Leave the What Ifs Behind: Loom Theory

Each Loom Theory is dedicated to a specific type of loom, either 4-shaft, rigid-heddle or 8-shaft loom.

Susan E. Horton Jul 8, 2019 - 5 min read

Leave the What Ifs Behind: Loom Theory Primary Image

Judy Pagels’ Sangria Sunset kerchief-style scarf from <em>Loom Theory Rigid-Heddle Scarf Collection 2019</em> Photo by Good Folk Photography

There is a certain type of anxiety that comes from not having a weaving project on a loom. That anxiety is even worse when none of the ideas roaming around in your head have reached the point of being real. That’s where I am right now. I have a project on one loom, a gray striped scarf warp that I can’t wind on yet because of a broken brake spring. And that leaves me hanging around in the rushes of “what ifs” and “should I?” What if I try that raffia on my rigid-heddle loom? What if I start the baby blanket I want to weave for my nephew and his wife? What yarn should I use? Should I finally put on some carpet warp and try weaving a rug with the felted Harrisville wool fabric I wove over the winter? So many questions, and even if I had some of the answers, I would still fret.

Loom Theory

Jenny Sennott used Tencel and rayon to weave her Winter Jasmine scarf with an interesting mix of warp floats and inlay: Loom Theory Rigid-Heddle Scarf Collection 2018. Photo by Good Folk Photography

The baby blanket project requires finding a draft without floats and choosing a yarn that is washable and available in a wide range of colors. The idea is more about sampling to see if it works than anything else. I know that it would probably take me less than an hour to do it, but the loom still stands empty. The crazy rug project is probably just that: I’m planning plain weave in one color because while weaving that felted fabric, I got bored and threw in all sorts of colors as weft. If I add colors to the warp, I’m afraid I’ll end up with a jumble and the rug will end up in the trash.

Loom Theory

Suzie Liles used 4-shaft Swedish lace and Swedish linen to weave her Swedish Lace scarf for _ Loom Theory 2018 4-Shaft Scarf Collection_. Photo by Good Folk Photography.

So I continue my safari in the rushes, not able to move from point a to point b. I believe this is the reason that weavers, even experienced weavers, like to have patterns that have been vetted by other weavers. Sometimes you need a way to exit the rushes and get on a well-trod path.* Handwoven*, has been a source of patterns for 40 years, and more recently, we have added Loom Theory to the mix. Loom Theory is a collection of scarf and shawl patterns woven by great designers using great yarns.

Loom Theory

Loom Theory Eight and Over Eight Scarf Collection 2018: Sumptuous silk and 16-shaft turned taquetè make this scarf by Bonnie Innouye amazing. Photo by Good Folk Photography

Each Loom Theory is dedicated to a specific type of loom, either 4-shaft, rigid-heddle or 8-shaft loom. (In 2018, we even included patterns for looms with 16 shafts.) The multishaft loom patterns include a WIF download that is not only useful as a road map for a specific scarf but is also adaptable for other projects by using weaving software. If you find yourself struggling to move forward, I suggest you check out some of the projects from Loom Theory; they are beautiful and vetted, and I think they may just get you from point a to point b.

Weave well, Susan