2014: September, October, November . . . Frequent visits to Amazon kept bringing up a particular product–Margaret Stump’s book, Pin Loom Weaving.
Who’d ever heard of pin loom weaving? But that folk art horse on the cover captured my interest over and over. And I don’t even like horses. I mean, I like ’em all right, but I wasn’t a horse-mad child. To tell the truth, I never once noticed the square thing at the bottom of the photo.
“You buy too many art books because of the cover,” I told myself. “Too many. Just say no to this one.”
Week after week: “Just say no.” “Walk away.” “I promise if you swim back now, no harm will come to you.”
November 30, 2014 I succumbed. In December I purchased my first Weave-it on eBay (a blue one, no needle [got a five-inch needle from Amazon]) and started learning to weave on a pin loom. At this point, you’re supposed to say, “And the rest is history,” but I think that’s a cop-out. Warping the loom was frustrating; I had no idea what I was doing. (My only prior weaving experience had been in high school and I have no clear recollection of the process, nor had I an inkling of a budding love.) But somehow I did it right and my first little square turned out beautifully!
Lesson 1: Have a good initial experience.
Lesson 2: Repeat. Often. Try different yarns, especially variegated because that kind yields stunning results.
After a few squares I was woven. (I would say “hooked” but I didn’t use one.) (Ha ha.)
Pretty soon I started weaving patterns from the Weave-it and Loomette instruction books, found here: http://www.eloomanation.com/projects.php
Next, I started laying out my blocks with the intent of making a blanket. It was fun rearranging and realizing I needed to make more. Lots more. I have to say, a little voice–very little–tried to get me to keep a record of what I was doing, but I thought it would slow me down and bore me, so I didn’t do it. This is both a bad thing and a good thing (as we shall see).
Eventually I tried my own patterns. Luckily, patterns contain lots of repeats and weaving imposes some discipline/accuracy requirements, so I had to write down what I was doing in order to repeat it correctly within the square.
But I still didn’t write down which square was which nor what yarns I used.
I ended up with a beautiful sampler blanket and an insatiable desire to MAKE MORE SQUARES. But there weren’t enough new patterns. I didn’t mind remaking some, but I’d get bored with only 50 or so to choose from.
Enter 100 Pin Loom Squares by Florenzia Campos Correa. http://smile.amazon.com/100-Pin-Loom-Squares-Combinations/dp/1250059097/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453405319&sr=1-1&keywords=100+pin+loom+squares
The BIG DISAPPOINTMENT about this book was that it wasn’t 100 patterns, rather 100 color combinations using patterns I already had from Eloomanation. I sulked. Seriously. And I wanted to write a mean review on Amazon. I don’t know why I kept consulting the book, but I did and came to the conclusion that not all the color combinations were appalling and that I actually liked some of them and wanted to try them. Which I did.
A star was born–and I don’t mean me. I mean a guiding star. The kind you want to follow: the world of color combinations!
Meanwhile, there was the pattern problem. I kept referring back to my blanket. Some squares I loved and some I originally thought were ugly grew on me. I liked them, but I couldn’t remember how to make them and I couldn’t find all the instructions I’d written. I didn’t know which set of chicken scratch went with which woven wonder. (Had to use all those Ws.) Knowing it would be a huge task, and having put it off for a long time, I finally caved and made a chart. From the chart I started recreating the patterns.
Lesson 3: Don’t use variegated yarns after all. I mean, do, but also kinda don’t. They make it really hard to identify which pattern you used.
Six moths later, I am pleased to announce the near completion of the master chart.
I know, you’re like, “Wait, shouldn’t you save the announcement till you’re finished?” Don’t know about you, but I find final installments to be yawners. It’s much more exciting to anticipate the completion of a project.
Of 162 squares, I’ve identified 154 so far.
I can’t tell you how many variations and original spin-offs I’ve created in this pursuit–all recorded and labeled. I’m not the originator of ALL 154 squares, but it’s possible I’ve invented twice that many in the identification process–so not making a record turned out to be a good thing after all.
Sorting and cataloging the new squares will be another fun hill (ahem, mountain) to climb.