PegLooms, Pin Looms & Continuous weave Tri Looms - Getting started
"Be prepared to play" - this is what I always say to customers on the stand at a show. Weaving is a totally absorbing and fun activity. To begin with, play and experiment, get used to the feel of the yarn and how you and it interact. Weaving tension is something which may require some work. Tighter tension and the weave will be perhaps narrower and denser than you hoped once off the loom. Too loose a tension and the final result may be too open and floppy. Try the same weave with the same yarn on the different peg rows to see how the spacing effects the weave. It's the spacing makes all the difference, NOT the size of the pegs as some might have you believe.
Technical: First check the fit of the pegs in the holes. No need to force them in as they need to free enough to pull out easily when you slide the weave down the warp. Different timbers have different characteristics and some will grip the pegs tighter than others to begin with. With use both pegs and holes will adjust. Initially a little wax polish applied to the bottom tip of the peg and then the peg rotated in the hole may help. Much better to allow a snug fit to develop naturally than have oversized holes and sloppy pegs.
Terms: Warp refers to the up and down threads on which the weave is created on a peg loom or any other loom. Weft refers to the side to side weaving strands. The warp may be a strong cotton as shown in the picture or of the same material you're using to weave with.
Warping the pegs: This can be done in 2 ways.
1: Thread a single strand of the warp through each peg in turn and back down to the other end of the warp. The length of the warp is dictated by the length of the piece you will be making. Make the warp up to as much as twice the length of the finished piece for tying off and finishing later.
2: Fold the warp in half and pass the loop through the peg. Then pass the loop over the top of the peg and pull the loose ends down to tighten up the loop. This method works really well if you are going to insert beads into the weave as the warp can be taken off the peg, a bead threaded on and then the peg re-attached.
Insert the pegs into the peg loom base. Use multiples of 3 as this makes it easier to tie off. Tie off the dangling warp ends loosely - these will have to be undone and re-tied when finishing off the weave. Having an odd number of pegs also provides a true centre to the weave which is helpful when creating some patterns.
Starting the weave: Take the wool or other material to be woven and tie it with a half hitch knot to the outermost peg on the peg loom (left or right depending on which you find easiest) simply to secure it.
Leave a few inched of wool as a tail strand to secure and weave in later. Now start weaving in and out of each peg from one end of the row of pegs to the other. At the end of each row make sure the woven thread is pushed down to the bottom of the peg and give it a little tug simply to eliminate any slack in the weave. Go around the last peg and back again tensioning the weave every time the last peg is reached.
To change colours: Try and avoid knotting 2 together as the knot may be seen in the finished weave. Better leave a long tail (6" or longer) on the previous strand and start the new one the same way.
A half hitch can be used to secure either the old or new thread ensuring the end of the other thread is also secured through the knot. Alternatively cross the ends over together (leaving long tails one in front and one behind) and carry on weaving. After a couple of rows give the loose tails a little tug simply to re-tension that part of the weave.
Continue weaving up the pegs to about 2/3rds their height. Now there is a good even weave on the pegs and enough exposed peg to grip. You can finish the last row before lifting the pegs either at the end of the weave or in the middle. I prefer to finish in the middle as it's obvious which side of the peg you'll be starting the new section on.
Take hold of the first peg and pull upwards with a slight rotation if still a little firm. Try and avoid rocking the peg backwards and forwards too much as it could a) enlarge the hole too much and b) eventually snap the peg.
In lifting the peg, it has now drawn the 1st strand of the warp upwards into the weave. Replace each peg in turn back in the board. Repeat this process for all pegs. The weave is now in front of the peg loom with the wool you are working with all set to carry on.
If there's some slack warp between the top of the weaving and the bottom of the pegs hold the weave with one hand, and the end of the warp with the other, and tug the warp. This will take up any slack in the warp and keep the weave tighter at the joints when finished. Do this for all the warp strands.
If you finished the last row at the end, it's worth doing a quick check before setting off weaving again just to see if the last peg was woven on the back or the front side. Setting off again on the same side as the last row may leave a noticeable line across the weave. It's not detrimental, and can sometimes be used to good effect. However in a large area of the same colour it will look inconsistent unless the intention is to repeat it as part of a pattern.
When you have completed the weave, lift all the pegs from the board so you have as much warp at the top of the piece as below. Cut or unhook the warp from the pegs. The warp will now be in strands of 2. At the bottom of the piece, you can either tie the first two strands to the second two, or the first two to one of the second two, the remaining second strand to one of the third ones and so on till tying off is complete. Tie off right at the bottom of the woven piece leaving the long strands still showing.
With a long needle or "strand threader" (we make these to) thread thread each strand back up inside the weave. Leave the strands long and poking out of the weave for the moment. When all strands are threaded up this way, give each group a little tug so the tying off knot at the bottom is "just" drawn into the weave. Then trim off all the loose ends which are still showing so they can then disappear back into the weave.
Before doing the top edge, lay out the weave to make sure it looks tight and even. It will probably look out of square, this isn't a problem and can be sorted out later. If the weave looks a little loose, just hold the top strands and slide the weave down a little bit. This can be done uniformly by laying the strands "between" the pegs on the loom with the weave touching the front of the pegs, and giving them a little tug. When satisfied with the look of the weave, tie off and hide the strands as above.
The top and bottom of the weave can now tidied up by adding tassels, a crochet border or stitching over with the same or different wool as used in the weave.
---------------------------------------------- - ----------------------------------------------
Warping up the Square Pin Loom - Getting started
Surprisingly the square pin loom offers 4 basic warping options plus the opportunity for a continuous weave as with a Tri Loom.
Warps 1 and 2 are the simplest warps being up and down the loom from 1 pin to another.
It's worth mentioning that the weave will look quite open while on the loom, but once the edges are locked and the weave lifted it will close up and the gaps disappear.
Warp 1 - approximately an 8mm weave using a DK yarn (even though the pins are 10mm apart) - less if using a Chunky yarn.
a) With the loom square on, tie a slip knot in the yarn and loop over the top left pin. Pull the knot tight. From there take the yarn down to the bottom left pin (running the yarn inside the left side vertical row), go around it and back up to the 2nd pin on the top row. From there just go up and down the loom till all top and bottom pins are used. The loom is now fully warped.
b)The weft is the horizontal weave. To start weaving across the warp go back to top left pin 1 again and tie on perhaps a different coloured yarn.
I use a crochet hook for the weft inserted from the right of the loom, over and under 2 warps at a time to draw it across the loom. You may prefer or find it quicker to use a long needle with a large eye instead to take the weft through the warp feeding from left to right.
Repeat the above till all pins have been used
c) To change colour at any stage. Leave the previous colour attached and simply bring in the new colour maybe weaving a couple of rows with it to secure it in the weave.
There will be a tail sticking out of the weave where it started so now cut the tail of the previous colour to a similar length and tie the 2 together. This places any joining knots tidily on the edge of the weave.
c) Locking in the edges
In this case the left edge from which the weft was fed will have established a locked in edge. This means it won't unravel when it is lifted from the loom. However the other 3 sides are not yet locked.
There are 2 are ways of securing the edges.
The first is to use a "casting off" stitch as you would in knitting. Pass the hook through the loop on the 1st pin and pick up the loop on the 2nd pin. Draw the second loop back through the first loop. Now with the second loop on the hook pass it through the 3rd loop and draw it back through the second etc etc till you've picked up all the loops on the frame. This will create more tension in the weave thereby creating more shrinkage when it is lifted.
The second is to pass a length of yarn through every loop on the pins and on completion just tie the ends together. This will give a softer edge, create less tension and thereby less shrinkage on lifting the weave.
I'd suggest doing 2 identical weaves and finishing 1 with a casting off stitch and the other with a locking yarn then comparing the 2.
Warp 2 - approximately a 7mm weave using a DK yarn (even though the pins are 10mm apart) - less if using a Chunky yarn.
This is almost identical in it's setup and technique excepting the loom is turned 45 degrees and warping starts at the middle left pin.
However where we had 25 pins on the top row of this 9" loom when set square on, we now have 50. The vertical and horizontal space between all pins was 10mm, now it is 7mm. Overall the density is almost twice what it was before and will consume more yarn accordingly. Also each pin will have both a warp and a weft loop on it so both need picking up when locking the edges.
Tie on to the middle left pin and warp up as before.
Turn the loom 90 degrees and again tie on to the middle left pin.
Out of interest I used the warp from the first weave to apply the weft here. As you can see it's only covered about 60% of the frame proving that a weave like this does consume more yarn.
All other techniques mentioned above apply here to.
Warp 3 - a true 10mm weave - it will always be a 10mm warp no matter what yarn you use.
Easy and economical to set up. Best suited to chunkier yarns.
Tie on top left pin as in warp 1 above down to bottom left pin and up to pin 1 again. What we will do here is keep the warp threads to 1 side only of each pin unlike weaves 1 & 2 above.
When meeting the pin go clockwise round one and anticlockwise round the next one on the top or bottom row. The reverse applies at the other row.
Warp 4 - a true 7mm weave
Pretty much the same as warp 3 to set up but set on the bias.
Tie on middle left pin as in warp 2. Again we're keeping the warp threads to 1 side only of each pin unlike weaves 1 & 2 above.
When meeting the pin go clockwise round one and anticlockwise round the next one on the top or bottom row. The reverse applies at the opposite end of that particular warp strand.
Above all learn to play with your loom. Wind on yarn, create a seemingly crazy warp then see if you can weave with all or part of it then take the workable elements and design something really special.
Warp 5 - the continuous weave
This one is totally different to any of the above. Rather than a double strand weave which we've been doing this one is a clever single strand creating warps and wefts simultaneously as you do with a Tri Loom.
This one is woven with a DK yarn so you can better see how the weave develops. I'd normally use a Chunky yarn for this.
Tie on to the left middle pin, take the yarn over to and round the middle right pin and back to the underside of the left pin looping round it and up to the next pin. Now there are 2 weft strands in place the weave can begin. With the yarn you just took upwards from pin 1 set across pins 2 and 3, take the hook between the 2 wefts and hook the yarn drawing it down to hook over pin 2 on the bottom row.
Now with the yarn on pin 2 hook the right hand side of it and draw it over to pin 2 on the right side. The yarn will always be feeding from the top side of the weave.
Go round the same pin on the top row and back to the same one on the left.
Go up to the next pin above, hook it and draw it down as before
Just keep on weaving and watch the weave grow. It's a really quick and rewarding process.
Change colours at any time by leading in a few rounds of yarn before cutting the old colour from the ball. Tie knots tidily at the edge and on a pin.
Hope that all helps, it's taken a full day just to do this 1 section.
---------------------------------------------- - ----------------------------------------------
Hexagonal Pin Looms - Getting started
Warping up the hexagonal loom.
This can be done at least 5 different ways with our new design which offers much greater flexibility and more options than any other hexagonal pin loom on the market today.
All pins are set at 10mm centre to centre, however the geometry of the loom changes this as I’ll show as we progress. Instructions for left and right are interchangeable depending on your weaving style.
Warp 1 - approximately 8.6mm
For this we’ll just warp right across the loom so you can see what happens.
Hold the loom with a point (apex) to the top and bottom and the double rows of pins to the sides as we won’t be using these yet.
On the left side at the top of the vertical row, tie on your warp with a simple slipknot.
From there (on the inside of the pins), take the warp down and round (anticlockwise) the bottom pin in that row.
From there take the yarn back up to the 1st pin on the diagonal row (the one next to where you started).
Continue up and down across the frame till fully warped up. You'd normally tie off on the last pin and cut away the ball but as this is only a sample warp, just sit back and have a look at the warp. Due to the geometry of the loom, this has given you an even 8.6mm warp right across the loom. When ready, lift the warp from the loom ready to move on to creating an even 5mm warp.
Warp 2- 5mm
Rotate the frame so the double pin rows are top and bottom. Tie on to the extreme left pin where the 2 diagonals meet in the middle of that edge.
Now just warp up and down as before. For the moment, ignore the extra (outer) row of pins top and bottom. See how the warp spacing changes as soon as you start weaving across the top and bottom rows. For the exercise carry on warping right across the frame. You now have a frame warped at 5mm on the sides and 10mm in the middle. It may be a design feature you could use to effect in a future project.
However for this exercise let's undo the warp right back to the start of the top row. Now we bring in the extra rows of pins and weave up and down using every available pin. Now you have the 5mm warp. So fine you may even consider using Lace Weight yarns on this setting but do continue to play with light and heavy yarns to fully explore your weaving options. For now, just have a good look at it and see how the tension on the fully warped loom feels. Once we start weaving across the warp, the overall weave tension will increase. Better to be on a lower tension at this point. Also if the tension in the finished weave is high, then the weave when lifted from the loom will contract more than if woven with a lower tension.
While the weave when on the loom may / can look very open, once lifted from the loom, the tension will take over, the weave relax and the spaces close.
Warp 3 - 10mm
Maintain the same frame orientation. Start at the same point
So how to achieve a 10mm warp right across the frame. We’ve already learned that by ignoring the outer top and bottom pins the middle of the weave will produce a 10mm warp. But what of the sides? Dead easy, simply warp up every other pin as you go up and down on the diagonals. Just warp up the entire frame again to get the feel of it.
Note that in order to keep the warp even I've warped to the same side of the pin top and bottom. Had I gone left at the top and right at the bottom then the alignment of the warp would be 2.5mm out top to bottom. In reality it would make little difference to the weave once lifted from the loom as it would naturally adjust evening out out irregularities. Use whichever technique you find easiest.
Sit back, have a good look at it, maybe set a few warps left right while leaving others to the left or right sides and see the difference. Hopefully you didn't make the mistake I now see in the picture above. Undo.
Warp 4 - 15mm
Now this is a bit of a fiddle but should yield good results very quickly with chunky yarn.
Similar to the 10mm warp a bit trickier. While it misses out more pins and uses all pin rows, some pins will require warping anti clockwise to allow the warp to follow through evenly spaced. As above, ideally try and keep the warp to the same side of the pins top and bottom.
Warp 5 is lower down the page as it's basically repeating Warp 1 above but woven differently.
Applying the weft - weaving across the warp
This is reasonably straightforward in that the quickest technique is a type of continuous weave whereby the weft is drawn from one side to the other, alternating over / under the weft and hooking on the the first available pin on the opposite side.
I use a crochet hook, others may use a large eyed needle of fingers.
Hooking the weft. I usually twist the hook slightly to a) be sure of grabbing the weft properly and b) to avoid accidentally hooking the warp as the yarn is drawn through
Have a look at the next picture before going too far with this !
It's that geometry in action again. See how while we have a nice even vertical warp the sides change from 5 to 10mm and back again.
Solution, miss out a pin again
Now we have a nice even weave.
The alternative is to use a single strand of yarn over and under the warp and back and forwards. Weaving this way will require you to measure up the yarn first. Actually that's pretty simple. Just tie on to a pin as you did for setting up the warp on the 5 or 10mm above and go pin to pin over the warp till you reach the last available pin. Add a little extra length, and take it off. This is the length of the weft you require for a full singe colour weave.
This can be done at any point with warp and or weft. Start off with colour 1 till you want to change. Leave it attached to the ball then lead in your new colour once across the loom leaving behind a few inches to tie on to the previous colour. When you've put in the first full weft of the new colour, go back and tie up the end of the old and the start of the new colours. This way the join fall on the outside edge of the weave right on a pin.
Warp 5 - Diagonal bias weave
Essentially set up the warp as for a 5 or 10mm weave.
Now start to lay in the weft - diagonally
Quick, easy and dynamic.
!!!!!! This weave may not behave as you expect. It may produce a lozenge shape so be the length you anticipate, but much narrower.
A nice alternative design feature to be used in home decor or wearable textile design.
Lifting the weave
Because this isn't a locked in weave you will need to pick up and secure the edges.
Technique 1 is to use a casting off stitch as you would with knitting. This produces a nice edge but by its nature, to my way of looking at it,ads more tension and may result in additional shrinkage or distortion the weave when lifted.
My preferred edge finish is to run a "pick up" yarn right around the edge. This is a single strand picking up every loop on the pins just so they can't retreat into the weave on lifting. Use a large eyed needle or similar to do this. Provides a softer edge and ultimately less shrinkage on lifting.