On The Loom- Craft Book Review

Weaving is something that has long interested me but seemed like too much work. My mom has a large traditional floor loom which is very cool but way too big for my tiny house. Plus there is all the time and energy it takes to just set up the loom before you even get to start weaving. But recently the goal of weaving seems to has changed. I have been seeing a lot of woven art pieces that use color and texture to create an interesting piece to hang on the wall rather than weaving something useful like a tea towel. 

When I came across the book On The Loom by Maryanne Moodie I was excited to try my hand at making a woven art piece. 

On the Loom: A Modern Weaver's Guide
By Maryanne Moodie

Luckily, the book starts with a basic introduction to weaving with good photographs. I had a general idea of how weaving works but it is a little different if you are using one of these flat looms. 

There is also a nice section about the variety of fibers you can use when making your woven art. It was nice to see that she focuses mainly on natural fibers as well as some recycled ones. 

And don't worry if you don't have one of those nice wood looms pictured above because you can easily make one out of cardboard. Easy!

Once you've got the basics down you can start looking through the wide variety of project options. I never would have thought to weave something in the round.

I liked this fun branch loom. Once you start thinking about it there are any number of things you can use to make a loom. 

For my first looming project I decided to use a picture frame as a loom. It was really very easy to do. 

I simply took out the glass and back which gave me an open frame to work with. I then picked a thin white yarn for the warp. I tied the yarn in the upper right hand corner and then just started wrapping it around the frame. 

It took some time but I eventually finished it. This form of a loom is a bit wasteful since I only wove on the top strings and didn't use the bottom ones which were eventually cut off and discarded. I suppose I could have flipped the loom over and worked on the other side but I didn't think about it until just now. 

To weave on this simple type of loom you have to use a needle. Big knitting needles really come in handy for this and I used a couple different sizes depending on what type if yarn I was using. 

The book, On The Loom, shows a variety of stitches you can use to create texture and variety in your weaving. I also played around with different thicknesses and color to create an interesting little piece. 

When I was done weaving I simply cut it off the loom and tied knots at the bottom to finish the edge. 

To finish the top I cut a dowel down to size but you could also use a stick or some other stiff object. I then tied around the dowel much like I did for the bottom and then trimmed off the extra length on both edges. 

I then had to weave in and trim the yarn ends on the back. Depending on how many times you change your thread this step could take awhile. 

I can't say my finished piece is a great work of art but it was fun to do and it is kind of cute. It was a good taste of what this type of weaving is like and good practice if I wanted to do this again. 

On The Loom offers a lot of ideas that you can play with and make your own unique piece. 

Overall I think this book is a really great introduction to creating woven works of art. It is very pretty and has a lot of inspirational projects to try. If you are interested in learning how to weave then this book could be a great first step for you. If I find myself with a little extra time on my hands I might just be inclined to string a loom again sometime.  

Happy Weaving!