OK, that pun doesn’t really work. Anyway, I succeeded the first time. Sort of.
You may or may not remember a post I wrote last July* after I built my first triangle loom. I recorded some tips I wanted to remember the next time I wove a triangle.
Two days ago I wove my second triangle.
Lapse of several months, right? That’s because the first triangle I made was so DIFFICULT to weave that I couldn’t summon the desire to make another. Squares are useful and fun to weave, so why go through fire?
Enter 18″ doll Party Dress. Remember this weave-along? In December I hit a wall (please, no **Wall-related humor just now), and couldn’t get myself to assemble the various pieces into an actual dress. I finally dragged it all out about a week ago and started messing around with it. I got this far (individual pieces are joined, but the skirt and bodice are basted together). I didn’t like the original sleeves I’d made (folded over squares in light pink; she’s standing on them). I wanted the fuzzy dark pink yarn for sleeves, and didn’t want folded squares. That meant TRIANGLES.
However, I also wanted the hypotenuse (the long side of the triangle which would be the bottom edge of the sleeve) to have the traditional pin loom scallops. The video instructions I followed produced a triangle with a straight edge—probably more suitable if you want to join the triangles to each other along the middle. It’s nice to have options.
I got out my trusty homemade triangle loom and tried, using the fuzzy yarn, to relearn how to weave triangles. It was really hard to see where to insert the needle. I got near the end of the triangle, but detected a mistake. I couldn’t figure out how to fix it, so I frogged the whole (little) piece. (For those who don’t know, frogging means to take it apart: “Rippit, rippit.”) By the way, triangles are so small they weave up quite quickly once you get the hang of how to do it.
While I warped up the loom for another go at completing a triangle, I sort of stumbled on this warping style (described below). It may be the same instructions Hazel Rose showed in her video, but I didn’t recheck. By that time I was in Experimentation Zone and wanted to know what would happen if . . .
This is what I came up with. (Remember: you can click on any photo to enlarge it, or click on the green highlighted words in the post to visit the referenced link. Click the back arrow to return to this post.)
You can see that the first warp thread of L1 takes a sidestep in order to wrap the top pin at Cr3. As the warps approach Cr2, they start to sort of lean toward the 1-3 side of the loom. Don’t worry about this. They’ll look straight when you take the triangle off the loom. Make sure you warp loosely enough to be able to maneuver your needle a bit at Cr2—the first few rows of weaving are difficult because of the slanted overlapping warp threads there.
Always use the “wrap two, skip one” chant to help you while warping. As I warped I had to pay really close attention to make sure I was getting the correct pins wrapped, so expect that. If things don’t turn out right when you get to the corners, look back at your warping; you probably skipped two pins instead of one somewhere along the line.
You’ll finish warping at Cr2, all ready to wrap two pins and weave R1 alongside the 1-2 edge pins. Because this blue square is finished, I’ll need to warp up again and weave another triangle to get photos of the process. So, hang on a few ticks . . . (While I prepare, photograph, and weave a demo piece, you can enjoy this photo which it seemed necessary to include, but which doesn’t seem to fit gracefully into what I’ve written.)
Be very careful at the end of warping L3—make sure to get the correct pins wrapped. (I say this because I had to frog the demo piece I just started. Sure enough: mistake in warping right at the end of L3.)
After warping the loom, I wrap the pins three times plus the length of the hypotenuse (the diagonal, or 2-3, side of this loom). This is PLENTY of yarn to weave with.
The sample in the following photos shows the 11-11-16 Update of the “3-and-1” pattern (which is essentially U3, O1 across). All even rows start and end with P2. All odd rows also start P2 (hypotenuse side), but end P4 (on the 1-3 side of the loom).
Rows 1-3 are the most challenging—visibility issues and slanted warps. R1 begins by taking the needle through the slit at Cr2. Square pin looms will have a rounded outer loop there. On this loom the loop is skewed and elongated into a slit. Don’t let it psych you out, just take the needle through it and Under the first warp thread. Plain weave R1 as usual. Then begin R2 as usual.
At the end of R2, it’s a bit tricky to get over and under the correct threads. Look carefully at the pins to ascertain where your warp threads are. The last warp is slanted (think of the orientation of the pins) and located on the outside of the pins below the outer loop (which is also slanted). It will look different from what you’re used to seeing on the square loom. It doesn’t matter if the needle exits the row above or below the hypotenuse pin. Square loom weaving has us exit the row below the pin, but it hardly matters here. (Further experimenting may prove it’s best to always exit below. To be on the safe side, I’d choose that option. Please remember, I was learning a jillion things here, so not everything was brought to my attention the first eight times around.)
At the beginning of all odd rows (those beginning from the hypotenuse side), you have to do a needle maneuvering trick. Poke the needle through the top strand of yarn (this is the outer loop) and pull it outward away from the loom, then scoop Under the first warp (the bottom strand of yarn). The first warp of all odd rows on the triangle loom is on the outside of the pins and is slanted (the same is true for the last warp of all even rows). Continue weaving over and under (or follow your pattern stitch instructions) across.
After beginning R3 the rest of the weaving is a piece of cake . . . till you get to R16. It’s a very short row though, so it’s not all that difficult. If you’re using the “3-and-1” pattern, you’ll have to abandon it on R15 and plain weave the last two rows (R15 and R16) because there aren’t enough warp threads to complete the pattern.
After a few triangles with baby yarn, I felt confident about trying the fuzzy yarn. It was still tricky to see where to put the needle, so I had to pay close attention. The fuzzy triangles turned out fine.
After fuzzy yarn I decided to try two colors and a pattern weave at the same time. Below are some samples of finished triangles in two colors using the “3-and1” pattern stitch. I warped L1-3 in a light color and L4 in a second, variegated yarn.
After I get a little more confidence with the triangle, I’ll write up another post, maybe draw a diagram, work on joining techniques . . . We’ll see. Quite likely something else will come along and consume my attention. I’m amazed at apparently endless possibilities associated with pin loom weaving.
Adventures await. To the looms!
*Out of respect to those who make and sell looms, the template I used for my triangle loom isn’t available for download. I know you can buy a couple of sizes of Hazel Rose’s triangle Multi-looms, but I don’t know if anyone else sells three-pin configuration triangle looms.
**Wall is my maiden name. Heard a lot of jokes growing up. We Walls don’t mind bandying our name about, but I didn’t want the interruption of Wall jokes in the middle of my very serious discussion. Come to think of it, Wall-related is kind of a pun, so I violated my own request. Sigh.
My maiden name was How so I know about name jokes! We make 4″ & 6″ triangle Pin looms, both are available at http://www.hazelroselooms.com. If you are into doll clothes, there are more pattern available there, too. And some free projects of various sorts. We will make any size or shape loom you need so feel free to ask if you don’t see what you want!
A little ps: I know Sue doesn’t weave diagonal much but I find the triangle much easier to do that way and then the hypotenuse is on the straight of the grain which may or may not help in your project. Both are demoed on https://www.youtube.com/user/WeaverHazel/videos
Thanks for sharing the links Hazel. I’ll bet you heard plenty of jokes too. 🙂 I’ll have to try some more doll clothes patterns now. It’s good to be reminded about the straight of grain hypotenuse option.