Now that I made a simple frame loom I was ready to try it out. This is my first attempt at weaving so I started with something small and simple. It is made using two weft colours and a simple pattern in the centre. As I am still in the learning process please feel free to leave comments, suggestions or criticisms; also let me know if I didn't explain things clearly.
I included a glossary to help with the weaving terminology.
Step 1: Materials
Step 2: Warp
To warp a frame loom with a heddle takes a bit of time and practice. Without the heddle you can just tie the loose thread to the bottom frame and wind the ball of yarn around the frame. With the heddle you need to feed the thread through the slits and holes of the heddle as you wind it around the frame. To do the you start with the loose end of yarn feed it through the heddle the far hole of heddle around the top frame (from the front around). Continue with that thread bring in through the next slit of the heddle around the bottom frame (back to front) then through the next hole of the heddle. Continue on this way alternating hole/slit along the length of the heddle to the end also wrapping from front to back on the top frame and from back to front on the bottom frame. Once the warp is wrapped around the frame tie both ends of the yarn securely to the frame, the yarn should be taught and you should be able to move the heddle up and down with enough room to pass the shuttle through.
Step 3: Wrapping the Shuttle
Since I was using two different colours for the weft I wrapped a shuttle for each colour. Simply wind the yarn between the notches on the shuttle. Try not to wind to much on since the shuttle needs to be able to pass through the shed.
Step 4: Twining
Twining is used to space out and secure the warp. Since the warp is wrapped around the frame the thickness of the wood creates a gap or space between the warp threads. Twining brings together the two layers of warp threads so that the are at the same height. I used the same colour yarn that I'll be using for the background. Working from left to right, simply take a length of yarn, loop it around the warp and twist around each warp thread. As you can see from image 4, the warp threads are now lined up and should be evenly spaced.
Step 5: Weaving
Now we are ready to begin weaving. While weaving, I found that the most comfortable positioning of the loom was to place the front part on my lap and the back legs on a table.
Tie the end of the yarn to the the first warp thread on the left (I'm not sure if you're supposed to do this, but it worked for me). Raise the heddle and pass the shuttle from left to right through the shed, let the weft yarn sit loosely across the warp. Let go of the heddle and with the beater push down the weft threads towards the end. Push the heddle downward and pass the shuttle from right to left through the new shed. Again the yarn should sit loosely on the warp and then push it towards the end with the beater. Continue on in this fashion.
Don't pull too tightly on the yarn as the edges can become uneven.
Step 6: Changing Colour
When you are changing colours or you run out of yarn on the shuttle simply start a new thread where you left off and just leave a small tail out the back.
Since I wanted a pattern in the centre of the piece. I stared first doing several rows in blue. At the row that I wanted to start the heart I passed the blue shuttle through only halfway and then pulled it out the back. From the back I pulled the whiteish yarn through the next warp (still with the heddle raised). Then continued on the rest of the row with the blue shuttle. For the next row I again only went partway with blue then pulled it out the back, did two warp threads with the whitish yarn and then continued on the rest of the row with the blue yarn. I continue on this way for the rest of the heart. (I found a cut-out of the shape was helpful in determining which colour to use). Basically what I've done is run the blue yarn behind the whitish yarn so if you turn the piece over you see a stretch of blue yarn over the whitish yarn (see image 7).
Step 7: Finishing
To finish, tie off all the loose ends on the weft. Start cutting the warp yarn two loops at a time from the bottom of the frame giving you four threads. Tie these in a knot and leave a bit of a fringe, continue cutting and knotting two loops at a time (I found giving the threads a twist helps with tying). Then do the same for the top end.
Step 8: Glossary
- warp - The threads that run lengthwise around the frame (also a verb -to wrap the yarn lengthwise around the frame). (image 1)
- weft - The yarn that runs from side to side through the warp yarn. (image 2)
- shed - The separation of alternating warp threads to create a space to pass the weft through. (image 3)
- heddle - A tool used to separate alternating warp threads creating a shed. (image 4)
- beater- A tool used to push the weft yarn in place. (image 5)
- shuttle - A tool in which the weft thread is wrapped and passed through the shed. (image 6)