I Can Weave!

Good morning!

I am so pleased to say that the weaving loom restoration project is coming along beautifully 🙂 I’ve managed to clean her all up – the reed and the heddles were very rusty (all 643 of them!) and the harnesses were lightly rust stained as well. The harnesses aren’t perfect – they could seriously use a nice coat of paint this summer – but the loom itself is now in working order…

Here are some pictures as the work progressed…

After cleaning, the next step was to wind a warp. Now – I don’t have a warping board, or a warping reel. A bit of a problem except I was intrigued by the idea of using just a couple clamped dowels and I’m a little too impatient to wait for the correct tools or wood to build them! I decided to use a workmate bench, with three dowels clamped to it tightly, as the ‘cross’ end of the warp and a large clamp as the other end of the warp…

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Not only convenient for holding the bobbins and winding the warp from but also handy to hold the clamp 🙂 And moveable!

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The next step was to braid the warp from the beginning to the ‘cross’. Voila… (sorry, impossible to take pictures while I’m doing this)…

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I’m using mystery cones – one of a beige shiny type yarn, one white – both textured. I like the way they look together.

The first step, in dressing the loom (according to the book “Home Weaving” which is my weaving bible) is ‘spreading’. Spreading is where the warp is fed through the reed, from the front beam toward the back, in order to spread out the threads to the width they will be in the weaving. In my case I decided to use 30 threads per inch on a 15 dent (space) reed (per inch). This meant that two threads will end up in each dent in the final arrangement and to spread the threads I spread each little ‘portee’ in each fourth dent. So that was 8 threads (per wind or ‘portee’) in a dent, three dents empty – repeat until done. I left the portees tied individually and I am probably paranoid but as I wound the warp I tied the portees individually as I went, rather than trying to tie them at the end.

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Since I was working alone I used a pvc pipe to hold the portees behind the harnesses during the spreading step….

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After spreading, the warp is wound onto the back beam. Lease sticks should be at the back when this is done but I forgot and left them in the front, lol. Happy to report, the warp wound on just fine anyways. When I was done this step, I tied the ends to the front beam in groups to keep them straight while I was doing the next steps – threading heddles and the reed. Oh yes – I placed paper between the layers as I wound the warp in order to prevent tangling and moved the lease sticks to the back of the loom. My lease sticks are really pvc piping but they are working great 🙂

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I very carefully worked, one section at a time, to thread the ends through the correct heddles and then the reed. I tied these threads off in groups of four (two dents worth) to keep them from falling back through the reed (again, working alone) and when they were all through the reed I tied one group with another (now 8 threads, four dents worth) around the metal bar that is tied to the other metal bar at the front winding beam. LOL – I cannot remember the name of those bars!!

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I had to retie the harness to the lams and make sure that everything was working smoothly and then…I got to try weaving!!!!!

As the weave begins, it looks messy – I cut the first thread after a few passes to restart the piece I’m working on. It will be (with any luck) a table runner for our dining room – possibly with matching placemats if the warp holds out that long!

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Weaving Loom Restoration!

Good morning!

blue icelandic hand dye

Ok – so I’m back, officially, and we’re all moved into our new home 🙂 We found a lovely house in Orillia, all the wheels are settled in but I can’t really find all the ‘bits’ of everything I was working on when we packed up to move. What is it about moving that seems to kill any train of thought one has going on?! The bits shall surely reveal themselves as soon as I stop worrying about them.

I’ve got a few things on the go anyways…of course 🙂 I’ve decided I *must* fix up this old weaving loom. It’s time for a restoration!

As I recieved it….


The loom was given to me – I posted about it HERE at the time – oh, AND HERE. If *anyone* knows what those pullies on the sides are for, I would LOVE to know! 🙂 I’m working on cleaning up the reed and the heddles, first of all. Then I plan to find/make lease sticks and a warping board (or even those little boards you can clamp to the table would work).

I used mineral oil and sandpaper to clean the reed…lots and lots of sandpaper lol. I settled on the 100 grit medium – the paper seems to hold up and the sand itself seems gritty enough to do a good job. 150 grit wore out way too fast and the 60 grit was overkill. I cut the sandpaper into strips and worked in each dent, from one end and then from the other end – in order to sand every surface. I used a mineral oil dampened paper towel to wipe away the tarnish/rust as I removed it.

It’s coming out pretty well! These pictures show the difference between the clean and dirty sections….

close up

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Hopefully very soon I shall have a completely clean reed to show you! And then to the heddles 🙂

Inkle Weaving


I love how it’s coming and I’ve only just begun! I’m thinking I’ll make placemats with this…they’ll go nicely in our kitchen 🙂

Not perfect, but pretty…


I also made a ‘shed stick’ (or so I’m calling it, lol) with knife edges to open the shed and to push down the weft as I weave. It’s hard to see but I sanded it just like the shuttle for the edge and it’s just a little longer than the working area of my loom so I can use it for any project. I MAY end up making it into a dual purpose item by adding open areas so I can also use it as a longer shuttle. We’ll see 🙂


DIY Wide Inkle Loom

Good morning!


I wanted to make an inke loom – or at least an inkle-ish loom. I read that inkles are narrow bands of fabric and I’m NOT going to end up with any of those, lol.

Waste not, want not. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Great ideas!

I used an old, ripped apart maple dresser from the pile by the fire pit.


Out of it, I ended up cutting;

4 – 15″ lengths (7/8″ x 3″)
2 – existing lengths 33″ (7/8″ x 3″)
2 – 10″ sliders from the slider sections inside the dresser.

They looked like this…

I hollowed out the slider part (it was only partially clear)…


We sanded the cut wood to make it new again!




SO cool how beautiful the wood comes up after sanding 🙂 Very satisfying turning old into new 🙂

We bought 5 60″ (15/16″ diameter) hardwood broom handles from the local hardware store. Just under 5 dollars each but much better than hardwood dowels! We cut them to size;

6 – 29″ length
4 – 27.25″ length


I used size #6, 1.5″ long wood screws (countersunk about 1/4″) and glue to put together the loom.

#6 wood screws, 1.5″ long
#8 wood screws (2), 3″ long (for tension dowel)

Each upward support piece (the 15″ lengths) I marked with a line where it should line up with the base (check for square), painted the surface with glue where it would be against the base, clamped and drilled and screwed on from the OUTSIDE of the base. The base is inside and the uprights and sliders are on the outside in my design.

Here’s a little diagram…

Be careful doing the other side, that the base is on the inside 🙂

Only one side is complete in the picture, the other is just sitting up against it…

After completing the sides, let them dry for a few hours, ideally overnight. I’m way too impatient for that even though I know it’s best!

Drill your holes in each base/side peice for the dowels, as follows…

Again, drill a little countersink with a bigger bit to allow the screws to imbed into the wood. I sanded and drilled the ends of the dowels. You’ll notice some of the dowels are not perfectly straight. I found this didn’t have a big effect on the project.


Then, beginning with the shorter (bottom) dowels, paint each screw with glue and attach the dowels between the bases. I began with one side and then attached all four on the other side.


Next, attach the longer (29″) dowels – I stuck one of each into the top dowel position to keep the uprights from pulling together more than I wanted as I attached them from the lowest to the highest.



Finally, screw your longer (3″) screws into the tension dowel. Don’t forget to drill the holes a little larger first!! We don’t want to split any dowels. The screws need to be screwed with the dowel in place or you won’t get it in later. I’m planning to sink the heads of the screws into the rounded tops I cut off the broomsticks for a clean/knob type look – using 5 minute epoxy – on a day I don’t want to weave 😉


To create the tension device, drill holes periodically along your slider section. I’m using screws as ‘blockers’ but you could use small nails too. You need two blockers for each side so as you remove one the whole dowel doesn’t sort of ‘jump’ too far.


A picture of it partially warped…

I have yet to create shuttles and I have to finish warping and tie the string heddles in place.

If you have any questions – just ask! Hopefully you’ll enjoy this project as much as I have 🙂

Mystery Pullies….

I’m trying to figure out what these pullies are on my weaving loom. Hopefully these pictures help explain what I mean 🙂

There are these brackets on either side…


Leading up to three pulleys…


The pulleys and the brackets/slots are on either side and I have no clue what they are for! It seems if you ran rope through them, and though the pulleys it would travel over the center pulleys which are attached to the heddle frames.


Excellent :)

I’m really happy…we’ve gotten this baby all clean and *I THINK* working!  Being that I’ve never woven anything on it yet or tried, I’m not sure.

I had to retie the pedels to the lams, had NO idea how they are really supposed to be…was working with only four of the six heddles…SO I tied two to each, in an even fashion.  I also waxed the grooves, adjusted one with a shim (the wood had ‘moved’ over into the next space).

I was short two of the metal rods, so I bought rod in length at the hardware store and cut it with a hacksaw to make two more.  I’m still missing the two wooden sticks and I need to figure out a shuttle of some sort.


Check out the rust when we started!!



A bit of a ‘before and after’.  The pulleys are beautiful brass and cleaned up so nicely.


The reed is worrisome…look at that rust!  I think I got all of it out.  The reed says ‘nilus leclerc’ 27 inch 15 dent.  I’m happy so say, assuming the height is the same, I should be able to buy more reeds if I need to or want to.