Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Loomettes, making a good pin loom almost perfect

The Loomette is a vintage pin loom that has a lot to offer. Like the vintage Weave-It, it is readily available on Ebay and other online venues for very reasonable prices. It is a sturdy little wood-framed loom. The wider pin spacing means that there is more room to use variable yarns and the weaving needle won't get stuck between the pins. You can find lots of Loomettes that look as though they were never taken out of the box, in perfect condition after 60 or 70+ years. Unfortunately, there is a reason for that.

The downside with the Loomette is that, because the pins are not clustered in groups of three, it is more challenging to wind on the yarn. Each time I have done it I had to stop and think about it, I couldn't pick up an easy flow like the Weave-it or Zoom Loom.

So I decided to fix that. Now I can use my Loomettes with the same ease as my other pin looms and all it needed was a little nail polish. 


Some of the Loomettes came with two weaving bars that expand the weaving options to 17 different pieces. 

The Loomette pin pattern is slightly different than the standard Zoom Loom type pin loom. There are two less pins on the Loomette. Beginning from a slot to hold the starting end of the yarn, you follow a pattern of going around two pins, skipping one.


In order to make this easier to see, I painted white nail polish on each group of two pins that you go around for the first two layers. I marked the two pins that you go through to the third layer in green.

This pattern shows the pins that need to be marked in order to easily wind yarn onto the loom.

I have also marked the "gateway pins" to transition to the third layer.

You can see the different layers wound onto a Loomette below- making use of the marked pins.



Be aware that in the picture of Layer 2, the loom is now sideways, it returns to the starting side for Layer 3.


Original Loomette instruction patterns.
The final question is whether the Loomette is compatible with other pin looms. The woven Loomette below was so close to identical to the Zoom Loom product that I had to mark it with masking tape when I took it off the loom for fear of confusing the two.

I am certain that there are many weavers who are as comfortable winding the Loomette as any other pin loom. If you are not one of those, I hope these directions will help.


This gives me one more chance to include a plea for collaboration. If you have a couple pin looms or if you decide to pull out an extra Loomette and some nail polish, you now have the opportunity to share this craft with family and friends, and that gives you a superpower.  You now have the ability to create a baby toy or prayer shawl or other gift from your heart and hands in an incredibly short period of time through your unified work. And that becomes a gift of its own.
     Be well. Happy weaving!

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