As I hinted yesterday, I did come home with something from the Festival. Tools, rather than fiber. They’re called Weavette Looms. They’re a direct descendant of Weave-It Looms, which were introduced in the 1930’s, and a cousin to the many brands of handheld looms that have existed in the decades since.
Weavettes are currently made in six sizes – 2″, 4″, and 6″ squares, and three different sizes and proportions of rectangles. I bought the 2″ and 6″ square looms. There was a book of weave patterns as well, but where I had the funds to get two looms, I didn’t have enough to get a book along with them. Besides, I figured the book would be easier to turn up than the looms, which I had only seen at online sources.
I’ve actually got a small background in weaving. I own two different rigid heddle looms (though they’re buried somewhere in our storage locker), and have woven shawls and scarves on them. I also own, though I’ve never used it, a large floor loom. It was a freebie given to me by a sheltered workshop group in Syracuse – they couldn’t use it anymore because it needs repairs, and it was going to be thrown out. I’ve never since had an apartment with sufficient space to set it up, so it’s still in need of repairs. And, like the rigid heddle looms, it’s buried in the storage locker.
As a child, I also had a Weave Easy loom – a tiny loom which actually had a rigid heddle to open the shed for you. My original is lost in the decades, but some years back I found another at a rummage sale.
It, too, is buried in the storage locker, somewhere in a box of craft supplies.
As you might guess, I haven’t woven in a while. But I’ve been seeing the Weavettes in ads over the last several years, and have been hankering to try a little, handheld version of weaving again. When I found these at a vendor at NH S&W, I knew for sure they were what I wanted to take home.
When we got home Saturday afternoon, I didn’t waste any time getting started.
Most of the squares you see, the pinkish ones, are woven from that variegated red/pink/orange handspun that is my first wheel-spun yarn. This is the same stuff that I tried to knit with, and hated how it looked.
Woven, however, it’s looking great. Nice, heathery tweed.
The variegations in color throughout the yarn are making for good variety in the squares, too.
I’m thinking I will make a combination of large and small squares and make another throw pillow. I’m aiming for a huge, luxurious, pile of decorative throw pillows on my bed. This would be pillow number two, to add to the quilted one I made before.
I’ve solved the issue of the weave pattern book, too. While I still want the one currently published by the Buxton Brook people (who make the Weavettes), I found an online source dedicated to all these little handheld looms over the Twentieth Century – eLoomaNation. Along with great resources about the types of looms available, and projects to make with them, they’ve collected vintage instruction books and put them up as free PDF downloads. Since most of the different loom brands were actually compatible – usually they wove a 4″ square – even the books for looms other than the Weave-It/Weavette are useful to me. I’ve begun playing with some of the textured weaves – sorry, no pictures yet since I’ve only done a couple small squares – and will probably incorporate them into the pillow woven from my handspun.
Gryphon and I are both impressed with how quick and easy these are to use, and are coming up with stash-busting ideas for my yarn collection. Curtains are a possibility – we don’t have proper ones for Gryphon’s windows. Gryphon allows as how he might actually be persuaded to weave his own – he made this little square on the 2″ loom the other night, in no time flat.
I’ve done a couple of test squares with Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn as well, and you know what? It may inspire me to frog my In-Progress Log Cabin Blanket, and start over as a woven piece. I like the weight and texture of the woven Sugar ‘n Cream much better than the garter stitch knitting, and the yarn will go a lot further. Which means the blanket won’t be as heavy in the end, either.
There you have it, then. Yet Another Way To Spend My Time. ‘Cuz I didn’t have enough crafts already, right?
Maybe not a step-by-step how-to, but at least a general guide to how you, too, can cover a rock with freeform embroidery.