Monday, December 28, 2009

Tutorial: Changing colors on a tri-loom

I'm working on the tri-loom today, making a shawl in neutral colors for Shane's Granny. It was supposed to be done for Christmas, but well, I kind of ran out of time. So it will be a New Year's present.

In any case, it occurred to me that when I first started with the tri-loom, I had to look up how to change colors. So I snapped some shots just a bit ago. Here's how I do it:

First off, I plan out my color changes ahead of time, so I get an even plaid when I am done. I mark the pegs where the changes will take place by putting a paper clip on them. If you have smaller pegs, a rubber band or a piece of string may be a better choice. But in my case, the paper clips have stayed in place through several shawls.

So, when you come to a paper clip, stop weaving for a moment and get out your next color of yarn.

Now, let your current color of yarn dangle down. Cut the yarn so you have a long tail. If you are going to fringe your shawl, make sure the tail is long enough to hide in the fringe. If you are not going to fringe your shawl, make sure the tail is long enough to weave back in later.

If you're using Lion Brand Homespun, like I am with this project, tie knots in the cut ends of your yarn right now. This yarn is lovely, but it frays like nobody's business if you don't control it with a knot!

Grab your new color of yarn. Let a tail hang down in this color too, and pinch the two yarns together right at the bottom peg.

Tie a loose knot at this spot.

Tighten the knot, so it snugs into place right where the yarn will bend around the bottom peg.

Ok, now you can go back up and continue weaving as normal. Your old color will weave down to the knot, and your new color will continue across to the other side. The tails will hang down below the loom, and will be hidden in the fringe or woven in at the end before you take your shawl off the loom. It feels odd to have the color change take place there, but trust me, it will work out symmetrically in the weave.

I'll post pictures of the finished shawl in a day or so, when I get it done. I think it will have a nicely elegant feel to it.


  1. Thank you for posting this! I had wondered, looking at the tri-loom shawls, how you handled the color changes, and now I know.

  2. My pleasure! It took me a bit to wrap my brain around it, but it is really easy to do. And I love how changing the color on one side makes a matching change of color on the other side. So easy to make patterns!

  3. Thank you for showing us how you change colours! It really is quite simple once you see how it's done. I ran into a lot of problems when I tried it on my own before seeing your post. Am grateful for people like you who take the time to teach others like me.

  4. My pleasure! Glad I could help. It is easy once you see the trick, but a puzzle until then. I'm not sure where I picked the tip up from, but I'm glad to pass it along in turn.