SampleIt, Ashford’s popular 10in loom

• special advertising section •



warping a loom

direct Method


Featuring the Ashford SampleIt Loom


Use a long table or set two tables in place until the warping peg is approx. 2m (78ins) from the back warp stick on the loom. Insert a clamp into the hole in the back rail and clamp it to the table. Clamp the warping peg to the other end of the table. Note: The back of the loom has the cut-out in the lower edge. Engage the front and back pawls into the teeth in the cogs.



The reed support block can accommodate two reeds. This project only uses one reed. Place the reed in the rest position.


Tie the warp yarn to the back warp stick. The back warp stick should be approximately 6cm (2½ins) from the back roller. Push the threading hook through the irst slot. Catch the yarn with the hook and pull a loop through the slot.


Take the yarn to the warping peg and loop it over. Sit the ball of yarn on the loor behind the loom. HINT:


Sit the ball of yarn in a bowl so it doesn’t roll around on the floor.


Push the threading hook through the next slot. Take the yarn OVER the back warp stick, catch the yarn on the hook and pull a loop through the slot. Place this loop over the warping peg in the same way as the irst loop. Try and keep the tension even across the loom. Go to the next slot. Take the yarn under the back stick, through the slot and over the warping peg. Continue this way, one yarn thread over, one thread under until you have yarns in every slot.



To change colors tie off one color onto the back warp stick. Tie on the new color to the back warp stick. Check tension. Cut the last thread at the back of the loom and tie it to the back warp stick.



Take a piece of scrap yarn. Tie this yarn irmly around all the warp threads in the front of the warping peg with a bow or knot you can undo easily later. Cut through all the yarn loops at the warping peg.

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• special advertising section •

For instructions on weaving with one or two heddles, go to www.ashford.co.nz/weave



warping a loom


Ask a friend to hold the warp ends for you. They must hold the threads under tension at the tie and move forward as you wind the warp on the loom. NOTE: If you


are by yourself, refer to the Solo Warping Instructions on our website, www.ashford.co.nz/images/download_pdfs/how_to _sheet/solo_warping.pdf


Stand at the back of the loom. Turn the back handle towards you until the back warp stick goes around the roller once. Insert a cardboard warp stick or piece of paper the full width of the loom. The cardboard warp sticks or paper separate the yarns and keep the tension even. Add more cardboard warp sticks or paper as you wind the warp on.



Stop when the tie is at the front of the loom. Remove the tie. Do not wind any further! Unclamp the loom.



Lift the irst 2 threads on the left to the top of the slot. Look behind the reed and gently pull the left hand thread out of the slot. The other thread stays in the slot. Use the threading hook to pull this thread through the eye to the left of the slot. Continue across all slots. Now threads are in both eyes and slots. NOTE: Be careful.

Don't pull too hard and break the thread!


Turn the front handle until the front warp stick is approx. 5cm (2ins) from the front roller. Divide the threads into 6 groups. Start with a centre group. Take this group of threads over and around the front warp stick. Divide it in two. Tie in a lat single knot.



Tie the other groups in the same way. Check the tension. The tension of the threads should be the same. Tighten all the threads by winding the front handle towards you. Adjust the knots until all groups are the same tension. Tie the second half of the knots to secure. Use half a bow tie. You want to be able to undo these knots easily when your scarf is inished.


There are 2 weaving positions. First lift the reed into the up weaving position. Insert a cardboard warp stick into the shed. Slide it to the front of the loom. Change the reed to the down weaving position. Insert a cardboard warp stick into the shed. Slide it to the front of the loom. You are now ready to weave!

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WEAVING LOOMS & ACCESSORIES Light, portable and fun The SampleIt Loom is perfect for new and experienced weavers. Easy to use for successful first projects, for learning new techniques and for sampling new yarns. Warp and be weaving in minutes. The perfect gift for the new weaver. The NEW 10" (25cm) weaving width with NEW built-in second heddle kit allows you to weave all your favorite rigid heddle patterns.

LOOM STAND VARI DENT REED Warp thick, thin and any yarns in-between. Available for the SampleIt loom, Rigid Heddle and Knitters looms. Includes 2" and 4" sections of 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5 and the NEW 15 dents per inch (dpi).

The Rigid Heddle Loom, our most popular loom has become even more versatile! Available in 4 weaving widths.

Choose 16", 24", 32" or 48" width. Loom stand and second heddle kit also available. REEDS and ACCESSORIES Additional reeds for Ashford’s SampleIt loom, Rigid Heddle and Knitters looms are available in 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5 and the NEW 15 dents per inch (dpi). Made of strong, durable yet gentle nylon. Pick-up sticks in a variety of lengths and loomstands also available.

>> FREEDOM ROLLER Now you can weave double width projects with ease, weave rugs longer and thicker, weave with super yarns. Available for Ashford Rigid Heddle looms 16", 24" and 32".

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