On a stretch of highway, somewhere in America, there is a truck. On board that truck is a box containing several items which were to play a part in this week’s Craft Corner column.
Since we’ve already bumped the column once while waiting for the items to arrive, we’ve decided to go ahead with what we have and feature the tardy items in a future column.
Our focus this week is on small quilting looms – useful tools for those interested in both quilting and weaving. The looms make it possible to create small woven pieces that can be joined to make such home decor items as quilts, throws, pillows and placemats, as well as scarves, shawls and other pieces of wearable art.
The looms featured in this column are Hazel Rose Looms, which come in square, triangle and diamond shapes in a variety of sizes and wood finishes.
Square and triangle looms are 3, 7, 12 and 14 inches, ranging in price from $20 to $55. Diamond looms are 3 and 7 inches and cost about $20 and $40 respectively, depending on where they are purchased.
The looms can be ordered online at Hazel Rose Looms, www.hazelroselooms.com; or Carolina Homespun, www.carolinahomespun.com. Local or other online sources may be available. If you have a favorite fiber arts outlet, check to see if they stock the looms or can order them for you.
Weaving on the looms is a simple process, once you get the hang of it, using a continuous yarn. Tools required are an afghan hook, mini tapestry beater and a large needle.
The weaving procedure for the square looms is to hook the yarn around a nail on the upper left-hand edge of the loom and, using the afghan hook, weave the yarn over and under to a corresponding nail on the upper right-hand side, hook the yarn over that nail, pull the yarn down to another corresponding nail on the bottom right-hand side of the loom, then across to a nail on the left-hand side. The process is repeated until the loom is full.
Weaving on the diamond loom is the same as the square, but the triangle is a little bit different. Instructions for the looms are clear and fairly easy to follow, though it may take a few minutes of careful study and one or two practice runs to get started.
Once you’ve mastered the technique, you’re ready to roll.
For our sample projects, we began with a simple potholder woven on a 7-inch square loom.
We made two squares, joined them together with a blanket stitch around the edge and made the yarn tail into a hanging loop after finishing off. You will also want to add a layer or two of batting or heat-resistant fabric between the two squares.
Our second sample project was a brightly-colored place mat made out of lightweight yarn. We chose bold solids and made six squares on a 7-inch loom, joined them together with a slip stitch, and edged the mat with a single crochet stitch all around.
A set of four or six place mats would make a nice hostess gift for a summer garden party or a festive addition to a picnic basket.
To make our diamond projects, we made eight diamonds on a 7-inch loom and joined them together to form a doily. The purple and blue piece shown will be a throw, made of alternating rows of patterned and solid yarn. We didn’t have time to complete the entire piece, but you can see where we’re going with the second row.
A few more notes on construction:
While construction time will vary with each individual, you can figure on 45 minutes to an hour to finish each square, triangle or diamond.
The weaving goes quickly at first, but when you get down to the end, things slow up a bit. Squares and triangles are pretty easy, but the diamond gets a bit tricky at the finish line.
When you get to the end of the square, you’ll need to use a large needle and weave one more strand across the work to finish it off, but for the diamond, you may need to use the needle before you get to the final nails.
We found the final two or three passes at the end of the diamond almost impossible to do with the afghan hook, and used the needle to weave them.
To remove the woven piece from the loom, use the afghan hook to gently lift the loops off of the nails on one side. When the one side is free, you should be able to lift the remaining sides without the aid of the hook. If there is a lot of resistance, however, use the hook as long as necessary to release the loops from the nails.
Contact Jonetta Coffin at email@example.com.