A few weeks ago I saw some simple weaving tutorials online while recovering from back surgery. Although we just moved and I was unable to really dig into the mountain of boxes consuming my future studio, I did remember that one of the few tubs of materials I could access was 1/2 filled with scrap yarn! What luck!
Over the course of several days I turned the back board of one of my sketchbooks into several mini-looms based on the instruction provided on the The Weaving Loom. The instructions are simple and open to customization.
To make my tiny looms I measured out my spacing and cut the thicker cardboard with a sharp box cutter. I used the inside of of junk mail envelopes to create a more visually interesting surface to stare at and protect the cardboard in the hopes that it would hold up longer. Packing tape created a slick and protected surface smooth surface for my blunt yarn needle to slide over while weaving. I made the bridges with scraps of the cardboard and after some trial and error got them to stay down with some super glue. I love them!
My 6 1/2 year old daughter was eager to help and wanted a loom of her own (pink, “of course”). When we finally got to sit down and weave together one day after school we both immediately loved the process. I was really pleased by how quickly she picked it up. She loves patterns – obsessively so – so was enamored by the pleasure of the “over / under” rhythm. She wove up her “teeny tiny loom” quickly and declared “maybe I could be a weaver when I grow up!”
I share her enthusiasm and wove several of my own little tester pieces in no time – it was an excellent activity while still recovering. Not all of my early attempts were successful and I am still learning some of the basic techniques and principles of simple weaving.
I would not recommend wrapping the warp thread like the example The Weaving Loom suggests if your loom is tiny like mine – and you plan on weaving throughout your entire work space – because you will end up with super short threads to tie off when you cut your piece off the loom. If you wrap all the way around (like a spool) you will have more thread to work with. If your loom is bigger and you leave a few inches at the top and bottom you will have plenty of thread either way.
Pretty early on I realized that I did not really know what to do with all these little gems – a problem Little Bit did not have. She immediately realized that her woven pieces made excellent Lego and Pokemon rugs and towels! (SO freaking cute!!!)
This happily gave me the idea to create a little rug for one of my small succulent planters (thanks, Mom!). Very hipster and adorable – I love it. I crocheted the edges to hide my way too small end knots.
I decided to give pendants a go with my favorite of my other smaller woven works. I have seen a few amazing pieces online so had some ideas floating around. The material I hand printed a few weeks before made good accents and enjoyed the act of slowly putting it all together.
The prototype pendants that I made each gave me a lot of good ideas. Some were horrible and others were great. I ended up with 3 that I genuinely like. This has stimulated a lot of additional thoughts and directions that I can’t wait to share in the coming months. Now that the kid is in school and my back is on the mend I have some time and space to get back into my art process and I could not be happier!
Check out some of the awesome techniques from The Weaving Loom (and many other great websites online) if you are interested in learning more about beginning weaving and want to create your own tiny loom.
Warning: It is very addicting… Little and I have LOTS of tiny looms now.