A week of weaving – Introduction

I know I am a little late with my start to the week, but let’s just say our craft week starts on Thursdays. My friends and I have had a lot of fun with our hand looms, and I thought I would share some of our projects, and perhaps tempt you to buy one. My plan is to spend this week posting about my (limited) experience with small, hand held looms.

I first learned about small hand looms from a post on the Craft: magazine blog. Each loom is a wood frame with vertical pins on it (usually metal), and comes with a long tapestry/weaving needle. The simplicity of the set up and the sophistication of the finished squares immediately piqued my interest. It was a matter of moments before I had ordered a 2×2 inch loom for myself (and one for a friend). When I received it I immediately started making squares, and was delighted at the color patterning and textures that were coming out of my short yarn scraps in no time at all.

Small hand held looms were born back in the 1930’s, and a popular model was the Weave-it. It was most commonly available available in a 2×2 inch size (junior) and a 4×4 inch size. Production of it in some form continued until the 1970’s and a wealth of pattern books were published in those four decades. The Weave-it was the grandfather to today’s Weavette loom, produced since 1998 by Buxton Brook Looms. Buxton Brook makes a fantastic hardwood lacquered hand loom, and has expanded the available loom sizes to larger looms and rectangular shapes. They are also a source of appropriately sized weaving needles and carrying cases for your looms.

Patterns and Projects
The definitive source for weave-it history, patterns, and projects is eLoomanation. This site has a thorough history of all handheld looms (there were more than just the weave-it), and even has some pattern books available for download (saving you a trip to ebay). Now, there is also an eLoomanation blog where you can find some of Jana’s recent great project ideas.

My looms. top: 5 inch weave-it rug loom, right: 2 inch weavette, left: 4 inch wooden weave-it.

I want to buy one
If you are thinking of buying (especially a vintage loom), research at eLoomanation first. For a modern Weavette, you can purchase directly from Buxton Brook Looms or Purl Soho. At the time of writing, however, both are out of the popular 4×4 inch and 2×2 inch sizes, so you might have to turn to ebay if you are impatient.

But what can I make with it?
Well, you can only make squares or rectangles. Which you can sew together to make larger squares and rectangles. Hmmm… doesn’t really sound that fun… That’s okay, I have the rest of the week to show you how fun they are! Stay tuned!

To the next post..

Click to see all of the entries in my “Week of Weaving”.

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