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Topic: First Weaving Attempt & Homemade Loom  (Read 59473 times)
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subloke
« on: March 29, 2008 01:34:03 PM »

Never underestimate the insanity determination of a completely somewhat obsessive craftster...


Warp is crochet cotton and weft is some Ingeo I dyed and spun (not Ingeo roving, but Ingeo stuffing from Walmart....Cheesy )

I've been so inspired/obsessed with many of the beautiful weaving projects I've been seeing and have been looking at loom prices.  Then I think to myself "You don't really need to weave" as I can't justify another large-ish craft equipment purchase (right now)(haha). 

A couple of days ago, this idea came to me fully formed while at work.  Then I had to wait (agonizing!) until I could get to Rona (CDN handyman store). 

Ta Da!

10' of 1" PVC pipe, 8 elbows, 2 T's and $22.59 later...  (and a lot of figuring things out as I went...)

Considering I have never seen a loom in person, it works pretty well!  I need to make (or purchase) a better heddle, as the one I made is not rigid enough and has a couple of spots where the warp catches. 
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rainbowshoelaces
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2008 01:53:06 PM »

wow.
 Cheesy                                                                                                               
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2008 03:22:36 PM »

I am so impressed with this, and I totally want one! I used to work in a weaving mill during my college summers and, aside from the heat and the noise...and the heat...and the noise, it was pretty cool! I've always wanted to learn how to weave but don't have the cash for a loom. I have a square frame loom, but I'm pretty limited with what I can do on it.

I'd love it if you could give me some more details on how you made this- I have a Home Depot gift card to use up and this could be just the thing for that!

Fantastic idea!
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mam
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2008 03:28:45 PM »

i agree wow.     you did good.  real good.

also i second that i would love a few more details on making the loom.

          WOW.         mam
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2008 04:25:42 PM »


Warp is crochet cotton and weft is some Ingeo I dyed and spun (not Ingeo roving, but Ingeo stuffing from Walmart.... Cheesy)

I bought the same Ingeo stuffing to spin too!!!! lol! Cheesy
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2008 06:26:02 PM »

This is great!
Do you have a tute on how to make this and use it.
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Grettagolf
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2008 07:49:43 PM »

Rock on sister!  That is some serious crafter determination.
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2008 11:29:26 PM »

Very Impressive!  Resourcefulness at it's best!
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2008 08:26:18 AM »

that, as a weaving teacher, fills me with little squidgy pride and joy! It looks wonderfully ingenious and clever, and congrats on joining the ranks of the obsessed!
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2008 11:02:49 AM »

that's so clever and resourceful...i'd be so proud, if i were you!
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2008 01:00:05 PM »

I taught weaving on huge barn looms that were over 100 years old. I am so impressed by how ingenious this is. You are truly a creative mind!!!
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jessimocha
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2008 03:18:51 PM »

this is so amazing! and it totally rocks!

your weaving looks beautiful too Smiley
when i have a way bigger place to live, i'm totally going to make something this! Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2008 09:11:39 AM »

This is so incredible!! How did you make the heddle?
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2008 12:00:31 PM »

This is so neat!

I need to show this to one of my friends - she actually has a degree in weaving. She's going to be so excited!
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pinkyswear
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2008 12:11:33 PM »

I am in total awe!
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Jazzybelle
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2008 02:40:47 PM »

This is insanely amazing. And possibly the perfect solution for the loom vs. space/money battle that's been raging in my head for awhile.
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Seattlejo
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2008 03:33:33 PM »

Very very cool!
What did you use for the heddles?
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PlumCrafty
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2008 04:04:43 PM »

This is serious crafty godliness! I would not know where to begin to make one and am in total awe of your loom making (and weaving) skills. Grin
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subloke
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2008 05:59:09 PM »

Wow!  Thanks everyone!  People looked at me like I was crazy when I talked about this.  (By "people" I mean, of course, non-craftster people) 

I took pictures as I made it and plan to write up a tutorial to explain my madness method.  I want to work out a couple of the kinks first just so I'm not steering anyone else in the wrong direction. 

If you want to give it a go before then (knowing that I don't know what I'm doing...  Cheesy), here's my materials list:

1 - 10 foot length of 1" PVC pipe purchased in the plumbing department of Rona (home-handyman superstore like Home Depot)
8 - Elbow joints to fit the 1" pipe
2 - "T" joints to fit the 1" pipe
1 - 36" length of 1/4" x 1/2" balsa wood (from Michaels) cut in half (2x 18")
assorted lengths of nylon twine
Drill
4 nails

The store cut the 10' pipe in 2 for me (for transportation) and then I cut it further into the following lengths (which may or may not be optimal for you)
2x 24"
4x 10"
2x 6"
2x 4"

**Disclaimer:  I do NOT know weaving/loom terminology so bear with me here. 

The 2 24" lengths are your end pieces (where the warp will wind on and off); I joined 2 10" lengths with a T joint for each side piece.  I put an elbow joint on the end of each of these 4 pieces (ends and t-joined sides) then attached the 6" lengths to the "back" to join the end to the side (see picture.  I'm not sure how to explain it exactly) and 4" length to the "front".

I drilled holes in the end pieces through the elbow joints and length of pipe and inserted a nail in each to hold it steady so the tension would be kept.  I drilled 3 holes in each end piece and in each strip of balsa wood and attached the balsa wood to the end pieces.  I got that idea from the slide show on the Ashford Knitter's Loom, which is also where I figured out how to warp it. 

Um, what else?  Oh, I made a heddle from popsicle sticks and more strips of balsa wood.  It's not ideal but it's working for now.  I drilled holes in the popsicle sticks and then glued them spaced evenly apart to the balsa wood. 

I'm sure I'll come up with improvements and I'm POSITIVE that someone else will have better ideas or suggestions for improvements.  I would love to hear them if you have ideas.  Also, if you do try this, please post pics and let me know any changes/improvements you make.  Cheesy

One day I know that I will want to buy a "real" loom, but for now, this is definitely worth the $22!!
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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2008 06:49:22 PM »

Thanks so much for the additional info! I'm not sure if I get the warp part, but that's because of my lack of knowledge, not your explanation. Plus, I'm very tired right now!

Did you have to glue any of the parts together, or can it be entirely disassembled? That would be ideal, because then I could put it away when I wasn't using it!

Thanks again!
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subloke
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2008 07:24:13 PM »

Did you have to glue any of the parts together, or can it be entirely disassembled? That would be ideal, because then I could put it away when I wasn't using it!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that part.  The pieces fit together pretty snugly but can come apart for storage (small apartment necessitates storable craft equipment!)  I've been thinking that if I find that it needs more stability I can use bolts or screws threw the joints.  That way it can still be taken apart. 
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SensiblyTacky
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2008 08:02:43 PM »

Thanks so much for the tutorial! this is awesome and I am definitely going to give it a shot. I just made a backstrap loom which has been working for me.

Do you think you could get a closer shot of the heddle? Im still a bit confused on it.
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Iniuk
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2008 01:59:47 AM »

This is a great idea! About the heddle (or the reed?- heddle lifts up warp strands, reed beats down weft) you can make good heddles from string, tied so that there is a smaller loop in the middle for warp to go through. You can also use a wide comb as a beater. But what you did is GREAT.
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mountain_waif
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2008 11:12:13 AM »

Wow!!  You did good!
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peachymanaangel
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2008 06:29:51 PM »

Holy Snot!! You are a genius! Thank you for the tute and showing for loom and weaving. This will be a great way to teach kids about weaving.(stores away for the future)
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2008 05:10:27 PM »

Oh my freaking good golly, that rocks. I'll take eight, please - gift wrap them:D
Seriously, this is inspiring:)
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TheSleepyKnitter
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2008 05:17:55 PM »

Wonderful! Your loom is both creative and affordable. Good work!
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2008 10:42:10 AM »

I've been trying to decide what kind of loom I can afford and have the space for and you have solved my problem brilliantly!!!  I commend you on your resourcefulness and I will be making a trip to the local hardware store ASAP!!!  Thank you!!! 
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« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2008 09:07:33 AM »

This rocks! Maybe I should try to build my own loom.  Tongue
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« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2008 08:09:57 PM »

Thank you so much! I'm sitting here with my craptacular cardboard loom and I knew there had to be a better way to get started without having to sell my vital organs on the black market. You're crazy inventive- in a very good way
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« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2008 11:40:01 PM »

that is such a great idea. i think i might make myself one with metal piping (yeah, i know it would be heavy, but its important to keep the warp taut and it doesnt seem to me that a pvc pipe would keep it tight enough).

also might i suggest...
on the front and back bars that the warp is rolled onto, maybe making one of the two elbows holding the bar on a T connector instead and extending the pipe through it so that it would be easier to roll the warp on/off when you are done with that section. although you would have to rig up some way for it to not unroll itself from the tension...i hadnt figured that part out yet myself  Tongue

im not totally sure that that is going to make sense to you guys lol. it makes sense in my head, i swear.
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edenkitty
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2008 08:20:26 PM »

Oh my god! That's impressive, you really have an amazing mind! To have come up with a loom out of PVC!!!! Wow! You're the MacGuyver of craft (It's a compliment I promise)!
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subloke
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2008 08:53:01 PM »

Oh my god! That's impressive, you really have an amazing mind! To have come up with a loom out of PVC!!!! Wow! You're the MacGuyver of craft (It's a compliment I promise)!

I think that's the best compliment I've had in a long time!!  I love MacGuyver!  Thanks!!
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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2008 02:21:03 PM »

This is really great and thanks so much for the info on building the loom!  My daughter's art class used a cardboard box for a loom (gotta love art funding in the public schools), but she really loved the whole idea of weaving.  This would be a fun project for us to do together!
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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2009 06:07:35 AM »

I know I'm necroing a dead thread, but I just wanted to say that this is probably the most amazing thing I have seen in a long time.  I'm definitely going to build one of these!  I've been itching for a table loom for quite some time, but don't have the 700-900 dollars to shell out at this point.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for posting a tutorial!
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« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2009 11:32:58 AM »

That is amazing! I never would have thought of that, and I've been grumbling over the relative cost of looms as compared to my income, as well. You are an example to us all Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2009 10:01:16 PM »

Have your ever gotten a tutorial put together with the photos you took? I would love to try this. I am very impressed with the items I saw on your blog. Keep up the good work!
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subloke
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2009 10:07:02 AM »

Have your ever gotten a tutorial put together with the photos you took? I would love to try this. I am very impressed with the items I saw on your blog. Keep up the good work!

Thanks for the kind words!  I did not get a tutorial put together as I had planned.  I ended up buying a "proper" rigid heddle loom and have stashed the PVC pieces away.  I think I may dig them out though and put something together.  I'll post if I get it done.
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« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2009 12:25:36 PM »

I ended up buying a "proper" rigid heddle loom and have stashed the PVC pieces away.  I think I may dig them out though and put something together.  I'll post if I get it done.

So, having used both this and a "real" loom... have you got any useful comparisons to share on what's better or worse between the two, besides the obvious cost factors?
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aggiecraft
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2013 03:38:02 PM »

I know its been a while since this thread as been alive, but I just found it. I ran out to the store and got parts to build this loom (thumbs up for the idea and tutorial Cheesy) I was wondering if you could give some advice on how to get the end pieces (24 inch pieces) to turn easier. I have put it together, oiled with spinning wheel oil, but nothing seems to be working...I just cant ge the buggers to turn. Help plz!! Huh
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