‘Tis the season for loom building, I guess. Several people on the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group have been posting pictures of their latest hand-built loom. In fact, I have posted one myself. My husband built it, a 2.5″ x 2.5″ loom with ultra-skinny pins–a replica of the 4″ x 4″ Weave-it in miniature. The same patterns suitable for the Weave-it can also be woven, with finer thread, on this loom. It has a tighter weave and produces (obviously) a smaller square.
I had to try out my signature stitch, “Horizontal Xs,” to break in the new loom. Quite a difference between the two!
Today I was working on a new project and using a 2″ x 2″ loom. I decided I needed an even smaller piece of weaving. I have a Loomette with bars–an adjustable loom that allows you to create several different sized “squares.” But I’m not crazy about using it. If I only have to weave one or two squares I’ll put up with the inconvenience of working through the outer 4″ x 4″ pins, but I wanted a lot of these little pieces. Also, the adjustable Loomette’s yield is not wholly satisfying. The weave is looser along the bar edge. I just don’t like it. Instead, I prefer the inconvenience of constructing my own loom. It only took about twenty minutes* to make, and the size of the finished piece was perfect.
However, notice the white background on the loom. The squares I needed to make were also white, so it was hard to see to weave properly. And the pins have heads on them, so getting the square off the loom was difficult. I wanted to be able to make lots of squares quickly, so I needed smooth, headless pins.
Not everyone has one of these:
But I do and I finally had a chance to use it. Getting the pins out of the decrepit plastic was a lot easier than you might imagine. They fairly flung themselves out of the wreckage.
While the dressmakers pins were out of the loom, I decided to do something about the white surface of the loom. Watercolor paint to the rescue!
It was difficult to poke the Weave-it pins into the fun foam, so I had to use a paper-piercing awl. The opposite end of that tool also came in handy for pushing the blunt pins all the way through the two layers of the frame, as well as for making pilot holes. Fun foam has a sort of self-healing quality, so it closed around the pins and held them firmly in place. Stiff foam core and flexible fun foam combine to make a sturdy little loom.
It was soooooooooo easy to weave! And I got exactly what I wanted–the right size, repeatable results, and ease of use.
Two tiny pieces of fabric from this loom combine to make the equivalent of a 2″ x 2″ square.
You might want to consider making yourself a red and green and white loom–’tis the season!
*I didn’t even bother to draw out my design on graph paper, just grabbed a scrap of it, plopped in down on the scrap of foam core, and started poking holes. You can design your own free graph paper to meet your size specifications.
**”Fun foam” refers to craft foam sheets, or shapes, that are 5mm thick. It’s like those kneeling pads for gardeners, but not as thick (though you could use that too). I think it’s also called high density and/or closed cell foam.