Knitters Loom

Knitters Loom

Knitters Loom

Ashford Knitters Loom (Buy Now)

Specifications

  • Reed 7.5dpi (30/10) wide-eye
  • KL3- 30cm (12ins), 2.3kg (5lbs)
  • KL5 – 50cm (20ins), 2.8kg (6lbs)

Available in two weaving widths 30cm (12ins) and 50cm (20ins)
Both widths are available as a KL Combo – includes the KL carry bag.

Ashford say:

Two great weaving widths 30cm (12ins) and 50cm (20ins). The loom is ultra portable being lightweight, compact and folds in half – even with your weaving in place. Fast – from yarn to scarf in two hours. Easy – a loom that is simple to understand and operate with nylon warp stick ties, handles, cogs and pawls. Weave fancy yarns with the wide-eye 7.5dpi (30/10) reed. The loom is made from Silver Beech hard wood and comes assembled and lacquered, with all the warping tools – ready to use.

The flexibility of the Knitters Loom means you can be weaving in your lunch break, while camping, or when visiting friends.

We say:

The Ashford Knitters Loom is spreading like wildfire here on Sanday, and with very good reason. The outbreak began with Beth, when her plans to learn to weave with the 4-shaft Table Loom were thwarted (nothing wrong with the equipment, just an on-going DIY project eating up valuable crafting space.) Never one to put up with being thwarted, she decided that the portability of the Knitters Loom was the solution to the temporary (albeit long-running) DIY impasse.

Joanna bought a Knitters Loom next, followed by Pauline, and there are plans for others to buy one too.

As the first to crumble, it falls once more to Beth to report back on her purchase.

Let us not doubt it – we should be clear from the outset, I love my Knitters Loom! I just wish that I had more time with which to explore its capabilities (and mine.) It is light and it is portable. It certainly is easy to understand. It is in fact, just about everything that Ashford claim that it is.

Assembly

Ashford do not seem to make it clear that some self-assembly is required here. It was reasonably straightforward – as is usual with these matters, it helped to have a reader and a separate pair of hands. Sadly, I seem to have failed to photograph the process…

Warping

I loved it that the direct warping method made it quick and easy for me to get up and weaving with the minimum amount of fuss, and no support necessary. Ashford were not too far out in their estimation of timing for a project. I did not make a scarf, just an unspecified piece – which was very swiftly made. I warped with some brown knitting wool that I had to hand – a mistake, the 100% Acrylic fibre was unsuitable for this purpose. How was I to know? Anyway, more of that later.

The loom attaches with a clamp to one end of your warping table. At the other end, you clamp a peg about which to tension the loops of your warp.

To warp the loom you need a space long enough to stretch a warp for the length of project, plus about 18″ or thereabouts waste – so, for a generous scarf, you would need a table about 8 feet long.

Hmm…

Well, I would love a kitchen table that size, and I am sure that you would too!

I have developed a method of warping that involves the use of my long hallway. I clamp the loom to a small folding table, and place a chair n feet away down the hall, then loop around that.

Warping is simple enough. Slightly painstaking. Can lead to backache.

Getting weaving

My First Weaving

My First Weaving

For my first weaving, I got hold of an aran weight wool mix yarn, wound my shuttle (the loom comes complete with stickshuttles)… and just got cracking.

I simply wove until the yarn ran out…

…and had a lot of fun doing so. I was very pleased with the results.

It was not a breeze however. Not Ashford’s fault, I think, but my own. Due to my inexperience, I used the aforementioned acrylic. This gave me tensioning problems and resulted in an inability to hold the down shed properly – my reed just kept on falling out of the heddle support.

My second weaving used a commercial cotton warp, and I got on much better with that. For warp I used some handspun singles in wool and some plied handspun silk.

Again – a wonderful success – and the weaving bug had fully bitten.

2nd Weaving, on the loom

2nd Weaving, on the loom

Assessment

As already mentioned, I do love my little loom. I just wish that I had more experience with it to date. It is certainly as portable as Ashford claim it to be, but I do find that in moving it from pillar to post, the pawl hooks disconnect and my warp unwinds.

I also have to quibble a little with “The flexibility of the Knitters Loom means you can be weaving in your lunch break, while camping, or when visiting friends.

The theory is great but the practice, even in one’s own home, is not quite that simple. The Knitters Loom is designed to rest against a table edge, using the notches in the back of the frame. This requires the weaver to sit well back from the table edge in order to work and frankly, it is not all that frequently that adequate space can be found – even if one’s host is willing to chance a scratched surface to their heirloom dining table!

I plan to resolve the problem of weaving at home by buying a dedicated stand for my Knitters Loom. If you are prevaricating about the purchase of a Knitters Loom or loom and stand, I would like to point out that we often have a combined purchase discount available… so making your mind up now, based on my experience, could well be profitable for both reader and writer.

The Knitters Loom arrives with one wide-eye Nylon reed of 7.5dpi (30/10). It served for my first adventures, but I plan to weave mostly with handspun and I don’t know about yours, but mine can be wildly exuberant at times. I think I will get more use from the 5 dpi reed that I bought almost immediately to add to my armoury. If you are a classier spinner than I am, reeds of 10 and 12.5 dpi are available.

Stripes

One of those two sizes might have been prudent for my present weaving experiment, with a commercial fingering yarn.

I may add more reeds of different sizes to my kit eventually, but I foresee that a purchase of a Double Heddle Kit, plus a second reed in both the 5 and 7,5 dpi sizes would be of most use to me.

Overall? Possibly the most fun you can have without taking your clothes off. Highly recommended, and a perfect gift to yourself, or to another fibre artist at Christmas or any time.