New Triangle Loom!

I had two triangle pin looms that have the pins spaced evenly along all three sides. Some times they are called “bias” looms.

They are fine but I found using using them a lot more tedious than my Zoom Loom or bookmark loom. You need to use a crochet hook or a small locker hook to weave, similar to how “turtle looms” work. I find this kind of bulky and awkward. Part of what I like about pin looms is that it’s easy and I can do it without paying a lot of attention. The bias looms weren’t difficult once I got the hang of it but they are more hands on. You have to hook the yarn just so or it will fall off or get caught. It’s easy to grab or snag the wrong strand as well. I wish there was a better tool to use rather than trying to adapt tools from other crafts.

Part of the reason I got the 4 inch triangle loom was to be able to make designs pairing it with my Zoom Loom squares. I quickly realized that they didn’t quite fit together right. The Zoom Loom is three (sort of four, depending on how you count) layers and the bias loom was only two or one depending on the technique. Unless I was using very thick yarn, it gave a much more “lacy” look to the triangles than the Zoom Loom squares. It didn’t look quite right when you held them up to the squares I made on the Zoom Loom. I really wanted to be able to use the same yarn for both looms for a project and get a uniform look. I don’t have a square bias loom and didn’t really want one.

Oddly it was tricky to find a triangle loom with the 3 pin set up. Dewberry has some but the shipping was pretty high. I poked around and a lot of people talked about using Wunderwag Looms. I was hesitant because they don’t have a website and aren’t on Etsy. You just email them and they send you the details. I debated about it and finally emailed them and it went fine! He replied right away with a list of products and shipping prices. He offered a discount if you buy a set of three so I did that. I figured I probably would want a larger and smaller one eventually so why not save on shipping? They shipped and arrived super quickly.

Unlike the other looms I saw they were made out of clear plastic. They have numbers on all three sides to make it clear how and where to warp and weave. My only quibbles is that the instructions show a fully warped and woven triangle. I would have liked a break down of each layer like how the Zoom Loom instructions are. It’s color coded but it’s a little tricky to see. He also included some written instructions. I also think I would have preferred solid plastic rather than clear, it is a little distracting to see my fingers, the floor and the rest of the yarn through the loom.

I love how the triangles look. They are the perfect thickness and size to pair with my Zoom Loom woven squares which is exactly what I wanted!

It’s a little tricky at the top and around the hypotenuse where there is a lot of tight overlapping but it works up quickly. I really like the 3-pin method so it’s worth a little struggle. Using the crochet hook was a lot more tedious than this.

Pin Loom Bookmarks Part 2

I’ve shared a few bookmarks here but I’ve really been making them a lot lately! They are so quick to make and so satisfying. Since they are so narrow there is no real room for anything to get tangled. I’ve done over 290 temperature blanket squares and you’d be surprised how often I put it down for a second and the yarn mysteriously knots itself or something gets pulled funny.

I filmed my self warping and then weaving a bookmark and uploaded it to TikTok. It takes about 15 minutes total. It’s a great way to use the slightly stiff but cute variegated yarn I thrifted a number of weeks ago. I can’t imagine wanting to wear anything from the yarn but it makes a bookmark that is pretty flat and thick. Any yarn works but soft yarn does yield a floppier bookmark.

I’ve been washing them then air drying them on a drying cloth from Aldi outside when it’s sunny. It’s really interesting to see what patterns form. I’ve done squares with some of the same yarn (or the same yarn but a different colorway) and they end up looking totally different than the bookmark—like the green/orange below striped as a bookmark and almost made a plaid but was much more abstract as a 2 inch square. I also have that yarn in purple and blue shades for the temperature blanket and it looks very different, much less geometric and even, as a 4 inch square.

I’m not sure if I am going to make tassels or maybe attach something else to them. Maybe buttons? A flower made using my vintage daisy loom? More pompoms? Or leave them be?

It’s funny how much fun I have making them (I think I am up to around SIXTY) because despite reading over 200 books a year, I rarely read a physical book and when I do, I’m an awful dogearer.

Temperature Blanket Update #4

I finally packed away some of my coldest temperature yarns. I really overbought a couple colors because it was much colder than the last 3 years. In previous years, most winter days had highs in the 35-39 range but this year it was either much colder or much warmer.

It’s still been pretty cold and dreary here but we have ventured into the 80s this week and will probably hit 90 tomorrow. A return to the colors I started the blanket with!

I had kept up with one square a day all year but I’m a tiny bit behind now. I went to Ocean Grove, NJ for a little solo vacation break thought I’d spend the time working on some other pin loom projects. I ended up not doing any weaving at all because it was so windy on the beach and the room was tiny and awkward. Now I’m catching up. I’m doing the temps for Baltimore not where I actually was. I guess that makes sense? I don’t think I will be anywhere else overnight until after it’s finished. Maybe if I was away for longer I’d do the temperature there. But my husband and the dogs were still here in Baltimore so someone did experience that weather! It was cooler where I was.

Once I’m caught up (5 more squares to go!) I will be only 91 days/squares from completing the blanket.

I’m still debating about how to do a backing and if I should attach a key to the temperatures somehow. I asked in a couple Facebook groups and some people had it printed on to fabric or embroidered it on the back. I feel like I should add a key somehow because if I don’t, it just looks like an odd patchwork blanket.

T-Shirt Rug #2

I went to Savers on discount Monday and bought some t-shirts and a long jersey dress (you can see it in the rug, it’s the pink print) and cut it up to make this rug. I think it came out really well! The edges are a little cleaner, I think the trick is to pick loops that are exactly the same stretchiness. Slightly less stretchy is okay but you don’t want any one that is more than any of the others.

Each rug takes a lot of loops! My neighbor gave me some old shirts which will help. I need to get on people’s radar that I’m looking for them.

I also think it is easier to do the cutting on a different day than the weaving. It’s a lot of leaning over.

Weaving Class Day 4

The final day! We spent about half the time weaving. Then our instructor’s friend stopped by to tell us about the dye garden here in Baltimore, Blue Light Junction, and how you dye things from indigo. Who knew you had to feed the indigo dye pot? It was really interesting! She also showed us some samples of work she did using the dye.

We talked about how to wash our weavings and how to finish them off. I was the only one who got to the end of my project! I am debating if I want to hem it using my sewing machine or create fringe.

I’m happy with how it came out! I did random strips of twill and then plain weave because my goal was to finish in class. We have access to the studio for the rest of the month but since I have my own looms, I don’t really need that. I know one of the other students wants to do a small second project and another wasn’t able to attend much of the classes so she has to catch up.

Weaving Class Day 3

Honestly, I did not feel great today! I made it to class but I’ve had either a migraine or a headache most of the week. I don’t know if it was the rainy weather or what but it’s been rough!

Today was mostly a work day so I was okay. Luckily it was just the two of us weaving so it wasn’t too noisy and it wasn’t too fiddly.

I learned how to read a pattern and did some strips of twill in between plain weave. Ideally I’d do more twill but I want to have something I can pull off the loom tomorrow in class! I wish the shop was open before class because I’d go in early tomorrow to weave. We do have access to the weaving room after class ends because the next class isn’t until May but since I have looms at home, I don’t really need that.

Somehow we both missed that I mis-threaded some heddles! Just two! That pink was a cute but bad choice because it was really difficult to see. It almost glowed. We just clipped them since it was a practice piece and hopefully when I wash it, it will tighten up.

When I got home, my used copy of the pattern directly we used in class arrived so that was exciting. I’ll have to try the pattern again at home.

Weaving Class Day 2

Today was mostly finishing up dressing the loom but we also got to start to weave! One woman had to arrive late but I think by the end we were all on about the same page. She is much faster than the other two of us!

The loom is older and kind of banged up and the track(?) the heddles are on were kind of squished together which slowed me down. I’m glad my looms at home are in better shape. I kept grabbing the wrong heddle (it’s an 8-shaft) because the two tracks were curved together in a weird way.

We did the tie up but I didn’t learn how to read the pattern for weaving yet so I’m looking forward to that. We can go in during the week to do it but I really want to do twill. Hopefully I will be able to weave enough Saturday during class to be able to finish Sunday!

The only thing I’m not enjoying about the class is how it is 11-3pm. We really don’t have time to eat (and no place to really wash up without leaving the studio) and by 3 I’m starving. I wish it was more like 1-5 pm. But it’s only two weekends so I can deal. I’ve been picking up a snack at a bakery and sneaking a couple bites then having a sandwich when I get home.

Weaving Class!

I was checking the hours for a local yarn shop (that doesn’t sell weaving supplies) thinking they might have some yarn to use as weft on my Wolf Pup I just warped (and future warp—with the 8 dent reed I can basically use knitting yarn) and noticed they had weaving classes this weekend!

I never hit register so fast! The price was a reasonable $300 (materials included) for 16 hours over two weekends. The limit was four students but we only had three.

Today we used a warping board (I am so glad I have a reel!) and slayed the reed. Tomorrow we will finish dressing the loom and go over pattern reading. I’m excited! The next set of classes was just announced but it isn’t until the end of May so it was great luck I saw it when I did!

I really could have missed it all together because the store doesn’t sell weaving equipment and when I asked them if they could order any weaving related items (like cone yarn, a reel) they acted like that was a bizarre question. So I didn’t bother getting in their mailing list or anything.

The class was great and the instructor is very nice and knowledgeable and does the social media for the weavers guild. She told me that the women in charge of answering emails/managing membership isn’t great about answering emails and that they were a little resistant to social media so maybe that explains the lack of response I’ve been getting from them. She also found it odd that it’s called Greater Baltimore but doesn’t meet near the city. Glad it’s not just me! I wish we could do a spin off “actually in Baltimore” guild!

The next set of classes includes a day of dying your warp so I’m a little sad to miss that but I don’t want to wait another almost 2 months to get going!

Finally Warping!

I reached out to a woman who I had messaged with before when I was researching the grant I was trying for before the Sheep and Wool fiasco. I asked if anyone in her guild (not the greater Baltimore one, it’s north of the city) would be willing to help me get started and she offered to meet me at a library to help!

I quickly tried out my warping reel and chained up some yarn and then I packed my Wolf Pup in my Matrix and met her there this morning! So nice of her and I finally got the loom warped up. It makes so much more sense to see someone do it live and in person. Videos just don’t always work for me, a lot of people aren’t good teachers or videographers. I wanted to warp front to back which seems less popular but that’s what she preferred too. I feel like she did it a little differently than I saw in the DVD from Red Stone Glen, it was pretty similar to what I did with my rigid heddle. Maybe because we just warped one color?

Her daughter recommended a nearby ice cream place so I even got a salted caramel chocolate milkshake and some ube ice cream to go! Great morning all around.

It wasn’t hard to transport the Pup! A little tricky getting back up my front steps alone but not horrible. Now it’s all warped and ready to go!

I only have an 8 dent reed for the Pup so I used some Plymouth Yarn Galway Worsted. I think it will make a nice scarf. Now I need other Wolf Pup project ideas!

Spotted at the Library

As I’ve said before I can’t find much of a weaving community in Baltimore. That remains true but I have now have proof beyond the sales of looms on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace that weavers must exist here.

I stopped at my local branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library to pick up some cookbooks I had on reserve.

While I was checking out, I noticed that on the shelf where they keep the inter-county loans of books there was a copy of The Fundamentals of Tablet Weaving by Peter Collingwood. I did a double take because I’ve requested a lot of weaving books from all over Maryland over the past year but didn’t think I had any in. Inter-county books can take months so often I’ve forgotten exactly what I requested and never have any idea when it might show up. So it was reasonable to think it might be mine.

But it wasn’t for me! It was waiting for some other patron to come in and pick it up.

This means that only is someone else in Baltimore apparently weaving or wanting to learn, they must live in my actual neighborhood!

I have to say, I was half tempted to stick around and see if anyone came to get it. As it was, I was gawking and the librarian asked if was for me. I had to admit it wasn’t and she laughed when I said incredulously that someone else must be requesting weaving books!

If you are reading this, show yourself!