For Sabrina, because she asked.
I don’t have a lot to say about this style of loom because I haven’t used it much. The fact that it has one more warp and weft strand than the Weave-it intrigues me with its pattern-designing possibilities. My brief experiences with it lead me to the opinion that though not impossible, it’s difficult compared to the Weave-it, to use. Jiffy Loom is certainly worth exploring–so I plan to persevere.
First of all, here’s where you can download the Jiffy Loom Instruction Manual. This leaflet is different from the JL project books found here–be sure to also download those PDFs if you want to play around with the JL.
STEP BY STEP 3-LAYER WARPING AND WEAVING ON THE JIFFY LOOM:
***REMEMBER: Click on a photo to enlarge it. Click the back arrow to return to these instructions.
JL doesn’t number its corners. In fact, nothing is printed on the JL frame. The manual refers to sides A, B, C, and D. Because I speak Weave-it-ese, I’m going to use Weave-it’s corner and side designations (I also call JL’s teeth “pins”).
Start at Cr1–where the slit to secure your yarn resides. This first yarn pass is different from W-it because it starts between pins 1 and 2. From there on, L1 follows this path: wrap two, skip one, for a total of 16 vertical strands. End at Cr2 between the last two pins of the 1-2 edge.
L2 continues like L1–wrap two, skip one–so at Cr 2, wrap the last pin of the 1-2 edge and the first pin of the 2-4 edge. Go across to 1-3 side and wrap pins 1 and 2 of the 1-3 side. Continue wrapping two and skipping one. End at Cr4 with 16 strands.
At Cr 4, you will wrap the last pin of the 1-2 edge and the first pin of the 3-4 edge to begin L3. This layer is a bit tricky–in fact here’s where JL becomes difficult. It does a thing I call “pin sharing.” Pin sharing makes warping a bit confusing, weaving difficult. The printed JL diagram shows the L1 and L3 strands side by side on the shared pin. Yours will likely have L3 on top of L1’s strand. Whenever a strand wraps a pin to go up or to come down, it will be sharing a pin. Once you accept this fact, L3 won’t be so confusing. L3 continues the wrap two, skip one pattern of loom prep. L3 ends at Cr3 with a total of 16 strands.
L4–WEAVING–begins at Cr3. Wrap the yarn around the perimeter of all the pins 5 times–according to the JL manual (I wrapped 5 1/4 times and had plenty left over). Even though there’s a nice empty space there in the corner, that’s not where you insert the needle. Insert the needle between the first two pins. The first row is plain weave, starting Under (we’re on familiar ground here). A funny thing happens at the end of the row–because we have an even number of warp strands (32 as opposed to 31), we will end Over, but JL has you go Under the outside loop. As stated in a previous post–this outer loop is NOT a warp strand. Going Under and Over JL’s outside loops created the entwined loop system we’re familiar with from the Weave-it.
For my sample, I used the pattern included in the JL manual called “Lace Weave Block.”
IMPORTANT NOTICE!!! If you can possibly spare a weaving needle, take it to the opposite end of the loom (1-2 edge) and plain weave it, without any yarn, inserting the needle in the empty space, weaving across to Cr2 and exiting only the tip of the needle between the first two pins of the 2-4 edge (see photo immediately below). Make sure the eye of the needle remains at Cr1. This act flattens out the shared pin strands at that end of the loom, and makes weaving easier. If you don’t do this, Row 16 will be almost impossible to weave (especially if you’re using one color instead of two) and the last few rows before 16 will also be more difficult to weave.
LACE WEAVE BLOCK PATTERN INSTRUCTIONS:
R1: P beginning U. Finish U outside loop.
R2: O-1, U-3 across. Finish O outside loop.
R3: Rpt R1
R4: P-3 (beginning O), U-3 across. Last stitch (st) of last U-3 is U outside loop.
Rpt R1-4 (R16 is woven next to the 1-2 edge pins. See third photo below for details on R16.)
As you weave, take care when packing the rows. Keep checking on the pin “combs”–they are apt to dislodge. Also be careful of the combs, they are somewhat fragile. If you get frustrated put the weaving away for a while–take a break and use the user-friendly Weave-it.
Also, pay careful attention to the pattern–it will tell you how to begin and end each row–which helps you keep track of the row you’re on.
The second to last row of the block has to be crammed between two L2 rows that are following the path of least resistance. Though it was a tight fit, I knew from my first experience that having the extra needle in place was infinitely preferable.
Before weaving R16, make sure to make any necessary corrections in the previous rows because you don’t want to have to pull R16 out once it’s been woven with yarn.
When you’ve finished R15, unthread your weaving needle and thread the stationary needle plain woven through R16. Now, instead of a half-blind wrestling match, all you have to do is pull that steadfast needle through. (I can’t describe the miserable struggle I had with my first square when it came to the last row!)
The following photos are for reference, in case you want to check your squares against mine.
JIFFY LOOM RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Warp L1 and L3 in different colors.
- Wrap 5 – 5 1/4 times for weft length.
- Insert a spare needle in the last row–eye placed at Cr 1.
- If you don’t have a Jiffy Loom needle to weave with, weave with the thinnest 6-inch needle you have.
- Pay attention to the pattern for instructions on beginning and ending rows.
- Keep checking your pin combs to make sure they stay in place.