Loom Weaving instructions
for future books
for future books
Loom in the Palm of Your Hand Clover now has a new tool, Hairpin Lace Tool, that is made for crochet, however, you can weave with this tool and advance the weft as your work. The warp needs to be much thinner than the weft in order to move it over the pins on the loom. You can make small bags, belts, sectioned pieces for embellishment onto quilts and wearables. Here is one of the small bags I made using ribbon yarn. This bag was made with both warp and weft of ribbon yarn. It was difficult to keep the surface even, however, it is a very sturdy bag. My future bags with have a thinner warp. You can make more than one piece and join it or make longer pieces to fold over to make bags and other three dimensional items. This tool breaks down into smaller pieces for easy travel.
Needle Weaving with Stole Weaving and Doll Needles
Needle weaving is a very old technique and all types of needles, dowels and sticks have been used to make long woven braids. These braids can be stitched together to make bags and other items. Thicker yarn is used with knitting needles and other large needles. I attended one of my local weaver's meetings a few years ago and the weaver next to me was weaving away with some short knitting needles. I was intrigued and ask for a demonstration. Once I saw how it was worked, I tried it out myself but found the needles too cumbersome for finer work. I began experimenting and found stole weaving needles perfect for a little thicker yarn and 5" doll needles perfect for thinner fibers. The doll needles were a little sharp at the ends so I used fine sanding paper to make the ends smoother. I also use find these needles useful for knitting. If you use more than two needles and spread them out, you can add shaping to your woven piece.
I have experimented extensively with both type needles and used the woven pieces to for embellishment. One embellishment is around a porcelain face. I woven one section on the needles, then chained a length and then woven it on the needles, creating new finishes. Take a look.
Bead Loom Weaving Or Square Stitch Patterns
Pin weaving can be a large or small piece. You can add any stitchery you like to the piece as embellishment. Whether you like opulence or minimalism, pin weaving is fun, easy to carry for travel and form a variety of shapes. I am currently working on a pin woven necklace that is a sea motif. I have the main piece finished and now just need to finish the neckline and closure and stitch an edging around the whole piece for strength and an attractive finish that will round off the edges. Take a look at my WIP, work in progress and notice how the edges around the piece are tiered and jagged. This can be a finished look, however, I prefer to encase the edge with a finish so the necklace edges do not get caught on anything when I am wearing it. A little 3-D sea flora adds to the finished piece. The blue represents the sea colors closer to the surface and the warmer colors depict the deeper sea and vegetation. I added bead crochet for the tentacles to the octopus. I have since removed the purple glass fish; it was too heavy. I will have to search for a lighter weight fish to replace it. When you plan a large necklace or chest piece, do not make it too busy with many added embellishment pieces or you will lose the essence of the artwork. For pin weaving a chest piece, it is very important that you plan out the design. Some shapes will not hang correctly so that when you wear it and bend over, it will not return to the original placement. The added weight of embellishment can also change the balance of a piece. Using a pattern in one of the pin weaving books for your first project will give you a better idea of shaping your own designs in the future.
Forming a Shed on Your Loom
Each time, you use craft stick #2, you will have to remove it in order to pull craft stick #1 down. Each time you use the craft stick #2, you will have to take it under and over the opposite warp threads from those of craft stick #1. There are other ways to set up sheds using little hand made heddles so you do not have to do the under and over process with one of the craft sticks each time but this is a start. You will quickly notice that all the beads do not easily set in their allotted spaces. The only way to get a tight fit is to do little bitsy sheds, 10 or so beads across, then do another shed with the next group of 10 beads or so and each time wrap the weft thread around the last warp thread of that tiny shed group before beginning the next little shed. You will have to do this with all tapestry looms, even the ones with automatic sheds if you want a fabric look. Otherwise, when you take the piece off the loom, some beads will move around and stick out or drop down. Only multiple shaft looms can manipulate larger areas across because there are four or more locking sheds created to hold many groups of beads in place.
You may see photos in ads of big long lines of beads being easily dropped down into a shed on a tapestry loom; this is misleading since you will have to work in small increments of 10 to 12 beads across to get that fabric texture. It is easier for the beads to line up after a few rows have been worked, however, they will still be loose unless worked in small groups. Claudia of Mirrix told me about working smaller sections at a time and to try double warp threads at least for the warp threads on each end as they would hold the beads in place better. This does help, however, that is more warp threads to weave back into the piece. I tried every way I could think of for a longer section with beads across in one movement but found only on the 4 shaft loom could this be accomplished. For tapestry looms and bead looms, small sections need to be worked at a time. Also, always double the weft threads since you are not going back through the beads a second time.
You may ask why do it if it takes just as long as the traditional way? The woven piece will feel more like a fabric and be stronger. It will have a different texture when touched. Also if you want to weave with small beads such as size 20/0 and smaller that you can not get a needle through twice, you can string them with a twisted wire needle and take then through in small sheds. This is one way you could make a miniature rug or other item with very small vintage beads. I have cataloged antique bags, 150 years old that were woven using both methods. Bags using the shed method were in much better shape than those worked with the thread carried back through the beads a second time. The weight of the beads were too heavy for just two threads to hold long lines of beads in place for over 100 years. Two threads through a strand is just not strong enough to last 200 years unless you go back through each row after weaving for strength. Even then it is not a solid fabric like it is when locked in through multiple sheds. When you work using tiny sheds for 10 to 12 beads across, you are imitating what a multiple shaft loom does. When you are working in small sheds like this, an automatic shed on a tapestry loom will not be of use to you. The automatic two shed method on tapestry looms are great for switching back and forth and adding fiber several inches or longer across the row. I often work in several long rows of yarn, then a partial of beads and use the automatic shed for that which switches back and forth between two sheds just like you did with the craft sticks but were working on a smaller scale. Automatic sheds make weaving long rows of fiber a snap since you do not have to pick between the warp threads like you do with the craft sticks. However, you do have to spend time preparing the heddles for the automatic shed. Experiment and let me know how you do.
Weave With Bugles
Decorative Woven Tool Minder
It is 2" in width and 7 3/4" long, perfect. I sewed a big button on one end and put an elastic loop on the other. Then I realized I needed a backing because the fiber "itched" me. I pulled out a soft thin piece of pigskin leather and cut it to the fiber shape. Then I used beading thread and sharps needles to stitch it to the back of the needle woven piece. Next I realized it was just too plain, it needed some Beadwrangler embellishment. I grabbed up some of my new bead crochet ropes and beading samples and stitched them to the middle of the piece. Now I had a wide pretty bracelet. This left both sides of the embellished piece for my needles and button pins. It still needed something, so I pulled out a large silver frog with a loop attachment and added it to the centerpiece. I had an aquatic friend to accompany me on my travels. Now when I am out somewhere and want to work, I can use this attractive bracelet as my tool minder. I used neutral colors so it would work with anything I wear. If I need color, I can just temporarily stitch an additional colorful doodad on for the day. However, they are so easy to make on the loom, I could make a variety of different colors for matching with my clothing. Take a look at my finished portable tool minder.
I have added more tiny sterling frogs and one with movable body parts, so this tool minder continues to transform. I made another tool minder using the needle weaving process and it looks completely different. You can also weave one on the loom and make the whole piece more uniform, have smoother edges and make it faster. The warp threads would be placed between the back of the woven piece and the leather backing. You find your time involved with the loom is placing the warp threads between the back of the woven piece and the leather backing and also keeping your warp even on both sides of the piece. With pin weaving, battling getting your fingers behind the warp threads and between the foam core board is the biggest problem. You can also use loom patterns for pin weaving. The same areas blocked in with color for fiber can be woven with beads too. It all depends on what finish you want; sometimes the pin weaving is favored and other times the loom. Try both methods yourself.
Diane Fitzgerald and Helen Banes co-authored Beads and Threads, and it is the complete reference book on pin weaving. Another book that is an easy introduction to basic pin weaving and offers fun easy patterns is Warped Women and Material Men by Donna Rhodes and Kathy Stachowicz. Helen Banes has published a new book on pin weaving book, Fiber & Bead Jewelry.
If you wanted to crochet or knit the main pieces and work them onto the woven piece, you could use the same basic concept, make freeform scumble pieces and then stitch them together on the woven piece. If you like to quilt, make a quilted piece, if you cross-stitch, make a cross-stitch piece. As to beading, you could bead a base of peyote or other off loom beading. If you weave the piece first, then take out all the pins form the woven piece and then attach the freeform pieces. You could also work some of the pieces in with the weaving, stitching some on as you go. What is nice about making a woven section first, is this becomes your canvas to work from. Either cover it all or use fancier yarns for the woven piece and leave areas to show through. This is a class I like teaching, starting with a woven piece and then combining other freeform pieces to it.
Backing: For wearing as a bracelet, you need a backing. If you have an aversion to leather, ultrasuede works well also and you do not need to fold the edges of it either as you do with other fabrics.
Beads and Fiber on the Loom Together
Planning Your Loom Woven Piece
Framing and Backing a Bead Woven Piece
Freestanding Frames for Bead and Fiber
Loose Weft Ends on a Bead Woven Piece
Cabochons over Fiber
Adding Wire As Warp and Weft
You can also warp part of the loom with thread, then stop, tie off the thread, warp wire 3 to 5 times, then tie the wire down, then warp again with thread. You can weave all the way across on thread and wire warps and when you take the piece off the loom, you can move the warped wire portion around for shaping.
You can also take wire pieces through a woven fiber area and warp thread on the loom, bring it back out and string beads, then take the wire through another area of the fiber and out and string more beads for surface texture.
You can weave with 28 gauge wire, add beads and wrap it around a heavier wire that is shaped for wear around your wrist or neck. You will need 14 to 16-gauge wire in order to keep the shape. If you are shaping this thicker wire, use a metal piece such as a metal can to form the wire around. For neck shapes, you may need to search around for a found item suitable to shaping the wire. Once the wire is shaped, just wrap the woven piece around it. You can use a metal necklace form and work over it. I made a bracelet from wire and then crocheted with beads over it. A multiple wrap bracelet can be formed around a standard size can of soup (USA ). Make sure the can is still full while forming the bracelet. Take a look at my bracelet here. A bracelet like this can be formed around a soup can.
Tired Hands &Wrists Tip