Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Mystery of the Hanging Thread

This is a question from a new pin loom weaver.

Hello. I have searched the web for this annoying problem that I have with my 4 In. square loom. I just started weaving these lovely squares but I am doing something wrong because when I pop them off, they all have one side where the yarn is loose, almost looks like a picture hanger wire at the edge. What am I doing wrong? Thanks for any help.

I am so glad that you have written about this. This is a common problem for all or most new pin loom weavers (it happened to me a lot and I have a feeling that there are other people out there nodding, too). What is happening is that you are not completing the weaving, you are leaving either the first row or the last row of weaving (probably the last) unsecured. I have actually managed to leave a loop at each end-- yes, I missed weaving both the first and last rows.

The problem is that it can be difficult to figure out exactly where to start weaving and the last row in particular is very easy to miss. 

Below are some pictures that I copied from the Schacht Zoom Loom weaving instructions to illustrate the issue. Start weaving in the same corner as the #2, you will be inserting the needle between the first and second pin. For the last line of weaving, you are inserting your needle into a small triangle. This last line is often pretty tight and may take some patience to weave. This is a great place to use your fork as a beater to move the lines of weaving down and give yourself more space to see and weave this last line.

 I hope this helps. But please don't be discouraged, you have just taken the second step into pin loom weaving. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pin Loom artistry and technique at Windswept Mind

For me, one of the delights of the web is the ability to see what other people are doing and weaving.

I have been particularly delighted to see the weaving being done by Sue Burton at Windswept Mind.

I was introduced to this site by a friend who is using Burton's carefully laid out instructions to weave houndstooth squares in linen. This is an example to the right.

She notes, "I learned the houndstooth check pattern from the book 100 Pin Loom Squares by Florencia Campos Correa. Loved the square, but thought her instructions were insufficient, so I’m writing my own–with photos. I took LOTS of photos and I hope they help anyone who wants to learn this stitch."

Ms. Burton has taken the time and care to weave some extraordinary squares and to explain how to get consistent results. I would suggest that you bookmark her site and visit it often as she builds a library of stunning weaves and techniques.

To find the information on weaving techniques, click here or go to the home page and click on the category, "Pin Loom Patterns."

Check out Sue's innovative fix for the Hourglass Pattern as well as illustrations for edging and joining squares

Sue's Zoom Loom friendly patterns are demonstrated on a Weave-It Loom as well as on a Loomette. I especially want to give her props for the use of the Loomette, a really handy and underutilized vintage loom design.

My work has emphasized tabby weaving combined with variable yarns or strong color contrasts. Sue is weaving squares that beg to be turned into scarves, hats, vests and other people friendly wraps.

Thank you for sharing your lovely work with all of us. Check out the site: Windswept Mind; Pin Loom Patterns.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Minnesota Pin Loom Workshop

This is a quick shout out to weavers in the Minnesota area. I am going to be doing a day long workshop in Mankato, MN (my home town) moving through the whole pin loom process, from beginning pin loom weaving through making a woven, stuffed dog and weaving and joining a 4"x 4" Pooch Pouch.

I have several people signed up who are already experienced pin loom weavers. If you have some experience that will give you more time to experiment and complete projects. There is already a request in for making both dogs and cats, which we can do. This would be a great opportunity to share your pin loom passion with a friend or family member.

For more information about this workshop, see the Pooch and Pouch information at Mary Lou's Yarn and Ewe website.    If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at pinloomweaving at

There will be more news coming soon on regional workshops for pin loom weaving as well as information on workshops now scheduled at Convergence, Milwaukee, July 31 through August 6. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Diagonal Weave on the Pin Loom

I have run into a number of people, including Calvin from Cairo, who swear by the diagonal weave on the pin loom. If you have not tried it, you can find the original directions below. I have posted them because when I went to find sources for these instructions online I couldn't find any.  Diagonal weave instructions were originally included with other beginner instructions with the Weave-it Hand Looms and Loomettes.

I would also recommend that you take a look at Constance Hall's very clear directions, Weaving Twill on the Zoom Loom, found at Schacht Spindle, the manufacturers of the Zoom Loom.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Pin Loom Weaving from Egypt

Pin looms may have been an American invention, but they have spread around the world. It is so fun to see the numbers of people who check in on from the UK, Canada, Ukraine, Netherlands, Australia, Germany, Italy, France, India and lots more.

I had an opportunity to correspond with Calvin, a pin loom weaver from Cairo, Egypt. Calvin was kind enough to send along some pictures of his gorgeous weaving.

Calvin writes, "I make all kinds of things: scarves, sweaters, hats, etc. And even blankets or Afghans when the mood fits. As for the scarf, it looks like something home made and not turned out from a machine which I like. The pattern is diagonal weave which I use exclusively for all items. I picked the diagonal because of the pattern itself and that the finished fabric is softer than all the others."

"I have unusual patterns of my own which I use now and then. Using two colors makes for an interesting weave: use one color for loading the loom and the other to weave the pattern to finish." I do hope that we can get pictures of more of Calvin's work in the future.  Thanks so much for sharing.