Tutorial part 2: A new way to use the Martha Stewart knit loom
Last week I promised you that I would finish the tutorial on my novel way to use the Martha Stewart Knit Loom (MS loom), and here it is. If you missed the instructions on assembling the two (2) looms for this project, click here.
For this project I used Bernat Baby Blanket yarn, four skeins of 300 g / 10.5 oz.
During the tutorial the current step is always in the lightest color on the diagram. The previous steps become darker to indicate that they are behind the top layer.
FIRST WARPING STEP
Now that you have assembled the loom, orient the loom so that the corner with the two pink pegs are on the bottom left corner of the loom.
Put the skein or ball of yarn to your side somewhere. Place the loose end between the two pink pegs. Hold onto the end and move the rest of the yarn up the loom to the top left hand corner – the yarn goes between the pink and the blue pegs. (See the diagram.)
Move the yarn behind the two closest blue pegs. The next direction will be down the loom in the same direction as when you started.
When you get to the bottom, tie a double knot with the loose end of yarn and the yarn you just brought down to meet it. That will allow the yarn to stay on the loom without being pulled off. You could also tape the yarn to the bottom of the loom – no right or wrong way to do this. Follow the diagram to continue this first pass of warping the loom.
Just lay the yarn across the loom, do NOT pull it or put tension on it. If it is too tight at this stage it will be more difficult to weave.
When you get to the upper right hand corner you will need to bring the yarn around the pink peg and back down the loom, ending on the inside of the bottom right pink peg. It is a bit cramped on the loom when you do this, but it is very necessary to allow the actual weaving later on.
SECOND WARPING STEP
There are two ways to arrange the loom, both are correct. One way is to turn the loom so that you continue warping up and down the loom. The other one is to warp the loom going from side to side (you will probably want to turn the diagram to match your loom).
Normally you would only place the yarn around the pink peg. You can do just that if you prefer. However, I have found it easier to put the yarn around two pegs now – it makes the weaving step easier for me. Follow the diagram all the way to the top left corner of the loom.
THIRD WARPING STEP
The loom should now be oriented the same way as when you started, with the two pink pegs on the bottom left corner.
The diagram shows very regular placement of the yarn until you reach the far right side. We are going to make the yarn traffic jam a little bit worse. The final yarn placement starts in a regular place, but shares a peg at the end.
You have now warped the loom!
You will need to measure enough yarn to weave the whole loom. Wind the yarn around the loom 4 ½ times. (Actually you need a little less, but the first time you may want to give yourself a little breathing room.)
The MS loom includes a weaving tool with a hook on one end, and a fork on the other. I recommend putting tape on the fork end so that it will not get tangled in the warp yarns.
The MS loom also includes a knitting tool that looks like a bent wire with a handle. When I am weaving I often have the long hook in one hand and the weaving tool in the other. I use the knitting tool to lift up one of the warp yarns so that I can pass the long hook under it.
Following the diagram, place the taped fork end of the weaving tool on top of the yarn that was wrapped around the two pegs at the bottom right of the loom. Use the knitting tool to lift up the yarn that you put next to the pegs during the first warping step. Because the different yarns are jammed together here, be careful to select the correct yarn to lift up.
Go over the next closest yarn, the one from the third step. Back under the next yarn from the first step. Continue like this to the left side. On the diagram you will see that this first weaving yarn shares the space between pegs on the left side of the loom. When the weaving tool is all the way across the loom it should look something like this:
Use the hook end of the weaving tool to grab the yarn comparatively close the end. Now you will pull the end through the yarns already on the loom. You may want to use the knitting tool to accomplish this.
You are weaving!
Continue following the diagram as you weave. You will always be going under the bottom layer and over the top layer.
From time to time you may want to move the yarns so that they are more straight across rather than curved.
Have you noticed that the yarns get tighter as you weave? This is why you just placed the yarns on the loom earlier rather than put any tension on them.
When you are ready to weave the final row you will find that previous layers are very close to the pegs, and there isn’t a whole lot of room. Use the knitting tool again to make room for the weaving tool.
You will need to tie off the end of the yarn at the top right corner. Use the knitting tool to bring the loose end of the yarn between some loops of yarn. Make a knot with the end of the yarn.
Your project should now look something like this:
Gently pull the loops of yarn off the pegs. Weaving makes the yarns travel a bit farther than they want to as they go over and under, which puts tension on them. Taking the square off the loom removes the tension, which makes the yarns snuggle closer together. That means the square shrinks when it is taken off the loom.
I wove 16 squares using different colored yarns. You can, of course, use whatever colors you want. I used the leftover yarn to crochet the squares together. I crocheted around the entire blanket as well.
Here are photos of two coordinating blankets.
Let me know how the tutorial works for you. Email is: Thread(at)threadandwood.com