Not Your Mother’s Overshot Workshop has come and gone.  What fun!!  This was a two-day workshop on pushing the overshot structure past its basic limits.  We even did freeform overshot and opphämpta.

Overshot is my favorite structure.  You can get such beautiful, complex patterns with only a simple 4-shaft loom.  If you’re willing to go slow, you can even get it with a rigid heddle loom!  Cool stuff!

Workshop Samples

Overshot Workshop 1

More Classic Overshot – Sort of

We did do a couple of more classic-looking overshot where we explored the use of different weft patterns against the same warp.  We also looked at a basic warp / weft pattern but with the tabby or ground warp and weft being rainbow colors.  So pretty!  I need to get photos of it.

Overshot Workshop 2

Playing With Thicknesses

We did a few projects that broke the normal thread weight rule for overshot.  We also used very, very non-traditional materials – even a pot-scrubbing yarn!

Overshot Workshop 3

Not Really Overshot

Probably the most advanced techniques we worked with were freeform overshot and the Swedish opphämpta technique.  I brought my traveling counterbalance loom set up with the long-eye heddles to do the patterning.  I used a classic Scandinavian knitting pattern.  I think it looks lovely as a woven pattern!!  The freeform technique was the slowest and most challenging.  I need to work with that to make it more accessible.


Turtle Loom Blanket

Sad News

This has been a very sad time in my life.  I got the first block of my grand-niece’s blanket done far enough to see how the colors would play.  I texted the photo to my niece who approved the colors.  An hour later, my niece went in for an emergency delivery and my grand-niece was born prematurely.  At first it looked as if all was going well.  I hurried to get the Turtle loom at the finer sett to make her a preemie blanket.  Sadly, we lost our little angel.  At the moment, I can’t even bear to look at the Turtle looms.  When I can, I’ll finish the preemie blanket and donate it in her memory.

Cambridge Beauty Detail

A New Design!

I do have a new overshot scarf design on the loom.  This on is based on Josephine Estes’ Cambridge Beauty in her Original Miniature Patterns for Hand Weaving – Part 1.  I needed to have a piece on the Wolf Pup to demonstrate at our local Yarn Crawl this weekend.  I came up with this scarf draft for the overshot workshop and it proved to be just too “busy” for that purpose.  I really loved the design, though and wanted to use it anyway, so I warped on this scarf and wove off about half of it during the demonstration.  I can’t wait to get it off the loom and finished!

Workshop Samples

Workshop News!

We’re coming into the home stretch on getting ready for my Not Your Mother’s Overshot workshop.  The photo shows fewer than half of the samples for the project… and one of them isn’t even from this workshop (although it’s in the family).  It’s lots of prep work at a very difficult time for me, personally, but it’s actually good to get something productive done.  I think it’s going to be lots of fun, and I’m sure I’ll learn far more than anyone else there.  Teaching usually does mean learning the most.


Baby Blanket Number 5 is finally on the loom!  I admit that I was getting nervous.  My niece’s baby is due in late November and here we are in late September already.  I had come up with the design.  My grand-niece is to be named for my grandmother.  My grandmother was a prolific quilter whose favorite pattern was Grandmother’s Flower Garden, a design based on hexagons.  I do quilt, but I wanted to make my grand-niece a woven baby blanket (my specialty) that evoked my grandmother’s favorite quilt pattern.  This isn’t the first time I’ve come up with a design that I can’t weave because I don’t have the loom, but it’s never a comfortable situation.

Baby Blanket Number 5 In Progress

Normally I weave my pin loom baby blankets on a square pin loom.  I knew there was a hexagonal pin loom available, which should have been perfect for the job.  However, I never cared much for the generation 1 version of the Turtle Loom.  Instead of pins, nails were used, which I found rather klunky.  It’s not easy to slide the finished piece off a loom over nail heads.  Two of the nail heads were painted white to indicate the top and bottom of the loom.  I questioned the permanence of the paint.

Generation 2 of the Turtle Looms were due out about the time I completed Baby Blanket Number 4, reviewed earlier.  Nails had been replaced by pins and the painted nail heads replaced by marks in the wood frame.  This seemed like it would resolve all my issues.  I was hoping to take the Baby Blanket Number 5 project along with me on my recent trip to Colorado.  Unfortunately, there were delays in manufacturing so starting the blanket was delayed.  Yesterday, as I came in to teach my monthly beginning rigid heddle weaving class, the shop owner told me that the generation 2 Turtle Looms were finally in!  I grabbed one and the yarn I needed and got started.

So this blog post will also be a review of the Generation 2 Turtle Looms; the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


Well, it’s really unbagging.  The Turtle Loom comes in an organza bag.  Here’s what’s included:

Turtle Loom

  • The Turtle Loom – the pin loom comes in several sizes.  I bought the Original which produces 4″ hexagons from worsted weight yarn.  This makes it comparable to Schacht’s Zoom Loom which produces 4″ squares with the same worsted weight yarn.
  • Weaving Needle – Like the Schacht Zoom Loom, the Turtle Loom needs the enclosed weaving needle to weave the center part of the piece.
  • Crochet hook – unlike the square pin looms which only need a weaving needle, the Turtle Loom requires a crochet hook, which is included.  The Regular comes with a 4mm crochet hook
  • Hair Pick / Weaving Fork – although the “weaving fork” isn’t necessary to pack the weaving, it’s a nice-to-have.  And you can use it on your unruly hair if you need to.
  • Instruction Booklet – the instruction booklet has clear instructions with photographs for making the hexagons.

What You’ll Need

In addition to the Turtle Loom and the yarn, you’ll need a pair of scissors.  I try to keep a small pair with every project as as chasing scissors is one of my least favorite activities.

The Good

The Turtle Loom is easy to use.  Experience with the Schacht Zoom Loom isn’t necessary.  It helps in some ways and actually hinders in others.  Because the the loom isn’t warped as the square pin looms are, there is some unlearning that needs to take place.  Once you realize that they are two different looms, it’s easy to use the Turtle Loom

The enclosed instruction booklet provides clear, well illustrated instructions.  It took me almost no time to get the hang of using the Turtle Loom

The pins that mark where the weaving changes from triangular weave to rectangular weave area clearly marked in the wood frame.

The pins that mark the top and bottom of the loom are clearly marked in the wood frame.

It’s easy to slide the work off the Turtle Loom now that pins are used instead of nails.

The Bad

The enclosed instruction booklet contains no instructions for joining the hexagons.  The book refers to weaver to YouTube videos.  That’s all well and good but there are people who don’t like  YouTube and it’s frustrating to be working on a project and need to go elsewhere for vital information.  Schacht, on the other hand, includes instructions for joining the squares in the Zoom Loom’s instruction booklet.

The Ugly

While the  Generation 2 Turtle Loom looks more professional with its pins instead of nails, there are still some areas that could be improved.

The top and bottom pin markings in the wood look like the wood was split and dye poured in.  I think the marks were actually made with a wood-burning tool, but it really looks like accidental wood splits.  This is picky of me, I know, but I feel that more professional-looking marks could have been done.

To start the weaving, it’s necessary to tie a slip knot in the yarn and put the slip knot over the top pin.  The yarn tail, which will be used for sewing the hexagons together, gets in the way when the weaving is begun.  I’d like to see a notch such as Schacht uses on the Zoom Loom to hold the beginning tail of yarn.  It keeps the yarn tail from interfering with the weaving.

The pins are uneven.  I don’t mean the difference in spacing between the top/bottom pins and the side pins, although I question whether they’re right, I mean that what should be pins on a straight plane are actually slightly uneven and the pins themselves are not driven into the wood straight.  These defects don’t seem to affect the weaving, but they contribute to the loom looking unprofessional.


Overall, I like the Turtle Loom.  It’s easy to use and produces a different kind of woven shape.  I’m looking forward to this “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” woven baby blanket.  I hope my great-niece will like it!



Baby Blanket Number 4

After a desultory baby blanket couple of months and a rush to the finish on Sunday, I’m pleased to report that Baby Blanket Number 4 – the blanket for my Starbucks barista’s baby – is off the loom, finished and delivered.  I’m pleased with it… I think.  There were a couple of places where the rainbow block and the tonal blue block came out so close that it’s hard to know which is which.  Overall, I think it’s a winner.  It started as my least favorite of the blankets and may be my second favorite behind the Blue Blanket (Blanket Number 3).  So without further ado…

Baby Blanket Number 4 Detail Baby Blanket Number 4

Here’s the Fourth Blanket!  (Is this the Doctor Who of woven baby blankets?  At least it doesn’t have a long scarf.)  You can see the “too close” blocks at the upper right corner and the lower left.  They don’t show as much in the photo as they do in person, so maybe that’s just my eyes.

I’m off baby blanket duty for a little while.  I’m waiting for Gen 2 of the Turtle Loom to come out so I can make a hexagonal blanket for my grand-niece.  She’s named for my grandmother who was an avid quilter.  Grandmother’s Flower Garden was Grannie’s favorite quilt pattern so I’m planning a similar design in a pin loom blanket for her namesake.

Old Books

We’re having an overshot weave-a-long over at FiberKind.  One of the participants mentioned a book that she had luckily acquired – Foot Treadle Loom Weaving by Edward Worst.  I’d never heard of it before so I dutifully went off to eBay and scored an absolute deal!  I got both editions of the book – the 1924 copyright original edition, Foot-Power Loom Weaving and a revised edition, Foot Treadle Loom Weaving from 1976.  The books are almost identical.  The drafts are easier to read in the newer version, but they are both valuable additions to my weaving library.  There are 4-shaft, 6-shaft, 8-shaft and 16-shaft drafts in the book and all were collected from traditional weavers.  There are even plans to build a Scandinavian-style loom in the back of the book!

These books are right up there with Marguerite Porter Davison’s A Handweaver’s Pattern Book and Carol Strickler’s A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns.  They belong on every weaver’s bookshelf.  Worst’s books are long out of print, so it’s a treasure hunt to find a copy, but well worth the effort.

Joseph Worst Books



Lee's Surrender Towel Design

As always, it’s been a busy couple of weeks.  One of the members of my online weaving group on Our Unraveled indicated that she would like to make towels in the Lee’s Surrender overshot draft.  Now Lee isn’t easy.  It may be only a 4-shaft overshot draft, but it combines several elements, has a wicked border and isn’t for the faint of heart.  Or at least isn’t for beginning weavers.  The good news is that it is in Marguerite Porter Davison’s A Handweaver’s Pattern Book.  The original book is from the 50’s and the draft is written out in the older format, but it still manageable.  (Hint: beware of getting a new version of the book.  I’ve heard that it has been gutted and has maybe half the drafts of the earlier editions.)

I don’t know where the original draft came from.  In the book Davison says that it is adapted from an earlier pattern.  Since weaving drafts, like quilt patterns, are frequently named for historical events, I assume this one is truly named for Lee’s Surrender of the Confederate troops at Appomattox Courthouse.  If so, that would place it in the late 1800’s.  The border is based on the Blooming Leaf pattern that appears in other overshot drafts, and this gives the border its intricate, eye-appealing size.  The tables that form the center design are themselves quite simple  – a star design commonly found in overshot.  However, they allow the piece to be wider or narrower at the weaver’s discretion simply by adding or removing repeats.

Lees Surrender Place Mat

Lee and I are no strangers.  Many years ago I decided to tackle this draft in a very fine thread intending to make a set of four place mats in the classic blue pattern on white background.  One must understand, however, that I am a Southerner.  As nearly as I an tell, all eight of my great-great-grandfather’s fought for the Confederacy.  So either some curse got thrown in my direction or I got a bad cone of white cotton, but it was one broken warp thread after the other.  After two place mats and 20+ broken warp threads, I cut the piece off the loom.  Still, the two place mats turned out beautifully.

I volunteered to make the draft for the requested towels and post it to the group.  I also suggested that we use it as an overshot weave-a-long or WAL.  Several people agreed and I think we’ll get going on the first of September.  I was able to find the original notes and WIF (Weaving Information File) I entered when I made the place mats.  I hadn’t finished the treadling diagram, but it wasn’t hard to finish up.  I did all the calculations for two towels and wrote up the instructions.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t test the towels prior to releasing the PDF.  I’m hopeful that everything is fine and I didn’t make any mistakes.  I suppose we’ll see.

Equally unfortunately, I decided to make the towels in Ashford’s 10/2 and 5/2 cotton.  Sadly, we’re out of the colors I wanted at Yarnivore,  Hopefully, the cones will be in before long and I’ll be able to get the towels on the loom.  I’m planning to get the origami blouse fabric off the old Schacht Standard so the towels can go on.

And hopefully there will be NO broken warp threads!!


Origami Blouse Fabric On Loom

Dogs On The Looms

It’s been a busy week in the studio! It’s time to get ready for a workshop I’ll be teaching in late October and I have two designs I want to get on the looms.  Unfortunately, three of my six floor looms have “dogs” on them.  What is a dog on the loom?  It’s a project that I started and then lost interest in or I got busy with other projects and put the “dog” aside.  True Confessions time here – I love to design, love to start projects and am the world’s worst at finishing.    The stack of projects that are off the loom, but not finished is reaching critical mass.  Talk about the stack of shame!

It’s funny.  My very first loom, an old used Schacht Standard 4-shaft / 6-treadle loom is the one loom you’d think I would sell.  It’s limited, right??  Well, right, but it just feels good.  I love that old loom and I love to weave on it.  Unfortunately, it seems to attract the most dogs.  I have an Atwater-Bronson lace piece on it intended to be an origami blouse.  Maybe it’s the color.  Maybe it’s the issues I’ve had with the selvedges.  I don’t know.  It’s a dog.  That’s all I do know.  But I want that loom for another piece!  What’s a weaver to do?  I could give up on the project, cut it off and use the woven cloth for something else.  That just offends me, though.  So I decided to buckle down and finish it.  After I moved the stack of finished (and yet unfinished) projects off the loom and dusted the poor thing off, I sat down at the loom… and remembered how much I love weaving on the old thing.  And the weaving went better as well.  I think I’m going to like this blouse, if and when I ever get it done.

Getting Ready for Workshops

I’m busy getting designs finalized and written up for my upcoming overshot workshop.  I’m excited to be giving a workshop and I think I have some good ideas for this one.  It always amazes me how much I learn when preparing for a class or workshop.  I’ve had to completely rework one of the designs.  I thought I had it simple enough for the project and the sample didn’t agree.  In fact, it didn’t agree for quite some time.  Finally, about midnight, I got it down to a workable treadling.  The threading was fine from the beginning, but the treadling was simply too fussy.  I’m very pleased with the outcome, and I think my students will be as well.

Now to try out my next design in my next sample.

Until next week,

Weave on!


Equipment Reviews

Here I am with the first of an ongoing series of equipment reviews.  If you’re into sport technology / wearable technology, you’ve probably heard of DC Rainmaker.  His product reviews are invaluable.  Although I don’t claim to be anywhere near his level, I thought it would be a good idea to do something similar for the weaving equipment world.  Weaving equipment is expensive.  There’s no getting around that.  It can also take up a considerable amount of space.  The purchase of a new loom is rarely an impulse purchase.  Looms are also specialized for certain types of weaving.  I’ll never forget the panic one day of welcoming my students to a tapestry weaving class only to discover that one of my students had been told (I’ll never know by whom) that a tapestry loom capable of using four sets of string heddles was the same as a 4-shaft floor loom.

So today, I’m starting with a review of the Ashford Katie table loom.  The Katie has been out for some years so it’s not a new loom.  I purchased mine new on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 through my local yarn shop.  It arrived on Saturday, July 28.

Ashford Katie Fast Facts

  • Maker: Ashford Wheels and Looms (New Zealand)
  • Dimensions (folded): 18.25″ wide, 10.5″ deep, 18.75″ high / 46.5 cm wide, 28cm deep, 47cm high
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 18.25″ wide, 29″ deep, 18.5″ high / 46.5 cm wide, 73cm deep, 46cm high
  • Weight: 14.25 pounds / 6.5kg
  • Price as of July 2019: $1,105.00 USD
  • Shafts: 8
  • Treadles: none
  • Weaving width: 12″ / 30cm


So let’s start with an unboxing.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get photos as I was unboxing it.  (I have lots to learn about this review process!)  Here’s a list of what’s in the box:

  • The Katie 8-shaft table loom – mostly finished and assembled
  • 320 Texsolv heddles installed, but not separated (40 per shaft)
  • Carrying bag
  • In a separate sealed pouch
    • Top beater rail
    • 10-dent reed
    • Hardware to mount top beater rail
    • 5 apron rods / lease sticks
    • 6 pieces of tapestry warp thread to use as apron ties to attach the apron rods to the loom
    • 2 pieces of bungee cord to return the beater to neutral
    • sleying / threading hook
    • cardboard packing sticks
    • 2 unfinished stick shuttles
  • In a separate sealed pouch
    • Instruction sheet
    • Table Loom instruction booklet
    • Ashford product booklet
    • The Wheel newsletter

Following is a list of supplies that I think you should order or have on hand when you order the Katie.  This is not meant to be a list of weaving supplies you will need, such as boat shuttles and a warping board.  This is a list of supplies I think you’ll need to set up the Katie itself.

  • 3 yards / meters of Texsolv cord
  • 220 or 400 grit sandpaper
  • Ashford spinning wheel wax or similar wax such as Howard’s Feed and Wax
  • scissors and matches or a soldering iron or hot knife to cut and seal the Texsolv.

Now that we have the facts and unboxing out of the way, let’s discuss the loom.  I’m dividing this into The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good

Overall, the Katie is a great little loom.  However, it is meant for small projects.  It has only a 12″ weaving width, which results in fabric that is roughly 10.75″ finished width.  I wouldn’t call it extremely lightly built, but it’s not the loom to weave rugs on.  It shines as a sampling loom and a workshop / travel loom.  Weighing in at only 14 pounds / 6.5kg and fitting in its own bag, it’s a beauty to take on a road trip or to a guild meeting or workshop.

I am not a fan of table looms.  I’ll state my prejudice right here.  Mostly, I don’t like them because of how far I have to reach to raise and lower the shafts.  It winds up being more of an upper body workout than I like.  The Katie has won me over.  One of the easiest things about weaving on it is how easy it is to flip the levers to manipulate the shafts.  Using levers to manipulate the shafts (or a direct tie-up floor loom) is slower than a loom with lams and treadles.  This is a cost of using a table loom.  A huge advantage, and one that I stress to my students, is that you gain an understanding of the warp thread movement that produces the cloth.

I find the Katie easy to warp.  It works well either front-to-back or back-to-front.  I did have a little difficulty getting an even tension on my first project   I think this may have been because of another issue I faced later on.

One of the things I like best about the Katie is the overhead beater.  One of the weaknesses of table looms is the swing of the beater.  Because the beater is so short, it has a steep arc.  There is very little weaving area before the beater arcs so badly that it’s pushing down on the fabric rather than packing the weft.  Ashford addresses this problem in the Katie and its other table looms by using an overhead beater. The height of the beater can be greater, allowing for a shallower arc to the swing.  You still have to advance early and often with the Katie, but it’s much more reasonable.

The Bad

The Katie’s weakest point, as it comes from the manufacturer, is the use of tapestry warp thread as apron ties.  I truly went past the lengths of thread in the accessories bag looking for the apron ties.  When I realized that the tapestry warp thread pieces WERE the apron ties, I was shocked.  Ashford uses much stronger nylon apron ties on all its rigid heddle looms from the least expensive to the most expensive.  Rigid heddle looms typically don’t put as much tension on a warp as multishaft looms. 

Although the diagram of how to set up the apron ties is clear, there is considerable difficulty in tying the apron rods to the loom and getting the ties a consistent length.  You’ll either need a willing helper, three hands or use my alternate solution presented below.

Ashford Katie Broken Apron TiesWhen I set up the Katie, I almost replaced the apron ties before putting my first warp on. I did not believe the tapestry warp thread would be strong enough.  I decided to set up the loom according to the manufacturer’s instructions anyway.  This was a big mistake as two of the front apron ties broke when I was about a foot into the weaving.  I decided that it could be fixed and I wouldn’t have to cut off the project, but it was disconcerting, to say the least.  I am an experienced weaver and have woven on multiple looms, old and new.  I have an experienced loom repairman on call as well.  In other words, I have resources available that most weavers, especially beginning ones, do not.  I still found the breaking apron ties unsettling.

This is a modification I would recommend to most weavers during the setup phase.  Leave the tapestry warp thread pieces in the bag.  Cut and seal 6 pieces of Texsolv.  Each piece needs to be 16.5″ or 42cm.  Count to be sure that each piece has 35 “buttonholes.”  It is very important that each piece of Texsolv be exactly the same length. 

Ashford Katie Original Beam HolesWhen finishing the loom (more about that below) be sure to sand the holes in the warp and cloth beams.  Mine were completely unfinished and had both sharp edges and material in the holes.  Please see the photo at right.  Even if the warp thread hadn’t been too light, it would have been abraded by the sharp edges of the holes and broken anyway.  As you sand the holes, try to angle the edges of the holes a bit.  There is a way of doing so with a drill and a chamfer bit, but be aware that doing so WILL INVALIDATE THE MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY!  I wouldn’t recommend beveling the holes with a drill and chamfer bit except to experienced woodworkers.  I had it done to mine and I love it.

Ashford Katie Repaired Hole

Once the warp and cloth beam holes are tidied up, thread a piece of Texsolv cord into each hole.  Bring the end around the beam to the top and thread the opposite end of the cord through the second buttonhole from the end.  Make a sharp crease about midway down the cord and thread the crease through the second buttonhole from the opposite end.  Once all three cords are in place slip the apron rod into the three loops and pull the apron rod tight to cinch up the cord.  The combination of stouter cord and the smoother wood will keep your apron ties happy for a long time.  The other advantage is that the cords are all exactly the same length so you avoid the apron tie alignment issue I spoke of earlier.

Ashford Katie with Repaired Arpon TiesI was able to replace the outside cords with Texsolv with the piece still attached to the apron rod.  However, I couldn’t get the middle Texsolv tie on.  I used stout cotton cording for that.  I think it will work just fine on this one project.  As soon as the project comes off, I’ll replace it with Texsolv.

I must say that I’m disappointed in Ashford for taking such shortcuts, especially with a high-end loom.  $1000+ USD is quite a bit to pay for a loom.  I would expect it to be 100% well made, not 95% and the remaining 5% so critical.  I hope my tips help a new Katie owner to avoid having the apron ties break and the resulting anxiety.


The Ugly

As mentioned above, the Katie has an overhead beater.  It is held in place with two side pieces of plywood.  The plywood is not sanded smooth nor finished.  I would recommend sanding the pieces as best you can with them mounted on the loom.  After getting them nice and smooth, apply a coat of Ashford’s spinning wheel wax or Howard’s Feed and Wax.  It not only makes them smooth and pretty, it smells good, too!  If the roughness of the plywood doesn’t bother you, leave it alone.  It makes no structural difference to the loom.  I am picky about my tools so I want them as well finished as possible.  I would also carefully sand and wax the end grain of the cloth and warp beams opposite the brakes.  Again, it isn’t a structural issue, but it does make them much nicer.

Packing Her Up!

Katie in the BagAs I said before, the main beauty of the Katie is its portability.  It’s an easy loom to fold up with the weaving in place and fits nicely into its carrying case.  Here are the steps I discovered for packing up the loom.

  • Loosen the cloth and warp beam brakes.
  • Remove the beater bungee cords from the slots/holes in the castle.
  • Raise the overhead beater supports to bring the beater against the castle.
  • Loosen the cloth beam and unlatch the V-shaped locks
  • Fold the front part of the loom against the castle and tighten the lock knobs.
  • Repeat the above two steps for the warp beam.
  • Put the loom into the bag with the cloth beam (front of the loom) facing the back of the bag.  It’s tempting to put the loom in the bag with the front of the loom facing the zipper closure.  If you do, the zippers will be strained over the brake knobs.  Putting the loom in the bag with the cloth beam facing the back of the bag alleviates that issue.

Zip her up and you’re ready to go!!









Baby Blanket 3 In Progress

I’ve started the fourth pin loom baby blanket.  This one is for my Starbucks barista who is expecting a boy.  In theory, the rainbow yarn (Plymouth Encore Colorspun #7722, Very Bright Kids) is the same yarn I’ve used for earlier projects.  It just doesn’t look the same to me though.  Dye lot makes a difference, of course, but still.  The blue tonal (Plymouth Encore Colorspun #7747, Blueberry), may go a little too much to the white.  However, I think this blanket will come out just fine.

Beginning Weaving

In other news, Saturday was a great beginning rigid heddle weaving class.  My students were excited and receptive.  We had a great time!  A good attitude is essential to learning to weave.  A good sense of adventure doesn’t hurt!

Until next time… Weave on!


Why do things happen in threes?  Or in this case, in fives?  Babies factorial!  First it was my daughter’s friend.  Then it was my friend’s son.  Next up was my cousin’s daughter, my niece and my Starbucks barista!  Three of the babies came within a month of each other.  My barista is due in the next couple of months and my niece in the winter.  But that still means a sudden and pressing need for handwoven baby blankets.

I love to weave small blankets on my Zoom Loom, or pin loom.  The Zoom Loom weaves 4-inch squares which makes it the most portable loom around.  These looms were popular in the 1930’s and have recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity.  Antique looms are still to be found on eBay, but modern versions abound.  An invaluable site, eLoomaNation, has information on the looms and downloadable copies of instruction and pattern booklets for the little looms.  Making a small blanket is easy – usually requiring only two skeins of worsted-weight yarn.  I usually use Plymouth Encore, a wool-acrylic blend, as it is durable and washable and comes in lots of colors, solids, tonals and variegated.  I choose a variegated and a coordinating solid.  I do make blankets in pinks and blues, but I’m just as apt to make one in yellows or greens.

The Yellow Blanket

Yellow and Rainbow Blanket

The first blanket was for my daughter’s friend.  I made it in a yellow tonal paired with a bright rainbow.  I used to make these blankets square – 6 squares by 6 squares or around 2 feet square.  I decided to squeeze one more row of blocks out of the yarn and make it about 4 inches longer. I’m glad I did as the blankets are probably more useful that way.  I did have to change from crocheting both rows of the border in the variegated yarn to crocheting the first row in the plain or tonal color and the second, scalloped row in the variegated.

The Pink Blanket

Pink and Rainbow Baby Blanket

The second blanket was made for my cousin’s new granddaughter.  This blanket meant quite a bit to me because my cousin lost his wife a year before the baby’s birth.  I wanted to do something, however small, to show that the family was behind them.  Since I knew this baby was a girl, I used the same variegated rainbow that I did for the first blanket but paired it with a solid pink.  At first, I thought that the pink was too… well… pink!  After it was finished, I decided that I really liked it.

The Blue Blanket

Blanket Number Three was made for my friend’s new grandson.  Again, since I knew that baby was a boy, I chose a variegated yarn of blues, teals, purples, greens and tans and paired it with a plain blue yarn.  This one may be my favorite blanket yet!

Wow!  Three blankets done and two to go – now that’s a pin loom marathon!

Blue Rainbow Blanket Detail

Blue Rainbow Blanket