Me and the loom are not on the best of terms. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t warped correctly, if the loom isn’t put together right, if I’m beating too hard, or if I don’t have a proper shuttle. When I first start weaving, the fabric looks okay. I think. For instance, I put a warp on that has 10 strands of one color, then 10 strands of another, then 4 strands, then 10, and so on. I was going for a plaid/tartan effect. I then did a weft of 10, 10, 4, etc. The first bit looks okay. Where the 10 weft strands cross the 10 warp threads, it looks square. Further down the road, the 10 weft threads look to be half of the 10 warp threads.

Another thing that seems to be happening, which I’m assuming is part of what the problem above is, is that the warp is moving. I’m not sure if I can explain this correctly. Using the same warp, I do the first couple of weft threads. As I add more wefts, the “cloth” is moving over the front bar. I haven’t adjusted the tension or moved it in any way, other than beating more weft threads into place. Maybe I’m beating too hard?

I’m just doing all this to learn. Instead of jumping right in there, I should probably do more reading than lusting over the different drafts and seeing if I can actually follow said drafts. I know there’s an answer for what I’m doing wrong and instead of sitting here typing about it, I need to read up. I have a couple of books checked out from the library, and found The Art of Weaving, and A Handweavers Workbook from the library’s book sale. The only book I don’t have that I wish I did is Deborah Chandler’s book, which is buried in storage at the moment.

Being a rebel

In the quest of learning to weave, I’m also dealing with preparing to move. This has probably accounted for how long it’s taken me in the learning to weave process. Although cost of a loom was a factor, I also put it off because, due to putting our house up for sale, many of our things have had to go into storage. Declutter the home and all that. However, the deal on the loom won over the declutter situation and it now sits in the formal living room. I’ve put off learning to warp, thinking I would have to take a class to learn and none were being offered at the time. I received the announcement of classes in the mail and the one I want/need to take isn’t until June. I’m hoping that our house will be sold by then. And I want to try weaving Now.

This led to me building a makeshift warping board and using tools around the house for the various other pieces. Some spare trim type pieces for lease sticks, paint stirring sticks for lease sticks, a dental tool to thread the reed and heddles, and wrapping yarn around a short dowel rod since I don’t have a shuttle. While these aren’t ideal, they work for now. I’ll get the “right” tools after we move.

Despite being told that I shouldn’t even attempt to warp the loom without taking a class first, I’ve done just that. It’s probably not perfect but it’s working for the moment. I wanted some color in the warp so I have green, pink, and blue, for no particular reason other than that’s the yarn I could get to in storage. I went to, browsed the drafts, and picked one that doesn’t appear too difficult. I’m not sure how it’s going to work with the colors, but it’s okay. It’s all in the name of learning and color doesn’t play too much of a role in that yet.


I picked up the latest issue of Handwoven for two reasons. One is I want to learn to weave, but the biggest reason was the color. I did a quick flip-through of the mag at the store and was immediately drawn to the colors. I had no idea what this Overshot was but if it will get me those colors, I want to learn about it.

I tried reading the magazine to learn what made overshot, overshot. Frankly, I couldn’t get it through my thick head what they were trying to explain. I don’t think any of the instructions were really for a beginner such as me. After all, I hadn’t even gotten a warp on the loom. I had picked up a few books at the library so turned to those next. I read and reread a section of one book and finally understood. To weave overshot, I have to weave a tabby shot between each pattern shot. Part of the reason I couldn’t understand it at first, I think, is because I didn’t know for sure what a tabby shot was. I knew what tabby looked like but I couldn’t grasp what I was supposed to do with it in an overshot pattern weave.

Now that I finally understand, I want to try it. I picture myself making all these beautiful overshot cloths, though I don’t have plans for what each cloth would be. Scarf? Placemat? Baby blanket? A small afghan for the lap? For now, I’d be content to just make samples, which is probably what I will do.