Inspired by a friend's lovely scarf, we embarked on a project to satisfy Gavin's desire to weave, and our holiday gifting list. Our guidelines were simple: use only materials we already had on hand and make two looms, somewhat the same. I have two weavers and waiting your turn is sometimes too much to ask!
Thought I could take you along for the journey, perhaps you'll be inspired to make it your own in some way.
First we needed a board to create the loom on.
We happened to have a (really long) thirteen foot board stashed in the wood pile, which seemed perfect for two looms that could each hold a sixty-three inch long scarf.
I would suggest finding a board that is long enough for the end result you desire as well as one that has the width you are looking for. Our loom board is seven inches wide.
Our board was quite rough and I didn't see any need to spend time sanding it, as we will most certainly return it to the outdoors where it holds my "seed house" against the south wall in the spring. To protect our yarn from snagging on the wood, we wrapped it in fabric prior to securing yarn.
Forty-five nails were placed along the width of the board to hold the yarn strands that run the length of the project. The threads that run from one side to the other and are fixed in place are called the warp threads. This particular scarf design is set up a bit differently than most, having the more bulky, showy fiber running the length of the project, and being bound loosely together by a delicate weft thread.
In creating this loom we were all working together. I chose not to spend much time instructing how exactly the nails were placed along the edge of the board. We counted out forty-five brads (little nails with next to no head) for each end of the looms and we each grabbed a hammer. I would suggest creating two rows of brads placed in a zig-zag or offset pattern, this helps when trying to secure the yarn in place. You can choose, of course, what your goals for the project are. I chose self-directed, happy children, and it turned out beautifully. The only noticeable issue is that it can be hard to tell what strand of yarn to weave next if they are secured too close.
After your board is wrapped in fabric and has brads nailed in a row, secure the yarn strands that will run the length of the scarf. I found securing each strand with a slip knot around the brad pegs worked the best when it came time to remove the scarf from the loom. Try to keep the strands taught but there is no need to stress the fibers by pulling too tight.
We used several different yarns, in various colors, weights, materials and textures.
Once the weft thread (this is the one you will weave all the warp threads together with) is wound on the "surfboard" or shuttle, you can attach the loose end to the outer most warp thread leaving a lengthy tail. Now you are ready to begin weaving all the beautiful fibers together. over one strand and under the next, the shuttle leads the way and the yarn tail follows. Don't forget to round that last thread when you get to it, and come back in the opposite pattern under, over etc. We wove very loosely for this part as we were aiming for a delicate end-product that highlighted the wonderful fibers that run the length of the scarf.
(thank you, Susie, for being our project motivation, model and scarf tester extraordinaire)
Once the entire length of the scarf has been woven together it is time to remove it from the loom. Begin by untying the yarn strands from the brads. With all the "fringe" ends free of the loom cluster them together, we did clusters of five strands each, and knotted them together leaving the ends to become fringe.
Voila! A unique and beautiful scarf is made, perfect for that fiber lover on your list be that you or someone else. Here in our home we are busy working both looms (as they dominate our living room for the time being) in hopes of finishing several of these, each one a bit different, with their very special recipients in mind.
I hope you, too, have many days of weaving fun!
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