Weekend with the Loom

This weekend I spent my time with the Loom… (not to be mistaken with fruit of the loom…   fruit and a loom is a strange combination if you really think about it).   I still feel very novice and I am going to update you on my weaving…   add some more “ah ha” moments and hopefully get some advice from some of my “expert weaver” readers.


This is where I left off from the last time I had a weaving post.   I had one shed bar, a homemade paper clip heddle bar and a large dowel.  I have since added another weaving blade… that has made things much easier.  I have also changed my design.  I wanted to make sure I “highlighted” some of the wool that I had dyed.

I will be using both the cochineal and the woad dyed wool…   along with the various natural gray and white wool.  I deviated from the original simple design… now I am not sure about the new design… would love feed back in the comments after you see where it is now.  (Be gentle… you don’t want to make my cry by saying … boy that new design is hideous…)

I am going to try to finish it off with Damascus edging… (advice from mosaicthinking)… not sure that I have enough warp at the bottom…   but will try anyway… next time I will add cardboard spacers… another bit of great advice from mosaic… (so awesome to get advice… if you have any please feel welcome to offer it.)


The paper clip heddle has saved me so much time.  You can see how easy it is to put in the shed bar while I pull out on the dowel with the paper clips..(Ben took this picture… I think he did a great job) .  This is a big time saver since before this I was weaving the shed back and forth and would often miss a thread…  Now spinning the wool yarn is the thing that takes the majority of the time.   I am wondering how much faster a spinning wheel is compared to a drop whorl…  spinning wheels are so expensive… trying to justify the cost.


Speaking of hand spun yarn… Do you see how much kinetic energy is in the yarn… It is twisting up on itself and is not very manageable.(this yarn acts a lot like my children)  I think I am missing a step.   I have been simply spinning a single ply and than weaving.  Is there something I should be doing to the newly spun thread before I weave with it?… should I be plying it?…   (sorry I am asking more questions that offering useful information… hopefully someone will answer this in the comments and other can benefit…).

Loom Weaving 3.jpg

One thing that I know that has been working very well is “scalloping” the weft to make sure that it isn’t too tight which will cause the work to “weave in” like my first attempt.   I have also learned that if you scallop the yarn when the shed bar is out or turned flat it will help keep the weft from twisting around (my work around for my highly “kinetic” yarn)


You will note that my second attempt is not weaving in like the first… (yeah!!)… BUT I still have some ugly edges.  In my fear of pulling too tight I have been leaving extra yarn at the edge and it doesn’t look great… (yes…fear can be ugly)  I have been trying to be more careful and you can see the edge improve about half way up.   Does anyone have advice for this?


Here is the design so far…   I will continue the red white up for about 10 more inches this will be the half way point… than I will mirror the bottom as I do the top half so it is symmetrical.   Any thoughts on the design?    (my wife hates the blue…)   Look forward to your comments and suggestions… thanks in advance.




27 thoughts on “Weekend with the Loom

  1. You are going to be there for a while, haha.
    What type of loom are you using? They get decidedly complex when managing the more demanding patterns.
    When I was in Vietnam and Cambodia, they were saying that even if the most skilled of weaving teams could spend months on one article.

    A fascinating read, you always take interest in such mundane equipment and bring them to life.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your progress looks great, even with the uneven edge. I haven’t woven enough to give advice, but I suspect you’ll figure out just the right tension for the weft on the edges – it may be something you learn through experience (though I’m sure a more experienced weaver will have better advice). As for spinning, I can spin just as much just as fast with a drop spindle as I can with my wheel. The wheel just offers more storage (the bobbin) for singles. If you’re spinning singles and using that right away, you’re missing a step: finishing aka washing and whacking. Wind the yarn off on to a niddy noddy to make a skein (you can easily make your own niddy noddy with PVC or dowels & brass plumbing fittings), tie it at various points to keep it from tangling, soak in soapy water, squeeze the water out, and whack the skein against something flat. Ask Google about the whole process; it will even out the energy and twist in your yarn/singles. You might also want to consider plying, YMMV. Hope this helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks…. madgeface!!! …washing and whacking… and “niddy noddy”… sounds awesome… I knew I was missing something… I want to make a niddy noddy just for its name. I will try this next weekend and post the results. (Am going to google right now)…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s the down-side of having someone think you can do no wrong…I cannot give you any constructive feedback because I am so impressed by your initiative and ingenuity…and your asides are so charming and endearing…what a wonderful sense of humor…I am so glad that I will be able to catch up on your goings-on (as in, “you’ve got it going on”)…I hope that didn’t sound inappropriate 🙂 I think you know me well enough to know what I mean…you are wonderfully-interesting, fun, adventurous…and, (from what you’ve shared in previous posts) so is your family :). Thanks for sharing my friend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Get a wheel, it is fun and easy to spin with one.
    Regarding finishing your yarn, I agree with making a skein and washing it. I soak mine in hot water with a little shampoo, then rinse going from hot water to cold, just lift the hank out of the water, don’t wring. Then I pull the hank hard a couple of times and hang it to dry. Don’t put weights on the hank when you are drying.
    Nothing wrong with your design either the frame or the weaving 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with wendycoyne. I love my spinning wheel. I started on a drop spindle so I admire your wonderful effort, but the spinning wheel is so much faster. It’s great that you are working with natural dyes. They are a lot of fun. Washing your yarn after spinning, whether single ply or plied is the way to go. You can get recipes for wool wash on the Internet. I just made my first batch this weekend. Or use Dawn dish detergent, which works great.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Looms have ALWAYS interested me! I have never tried it myself, since I get so overwhelmed with the details. I know how to knit so I shouldn’t get that nervous, right? I can’t wait to see the finished product!

    Liked by 1 person

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