Saturday, July 18, 2009

First Go at the Tri-Loom

I managed to get some good studio time today, for the first time this week. Travel was a great experience, but I really enjoy the quiet rhythm of my studio. It was pleasant to get back to it.

The first of the five white scarves has finished the weaving process. I'm still recovering from tennis elbow, so I can only work at the floor loom for a couple of hours before I have to give it a rest. But progress is being made. I'm trying to decide which design I'll do for the next one. The scarves serve as samplers, so I can see the different pattern variations I can get from one threading.

Once I finished the floor loom weaving for the day, I broke down and set up my new tri-loom. It is much more low tech than my floor loom, but very satisfying to weave on. I'll have to hunt to see if I can figure out the history of this type of loom. I really have no idea where it came from. But these are certainly popular among fiber geeks these days.

They are easy to make. Triangle looms consist of three pieces of wood fastened together, with nails or pegs all along the sides. There are good how-to directions to be found on the web, if you want to go that route. I kept meaning to make myself a loom...but in several years hadn't gotten around to the project. So I finally threw money at the issue. The loom arrived while I was away on my trip, so I am only now getting around to trying it out. Mine is nicely constructed and sanded, with wood pegs to weave on. I assembled it today, and clamped it onto my painting easel. That seems to hold it well.

Weaving on the tri-loom is pretty slick. It is a 'continuous loop' process. Here:

I'm weaving a simple over/under tabby pattern. So, I run my hand or hook over/under the threads already on the loom, and grab the yarn at the top.

Pull that yarn down in a loop, and place it around the next side peg.

Grab the bottom of the loop that you just put on the peg, and walk it over to the other side of the loom. One side stays anchored on the left.

The other side of the loop gets put on a peg on the right hand side of the loom.

Now, see? The leg of the loop going back up is already woven for you. Just hook your yarn around the top peg, and straighten up your rows. You've made a giant 'U' shape. Now you're ready to repeat the process going the other way.

So, you're warping and weaving the loom all in one action. The weaving starts at the top and works down, as well as working in from the side points.

As you continue weaving, your work progresses down toward the bottom point, and in toward the center. If you change colors along the way, the colors are repeated symmetrically, making a really nice plaid pattern.

I'm really eager to see how this turns out. The weave is looser than what I'm used to, but I think that should make a nice airy shawl. And I suspect it will tighten up some when I take it off the loom.

Great fun! I should have tried this a year or so ago.


  1. That tri-loom is really cool! I cannot wait to see the finished product.

  2. Me too! :) And I'm already picturing possible yarns for future projects. This one is Lion brand Homespun, which is super snuggly and easily available. But I'm wondering how some variegated merino/tencel hand spun yarn would look on there...

  3. Where do you get such a loom?

  4. I bought mine off of Ebay. They are simple enough to make, if you know how to drive nails and cut wood. Otherwise, there are several sellers out there. Resources and links are at this page: . Have fun!