UPDATE (22 AUG 2019): For updated and better information on Two-layer Warping (2LW), please see the Topical Guide on Adventures in Pin Loom Weaving. Scroll down to the bottom for several links to instructions.
Two-Layer Warping (2LW) opens the door to a world of ultra-cool patterns. It’s a step closer to weaving on other looms. You’ll learn a bit more about how weaving works, and 2LW will help you understand the three-layer warping process more fully.
This post covers 2LW on the Weave-it and comparable looms. Loomette offers a slightly different approach which will be covered in a subsequent post.
(See also Adventures in Pin Loom Weaving Topical Guide—scroll down to Two-Layer Warping section—for links to videos and posts I’ve made about this subject.)
In my opinion the Weave-it directions are more confusing than helpful (though the diagram is worth its salt). I suppose they did their best, but they must not have reckoned on dealing with someone left-brain-challenged. Let’s just say my interpretation of their instructions left something to be desired.
The diagram I referred to can be found in the Weave-it instruction pamphlet which doesn’t seem to be available on the eloomanation website, so we’ll have to depend on my photos. Viable instructions on 2LW can also be found in Florencia Campos Correa’s book, 100 Pin Loom Squares. If you have her book, be sure to read ALL the basic instructions for two-layer warping on pp 38-39 in addition to the instructions for the individual patterns.
First steps in warping the loom are standard if you’re familiar with the 1&3/2&4 two-color method of loom prep. In 2LW just leave out the second layer. If you’re not familiar with L1&3 warping, it’s not difficult, just different. L1 is the same; it ends at Cr2. From there, L2 begins (in other circumstances we would call it L3, but in 2LW, it’s now called L2).
L2: After bringing the last L1 strand down to Cr2, u-turn the yarn around pin #1 of the 3-pin Cr2 group (this is the part that’s different: you CIRCLE ONLY ONE PIN). Take the yarn back up toward Cr4, between pins #2 and #3 of the Cr4 four-pin group. Continue warping as you would normally warp L3.
NOTE: Warping can be a little tighter than you might be used to, but still don’t make it taut. (The photo below shows yarn under tight tension for clarity’s sake.)
***REMEMBER: click on a photo to enlarge it; click the back arrow to return to these instructions.
Notice: the thicker the yarn, the less open space you’ll see between the strands.
WIND THE YARN 8 1/2 TIMES around the loom. You might want a bit more or a bit less, but this amount should be ample for most patterns. Cut the yarn and thread your needle. (If you’re using the 2″ x 2″ loom, wrap pins 4 1/2 times.) Because the second (1st weft) layer has been left out, you need to wind more yarn around the loom because now you’re ready to start putting in all 31 weft rows.
(NOTE: Bulky yarn is not recommended in a 2LW square. You would have to change colors (or, at least, yarn weights) every layer in order to balance the bulkier strands with the thinner. If you used all bulky for L1&2 and all thin for the weft (or vice versa), you’d still be cramming 31 strands of bulky side by side. If you care to experiment with bulky yarn in 2LW, feel free! Using heavier worsted weight yarn (such as Red Heart Super Saver or with Love, or Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice) is perfectly acceptable. I don’t use wool or cotton yarn much, so I don’t have recommendations for those yarns.
Begin weaving R1: P, by going between the two 2-pin groups at Cr3. Weave under the first strand, over the next, across the row. If you’re used to 3LW, this method of weaving will likely feel a little insecure at first. Be prepared for that. Within a few rows the weaving will tighten a bit and things will feel more secure. Also, we’re working with an extra long tail of yarn–this will be good practice if you plan to use a larger loom someday. Most patterns (including the two we’re covering today) will have you plain weave (P) the first row, but that’s not always the case. Be sure to check your pattern.
Throughout the weaving, the fell line is skewed. This is caused by the pin configuration, but the rows will level out when the square is taken off the loom.
THE HARDEST PART is the beginning–tricky needle entrances and exits, getting the rows placed just right. After the first four rows, weaving and pin wrapping falls into a 4-row repeat and will be easier to follow.
AFTER ROW 1, BEFORE ROW 2: wrap the R1 yarn around the Cr4 4th pin (at last! a use for the long-ignored 4th pin). Then begin R2, inserting the needle into the space between horizontal and vertical pin groups (top space of loom’s 2-4 edge).
R2–enter in the space–O-2, U-2 across, ending U-1–exit between two pins.
R3–enter in the space–O-2, U-2 across, ending U-1–exit in the opposite space.
R4–enter between pins 1 and 2–O-1, U-1; O-2, U-2 across, ending O-1–exit in opposite space.
“RULES” FOR 2/2 TWILL (without changes of direction)
From Row 3 on the pin wrapping is as follows: wrap #1, skip #2, wrap #3.
The row beginnings repeat in an Over, Over; Under, Under cadence, e.g. O2, O1, U2, U1… (R3, R4, R5, R6…)
Even numbered rows begin O1 or U1; odd rows begin O2 or U2.
Even rows begin on the 2-4 (even) side of the loom; odd rows begin on the 1-3 (odd) side of the loom. (If your loom has numbered rows, disregard them.)
The last stitch in every row is O1 or U1, e.g. U1, O1, O1, U1… (R3, R4, R5, R6…)
BASIC DIAGONAL WEAVE STITCH (2/2 TWILL) PATTERN
This is a 4-row repeating pattern. Technically you’re using rows 2, 3, and 4 in the repeats, but I’ve designated rows 5-8 as the repeats because they’re in consecutive order and have the correct pin wraps for this pattern. (This pattern can be used with these same directions on the 2″ x 2″ loom–just weave for 15 rows. Wrap pins 8 1/2 times for 4″ loom, 4 1/2 times for 2″ loom.)
R1: P (notice there are no outer loops to go through). Wrap Cr4 pin. Insert needle into space.
R2: O-2, U-2 across, ending U-1. Needle exits between two pins at Cr3 (1-3 side of loom).
R3: O-2, U-2 across, ending U-1. Needle exits in the space; wrap pin #1.
R4: O-1, U-1; O-2, U-2 across, ending O-1. Needle exits in the space; wrap pin #1.
R5: U-2, O-2 across, ending O-1; wrap pin #3.
R6: U-1, O-1; U-2, O-2 across, ending U-1; wrap pin #3.
R7: O-2, U-2 across, ending U-1; wrap pin #1.
R8: O-1, U-1; O-2, U-2 across, ending O-1; wrap pin #1.
R9: Rpt R5
R10: Rpt R6
R11: Rpt R7
R12: Rpt R8
R13: Rpt R5
R14: Rpt R6
R15: Rpt R7
R16: Rpt R8
R17: Rpt R5
R18: Rpt R6
R19: Rpt R7
R20: Rpt R8
R21: Rpt R5
R22: Rpt R6
R23: Rpt R7
R24: Rpt R8
R25: Rpt R5
R26: Rpt R6
R27: Rpt R7
R28: Rpt R8
R29: Rpt R5
R30: Rpt R6
R31: Rpt R7
UPDATE (10 SEP 2016)
At the time of the original 2LW post, I didn’t think a plain weave row was necessary to complete the square. Recently (see SCARECROW PART 1) I decided to add a 32nd row of plain weave to finish off the twill. I started the row O1, U2, then O1, U1 across. It turned out great when I took it off the loom, so if you have room and extra yarn, you might want to add that row.
SQUARE FINISHES WITH YARN AT CORNER 2 AND BEGINNING TAIL AT THE OPPOSITE END OF THE ROW–AT CORNER 1.
I find those first four rows exceedingly tricky. Since I want repeatable results, I took the time to figure all of this out in great detail. If you’re still having trouble don’t hesitate to ask for help. Maybe this diagram will help too.
To vary this pattern–or change direction of the diagonal–repeat the -1, -1 or -2, -2 row beginning from the row just finished on the next row, but reverse the lettering–e.g. if you started U-1, O-1, begin the next row with O-1, U-1. You can add rows of plain weave or other pattern stitch variations in here too. Caveat: I have not fully tested this theory yet!
HERRINGBONE (AKA ARROW STITCH) VARIATION
Follow pattern instructions through R16. (After R16 disregard pin wrap info.)
On R17 switch to R6. Then continue weaving starting with R7, R8, R5 . . .
For “Herringbone” on the 2″ x 2″ loom–on R8 switch to R6.
Follow pattern instructions through R10. (After R10 disregard pin wrap info.)
On R11 switch to R8. Then continue weaving starting over with R5, R6, R7, R8, R5 . . .
On R21 switch to R8. Continue as before with R5, R6, R7 . . .
If you wish, add a plain weave R32: U, O across, ending U.
You might also want to try switching on rows 6, 11, 16, 21, and 26.
I love your detailed instruction about twill. Thanks Sue.
Just a note that the “diagonal weave” directions and diagrams are in several of the Weave-It pattern books, at the end of the books.
There are instructions for the two-layer warp patterns are in the Weave-it instruction manual, but I understand that’s still under copyright. When I mentioned that–in my opinion–the Weave-it directions were unclear, I was referring to that leaflet. I haven’t seen instructions for two-layer patterns in the Weave-it Weaves booklet or Weave-it Magic Squares, which are the only ones I’m familiar with. There may be some in other Weave-it pattern books, but I haven’t looked at them, so I couldn’t say so. Thank you for pointing that out. There are also some 2LW patterns in Loomette books, and a number in Florencia Campos Correa’s book, 100 Pin Loom Squares.