It isn’t often I get the chance to bend a company’s ear (or, in this case, eye) and voice my voluble opinion. I just finished taking Schacht’s survey regarding new pin loom sizes and had a number of things to say. Kind of feels like going out on a limb–risking unpopularity, you know?

(I was going to post a photo of the survey, but apparently once you take it you can’t go back.)

Good to know they're protecting the purity of the turf (I think I used the expression correctly). You can't stuff the ballot box.

Good to know they’re protecting the purity of the turf (I think I used the expression correctly). You can’t stuff the ballot box.

If you want to voice your opinion, here’s the link:

Here’s what I said: “Why not propose a 2″ x 6″ loom for bookmarks? Of the three sizes you suggested, I think the 2″ x 4″ is almost useless, especially without the 2″ x 2″. My main comment about the current (4″ x 4″) Zoom Loom is that the wide base–supposedly to make the loom easier to work with–is unsuccessful. The base makes the needle effectively shorter, thus making weaving harder on one’s hands and wrists (I discovered this phenomenon when I used a 5″ needle with my first Weave-it; the extra inch on the 6″ needle made a world of difference), and the wide base limits the weaver’s ability to conveniently get at the work on the loom. I’m a Weave-it fan and only recently bought a Zoom Loom to compare it to my 35+ Weave-its and Loomettes. Both of the extinct looms are superior in usability–and I frequently make comments to this effect on my blog and Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group. The small opening in the Zoom Loom’s frame makes it difficult to weave the beginning and end stitches (the most difficult ones) of every row, and you can’t see well what’s going on underneath. The lack of numbering on the Zoom Loom frame (marking each row, so you know where to insert the needle and can more easily keep track of which row you’re on) is an astonishing design faux pas. It would be nice to see the mistakes corrected or I will continue to not-recommend the product (especially when the Weave-it is still cheaper and readily available on eBay). The 2″ x 2″ size is useful, and also available on eBay, though less regularly. If you choose to make the 6″ x 6″, I’m curious to see what you’ll do with it. Will you make the center-of-pin-to-center-of-pin spacing 1/8″ like the smaller looms? If so, what will you use for needles? I haven’t been able to locate a source for an 8″ long 1.6 mm diameter needle. For the 6″ x 6″ loom my husband and I built, we had to grind an upholstery needle thinner in the shop, which wasn’t easy! Wouldn’t it be best to have loom sizes that will complement each other? Without the 2″ squares, the 4″ and 6″ won’t match each other except in groups of 3-to-2 (this is almost the only use I can think of for the 4″ x 2″ size you proposed). Last of all, can’t you make replacement needles for the Zoom Loom more affordable? Charging people for the tapestry needle, which is easy to replace, is lame and skinflinty (I can’t believe you put it in the kit in the first place–why not an extra needle like Weavette used to do?). Not every Zoom Loom user will buy needles from Hong Kong and take them to the shop to grind off the sharp points. Seems to me, if you want to corner the market on pin looms you might consider being a little more customer-considerate. These are a few of my thoughts on the subject; I apologize if I’ve been rude. I tried to be frank and sometimes that quality can be construed as rude when the person communicating isn’t trying to lull you into feeling good about what you’re presently doing. I sincerely wish you good fortune in your endeavors to meet the desires and needs of the hopefully-growing pin loom weaving community. There are those of us doing our best to encourage your success.”

I’m not posting this info here to brag or even to prove how uncouth I am. I don’t expect Schacht to respond, but should I ever need this information again, I’d like to have it all in one place. And in case anyone else wants to express similar, or dissenting, views–here are a few ideas as a springboard.

5 Thoughts on “Adventures in Pin Loom Weaving–Schacht’s Zoom Loom Survey

  1. Leta Hansen on 23 February 2016 at 5:12 PM said:

    In my opinion, offering constructive criticism is a good thing. Especially when it is asked for. I appreciate you taking the time to speak up on this survey. I do not have enough experience in pin loom weaving to be able to offer an opinion of any value, but it am glad that you have the experience and took the time to offer up your thoughts.

  2. Lucina on 25 May 2016 at 3:28 PM said:

    I confess I really like my Zoom Loom, I find the wide base very smooth and comfortable to hold. I like the needle and its length and non-bendiness, also the big eye which is easy to thread. Admittedly, I’ve never used, or even seen a Weave-It loom as we don’t get them in the UK. I wouldn’t have heard of pin-looms if it hadn’t been for the Zoom Loom, so I’m grateful for that at any rate. I also have a couple of Hazel Rose looms which I like very much. I love the feel of the wood, though I prefer the headless pins on the Zoom and the Zoom needle.

    I do agree that a Zoom bookmark loom would be a great idea. However, you’ve probably had enough of my opinions by now, so I’ll shut up and read more of your excellent blog 🙂

    • It comes down to what you get used to, don’t you think? I used Weave-its for a year before I bought a Zoom Loom. It was a big difference for me. You’re right about distribution–you can’t buy Weave-its everywhere and the headless pins are superb. For this reason I’ve stopped criticizing the Zoom Loom.

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