Learning to weave tips and tricks for beginners
Want to try weaving but a bit nervous about getting started? Well Emily (@make.e) has tried it out and shared her hints and tips on how to get started and the benefits of using a square loom.
Emily is a crochet designer and also a Knitcraft ambassador. She loves to create new designs using yarn and also makes amazing crochet hooks.
Have you tried weaving yet? NO? I hadn’t either until very recently. I was sent a beautiful Rico loom from knitcraft to have a play with, as were all the other knitcraft ambassadors. Exciting and daunting all at the same time, especially as mine is square! Other round and standard looms are available and were sent to my other knitcraft buddies, go check out their weaves.
As soon as I laid eyes on my loom, I immediately felt I should create a square weave. Having never been shown how to use a loom I threaded it up criss crossing my threads diagonally. I quickly realised that maybe I should have started with something a little simpler. This is where the square loom is BRILLIANT, you can also thread it up so that you can weave from side to side rather than in a round. I used some 4 ply cotton to prepare my loom. I then looked up weaving tutorials on you tube to give me a bit more confidence with attaching the yarn, which basically consists of tying it on (simple).
And so I dug out my scrap yarns, of different weights, texture, and type. I had amongst others, 5mm cotton rope, dk acrylic, cotton mix, super chunky chenille, mohair and left-over roving from my arm knitting. I wanted to use it all. I searched through Instagram for inspiration from real life weavers and jumped straight in playing with composition and techniques as I went. What I have discovered is there is a point in weaving where I have no idea if I love it or hate it, and could very easily walk away from it to leave it to sit on my WIP pile. If you hit this point too, I urge you to carry on. It will turn out alright, the final character of the weave will only come together at the very end. I persevered with encouragement from my Instagram community and other makers I meet up with. The weave was finished, and I sat looking at it fearful to take it off the loom, but there is no need. DON’T cut anything just take the weave straight off the loom and voila! I sewed on some 4-ply cotton through the top loops to loop over a stick to hang it up from. Then I teased out some roving to make a super fluffy fringe at the bottom, and again hand sewed it into place.
Having now got my eye in with the straight loom, I really wanted to create a square loom to weave in the round. Whilst on you tube I did find a TOP TIP for prepping your loom. Once you have threaded it and all your threads are crossing over in the middle take a needle and some thread and divide your central threads and bringing them all to a central point. This makes it so much easier to start your weaving and build up from the middle point. The rest is pretty straight forward. What I do love about weaving is that you can create blocks of colour or texture then work around them changing colours and yarns as you go. As I am new to weaving myself I have written a list of some tips to keep in mind for beginner weavers.
- Keep your threads tight when wrapping your loom.
- Use a thin non-stretch thread such as a 4ply cotton to wrap your loom.
- To start, just tie your yarn onto the thread and weave away, loose ends can be hidden later.
- When weaving don’t be tempted to pull the yarn tight, you want your threads to stay as straight as possible, don’t worry about it feeling too loose, once you have built your weave up it will all stay in place.
- Use a comb or a fork to push down your yarn, this helps you from pulling too tight.
- Try weaving from both sides, especially if you are trying new techniques.
- Hold your weave up, or use an easel if you have one, it helps to pass the yarn through.