As a new weaver, my goal is to get a loom, either renting one from the guild or buying a used one. My boyfriend keeps using the inkle loom he made me, so I can't even use that! I need a floor loom. :)
Then the second goal is to plan, warp, and weave something that is not a class project. ... solo, so to speak!
That's an admirable goal! I
That's an admirable goal!
I recommend renting from a guild if you can, so you can "try before you buy." I was also fortunate that I took several round robin workshops and got to weave on a veriety of looms before I bought. I found I had some definite likes and dislikes.
I ended up with two floor looms eventually- a 22" Harrisville 8S/10T, and a Schacht 36" 8S/10T. I sold the Schact when we downsized to a condo, but I still have my little beloved Harrisville, along with an 8" Strcuto, an Ashford Inklette and my new tablet weaving loom.
Trying out looms
Trying before you buy is a great idea, but depending on where you live, it may not be realistic. What is available no matter where you are is this group. If you see a loom for sale that is close by and in your price range, ask for opinions. Ask for people your height what they think, ask people who weave what you want to weave what they think. You may find things out that you would not find out by a trial use (like a major manufacturer's beaters seem to get out of square easily), or looms made with carriage bolts will eventually round out their holes and need major repair.
Excellent advice. I think
Excellent advice. I think asking about height and comfort when weaving is very important. I'm short, and found many looms too tall for me, or required too far a reach.
Oh, those are good points! 2
Oh, those are good points! 2 of the rentals are baby wolfs, and I'm a bit concerned my legs may be too long for them.
I live in a metro area of about 600,000, but that is most of the population of this large, mostly rural state. Some people drive 3 hours to go to the guild meeting, then stay overnight with a friend.
Checking out looms in person might be a little challenging!
Trying out looms
I can only agree with this but I haven't followed this. My looms and wheel have all been the result of right price purchasing (2 floor looms and a spinning wheel cost just over £100 ($160)). Fortunately they have been cheap enough that even if they had turned out to be duds I haven't lost a fortune.
So far, I've managed to learn
So far, I've managed to learn a lot about looms, and spin a little bit every day. That will have to count for now!
Have you considered a Backstrap loom?
Sometimes I arrive a little late at Guild as my wife runs a community market and I make the coffee for everyone.
Just before summer I got there just before closing time and was talking to a couple of the ladies. One said referring to her plastic bag "well if no-one wants these I will chuck them in the bin (trash)."
I asked what they were and they were two backstrap weaving looms made by her husband many years ago which she had never used.
Basically they, in their simplest form, are rigid heddle looms where you get to be tension bit of the loom. I got one. It is great. It is cheap to make. It can be carried wherever you go and gives a good idea of the basis of weaving. They are quick and easy to set up and you can be ready to go in a couple of minutes. I set up a 9m (30ft) simple weaving draft and was weaving within 45 minutes,
On a day like today when I was really busy it was easy to do a couple of picks on my backstrap as I couldn't get to the shed as it was dark
In a week I will have one of
In a week I will have one of the rental looms, so I think I will wait for that. I have a homemade inkle loom, so I'm not totally loomless, but my boyfriend borrowed it and has been weaving straps, belts, and next up is suspenders (braces). I've got an old book with hundreds of twill and birdseye variations that I am itching to try, and you need at least 4 shafts for those.