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How I Got Started in Weaving

Saturday June 6, 2009

The thing that got me addicted...err I mean, started with weaving was a video I saw on YouTube about how to weave using index cards.

I was intrigued. When surfing the 'net for more about weaving, I came across tablet weaving.  On one web page, the blogger made her cards from a cereal box. Since I had a nearly empty cereal box and some old spare crochet thread in my stash o' stuff, I decided to have some cereal and make some cards and give this a try. I didn't want to make a back-strap loom, so I got out one of my large cross stitch frames and used it for a make-shift frame. I was liking this!

Beka 10" Child's LoomThen I decided to try regular weaving. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a big loom just to find out that I might hate it, and I wanted a better frame for tablet weaving so I decided on the Beka Child's 10" loom which would serve both purposes...give me a vehicle for trying out regular weaving and give me a frame for tablet weaving.



First thing I ever wove.This is the project that actually comes with the Beka's Child's loom and the first thing I ever wove on an RH loom. I was immediately hooked.




Beka Rigid Heddle Loom and StandAfter I finished the small project that came with the child's loom (their photo is deceiving, it actually comes with the 4" project using the smaller heddle), I decided I really liked this hobby. I decided to get a full-size loom. I thought I should start out with something simple and (since I didn't have a lot of money) I decided on the Beka 24" Rigid Heddle Loom. I chose 24" because I knew from playing in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) that most fabric, from the middle ages, was 24" wide at the most. Hence, I could make actual fabric with which to make garments if I ever got that good at it. It helps to have a stand. Makes it easier to walk away from the loom when you need to. I eventually did a review on this loom. I should have gotten either a better used one or saved more money for a better new one. Something like an Ashford or a Kromski.

Moses Cloth The first thing I wove was a piece of fabric with the same pattern as that used by "Moses" in the Cecil B. DeMille 1957 epic "The Ten Commandments". My original intention for this piece was to make a tote bag out of it. I used the child's loom to weave the carry handles. I made this into a bag. I used regular Caron knitting yarn which was too fat for the 10 DPI heddle that came with my loom. I struggeled with it. Would have been better with an 8 dent, and learn!


Moses Abaya Cloth







Inkle LoomThen I decided to get an inkle loom as this would make a much better frame for card weaving and for making straps, belts, tote handles and the like with or without cards. I purchased it from The Crafter's Craftsman. I'm not affiliated with this eBay merchant, I just love his inkle loom a LOT. It's very well made. It's better than the Schacht Inkle Loom, IMHO.  I wove a few things on it to get the hang of it. 

Inkle Weaving with Embroidery FlossEmbroidery Floss and the first thing I ever wove on an inkle loom.




Moses Abaya Cloth#10 Cotton Crochet Thread Strap (this is for sale)




And there you have it! I hope you enjoy my web page and the FREE information and resources I have gathered. :) If you would like to support this project, I would appreciate donations, either by coins or material, or if you would purchase books and supplies from my Amazon Affilate store or by purchasing looms from Blick Art Materials. Here's the link for Blick's Promo Code for discounts on purchases:

Blick Art Materials' Current Promo Code

I was liking this so much, with every pick of my looms, I was dreaming of owning a floor loom. Then one day I hit the jack pot. A friend of ours called us from a thrift store, "They have a loom here."  DH and I immediately headed over. I talked them down in price and got what turned out to be an early Murphy loom. These small counterbalance looms were built in Seattle around the late 40's to mid 50's. Mine didn't have a placard on it but thanks to, they helped me identify it. Got it for $75.00!


Filed under categories: Looms

4 comments so far… Has this helped you?

Liz Moncrief says:

Joyce, I happened on this website this evening and want you to know that I restore and rehab old looms and happen to have a Murphy in my garage right now that I’m working on. Looked just like yours when you brought it home and now she almost sings!

Posted: Saturday December 31, 2011

Joyce says:

@Liz That’s so awesome. You’re going to absolutely adore this loom. She’s a tough egg and it takes a beating. I don’t know if they make them like this anymore!

What I really like about it is that it folds. This makes it easy to reach the heddles during warping. Does yours have a placard on it?

I’m missing the top piece to the beater. I’d love to have that replaced properly. My DH fashioned a piece out of pine…it works but it’s…ugly. I’d like to have a nice square piece like it’s supposed to have and he’s not up to the task.

Mine is going to get another good rub down with oil as soon as I get done with my latest project.

Posted: Sunday January 1, 2012

josie peterman says:

hi, i have a “new” murphy loom and was wondering how you feel it does in weaving rag rugs? i also have a leclerc artisat that i havent used yet either and was curious as to the best one for rag rug weaving. thank you!

Posted: Saturday March 10, 2012

Joyce says:

I’ve never woven a rag rug. The Murphy should do just fine. I’ve learned the key to good rag rugs is having the loom keep the tension on the warp. The break system on the Murphy it is really, really good. One way to find out for sure is to do a sampler. I always recommend sample, sample, sample when anyone is not sure about the outcome of the fibers they are using. Sampling is the only way to really know.

Posted: Sunday March 11, 2012

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