As most of you know by now, I started this blog because I love weaving so much and I wanted to help others learn to weave too. Although I too am learning new things, I especially love when I can help someone out with a question or issue they are having. One such question I received recently was from a reader who received a notched loom as a present. She had received a beautiful loom from Wildcraft Studios, which she discovered is not meant to be warped the way you typically warp a notched loom, but more similarly to how a frame loom is warped. I helped talk her through how to go about this and I wanted to share in case others were having the same issue. I do cover how to warp a frame loom (& a notched loom) in a previous post, but I decided that I need to go into some more detail, to cover all the questions she had.
I’m going to be using weaving terms to explain this, so if you’re new to weaving, don’t be intimidated by these terms. You can find a definition of the general terms here. Also if you’re new to this, the terms seem very foreign, but they are just a description and aren’t very complicated once you get the hang of it.
step 1| I always start my warping with a slip knot, which I shared how to do that in a video here. On both the frame loom (see a DIY for this here) and looms similar to the Wildcraft Studios loom, you tie the slip knot aligned to either your washi tape gap, like I have, or the notched gap (I also had a smart reader who just marked their warp areas with a marker, so if that is what you’re working with align to your marks).
step 2| Pull your warp thread across your loom to the corresponding warp mark (washi tape gap, notch, mark, etc) and bring your warp thread over the top face of the frame then down around the back.
step 3| Pull your warp thread across your loom again. Again bringing the warp thread over the top face of the frame at your warp mark and then down around the back. So basically you are always crossing over the front face of the loom and around to the back making a figure 8 across the frame with your warp threads. See below for a side picture of the warp threads forming a figure 8 on the frame.
step 4| Continue with this pattern until you have warped the loom to the amount you want and then tie off your warp in a slip knot when done.
Weaving on a frame and using a shed stick
A shed stick is not necessary, but it does speed things up. When I use a shed stick, I just use a metal ruler I have to create the shed (or gap in my warp). I have found that I only like to use the shed stick if I am weaving numerous rows of plain weave, but if I’m creating shapes or changing colors, I find the shed stick is more bothersome to me. However, try it out and find out what you’re most comfortable with. If you want to read more details on a shed stick, I posted about that here.
My main tip to using a shed stick on a frame loom is take advantage of the fact that you have a shed already created at the top of your frame where the warp loops from the front to around the back of the loom. Pass your shed stick through this gap and pull it down to the bottom. See how it moves the warp crossing from the middle of the frame down to where you will weave? Now if you twist your shed stick from horizontal to vertical, you force open the shed.
I almost always weave upside down, which means I weave the top of my weave first, you do not have to do it this way also, but this is how I will explain it.
step 1| I have set up my shed stick as described above. Now I’m going to pass my weft thread through the shed at the bottom of my frame loom. This is the equivalent to me making a plain weave, and it’s as simple as passing the thread through a gap since the warp threads are already separated.
step 2| On my return pass, I’m going to put my shed stick vertical and now I have a shed created with the opposite warp threads. Again I will pass my weft thread through the gap and quickly create a row of plain weave.
step 3| I now lay my shed stick horizontal and push it higher up my warp threads so it is not in my way. With this pass I will need to use my tapestry needle and work it over and under the warps opposite of the last pass. As you may have figured out, I can only use my shed stick for one direction, however it still saves me time for 50% of my weaving passes. It is possible to weave the shed stick through the opposite warps before each pass and then create a shed, but for me I find this takes longer then just leaving the shed stick woven through once and hand weaving in the opposite direction. But as always do whatever you’re most comfortable with.
step 4| Push the woven rows down (making them more aligned then I did in my picture example) and continue in this pattern of twist the shed stick vertical, pass weft thread through. Then lay the shed stick flat and weave the weft through the opposite warp threads, etc. Do this until you have woven all the rows you wanted.
Above is a side view of a weave I created on my frame loom. As you can see, there is the shed at the top of the weave where the warp threads come off the frame, but the weave is flat and the warp threads at the bottom of the weave are also flat. This is because as you weave, you are pulling the warp threads together so that they align and lay flat. That was also a question the reader had, she wasn’t sure if you just use the top warp threads to weave. And that is a great question, because it isn’t obvious that you should use all the threads and that they will nicely pull together as you go. This is compared to notched and peg looms, where the warp threads are laying flat right when you warp them.
I hope this clears up any questions others of you might have had that are similar. And now you can get to the best part, creating!!
I’m curious, what type of loom do you normally weave on? Are you using a loom that needs to be warped like this frame example? Or do you use a loom with notches or pegs?
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