Choosing the Right Yarn or Thread for Weaving July 03, 2018 15:57
One of the things we get asked about a lot is which yarns & threads work best with our various loom models. We make our products to help you use up your own existing stash, so we want you to be able to confidently pair your leftover yarns and threads with your favorite Purl and Loop loom. Today's post is all about threads, yarns and Purl & Loop looms and weavers.
What do loom numbers mean?
The numbers at the end of a loom or weaver name reference the number of slots per inch in the loom itself. So for example, the Wee Weaver 4.0, 8.0, 10.0, and 12.0 are all the same physical size (dimensions), but the number of slots in each loom goes from 4 to 12, respectively. Minute Weavers, on the other hand, are numbered a little bit differently. The M8, F16, and EF20 models refer to the actual number of slots across the entire two-inch weaving space. So for example: M8 = medium, which has eight slots across two inches. F16 = fine, with 16 slots across two inches, while EF20 is extra fine, having 20 slots across two inches.
Terms to Know
warp = the yarn held taut on the loom (vertical in these photos) - Angela sometimes calls this the “grid yarn” - it stays in place while you weave
weft = the thread/yarn that goes over and under the warp
Here are some photos that we think will best demonstrate how various yarns & threads work with our looms:
This is our Wee Weaver 4.0 - the warp is a worsted weight yarn and the weft is a bulky yarn.
This is our Minute Weaver F16 with sock weight yarn for warp and weft.
This one is the Minute Weaver EF20 with Fine d’Aubusson wool embroidery thread for weft and fine wool thread for the warp.
For this set, the left is our Bracelet 12.0 loom with Wonderfil Razzle 100% Rayon thread for the warp and weft. On the right is our Bracelet 10.0 loom with Wonderfil Razzle for the warp and a wool fingering weight for the weft.
Here we've got a bracelet woven entirely with Kreinik metallic threads on a Bracelet 12.0 loom.
This is our 2 inch Alder Jewelry Round Weaver with Trebizond silk for warp and weft. We used French knots to cover up the warp holes.
This is the 2 inch Alder Jewelry Round Weaver with sock weight yarn.
This is the 2 inch Alder Jewelry Round Weaver with combination of Trebizond silk for warp and some weft and Sue Spargo Eleganza Pearl Cotton #3.
And finally, the same 2 inch Alder Jewelry Round Weaver with combination of Kreinik thread and alpaca sock yarn.
The bottom line? If you like it, try it!
We weave with anything and we don’t pay too much attention to any rules. We hope this post provides you with guidance in finding and using a loom that works best to help you blast through your stash!
Ready to find YOUR next stash-busting loom? Here are some links to the looms featured in this post:
Spice up your summer...check out how we created a patriotic striped woven bracelet! May 16, 2018 13:30
Looking for a quick project to satisfy your craving for an FO during the busy spring season? Our DIY earring kits are a great way to use up lightweight yarn or thread stash and make some awesomely creative jewelry at the same time!
Each DIY woven earrings kit makes two sets of earrings, and comes with step by step photo instructions, making this a quick fix to inspire your creativity.
These weavers come available in alder, birch and walnut to suit any style preference.
- 4 Jewelry Round Weavers (for 2 sets of earrings!)
- Step by step photo instructions for making the Jewelry Round Weaver
- Step by step photo instructions for attaching the hardware
- 4 silver plate lever back clasps
- 8 silver plate open jump rings
- Tapestry needle for warping and weaving
- Small cotton bag
Want a kit of your own? Click here to grab one in our shop!
All you need is a pair of jewelry pliers to attach the hardware, and some gorgeous thread or fine-gauge yarn to weave with!
- one each 1" and 2" earrings
- two 2" earrings
- two 1" earrings
- available in alder, walnut and birch
These kits are produced in our Houston, Texas studio workshop using wood purchased from local and Wisconsin suppliers. Materials used in hand finishing (such as sanding) are purchased from a local hardware store. Packaging, print materials, laser machine and supplies are purchased from U.S.A. businesses.
(Due to the nature of the laser cutting process there may be some light scorch marks on the wood. There will also be slight wood variations.)
DIY Woven Earrings on our Round Weaver Looms! March 19, 2018 20:15
Here's how to make your own pair of DIY woven earrings:
For hardware, we used 4 jump rings 8mm wide and 2 lever back closures. We like lever backs because it feels most secure to us. Plus, the fish hook closures tend to tickle.
Using jewelry pliers, open up the 4 jump rings just wide enough to fit around one of the warp holes on the 1” Round Weaver. We found there was room for the warp thread and the jump ring on the 1” Round Weavers.
Place a jump ring around a hole on the Round Weaver and close the jump ring with your jewelry pliers.
Then place the second jump ring around the first jump ring and add the lever back closure.
To do something similar with the larger round weavers, you need to have a larger first jump ring. You may even need to drill a hole to accommodate a jump ring above the woven work. In cases where you do not have a larger jump ring or access to a drill, we suggest getting creative with flexible wire.
We will be launching jewelry making Round Weaver kits in the late spring so be sure to sign up for our newsletter to know when they will be available!
Valentine's Day DIY Home Decor Tutorial February 08, 2018 17:02
Love is in the air with our Display Trees and Round Weavers...
Did you know?
Our wood trees are great for year-round decorating! All you need is a little craft paint and some seasonally-inspired yarn or thread, and you're all set to whip up a quick decoration for any time of the year!
Want to make your own? Follow our easy Valentine's Day home decor tutorial and we'll show you how!
- Purl & Loop Wood Display Trees
- acrylic paint
- foam brush
- soap for cleaning brush between colors
- round weavers
Step 1: Choose your paint
Since it is February, we decided to go with traditional Valentine red, pink and white. (We picked up our acrylic paint from Texas Art Supply, right here in Houston.)
Step 2: Paint the trees
We used a foam brush to apply the paint in smooth, even strokes.
Step 3: Sand the nooks and crannies
Because the paint adds some thickness to the wood, it may become a tight fit to put the trees together. To work around this, we used sandpaper to sand the openings just a bit wider so the trees would slide into place as easily as they do without any paint.
Step 4: Decorate!
We hung 1” and 2” Round Weavers from our tree, but you can experiment with different sizes, mini ornaments, or other handmade items!
Ready to get started?
Weaving around New York City January 22, 2018 00:00
Recently I had the opportunity to go on a trip to New York City, and visit some of the amazing fiber arts retailers there. You could spend a lifetime in New York and not do everything, but if you get a chance to go and visit these amazing shops, I hope that you will take that chance! If you don't have that opportunity, perhaps you'll find some inspiration in my virtual tour.
First Stop: Purl Soho
If you can't visit any other yarn store in New York, get yourself to Purl Soho! Actually, they're so much more than a yarn store - they also carry fabric, tools, kits, and more! Plus, they have an amazing lineup of classes.
I just love the festive atmosphere of this store - the experience of shopping here does NOT disappoint, so if you've been a fan of their online store, you're in for a real treat!
It was a major fangirl moment for me to see Purl & Loop products on the Purl Soho shelves, to be sure!
Next Stop: Knitty City
Knitty City is a fun little shop in Manhattan. Their motto is, "We'll keep you in stitches!" - so be sure to stop on in if you need something to brighten your day. I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet the yarn lovers inside!
Next stop: Brooklyn Craft Company
In addition to an amazing lineup of products, Brooklyn Craft Company also offers some really fun classes & workshops! Just take a look at their lineup, and I'm sure you'll find something really inspiring! I'm jealous of all the folks living locally enough to go there and take a class, for sure.
Last But Not Least: Woolyn, in Brooklyn
From their website:
"Woolyn is all about providing an outstanding environment of creativity, education and fun for yarn and fiber crafters from Brooklyn and beyond! We are committed to supporting local and indie yarn companies and designers. We believe that by building a relationship with smaller and local companies we’re able to make a difference in people’s lives while helping to create a larger crafting community."
Can you see now why I was so excited to partner with Woolyn and meet the woman behind the store? (That photo above is the owner, Rachel Maurer, with yours truly!)
I couldn't help myself - the selection Rachel offers in her store was too tempting!
Even if you don't have a trip to New York City in your future, I encourage you to visit the local fiber arts shops wherever you go (or live). If you're looking for inspiration, we've got a list of Purl & Loop retailers on our website - go show them some love, and tell them we sent you!
Decorating with Wood Trees and Round Weavers December 19, 2017 14:27Easy decorating at any time of year with laser cut wood trees and Round Weavers.
Take a quick minute for yourself each day with one of our FREE weaving patterns! November 16, 2017 17:05 1 Comment
We're heading into the busiest season of the year, and some days it can feel like you don't have any time for yourself. We're here to help with that: grab one of our Minute Weaver looms and take just a few moments a day to relax and unwind with a quick and simple creative project.
Looking for inspiration? We have some free weaving patterns to help you get started!
Our Minute Weaver pincushion is a fast and simple project that makes a great gift for all the craft folks on your holiday list! Use up some of your yarn or thread stash in your most inspirational colors and pair it with some fabric and stuffing to make a gift that's both pretty and practical.
How To - Woven Linen Ribbon Pillow Cushion April 14, 2016 16:08
Our Stash Blaster® portable placemat size weaving loom is a great tool for blasting through yarn, fabric and ribbon stash. You may want to keep your finished piece as a placemat or perhaps turn it into something else. In this case, we had loads of beautiful Shindo linen ribbon and we decided to turn it into a decorative pillow.
We made our placemat using 1/8” cotton twill tape for the warp and 3/8” linen ribbon for the weft. This makes for very quick weaving (quick stash blasting) and we purposely made this project without fringe to eliminate any bulk. Our finished placemat measured 16” x 11 ¾” and we used a piece of 17 ½” x 12 ½”of cotton twill fabric stash we had lying around for the backing.
We decided to do this project entirely by hand because we wanted a work in progress that you could carry around in a big purse or small tote bag. Since we just have a personal thing for the textured look of crewel wool, we decided to sew with some stash of our Appleton crewel wool in a light brown color. We placed the less pretty side facing up since this side will be facing inside once the pillow is turned right side out. Here, we use a basic straight stitch to sew the backing and the placemat together.
This whole process progressed very quickly even though we were doing it all by hand. We sewed around three sides of the placemat and backing. This is a view of the backside.
Next, we turned it right side out. You will notice that we have a lot of extra fabric at the unfinished edge and this is on purpose.
Next we stuffed the pillow with some stuffing from a local craft supply store. We used just enough to fill in all the inside space but you could make it as full or not per your personal preference.
Our next step was to close the open end. We folded that extra bit of fabric down toward the inside of the pillow and we switched to white crewel wool. We brought the needle up from inside the fold so you cannot see the tail.
Then we used a basic backstitch but only penetrated the inside fold of the fabric backing. The texture of the linen helps hide our stitches on the front side.
By stitching only from the inside of the folded fabric, stitches are virtually invisible.
This cushion was quick to finish with an already completed placemat.
We hope this inspires you to think of ways to expand your weavabilities!
Meet the Swatch Maker Looms January 27, 2016 16:01 3 Comments
Weaving is everywhere! The rising popularity of simple frame looms has folks looking for more tools. The new Swatch Maker looms from Purl and Loop let you explore new ideas with very little risk before investing time and yarn in setting up a larger loom. Simply slip a Swatch Maker loom in your bag and you can take weaving with you wherever you go. It's a sketchpad for your yarn!
Most frame looms in the market today are primarily designed for tapestry weaving and mostly available in wide spacings of 6 ends per inch or less, limiting the yarn size you can use. With new manufacturing technology, it is now possible to create simple frame looms with closer warp spacings. The Swatch Maker Looms' clever construction allows the weaver to swatch virtually any sized yarn!
Sett is the weaver's gauge. It is expressed as warp ends per inch. For instance, a sett of 8 has 8 warp ends per inch. The Swatch Maker Looms are designed to mimic the most popular setts for weaving, ranging from 4–24 ends per inch.
Weavers can now easily test their sett, sample color combos, and evaluate finishing techniques. Handspinners can test their handspun without fear of wasting precious yarn and be sure they are spinning the right grist for their project. Add a pick-up stick and the weaver can create any structure they want. The little swatches are satisfying as they are even if they never grow up to be something larger.
“The Swatch Maker Looms have dramatically changed the way I work” said weaver Liz Gipson of Yarnworker who collaborated with Purl & Loop in developing these looms. “Sampling is no longer a dirty word!”
The Swatch Maker Loom is available in two styles: The Swatch Maker and Swatch Maker 3-in-1.
Swatch Maker Looms
The Swatch Maker looms are warped via slots spaced in three setts—8, 10, and 12. These are the most popular setts for rigid heddle weavers—one of the fastest growing and most popular segments of the loom market. You can skip or double thread slots to achieve a sett range of 4–24! These looms are available individually or as a set of three.
The Swatch Maker Looms are made of a creamy acrylic that has a translucent white matte finish on the front and a glossy finish on the back. Included with the Swatch Maker Loom is an acrylic and metal tapestry needles, cotton carrying bag, and photo instructions. The loom measures approximately 7.5" x 6" and has a work space of approximately 5" x 6". The slots are raised .25'' from the base, making it easier to weave.
Swatch Maker 3-in-1 Loom
The Swatch Maker 3-in-1 is designed with a clever slot-and-hole constructions that allows the weaver to have all three setts on one loom—8, 10, and 12.
It is available in birch wood or creamy white matte acrylic. The loom measures approximately 9.25" x 6.5" and has a work space of approximately 6" x 7" along with a ruler on the side so the weaver can keep spacing consistent. The slot-and- hole assembly is raised .25'' from the base, making it easier to weave.
The Swatch Maker 3-in-1 Loom comes with a loom, an acrylic or wood tapestry needle, a metal tapestry needle, a threading needle, cotton carrying bag, and photo instructions.
The Swatch Maker Looms allow you to take your creativity anywhere.
Little Baby Nesting Owls June 10, 2014 17:15
Just wanted to share this photo of these tiny little nesting owls. They were inspired after a conversation with the owner of Nesting in the Heights LLC. These little guys are just miniature variations of the owls from our kits. The "nest" is a variation of our needle felted bowl kits.
The Sassy Acorn Custom Made Wool Bowl June 01, 2014 16:30
This 100% wool (8.5 ounces) bowl is approximately 5" wide and 2 1/2" deep. We hand needle felted this precious creation in about 8-10 hours. We then hand sewed a Purl & Loop tag to the bottom. Is anyone interested in a custom made bowl like this for $165 (includes $15 for shipping) of $150 if you pick it up at our studio? We have the wool to make 2, possibly 3, more bowls and they will take about 2-3 weeks to create. If you are interested, just send us your email address, name, mailing address, phone number, and if you want it shipped or will pick up and we will send you an electronic invoice. That's it, no other action steps required.
For those of you who have purchased one of our needle felted bowl kits, taken one of our classes, or seen our needle felted bowl video tutorial, you can easily make this on your own. You will need:
- SMOOTH 5” foam ball (like Styrofoam) from your local craft store for shaping
- 8.5 ounces wool roving or batting plus additional colors for the flowers
- Felting needles
- Optional: multi-needle felting tool
Unlike our instructions in our kits or on the video, we did not go all the way up to the halfway line on the foam ball when we started the process. We wanted a shallower bowl so we started felting the wool about 1” from that line.
Once about 25% of the base wool was used, we started working with the multi-needle felting tool and the process sped up considerably. We find that sculpting with one single needle in the beginning is necessary to create a base. After that the multi needle tool is very effective. At the end, we tidy up everything with the single needle again.
We then added the flowers just like we add the dots in our instructions and on our video. We admit, it took several attempts to achieve the desirable shapes but after awhile, creating the flowers became very easy. We now have a unique business card or car key holder!
Purl & Loop Needle Felted Bowl for Empty Bowls Houston 2014 May 21, 2014 15:52
A Purl & Loop designed bowl was presented to Mad Potter, a sponsor of Empty Bowls Houston 2014. 100% of Empty Bowls proceeds benefited the Houston Food Bank. The event was held at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.
The bowl is 8" and 100% handle needle felted. This design used 8.5 ounces of wool.
This was the first time I tried such a large bowl. My hands are a bit tired.
The Empty Bowls Houston 2014 committee asked if Purl & Loop would demo how to make the bowls. We worked on a variety of sizes for four hours and talked until we were tongue tied about the process.
So many wonderful organizations supported this event. We are proud to be in their company.
Purl & Loop has a new studio! May 06, 2014 18:58
We are so excited to have a new studio space at 2315 Commerce St., Ste 20, Houston, TX 77002. We can see customers by appointment Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am - 4pm. To schedule an appointment just call 713-545-2450 (Angela) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new studio has loads of natural light that fuels our inspiration. The studio space is located in Art Square Studios just east of downtown Houston in the EaDo district (www.eadohouston.com).
Washcloth Knit Kits May 05, 2014 10:00
Knitting is a great excuse to watch TV! Our washcloth knit kits are a great way to get started and have all the supplies needed, down to mini scissors and a darning needle for weaving in the yarn tails. We like to use them as hand towels in our guest bathroom but they also make great hostess and baby gifts when paired with a delightful handmade soap. Being a slow and easily distracted knitter, I make one of these in about 4 hours.
As of now, we have Ivy, Ochre, Teal and White available but more colors coming soon!
Group with teal, baked red and ivy made with Rowan Cotton glade and white and ochre made with Rowan Handknit Cotton.
Finished washcloth in Ivy.
Rowan Cotton Glace in Ivy with 10" US 4 straight birch needles
Rowan Cotton Glace in Teal with 10" US 4 straight birch needles
Rowan Handknit Cotton in Ochre with 10" US 7 straight birch needles
Rowan Handknit Cotton in White with 10" US 7 straight birch needles
All components of the kits are reusable but each ball of yarn makes only one washcloth. The needle sizes in the kits are per the recommendations of Rowan. If you were to use the US 7 needle with Cotton Glace yarn, it might have just a little bit looser stitches and if you were to use the US 4 needles with the Handknit Cotton, the stitches might be tighter. The mini scissors have a rounded nose and I keep a pair in my purse. Inadvertently, they have made it through airport security. Not sure if they met the standards because of their size and rounded nose or if they were missed by the agent, but I was pleased they were not confiscated. They come in real handy at times.
With my obsession about making these washcloths, I can now have to something to show for all those Netflix shows I watch.
Needle Felted Bowl Video Tutorial February 07, 2014 18:31 1 Comment
We are so excited to launch our new needle felted bowl tutorial. We hope this inspires folks to try needle felting once they see how simple and quick this project can be.
This video demonstrates how to get started with the wool roving and foam ball and all the way to finishing with the dots. No fingers were hurt during the production of this video!
But, we did not create this without some incredible help from our professional video editor and Audrey Pearl. Below, Audrey is hard at work last night putting the finishing touches on the video.
Audrey Pearl is requesting these bowls be made into food bowl size......
Icy Java, Court Jester, Pebble and Nuts Over Olives
Comparing Rowan Yarns September 03, 2013 16:59
We really fell in love with the Dovetail Cowl pattern by Carina Spencer and decided to try it with two different yarns. For both projects, we knit the small version with US 7 needles. The pattern also gives the knitter the option to knit a version with a rolled edge and one without the rolled edge. The first one was knit with Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Organic 178 and without the rolled edge.
The pattern called for approximately 220 yards of worsted weight yarn and each skein of All Seasons Cotton is approximately 98 yards. To complete the pattern with All Seasons Cotton, we used about 2 ½ skeins of yarn. This met our expectations. A photo of the finished cowl made with Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Organic is below.
Our next version used Rowan Belle Organic DK in Garnet 021. The Belle Organic DK balls are each approximately 98 yards and we expected to need three balls of this yarn to finish the project. Also, we decided to add the rolled edge to the top and bottom of the cowl and that meant 10 more rows of knitting than was done in the All Seasons Cotton version. What a pleasant surprise when we ended up using only two balls of yarn and had about 1/3 of a ball leftover. See this version below.
We will have this yarn and the pattern available for sale at the Georgia Quilt Show. We had a lot of fun knitting these two projects and our Audrey Pearl loves to model them. Her going rate is one triangle of Laughing Cow Cream Cheese per photo so she brings a lot of value to Purl & Loop in the model department.
Remember Making Doll Accessories? August 21, 2013 15:07
When I was very young and before becoming self-conscious about being called "Suzy Homemaker" in those mildly condescending tones, I loved to sew by hand. My grandmother owned her on cleaning and tailoring business in Chicago and some folks in the area might remember Rosa's Cleaning and Tailors on Belmont. I usually stayed with her one or two weeks out of every summer and spent a good of my time in her shop. I was in awe of all the colors of thread and endless scraps of colorful fabrics. I was intimidated by machines but I did learn to sew Barbie Doll clothes by hand. I made great use of mini rubber bands for elastic waist bands on skirts, colored thread to create cross stitch designs on tiny pillows and rick rack for purse and bag straps. Other than pillows, home decorating for dolls never crossed my mind. I grew older and learned that being called "Suzy Homemaker" was not always meant as a compliment. I put away the dolls and allowed my sewing and needle craft skills stagnate and recede for many years until experiencing a creative volcanic eruption and launching Purl & Loop in early 2012. How I regret those lost years of creativity but I am trying to make up for them today. Now, with these little "coasters" from the mini loom, I can only imagine what a Barbie Doll house filled with handmade "carpets" would look like. What a great use for those leftover bits of yarn just too precious to throw away. Instead of life size human projects, those leftovers can translate into beautiful home decorating for doll houses. I don't have Barbie Dolls anymore but I do accumulate the little whimsical creatures made from the Woolbuddy needle felting kits and they now have a magic carpet.
These little frogs are holding on tight for a magic carpet ride.......
This little sheep is enjoying the comforts of his own fiber.....
Mini Looms Continued August 20, 2013 17:32
We finished our project and just want to show you the rest of the photos. After we finished weaving the coaster, we flipped over the loom and cut the back yarn in the middle and then lifted the coaster off the loom. To secure the ends, we tied two fringe pieces together. At the end of one side, we had a two fringe pieces and a tail left to secure. We tied the last fringe piece with the tail and then tied that piece to the second to last fringe piece. We repeated this on the other side and then cut down the fringe pieces to about 1 1/2 inches or so on each side. We really love how the colors of this yarn displayed.
Mini Weaving Looms August 19, 2013 18:50
What is a felting needle? March 26, 2013 17:34
What makes a felting needle different than other needles? Felting needles are about 3” long and have almost invisible barbs at their points. These barbs help bind the wool together as the wool is poked with the needle. Felting needles come in various sizes with either a triangular or star point. A triangular point has three sides and a star point has four sides. Star points are ideal for quick felting. The sizes (gauge) offered by Purl & Loop range from 36 to 42. The 36 gauge triangular point needles are ideal for deep felting and felting with coarse wool. The 38 star point is ideal for deep felting, felting with coarse and quick felting due to the barbs on four sides. The 40 and 42 gauge needles are ideal for fine finishing details. Purl & Loop offers a variety of sizes and all of the needles come in a protective case.
Rowan Chickens March 25, 2013 17:37
Rowan (www.knitrowan.com) has a free pattern on their website for these adorable chickens. You must join (for free) their website but it is well worth it for all of the yarn inspiration and free patterns. Rowan is great about sending out only relevant email blasts once or twice a month.
Texas Fiber Arts Festival March 23 March 21, 2013 14:31
The first Texas Fiber Arts Festival will take place this Saturday, March 23 at Norris Conference Center in Austin, TX. The organizers have put together an array of classes and workshops to appeal to a variety of fiber artists and enthusiasts. Some topics include spinning, learning to knit, knitting lace, Tunisian crochet, and fiber photography. There is also a free class on how to start a fiber business on $500 or less taught by Harrison Richards. Purl & Loop will be there and we hope to see you, too!
My Felted Herdy needle felting kits March 20, 2013 18:33
We have these new My Felted Herdy needle felting kits just in from the UK. The kit contains wool, felting needles and photo instructions. We tested one out this past weekend and made this little gal. She still needs a name and buddies. We understand sheep like buddies so we are working on getting one for her. This kit is a bit different than our other needle felting kits. Herdy uses a rustic wool yarn for the main body shape unlike typical wool roving. The yarn is poked with the needle just like we would do with more typical wool roving. The kit indicates it takes about 8 hours to complete but we finished in about 4 hours. The illustrations were helpful for making the feet but we struggled a bit with the head and ears. However, we like our gal a bit unique.
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