Learning to weave has been one of the skills on my bucket list. I pictured one of those ginormous looms the size of a small room.
There are many different types of looms that can make everything from a simple narrow strap to a wide fabric with a complicated pattern. After seeing Torri Hanna use a floor loom at Tangles to Treasures, I realized that was a bit ambitious for a beginner. Instead I bought a “Rigid Heddle” loom that sits on a table or stand, and can make a project as wide as 15″.
The loom I bought came with the parts in a box, like a piece of IKEA furniture.
There is a whole new vocabulary to learn in order to put the loom together and set it up for a project. The next photo shows the assembled loom with the “warp” yarn measured out for a scarf.
After the warp yarn is measured out it is attached to “apron bars” (like dowels) at both ends and wound up around the back “warp beam” (a thicker dowel). The project is rolled from the back “warp beam” to the front “cloth beam” as weaving progresses until all of the warp yarn is used up, or until your project is the right length. Following is a photo of my loom all ready to begin the actual weaving.
I forgot to take a photo showing my weaving in progress. Instead I have a picture of a scarf Torri was making on a rigid heddle table loom, the same thing as what I bought, so you can see what it looks like. The yarn that is woven back and forth is called the “weft”.
My first completed scarf is about 7 or 8 inches wide. Most of the yarn I used was already in my stash, leftover from previous projects. I alternated the different yarns in a random way. The final result has a few problems, for one thing you can see where the weft yarns are too loose at the sides in some places. I learned a new technique for making fringe. Overall it turned out OK for my first try.
There are so many options for using yarn and fiber in creative ways, and always more projects in my head. I look forward to making another scarf soon, improving on the skills I learned with the first one.