Between the time I get an idea for a post and the actual composing of it, I sometimes forget the original concept, i.e. why am I writing this? This post is one of those.
Something tells me I’ve covered this subject before–see The Neglected Loomette post. However, in exploring the overlooked Loomette, I neglected to pursue the same procedures with the Weave-it (substitute Zoom Loom if that’s the one you own), so here’s the missing piece of information.
Let me start by saying the Loomette, Weave-it, Weavette, and Zoom Loom are interchangeable. The last three are virtually identical. The Loomette has a different pin layout, but anything you can do on the Weave-it you can also do on the Loomette.
I’ll add that, for some things, the Loomette is superior to the others. Using chunky-weight (#6 size) yarn is one of them. You can use chunky-weight yarn on a 4″ x 4″ pin loom, but I don’t recommend it. However, if you’re going to, get a Loomette if you can.
Reasons I don’t recommend using chunky-weight yarn: it’s not stretchy, so it’s hard to pack evenly. When threaded through the needle, the doubled yarn and needle eye are too thick to fit safely between the pins. You risk loosening or dislodging your pins. The Loomette’s pins are spaced slightly wider and can handle this thickness, but the weaving is still very tight in the last few rows.
Weaving with chunky-weight yarn on a pin loom will always be difficult. Using bulky-weight (#5 size) yarn is another matter. Weaving with bulky yarns is a pleasure–if you alter the usual warping procedure.
The Wrap-2, Skip-2 Method
This is explained in detail for the Loomette in The Neglected Loomette blog post. For the Weave-it, the procedure is a bit different and involves some personal choice as to distribution of strands.
***Remember: click on a photo to enlarge it; click the back arrow to return to this post.
Layer 1 (L1)–begin as usual, i.e. tie a slip knot on pin 2 at corner 1 (Cr1); take yarn to left side of Cr1, pin 1 and up to pin 1 at Cr3. Wrap two pins and come down to 1-2 edge of loom.
Now it gets different: wrap yarn around pin 4 and pin 1 of next 3-pin group. Go up to 3-4 edge. Wrap last pin and first pin (leaving two unwrapped). Come down, wrap pin 2&3; up, wrap 1&2. Continue wrapping two pins and skipping two. You can see in the photo that at Cr4 I wrapped three pins. L1 should have 12 strands.
Layer 2–this layer will have 11 strands. Take yarn around the corner and wrap three pins, go across to 1-3 edge and, skipping pins 1&2, wrap pins 3&1. Back to 2-4 side: skip 2&3, wrap 1&2. See photos for more details.
Layer 3: This layer will have 11 strands. In the L3 plane, distribute the strands centered between the L1 strands. It will occasionally be necessary to wrap three pins.
I realize this could be very frustrating particularly because of the fuzzy yarn I used, so I’ve included photos of the warping of L1-3 when I used chunky yarn. The pin wrapping is not identical because it doesn’t matter exactly which pins you wrap, just be sure to have the right number of strands per layer. (You can have more than 12, 11, 11, and 12–just keep them consistent.)
Layer 4–Weaving Layer
This layer will have 12 strands. Wrap the yarn all the way around the four edges of pins 4- 4 1/2 times for the correct weaving length; cut; thread needle. Begin weaving against the pins, along the 1-2 edge. Then weave each subsequent row between the L2 strands in the L2 plane. The final L4 row will be between the last L2 row and the 3-4 edge pins.
As you weave each row you can choose where to exit the row with the needle. I like to take it between the farthest-down pins to facilitate the tug technique, but I also like to keep the fell line straight.
One thing to be aware of–reducing the number of warps and wefts will make these squares incompatible with squares warped with the usual 31 x 31 strands. They’ll still be the same size, but the outside loops won’t match up.
There are some lovely, soft bulky yarns we can use for our weaving projects. Instead of using supplementary yarns to make it possible to weave with these yarns, consider fewer warp and weft strands. You’ll be able to easily weave all four layers with the same yarn.