As a weaving adventure, I was interested in seeing how my wonderfully soft alpaca yarn would fare when woven on a pin loom. This thought occurred to me when I was recently introduced to the pin loom for the first time (pin looms actually have a long history).
Exactly what is a pin loom anyway? The pin loom is a miniature size weaving loom that’s typically square in shape with series of pins around the 4 sides (pic shows a 4 inch square pin loom). Yarn is wrapped back & forth across the pins in specific ways to form the “warp” threads, & then a long weaving needle is used to draw yarn crosswise through the warp threads to lock the threads in place. A square piece of cloth can be woven in just a few minutes in this fashion. At least, that is the theory!
How to start? Excited to try out my pin loom, I gave the instruction sheets only a quick glance. Not wanting to use my beautiful alpaca yarn for a first practice run, I decided to use some yarn from my stash of multicolor cotton yarn for this purpose. What a struggle that was – it turns out that cotton yarn is a very poor choice for a beginner as it has no stretch or “give.” I can certainly validate that, as I had a terrible time getting the weaving needle to move in & out of the tightly strung cotton warp threads. Doggedly persisting, I eventually did finish the fabric square (pic at the right).
Later going back to more carefully read the instruction sheets, I only then found out that the recommendation was to begin by using a yarn which has more stretch to it, like alpaca or wool. Also important was the advice to wrap the warp threads loosely so that the weaving needle is able to pass through them readily, ESPECIALLY if using cotton yarn! Nice to know these things.
Check back next week to hear about my pin loom experience with alpaca yarn, & what type of alpaca yarn I used.