My first weaving experience

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Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to have a weaving loom.

In Romania, in the communist period when I grew up, having a new wooden weaving loom for crafting (like any other fancy toy) was possible only if your family had money or good connections.

My family was a simple family: my father was working at the local mine in a supervisor shift and my mother was a chemist analyst working in the mining chemistry lab. They were doing their best but obviously there was no money to buy a craft weaving loom.

As a kid, to want something but never get it, made it very hard but I used my creative skills and did other stuff if weaving wasn’t in the cards. Ever since then however I look at looms and remember how badly I wanted one!

For me, it’s not just about the looms when it comes to weaving, it’s about the weaving fabric. I am in love with more rough textures, such as hemp or linen, woven with a bigger grain. My Romanian friend gave me this rough hemp kitchen towel that her great grandmother made and I treasure it dearly. I wish I could have a whole collection!

Just the past week I decided to try weaving and went to Michael’s to buy a small weaving loom with pegs. I bought this Martha Steward loom which was on sale.

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Now I have to tell you one of the things why I didn’t try weaving so far: I was very intimidated by all the ‘threads’ that you had to ‘tie’ so you can weave. Plus, going over and under all those threads always seemed very complicated to me. I hate it when things get tangled, whatever they are. When I bought the Martha Steward loom I was still very cautious and I was dreading the moment I had to put all those ‘threads’ in.

Turns out this was easy on the loom so definitely the small loom size helps to keep warping manageable and not overwhelming if you are still learning. Here’s a cute little tutorial for a project, if you decide to buy this weaver.

After trying it, I realized that the size of the project was too small even when using all the pegs. I found out that I could make my own cardboard loom of the size that I wanted. I wanted to make a pillow case to fit a 14”x 14” so I proceeded to make a big loom.

Let me tell you that cutting cardboard to make the teeth where the warps go is hard work. Especially if you have pain in your hands or wrists! I don’t advise doing this unless you have to. For this first time it was OK for me, but I would not do it again with such a big loom.

Here’s what weaving on a cardboard loom looks like:

Anyway, the experience of weaving was very positive! I loved how the fabric was coming together and because I was weaving with bulky red yarn I was even happier – the red uplifted my spirits (I am a Fire sign so red is definitely invigorating for me) and the repetitive motion of going over and under the warp was very satisfying.

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In the end, I still couldn’t make my pillow case because even with such a big loom, the fabric came out small so I had to sew it on top of a ready-made pillow case. I think it was OK though as a first experience and I’m happy that I learned how to weave.

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A very good website that helped me answer some questions that I had as I went along is this one: http://www.theweavingloom.com/

I suggest you give weaving a try, see if you like it at least. Let me know what you think after.

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