Pin loom essentials

Pin loom weaving resources 

Diagrams and written instructions for winding the yarn and weaving on a 4" pin loom -
http://www.schachtspindle.com/instructions/weaving/zoomloom.pdf

Schacht Zoom Loom video instructions - although the earlier pin looms such as Weave-it and the Weavette™ do not have the wider base of the Zoom Loom, they are wound and woven in the same manner.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKrifKYanNA

Weaving on a 2 inch hand loom video instructions -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeK9lNiCb14&list=PL17CA7872B52691D9

If you go to Youtube for the above videos, you will see lots of other instructional videos for a variety of small looms.

Yardage requirements for weaving on pin looms:

Loom               Required yardage                   Yarn needed for weaving in-
2"                     2 yards (1.83 meters)              3 wraps around loom
2" X 4"            4 yards (3.66 meters)              3.5 wraps around loom
2" X 6"            6 yards  (5.49 meters)             3.5 wraps around loom
4"                     7.5 yards* (6.86 meters)         4.5 wraps around loom
4" X 6"            11 yards  (10 meters)               5.5 wraps around loom
6" X 6"            16.5 yards (15.1 meters)          6.5 wraps around loom

*Unless I am using an extremely precious yarn, I take 4 and 3/4 wraps around the loom, which means that I am using an extra 4 inches over the normal recommendation of 7.5 yards. I find it much easier to knot off and weave the tail back into the 4" fabric by having little extra yarn.

Yardage requirements for weaving PLUS adding a single crochet edge:

Loom         Required yardage   
2" x 2"       3 yards  (2.74 meters)
2" X 4"      5.5 yards (5 meters)
2" X 6"      7.5 yards (6.86 meters)
4" x 4"       10 yards  (9.1 meters)
4" X 6"      15 yards  (13.7 meters)
6" X 6"      21 yards  (19.2 meters)

Yardage requirement for Hazel Rose Looms:

Hazel noted, "The looms are the same size as the Weavette™ but my yardage recommendations are my own ideas of what’s handy for them. I generally use a bit more as I like to use the tails for assembly in a lot of cases. Here is the yardage chart I use for the Multilooms."                                                           
                                                    Total yardage                            For Needle weaving
2” loom:                                      2 ½ yard total (2.29 meter)       3 wraps
4” loom:                                      9 ½ yards (8.89 meter)             5 wraps
6” Loom:                                    18 ½ yards (16.92 meter)          7 wraps
2”x6” loom:                                9 ½ yards                                  5 wraps
7” square Quilt Weaver Loom   18 yards (bias loom)
7" triangle Quilt Weaver Loom  10 yards  (bias loom)

Joining/assembly instructions for pin loom weavies. 

There are at least a dozen ways to join the pin loom squares and rectangles (also known as weavies) together. Below are several of my favorite joining and assembly techniques. Some approaches work better in some circumstances than others.  I would also encourage you to check out the article on joining and assembly at Eloomanation

Single crochet and crocheted slip stitch. 

Single crochet and slip stitch are my go-to assembly methods for joining anything where 1) its okay to have a very noticeable or protruding seam, for example, the dish clothes are joined with single crochet. Or 2) the crochet join is going to be turned to the inside and will not show at all, for example, the stuffed animals. 

Single crochet is extremely fast and secure. If I make a mistake, which happens regularly, the stitches pull out easily. When I am working on a stuffed animal, I will often use single crochet on the straight edges, but then go to a slip stitch in order to round out a corner.  

If my description doesn't quite make sense, do a search on these crochet methods, there are good crochet directions and diagrams on line. Regarding crochet hooks, I use a 3.75 or a 4.0 mm hook most of the time. It seems to match the weight and texture of the weaving.

 

The mattress stitch is a very usable joining technique. 

Its quick and works very well for light yarns or small items, like doll blankets or baby blankets. The downside of this join is that it is dependent on one strand of yarn woven through.

Take two squares, line them up as shown above where the front and back loops are alternating and weave through the loops. If you use a 4" or 5" needle, you can weave most or all of the side in one shot, then pull the yarn through. Then open up the two squares and pull firmly to stretch and flatten out the join. You should get a ziz-zag looking seam that is quite flat.

To use the mattress stitch for a blanket, join weavies in vertical strips, leaving two to three inches of yarn dangling on each side of the joined weavies. After you have joined all the weavies in vertical strips, tie the yarn ends together so that all of the corners line up. Then use the mattress stitch to join the strips together. You are going to run into places where the loops of the two weavies lie on top of one another rather than form an alternating pattern. Its okay, you can move the weavies slightly in order to weave through. This stitch will work either way, it is a bit easier to carry out when the loops alternate. 

You can see a demonstration of the mattress stitch on the Video page.


The double overcast stitch is the perfect opposite of the mattress stitch. 

This technique works best when the loops of the two weavies match up, it takes a lot longer to do and you really want to be sure of what you are doing because the join is very strong and incredibly difficult to remove if you make a mistake.

Place the weavies with your planned top to the inside. Take two overcast stitches in each set of loops.With this approach you are basically knotting each of the set of loops together. If you are putting together a blanket, you can leave a two to three inch tail at each side to help line up the corners. Although it is a bit easier to carry out this join when the loops match up, you can use it to join weavies even if the loops are in an alternating position.

When you finish stitching the two weavies together, open and pull firmly to flatten them out. You will find that the stitched side has a definite ridge, the underside looks flat and neat--this will be the top side of the blanket. One caution, with this stitch it is very easy to confuse which side to stitch in order to keep the ridges all on the underside. That's how come I know that taking the stitches out is really difficult.

To assemble a blanket, stitch to make vertical strips, then pull the strips together using the ties that you have left dangling at the joins. By knotting the yarn together at each join, the corners will meet together neatly. Then stitch the strips together to complete the blanket.

You can see a demonstration of the double overcast stitch on the Video page.








 

This joining technique is pretty self explanatory.  

Finish each weavie with a line of single crochet all the way around, chaining 2 in each corner. Butt two weavies together and whipstitch. This joining technique takes more time and more yarn than other approaches. It offers a further dimension in design since you can choose a coordinating or contrasting yarn color for the whipstitching.


Weaving challenges

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.
 

Still to come. . .

Alternate ways to weave including weaving on the bias.

12 comments:

  1. For an open, lacy look, how about joining squares with hairpin crochet? Can't claim I've tried it yet but it could work....

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  2. Is pin loom weaving on the zoom loom appropriate (and doable) for a 7 year girl?

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    1. I don't believe that a 7 year old has the fine motor skills and patience to enjoy weaving a 4" square. I usually suggest waiting until about 9 or 10, depending on the person.
      Also, if it is possible, I would suggest letting them learn on a smaller loom, like a 2" loom. There are 2" looms available from a number of sources or they can be built. Maybe even start with a homemade "pinpression loom" (see the July 21 posting on making a simple loom.)

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    2. My seven year old daughter enjoys it. However, I do have to help her along. I don't think she could do it by herself yet.

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    3. I am so glad to hear that it is working out! Thank you for questioning my opinion and trying it out for yourself. This suggests that pin loom weaving is even more accessible than I had realized.

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  3. 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.

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  4. D- I am so glad that you have written about this. This is such a common problem for all or most new pin loom weavers (it happened to me a lot). What is happening is that you are not weaving either the first or the last row of weaving (probably the last) which leaves that last thread unsecured. I actually have managed to have a loop at each end, yes, I missed weaving both edges. I am posting some pictures and explanation on the home page under the title "The mystery of the hanging thread".

    Thanks so much for a question that many have struggled with.

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  5. Thank you so much for your prompt reply and great help, Margaret. I'm happy! Thanks for all your hard work on this great site, too.

    Cheers, Donna

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  6. Hi Margaret,

    All my little squares fall completely apart when I try to remove them from the loom! They just don't hold together, no matter how thick or thin the yarn is. I'm missing some step (in the weaving, maybe) that makes them mesh together. It's like what D Savage is saying, only not just the beginning and end. Can you help me figure out what's wrong? Thanks. I haven't made anything yet, and I'm dying to!!

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    1. Dear knits, Do not despair, I have a feeling that there is some small thing that is missing here. May I suggest that you start by reviewing the Zoom Loom video. Do a search for those words or go to the Schacht Spindle site to find it. That may help determine what step is getting skipped. If that doesn't help or you have any questions, leave a comment here or email me. My email address is on the home page of this blog at the bottom right. And please let us know what happens-- we all learn from one another

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  7. I have followed instructions & done a basic square. When I look at patterns for more detailed squares, I see "over" "under" & "weave". I assume that the over and under are the stitches I have done in this first square, but, I can't find any instructions on how to do the "WEAVE" stitch that these patterns are calling for. Please help!! I want to begin my first project.

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    1. "Weave" means to go over and under in a normal tabby weave for whatever count is given. So if it said, "weave 5", you would go up, down, up, down, up, (or down, up, etc., whichever makes sense.
      Also when you are doing a pattern, keep in mind that the first loop that sticks out around the two pins is not counted, so you will always be starting to weave the pattern by going under the first thread inside the pins. Meg

      ps: see if this works for you, otherwise ask more questions. ms

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