Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

NH S&W – What I Got

Filed under: Craft Shopping,Special Events,Weaving — folkcat at 1:31 pm on Tuesday, May 15, 2007

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 Looms

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.

Pile of Weavettes Squares

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.

Weavette Square in Progress

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.

Color Variation in "Red" Handspun Yarn

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.

Gryphon's Weavette Square

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?

Coming Tomorrow:

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.

5 Comments

794

Comment by Lynne

May 15, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

I love the handspun squares – very lovely.

795

Comment by sarebear

May 15, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

ooooooooooooo

You are a warped lady (ha, bad weaving pun . . . teehee!)

I love the look you are getting with your handspun!

Curtains and pillows sound fab!

One can never know and do too many crafts, imho!

These are just too cool.

796

Comment by sarebear

May 15, 2007 @ 3:45 pm

GAAAH! Why did I go lookit that elooma site and some of the PDFs. Looks like lots of good-looking stuff can be made, from clothing to decor to blankets, etc.

Well, I already knew I was interested in weaving.

I specifically looked in the one book of weaving patterns at the textured ones; can’t wait to see how yours turn out, the ones in the book look great and they are only B&W!

797

Comment by Telmah

May 16, 2007 @ 8:40 am

Love the handspun tweedy look. You could probably adapt all sorts of modular knitting patterns to go with the woven squares……..

798

Comment by Jana

August 7, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

I just started a blog about little looms and would love to have you come over and visit. And keep me posted on what you’re making with your new looms!

Jana http://www.eloomanator.eloomanation.com

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